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Anya17 sex trafficking opera
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Like Anya17, an estimated 800,000 young women and children are deceived and trafficked into the EU every year to fuel the growing sex trade. Repeatedly gang raped and beaten, the girls can be forced to work for 16 hours, having sex with up to 30 men a day. It's happening every day… on your doorstep, so get involved!
Here's how you can help to end modern day slavery:
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The Original UK Anya17 Cast

Students from the RNCM Royal Northern College of Music played the cast of Anya17 for its premiere on 7th March 2012 in Liverpool, UK.

Anya17 Cast Anya17 Cast Anya17 Cast Anya17 Cast Anya17 Cast Anya17 Cast
ANYA
Andrea
Tweedale
ELENA
Amy Webber
MILA
Joanne
Holton
NATALIA
/ CAROLE
Lucy Baines
VIKTOR
Thomas
Hopkinson
GABRIELE
/ URI
Sean Boyes
Andrea Tweedale Role: ANYA (Sop)
An ingénue and child of uncaring parents, Anya’s innocence and beauty soon mark her out for exploitation. Despite being groomed, deceived and propelled into a living nightmare, Anya’s intelligence, indomitable spirit and will to survive remain unbroken whilst her world crumbles around her. Refusing to doubt her own inner strength until all at last seems utterly hopeless, Anya’s actions will lead not only to multiple deaths but also to her own ultimate salvation.

Singer: Andrea Tweedale
Lyric soprano, Andrea Tweedale was born in Bedfordshire, and having completed a Bmus (hons) at the University of Sheffield, she is studying at the RNCM under the tuition of Thomas Schulze. She is in her second year of the two year Masters programme, and is grateful for the support of an Independent Opera Vocal Scholarship at the RNCM. Performances in her first year included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (RNCM excerpts), and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra. She was also a finalist in the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the singing of Strauss. Andrea has just returned from a tour of ’The Classical Proms’ around Holland, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with the Bach Orchestra of the Netherlands under conductor Pieter Jan Leusink.

Opera roles include Adina in The Elixir of Love (Mananan Opera Festival), Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte (Steel Opera), Pamina in The Magic Flute, Mimi in La Boheme, Frasquita in Carmen (Sheffield City Opera), and The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for West Riding Opera. Andrea is also an experienced concert singer, with past performances including: Jenkins’ The Armed Man, Hidas’ Requiem, Haydn’s The Seasons, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Magnificat, Brahms’ Requiem, and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

Future engagements include performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Bach Orchestra of the Netherlands, and the lead role of Anya in Anya17.

Andrea reprised her role as Anya for Anya17's first performance outside the UK on 17th October 2013 in Romania on the eve of International Anti-Slavery Day at the National Opera of Timişoara.

Amy Webber Role: ELENA (Sop)
Enslaved for many years and long blind since a brutal beating, Elena inhabits of world of perpetual night. Now more of an ethereal shade than a person, her greatest consolation remains being unable to see the faces of the men who rape her every day. Having previously lost all hope of escape, Elena gathers inspiration from Anya's defiance and becomes instrumental in her battle to emerge from the underworld.

Singer: Amy Webber
Amy is studying with Peter Wilson at the RNCM and in her 4th year of undergraduate studies. Roles include: Dido in Dido and Aneas, The Dew Fairy and Sand Man in Hansel and Gretel, Gherardina in Gianni Schicchi, Novia in Suor Angelica, The Governess in The Little Sweep. She has also won first prize in the Oxford Music Festival, 'Light Opera Category'. Whilst at the RNCM, Amy has sung in the chorus for Die Fledermaus, Candide, La Belle Helene, La Clemenza di Tito and Carmen. In October 2009, Amy gave a solo recital in Gozo, Malta as part of the Festival Mediterranea. Later, in December she played the part of The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors in the RNCM Concert Hall along side The Manchester Consort. In 2011 Amy has sung for BBC Radio 5 Live, improvising on live air to "Operatise" people's lives. She also sung for ITV's This Morning, putting the opera into the soaps by singing famous soap scenes to famous opera tunes. Most recently, Amy sung the role of The Walker in the world premier of Leo Geyer's chamber opera The Mermaid of Zennor.

Amy reprised her role as Elena for Anya17's first performance outside the UK on 17th October 2013 in Romania on the eve of International Anti-Slavery Day at the National Opera of Timişoara.

