By Jaime Uranovsky
Josh Abrams of London (son of Caryn Abrams, and grandson of Cape Town locals, Stewart and Cynthia Cohen) is set to perform in Mussorgsky’s opera, Boris Godunov, which opens on 19 June at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Josh, aged thirteen, will play Fyodor, the son of the lead character in the opera, who in turn will be portrayed by Sir Bryn Terfel.
Josh is no stranger to the stage, having been performing for the past three years and singing since before he can remember. His mom, Caryn says, ‘Josh was a born performer. You know how other kids would sing a song? Well, when he was about two-years-old he would do like a whole recital. He would hold his grandparents and parents captive for half an hour and it would be song after song after song. Then we started noticing at school. They did a production of Oliver! and he was just one of the boys in the chorus but he just completely took over with his little voice.’
It was after Josh auditioned for a music scholarship that the musical director in charge urged him to apply for roles at London’s opera houses. This is how Josh landed his first professional role at the Royal Opera House, in Thomas Adès’ Exterminating Angel. Since then, he has joined a musical theatre company, performed in various concerts as a soloist and choir member and has sung for BBC Radio.
The young performer has his sights set on West End productions and is currently playing Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at his school. His advice to other children who love musical theatre is, ‘Just do it, and if anyone judges you or pokes fun at you for what you do, don’t care.’