A primary school pupil has been chosen to make his professional stage debut alongside professional opera singers and musicians.
Ted Brough, aged 8 and a student at Exeter School, will perform with English Touring Opera (ETO) when it brings its new work to the Exeter Northcott Theatre on May 21.
The casting is part of ETO’s push to encourage a younger audience to find out about opera, which also includes a new half-price ticket deal for the under 35s.
It comes as the Northcott launches a fresh drive to champion local talent by offering professional opportunities to young people when casting for its next pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.
ETO contacted the school as part of a push to recruit 17 youngsters around the country to appear in its professional production.
Ted, who attends the independent school has won a “small but pivotal” role in Macbeth as Banquo’s son.
The youngster, who will tread the boards in a professional theatre for the first time, said: “I am really excited about performing in Macbeth. My sister was recently in a school production of Macbeth and was brilliant. She is really jealous I am going to be on stage at the Northcott. My Dad was an actor too, so I hope he can help me.”
English Touring Opera will visit Exeter Northcott Theatre from 21-25 May, with a live orchestra and large chorus.
The cast combines internationally celebrated stars and exciting young singers with local talent.
The season of “Kings and Queens” sees the company bring three new productions: Verdi’s first Shakespearian masterpiece, Macbeth, Mozart’s Greek opera, Idomeneo and Rossini’s rarely performed Elizabeth I.
In all three operas anguished leaders attempt to hold onto power, preserve peace and calm a stirring populace.
Ted will join established operatic names from as far afield as Russia, Australia, India, the US, Armenia, as well as from around the UK.
In making his stage debut, Ted follows in the footsteps of father Jamie, who worked as a professional actor in London before one of his plays was turned into a film and directed by actor David Morrissey.
Jamie, who is now Head of Drama at Exeter School, co-wrote Don’t Worry About Me with Morrissey, which is based on his stage play The Pool, a story set in Liverpool.
The film adaptation premiered at the 2009 London Film Festival and was broadcast by the BBC the following year.
Jamie said Ted, who has a sister, aged 9, and a younger brother, aged 5, had jumped at the chance to take on the role.
“He is a very bright boy who gets involved in drama at school so I put him forward and he was lucky enough to be chosen,” he added.
“It will be quite an experience for him.”
Tickets are available at www.exeternorthcott.co.uk
Specially-discounted £5 tickets for the under-35s have been set aside by ETO for its next new production at the Northcott in November.