HERE’S WHAT I DO
I’m an opera director, translator and arranger and I compose a bit too.
I began as an assistant at Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera and the Wexford Festival before setting up Opera Up Close in 2003 and directing Milhaud’s Médée, Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis. More recently I have directed Satie’s Socrate, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Puccini’s La Boheme and Mozart’s Figaro.
As well as frequently directing for other companies, I have taught stagecraft at the Trinity Laban School and the Questors Theatre and led workshops in the ‘dramaticules’ of Samuel Beckett.
I have created English translations of operas by Gounod, Satie, Ullmann and Milhaud and am currently working on two new libretti, one of which I will set to my own music.
In 2017 I founded Hull Urban Opera, a company which offers high-quality immersive opera in various parts of the city including pubs, bars, community centres and outdoor spaces. Our focus is accessible new opera for the people of Hull and our first production was my ghost-story opera, Christmas Meeting, in December.
CRUEL BRITANNIA (March 2019)
Comprising three pieces of street-opera, Cruel Britannia was commissioned by Back To Ours to show the people of Hull that opera can take almost any form and, importantly, that it can be fun. Based on popular arias by Arne, Purcell and Mozart, these operatic short stories take a wry look at Britain’s past and present using absurd imagery including a captive yeti and a shopping-trolley-borne Britannia.
Directed by Russell Plows
Musical Direction by Ben Newton
Costumes by Liz Dees
Props by Charles Huckvale
Makeup by Venice Marshall
Some audience reaction
“What the f**k was that??”
“Fantastic – short and sweet!”
“Amazing – beautiful voices”
“My first bit of opera. I might chance seeing another now”
COMPOSITIONS, ARRANGEMENTS & TRANSLATIONS
Including a new opera, chamber suite, orchestrations and translations.