Joanne Holton Role: MILA (Sop)
A teenage mother whose only crime is to seek a more prosperous future in the West, Mila's simple, optimistic outlook and youthful effervescence soon shatter like glass on the horrifying anvil of reality. Escaping into a fantasy world where she cradles and reassures the daughter she abandoned, she battles with violence and ill health as a maelstrom of inevitable insanity swirls around her.

Singer: Joanne Holton
Joanne Holton is currently working towards an MMus at the RNCM, under the tutelage of Stuart MacIntyre. There her studies have been generously supported by The MacGlashan Trust, The Mario Lanza Educational Foundation, The Lynn Foundation, and The Follett Trust. She is also a recipient of an RNCM Student Bursary. Previous to this she studied vocal performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and has also completed a BMus with honours at the University of Glasgow.

On the oratorio platform, works include Monteverdi's Vespers, Rutter's Magnificat, Vivaldi's Gloria, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus. Joanne has recently performed Bach's Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen as part of the RNCM Spotlight Concert series, and has been fortunate to have participated in masterclasses with several inspirational singers, including Joan Rodgers, Dame Emma Kirkby and James Bowman.

Recent opera roles include Cis in Albert Herring (RNCM), Adina in L'elisir d'amore (West Riding Opera), and 2nd Witch in Dido and Aeneas (Dartington Advanced Baroque Opera Course). Notable opera scene roles to date are Oberto (Alcina); Aurora (L'Egist o); Serpetta (La finta giardiniera); Belinda (Dido & Aeneas); Cupid (Venus & Adonas); Papagena (Die Zauberflöte). In November 2012 she will be singing the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Opera Seria).

Joanne is very excited to have been cast as Mila in Anya17, and is looking forward to the project and its many challenges.

Future engagements include performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Bach Orchestra of the Netherlands, and the role of Anya in Anya17.

Lucy Baines Role: NATALIA (Mezzo/Broadway)
~ Dual role with Carole
Befriending Anya and Mila at the start of their journey to 'a better life', Natalia is not all that she seems. First abused by her father and his friends at the age of nine, by twelve Natalia had been thrown out onto the streets by her mother to ply the only trade she knew. Quickly targeted and groomed by Viktor (a Trafficker) to a state of complete physical and emotional dependence, Natalia is then smuggled to the UK before later returning to Eastern Europe to assist Viktor (now her lover) in deceiving and ensnaring 'fresh meat'. Brutalised to coarseness, cynicism and addiction, Natalia is in complete contrast to her dual character role of Carole (below).

Role: CAROLE (Mezzo) ~ Dual Role with Natalia
Carole is a specialist Counsellor, one of many who in absolute secrecy provide both care and hope of rehabilitation to Sex Trafficking victims in safe houses all across the UK. Through her patience and compassion, Carole is instrumental in weaving together the threads of the story, ultimately coaxing Anya along the path of regaining her shattered identity.

Singer: Lucy Baines
Lucy is in her 4th year of undergraduate study at the RNCM, after spending two years at the Junior RNCM, and winning the title of 'Bury Young Musician of the Year'. She has been involved in such productions as Bernstein’s West Side Story (Anita) Lionel Bart’s Oliver! (Widow Corney), Offenbach’s Orpheus in The Underworld (Calliope) and Trial By Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan (Plaintiff). She has appeared as a singer in Channel 4’s ‘Shamless’. In 2009 she took part in a masterclass with distinguished musical theatre singer Rosie Ashe. She is also a member of Manchester based choral group ‘Canzonetta’, with whom she has sung in many concerts and galas including following Bryn Terfel on the Northern stretch of his “Bad Boys” tour, and then with the same concert to Paris in 2010. She has sung with Phoenix Opera at Gawsworth Hall, and in Carousel (Rogers and Hammerstein) and The Merry Widow (Lehar).

In RNCM opera scenes she has played the roles of Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte and most recently the role of Romeo in Bellini's Capuletti e I Montecchi. She has been an RNCM chorus member in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Janacek’s Katya Kabanova, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene, Mozart’s Clemenza Di Tito and Bizet’s Carmen. Future engagements include the role of Carrie in Carousel under the direction of Jeffrey Lawton.

