Ever seen an opera put together in five days?

I have 15 years experience creating large-scale Community Operas, mostly for  Ryedale Festival, for whom I directed 14 productions, mostly new commissions, from 2000 onwards.  This was a pioneering Arts Council-funded mixed ability project where, with designer Lyn Wait and composer Tim Brooks, we developed a successful modular approach, bringing together a large-scale spectacular, featuring schools, community groups and individuals of all abilities, in just five days.

We offer  Outreach workshops for schools and groups, and lead  Lets Make an Opera in a Day projects for groups of all sizes, ages and abilities.

Past productions include:

For Ryedale Festival:

2013: Noye’s Fludde  by Benjamin Britten

Noye's Fludde at St Peters Church Norton July 2013

Noye’s Fludde at St Peters Church Norton July 2013

2012: 7Ages a Community Dance Oratorio by Tim Brooks

2011: A Pig’s Tale Book & Lyrics by Peter Spafford, music by Nick Williams, a reworking in the round of the piece we commissioned in 2006

2010: Odyssey adapted from Simon Armitage’s Homer’s Odyssey by Martin Vander Weyer, music by Tim Brooks, St Peter Church Norton

2009: Everyman Adapted from the medieval morality play by Em Whtifield Brooks, music by Tim Brooks. St Peter’s Church Norton.

2008: The Wedding Ghost by Barry Russell. Milton Rooms, Malton

2007: Voyage of The Maris Piper. Book & lyrics by Em Whitfield Brooks, music by Tim Brooks. Milton Rooms, Malton

2006: A Pig’s Tale. Book & lyrics by Peter Spafford, music by Nick Williams. Milton Rooms, Malton

2005: Maggio’s Magic. Book & lyrics by Peter Spafford, music by Tim Brooks. Kirk Theatre Pickering

2004: The Gypsy Queen. Book & lyrics by Em Whitfield Brooks, music by Tim Brooks. Kirk Theatre Pickering

2003: Voyage of The Maris Piper. Book & lyrics by Em Whitfield Brooks, music by Tim Brooks. Malton School Hall

2002: The Golden Drum. Book & lyrics by Em Whitfield Brooks, music by Tim Brooks. Kirkbymoorside Memorial Hall

2001: All the King’s Men by Richard Rodney Bennett at Pickering Memorial Hall

2000: Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten. St Peter’s Church Norton

Other Community Opera Projects include:

Beached Libretto by Lee Hall, music by Harvey Brough, directed by Karen Gillingham, staged at The Spa Bridlington in July 2011, the culmination of  Opera North’s two year project of schools and community singing Sing Up Bridlington! I led the Community Chorus and the Mencap group for this production, and worked with some of the young singers from Bay Primary School who also took part, having led regular sessions for two years in that school and across the town

The Fall of Creation Libretto by Em Whitfield Brooks, Music by Tim Brooks, performed by a cast of 230  in Durham Cathedral as part of the Durham Mysteries, May 2010  see www.durhammysteries.co.uk

2009: Castaway project working with the mixed ability Shipmates project in Goole, making an opera in two days

2009: Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten for BBC Choir of the Year 2008 Scunthorpe Co-operative Junior Choir, directed by Susan Hollingworth