Yolanda be­comes Flora in Ger­many

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN

GCSE RE­VI­SION and prepa­ra­tions for Is­rael tour would be enough to keep most Jewish teenagers busy over the next few months, but Yolanda Shamash will also be star­ring in an opera in Ger­many.

The 15-year-old from Palmers Green is to share the part of Flora in the opera ver­sion of Henry James’s ghost story The Turn of the Screw.

The opera, writ­ten by Ben­jamin Brit­ten, is be­ing staged in the 1,300seat Dus­sel­dorf Opera House and an­other large venue in neigh­bour­ing Duis­berg in May and June.

Yolanda, who was cho­sen af­ter just one au­di­tion de­spite never hav­ing per­formed pro­fes­sion­ally — and with lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence singing opera — will re­lo­cate to Ger­many this month for re­hearsals, tak­ing her school books with her.

She will take h e r e x a m s d u r i n g t h e ten-week run, with her proud fa­ther Jack vis­it­ing reg­u­larly “to make sure I get to my ex­ams”. She also plans to con­tact the Jewish com­mu­nity in the area to keep her well looked af­ter.

A keen singer since she was a child, Yolanda has been tak­ing lessons for six years. “I was al­ways the kind of kid who sings all the time and has to be told to shut up,” she said.

Although Yolanda is un­sure whether she wants to pur­sue mu­sic as a ca­reer or go into jour­nal­ism – her fa­ther’s pro­fes­sion – she said she was look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.

“It’s go­ing to be chaotic - the whole thing will re­ally be a learn­ing curve.” Not hav­ing read the book be­fore she won the part, Yolanda said she was now get­ting to know her char­ac­ter. “It is a bit creepy,” she said.

A n d e v e n af­ter her final cur­tain, Yolanda has plenty to look for­ward to. In July she will jet off to Is­rael as part of a Noam tour group.

“I will have some good sto­ries to share,” she said. “I’ll have done a

lot of trav­el­ling this year.”

Yolanda Shamash: re­search­ing “creepy” role

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