Tom Hopkinson Role: VIKTOR (Bass)
As a Trafficker, Viktor's simple brutality and uncomplicated world view is echoed by his curt, ex cathedra pronouncements. Utterly amoral, Viktor sees himself purely as a businessman responding to the natural forces of supply and demand. Terrifying all around him, Viktor justifies his actions by believing that the girls he trafficks and enslaves are somehow subhuman, simply 'cuts of meat' to be bought and sold. His sociopathic arrogance and violent temper lead ultimately to a final uncertainty before his dramatic downfall.

Singer: Tom Hopkinson
Tom is currently studying for a Masters in Solo Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music with David Lowe. Originally from Nottingham Tom studied Music and Education at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln graduating with a Bachelor of the Arts degree. Originally a Tuba player, Tom started having singing lessons with John Gull and later Stephen Holloway, a Lincoln based operatic bass.

Tom most recently performed as a soloist with the Nottingham Harmonic Society in Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb. Other oratorio performances include; Stanford's Nunc Dimitis in G and the part of Homer in the first modern day performance of An Entertainment of Musick for St Cecilia's Day by J. C. Pepusch. Recent opera performances include; Princess Ida with the New London Opera Group, the role of the Mikado with the Cleethorpes Amateur Operatic Society, Offenbach's Gendarmes Duet and Bizet's Au Fond du Temple Saint. In March 2012 Tom will be performing the part of Viktor in the world premiere of Anya17.

Tom's Masters studies are being kindly supported by the Doyle Carte Charitable Trust.

Tom reprised his role as Viktor for Anya17's first performance outside the UK on 17th October 2013 in Romania on the eve of International Anti-Slavery Day at the National Opera of Timişoara.

Sean Boyes Role: URI (Ten) ~ Dual role with Gabriel
Seemingly Anya's initial saviour, Uri is every young girl's dream. Handsome, rich and sensitive, he showers her with gifts and attention before repaying Anya's desperate desire for love and belonging with betrayal. A manipulative, smooth operator with a love of designer clothes and fast cars, Uri's convincing proposal of marriage and promises of a new life are merely part of well-practiced routine to fuel his luxury lifestyle in the East.

Role: GABRIEL (Ten) ~ Dual role with Uri
Gabriel is the antithesis of Uri, bringing with this dual role the opportunity to explore two diametrically opposed characters. Initially just one of many Brothel clients, Gabriel's all-consuming, pure love for Anya soon leads him to spend all his money simply to be with her. Mired in this secret, violent world and confounded by a seemingly irresolvable situation, Gabriel's mounting desperation for a future with Anya eventually leads him to set aside his gentle nature and risk all to save the one he truly loves.

Singer: Sean Boyes
Sean Boyes is twenty-one years old. He entered the RNCM with a scholarship in 2008 and is currently studying under the tuition of Jeffrey Lawton. In 2006 he received a scholarship to join the Junior RNCM and in 2008 was awarded the Helen Latto Soroptomist’s prize for singing. He has been in many productions and has performed roles such as Njegus in The Merry Widow by Lehar, Orpheus in Offenbach’s Orpheus and the Underworld, The Defendant in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury, and King Caspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors by Menotti with Manchester Camerata. He has also performed with Phoenix Opera at Gawsworth Hall in the chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard. In November 2009 he sang in the chorus of Bryn Terfel’s ‘Bad Boys’ tour and then again in October 2010 in Paris for the European tour.

At the RNCM he has performed the role of Lillas Pastia in the RNCM production of Bizet’s Carmen and more recently the role of The Mayor in Britten's Albert Herring. In RNCM opera scenes he has performed as The Intepreter in Vaughan Williams' The Pilgrims Progress and The Mayor in Britten's Albert Herring. He has also been in the opera choruses for Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Janacek’s Katya Kabanova, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene, Mozart’s Clemenza Di Tito and Bizet’s Carmen.

Sean has performed at the Lake District Summer music Festival with Stefan Janski which included performances of two short operas in which he took the role of Ben in Menotti's The Telephone and Sante in Wolf-Ferrari's Susanna's Secret. On the oratorio platform Sean has performed Mozart's Requiem and Puccini's Messa di Gloria. Future engagements include performing Mr Snow in Carousel in Middleton and opera scenes including Verdi's Falstaff in January at the RNCM.

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