A Midsummer Night’s Dream  – Opera North

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Opera North

Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ took to the Leeds Grand Theatre stage this week at Opera North.  We began rehearsals in August under the direction of Martin Duncan and conductor Stuart Stratford and I have loved getting to grips with this brilliant opera in the role of Hermia!  The production is full of magic, humour and lovers running around in their underwear (Blush) …We have had great fun!

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is performed as part of Opera North’s Festival of Britten and runs alongside productions of  ‘Peter Grimes’ and ‘Death in Venice’ throughout Autumn 2013.

Opera North’s Festival of Britten is part of Britten 100, a centenary celebration of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976),  launched in September 2012 by the Britten-Pears Foundation.  Britten 100 is an unprecedented collaboration of leading organisations from the worlds of performing arts, publishing, broadcasting, film, academia and heritage: the widest ever global celebration of a British composer. Find out more at the Britten 100 website.

There is also some great info about composer Benjamin Britten here http://www.britten100.org/new-to-britten/the-man

Performances take place in Leeds: Grand Theatre 28th Sep – 24th Oct 2013 and then the production tours to Salford Quays: The Lowry6th – 8th Nov 2013, Newcastle: Theatre Royal12th – 15th Nov 2013 and finishes Nottingham Theatre Royal19th – 22nd Nov 2013.

For more information http://www.operanorth.co.uk/productions/a-midsummer-night-s-dream


 ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ rehearsals;

St Ambrose Parish at 60

St Ambrose Parish at 60


A concert took place at St Ambrose church, Speke, Liverpool  on 26th July 2013.  The event celebrated the 60th Anniversary of St Ambrose Parish and was organised by Mersey Wave Music with the support of St Ambrose and St Christopher’s Parish Priest Fr Ed Cain and the parishioners in Speke. The Lord Mayor of Hale, Freeman Brian Hargreaves was in attendance and the evening included beautiful performances from the ladies and gentlemen of the Mersey Wave Choirs under the direction of Jason Ellis and also from Owen Roberts on the piano.

I was thrilled to perform at the concert and to sing with the choir.   We invited the audience to ‘sing-a-long’ during the second half and they raised the roof on the beautiful Grade II listed building. (…and it’s a very high roof!!)

Funds raised from the evening supported the Speke Catholic Youth fund and future Mersey Wave Music events.

Mersey Wave Music is a non-profit Community Arts Outreach based in Liverpool.  Providing Live music performance, education and development opportunities for our local music groups and individuals.  Creating music making opportunities and championing the work of performers who share a common vision for the benefit of the local community and the surrounding areas.

There was a wonderful atmosphere throughout  – with thanks to everyone that contributed and supported the event.

I loved it and can’t wait to sing at the Mersey Wave Christmas Concert which takes place on Friday 6th December 2013 at St Ambrose Church.





Opera Rara recording launch

Opera Rara recording launch

It was a privilege to have been invited to perform at the Opera Rara ‘Caterina Cornaro’ recording launch which took place at the Crush Room, Royal Opera House, London in June 2013.

Opera Rara, the brainchild of Patric Schmid and Don White, has been in the business of bringing back forgotten operatic repertoire of the 19th-century for over 40 years. Operas once threatened with extinction have now been brought vividly back to life through the Opera Rara recordings.  Opera Rara hopes that through its catalogue of recordings it will continue to encourage, inform and delight with its exploration of 19th-century music

The event was attended by Opera Rara Patron; Juan Diego Flórez with speeches from their Artistic Director; Mark Elder, Managing Director; Steven Revell and Soprano Carmen Giannattasio who sings the title role on their new release recording of Donizetti’s ‘Caterina Cornaro.’   This CD was released in June 2013 and there are also many more wonderful recordings and rarely performed works to explore in the full catalogue at the following link: http://www.opera-rara.com/shopcatalogue

I am looking forward to recording with Opera Rara early 2014!

KCMS Leighton House Concert

KCMS Leighton House Concert



Leighton House Museum, as it is known today, is the former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896) situated in Holland Park Road, London.  It is a unique purpose-built studio-house which is now open to the public. It contains a fascinating collection of paintings and sculptures by Lord Leighton and his contemporaries. A wonderful backdrop, steeped in history and creativity, for a concert I performed in this week.

“The first “musical party” at Leighton House was organised by Lord Leighton in May 1868 and KCMS builds on that tradition.”

Kensington and Chelsea Music Society (KCMS) during 2012-13 presented their 52nd season – eight concerts that took place in the Studio Room at Leighton House. It was a great pleasure to be performing with James Baillieu (Piano) and Ailish Tynan (Soprano) on Tuesday 14th May 2013 in the final concert of the KCMS season.

“Upstairs, Lord Leighton’s vast painting studio was one of the sights of London, filled with paintings in different stages of completion, the walls hung with examples of his work and lit by a great north window.  Many of the most prominent figures of the Victorian age were entertained in this room; including Queen Victoria herself who called on Leighton in 1859.”20130516-224420.jpg

It was really exciting for someone like me (who loves to doodle!), to be surrounded by the vast collection of artwork and sculptures  – We were even able to use Lord Leighton’s bedroom as our green room for the evening!  To perform there and share it with an audience gathered in the studio was such a privilege.  With thanks to everyone involved for making us feel so welcome.

The KMFS concert series resumes in October 2013 and Leighton House Museum is open to the public daily (except Tuesdays) – It is well worth a visit to the house and to catch a concert if you are in the area!

More information:

Kensington and Chelsea Music Society: http://www.kcmusic.org.uk/index.htm

Leighton House: http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums.aspx

James Baillieu Kathryn Rudge

James Baillieu and Kathryn Rudge KCMS Recital 2013