Francesco Venturi was born in Genoa, Italy. Watching his sister in ballet classes for many years, Francesco became more and more keen on ballet and eventually started training at the age of nine in a local school in Pisa, his family hometown. His sister is currently dancing at Paris Opera Ballet.
In 2015, Francesco joined the prestigious Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where he trained for four years. He was taught classical technique by Frederic Olivieri and Jean- Philippe Halnaut. During the end-of-year exams he always obtained the highest marks of his class. He has also pursued his academic studies and graduated from Middle School with the best grade.
During his years in Milan, he has had the opportunity to perform with La Scala Ballet Company in Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty and in Nureyev’s Don Quixote, as well as in the Accademia’s production of Nutcracker and in its annual shows.
He has attended several summer programmes, including The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive in 2015 and 2018. These programmes were an essential turning point for Francesco, as the School’s excellence and unique high-quality training triggered in him the desire to join the School as a full- time student.
In 2018, Francesco was invited to the Final Audition the following year, after which he was offered a full-time place in the first year.
Meg Newton was born in Mildura, Victoria in Australia. Meg has always loved classical ballet and began training seriously at the age of 10. Before coming to The Royal Ballet School, Meg trained at Projection Dance School under the direction of Tim Podesta, where she has in this time enjoyed numerous opportunities in her home country and internationally.
In 2018/19, Meg received invitations to attend the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Princess Grace Academy in Monte Carlo and the Hamburg Ballet school, through attending the Youth American Grand Prix and the Alana Haines Ballet Competitions, where she has been successful in being a finalist.
To date Meg's most memorable moment on stage was in the International Divertissement Ballet Gala in Australia.
In Australia, Meg has been recognised for her commitment to her art form though a number of awards and scholarships. These awards also recognised her considerable efforts as a young role model and her commitment to encouraging other young people to work hard and follow their passion.
Frieda Kaden was born in Berlin and has studied ballet since she was five years old. It became her passion when she started as an associate of the Staatliche Ballettschule. From then on, she thought of little else and was determined to become a professional ballerina. Her parents had little knowledge of dance, but were always encouraging and supportive.
When Frieda was nine, she began full time training with the Staatliche Ballettschule in Berlin, where she studied for seven years under the artistic directorship of Gregor Seyffert and Marek Rozicky.
Frieda was given wonderful opportunities to perform with the school including several galas such as ‘Polina and Friends’, ‘Elisa y Amigos’ and ‘The Kremlingala’ with the piece ‘All long dem day’ by Marco Goecke. She was also chosen to dance with the Staatsballett company, playing the role of ‘Little Clara’ in their production of The Nutcracker in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In both 2016 and 2018 Frieda was awarded the Gold Medal in the Staatliche Ballettschule ballet competition dancing one of Kitri’s variations from Don Quixote and Duo Verba a contemporary solo by Barbara Gatto.
She attended The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensives in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and received the Award for Achievement in both of the latter two years. In 2018 Christopher Powney invited her to the final auditions, the following February, where she was delighted to be offered a full-time place at the Upper School.