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Project information

Emerging singers support programme

Clonter is the only Opera company in the North West to provde free residential training and performance opportunities for singers at the start of their professional careers.Uniquely following a month's rehearsal singers perform complete roles in a staged opera at our theatre in Cheshire and London.

June 2012 - October 2012

Charity information: Clonter Farm Music Trust

Clonter Farm Music Trust logo
  • Need


    Being accepted for training at a major conservatoire is recognition of vocal potential but how can this potential be realised?How do singers gain their first professional engagement?How do they gain experience of performing complete roles rather than cover or chorus?How do they support themselves financially when they leave?How do they get seen by agents and opera managements? Clonter seeks to bridge this gap between conservatoire and professional work in a supportive nurturing environment.


    Opera not only makes huge physical requirements on the voice but the major operatic roles demand that singers must also be able to portray characters convincingly on stage. The whole team of musicians,technicians,coaches and singers live and rehearse together giving young singers unrivalled access to industry professionals. All coaching and accommodation is free. The production of a fully staged opera with a reduced chorus allows emerging professionals the opportunity to work on a complete role.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To produce a fully staged version of Die Fledermaus in July and October 2012.


    » Following auditions, CFMT will work with the successful singers for a month of training and coaching sessions.
    » To undertake 5 public performances at our purpose built theatre in Cheshire and 2 at the Britten Theatre,Royal College of Music, London.
    » Run our Educational Outreach Programme using the opera to inform the content for up to 1600 children in Cheshire, London and Liverpool

    What success will look like

    Success1.Singer evaluations indicate that the experience has been valuable. 2.Singers have been able to secure further work as a result of participating.3.Audience figures of 2,400

  • Impact


    For each participant the effects can be dramatic. Performances in Cheshire and London attract agents and casting directors from major opera companies who come to see singers perform complete roles. CFMT enables singers to tackle difficult roles responsibly, building stamina and experience which enhances their ability to sing in large opera houses with orchestra. CFMT gives singers a head start adding valuable roles to their repertoire to perform worldwide. Successful employment will be published


    CFMT does not generally offer cover roles and chorus roles are limited. This means Clonter is vulnerable to illness or artists not being able to complete their time with CFMT for other reasons. We have developed very close links with agents,music colleges and Musical Directors so that suitable replacements can be found.


    A thorough account of the artistic and financial development of CFMT is included in the Annual Report which will be available to all donors. This is enhanced by newsletters, evaluation summary reports (for education) individual emails and up to the minute information online.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,759

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £17,720 Artistic Staff Musical Director, Stage Director, Artistic Director,Stage Manager
      £7,903 Production Costs set,costumes,wigs,props,pre-production plans,lighting hire,surtitles hire, labour
      £6,660 Orchestra Fees 12 members of the orchestra. Manchester based.
      £11,622 Accommodation All accommodation is provided free to participants
      £7,854 catering All catering is provided on site and free to participants
  • Background


    Clonter Farm Music Trust is located on a former dairy farm in the Cheshire countryside. In 1981 a farm building was converted into the 400 seat theatre it is today. It provides purpose built rehearsal and performance space and serves a wide geographical area including Staffordshire,Manchester,Shropshire,London,Liverpool and Derbyshire. The singers who take part in our projects travel to us from all over the world.


    The primary beneficiaries will be the young artists who will have the opportunity to work with staff of international expertise and perform a tailored version of a complete opera.
    1600 children from Cheshire, Liverpool and London benefit by participating in workshops using the main opera for inspiration. For most this is their first taste of Opera.
    Finally the audience who will have the opportunity to enjoy an opera produced in a rural location.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Clonter Farm Music Trust is now in its 36th Year of operation. During that time we have built strong relationships with the major conservatoires and a reputation for providing a unique and rewarding experience for young singers. CFMT's intimate purpose built theatre and artistic staff of international expertise is uniquely placed in the North West to nurture the operatic talent of the future.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Clive Timms

    Musical Director

    Jeffery Lockett

    Artistic Director


The average cost of costume/wig hire for 1 singer.

"It [Clonter] provided me with a platform 'to make a start' and I shall always be grateful."

Mary Plazas performed at Clonter (1990)