W11 Opera is proud to have the following professional creative team currently working with us.
Tim Yealland, Stage Director
Tim studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. As a singer he performed for English Touring Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, and the Chichester Festival.
He has directed participatory projects for most of the leading opera companies and orchestras, including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne as well as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras.
He devised and led the outreach work of English Touring Opera for 16 years, for whom he wrote the libretti for and directed many operas for young people, including Laika the Spacedog (winner Best Production, Armel Opera Festival, Hungary), In the Belly of the Horse, Shackleton’s Cat, Borka, Different, This Is My Bed, and Waxwings. Also for ETO he directed Fantastic Mr Fox, by Tobias Picker and Donald Sturrock.
For many years, together with Turtle Key Arts, he has delivered projects for people living with dementia, and for young people with ASD. He has devised and written a number of large-scale community operas including One Day, Two Dawns in Cornwall (winner Royal Philharmonic Society Award), Under the Hammerbeam Roof for the 500th anniversary of Hampton Court, One Breath in Sheffield, and Zeppelin Dreams and A House on the Moon for the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. With young people he has devised a large number of operas such as Bessie’s Wings and Edenbridge (Lambeth), Sem’ye and Sand Surf Snow (Camden), and The Almondsbury Bells (Gloucestershire). For the MFY Proms at the Royal Albert Hall he wrote the words for 800 Miles as the Albatross Flies. Laika the Spacedog, written with Russell Hepplewhite, receives its Swiss premiere at Nouvel Opera Fribourg in 2019, is revived by ETO in the same year, and is performed at the Opera Comique in Paris in 2020.
For the Casa da Musica in Porto he has devised many ambitious new pieces, including Border Control, Icarus, Spirit Level, Curado, Gulag, Montanha. Each of these productions featured large mixed ability casts of professional and non-professional musicians, actors and dancers. In 2020 he is devising a new piece, Ecoute.
He was appointed MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.
Alastair Chilvers, Music Director
Alastair is a music director, pianist and vocal coach living in Hertfordshire. He received his early musical education at Junior Trinity College of Music, before going on to read music at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was appointed as Assistant Conductor of the Cambridge University Music Society. At the Royal Academy of Music, Alastair studied a masters degree in Piano Accompaniment with Michael Dussek. Following graduation, he was appointed as the Lucille Graham Opera Fellow and reappointed for a second year. Working with directors including Martin Duncan, Chris Cowell and Olivia Fuchs he was repetiteur or assistant conductor for eight operas, most recently a production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight which received acclaimed reviews. Since leaving the Academy, Alastair has worked with opera companies including West Green Opera House, Iford Arts and Opera de Baugé. Alastair is a Samling Artist and an alumnus of the Solti Accademmia.
Education work is central to Alastair’s ethos, he enjoys delivering workshops and performance opportunities to children of all ages and abilities. He is a staff member at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians where he works with two choirs and coaches young performers for weekly recitals. He is Music Director of Cambridge Youth Opera, where he made his opera conducting debut in 2011 with Mozart’s The Magic Flute and in early 2018 he conducted a European premiere of Edward Barne’s The Hiding Tree. In November 2018, Alastair was invited to conduct four performances of The Happy Prince by Malcolm Williamson at Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh. Jubilee Opera gives local school children the opportunity to work with the highest standard of professionals; this year the cast was joined by countertenor James Hall and the orchestra was led by Kenneth Silito. Alastair is delighted to be Music Director of W11 Opera and has enjoyed every moment of his time with this extraordinary company since he joined in 2017.
Theatre credits include Oliver! as director & choreographer, Summer Holiday, Grease, Hairspray (SYP WyvernTheatre), Eye Of The Storm, Nye And Jennie, Tom, A Story Of Tom Jones (UK tour TNN Prods), Jackie The Musical (Gardyne Theatre, Dundee), Beyond Borders (National Youth Theatre of Wales), Tom, Salsa!, The Bankrupt Bride, Cyrano, Stowaway (Theatr na n’Og), The Canterbury Tales (Mappa Mundi), Oh! What A Lovely War, Be My Baby, A Woman in Mind, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis (Salisbury Playhouse), Oh! What A Lovely War and The Mabinogion (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Sweet Charity (BAC), revivals of Hansel and Gretel (Welsh National Opera and Nationale Reisopera) and The Marriage Of Figaro (Opera North). Maggie has also choreographed over 20 Christmas shows for theatres across the UK. For television; The Crust (BBC), Henry VIII with Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham Carter (Granada) In a Land of Plenty (Talkback Productions) and Panto Shane A’r Belen Aur with Shane Williams (Boom Cymru TV). On the big screen, Maggie was assistant choreographer on Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Warner Bros), De-Lovely
(MGM/Winkler Films) starring Kevin Kline, and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Dreamworks). This year will be Maggie’s eleventh W11 Opera production.
Neil Irish, Set Designer
Neil trained in Birmingham and at The Slade School of Fine Art. As well as working for the BBC, he has designed productions for Opera Holland
Park, Opera Theatre Company (Dublin), Almeida/ENO Festival, English Touring Opera, Mid Wales Opera, Opera North, National Opera Studio and
Opéra Comique (Paris). His designs have travelled as far as New Zealand, Melbourne, France, Lisbon and New York. Past projects include La Clemenza De Tito, Gianni Schicci, Il Tabarro and the UK première of Fantastic Mr Fox for ETO. Also Anthony and Cleopatra and A Christmas Carol in Oxford, The Merchant of Venice (Guildford Shakespeare Festival), and Our Lady Of Sligo and Ashes and Sand (RADA). Ballet productions include The Little Princess (London Children’s Ballet) and Hot House, an original children’s opera and ballet – inspired by boxing – for the Cultural Olympiad (Royal Festival Hall and Sadler’s Wells).
Recent projects have been Jekyll and Hyde in Hong Kong and London, Wind in the Willows and The Taming of the Shrew for Guildford Shakespeare Company, for Opera Holland Park, Look Back in Anger for Derby and Bolton Octagon, A Tale of Two Cities in Hong Kong, China and Edinburgh Festival, the Cambridge Greek Play 2016 and The Glass Knight, a new opera by Philip Sunderland for Saffron Hall, Hansel and Gretel and Betrayal by Harold Pinter for Derby Theatres, and the UK Spring Tour of English Touring Opera. Neil also designed both the set and costumes for a UK tour of the rock opera Tommy.
More local to W11, his work for Opera Holland Park includes Il Trittico, Don Giovanni and Centerentola as well as Carmen and Dr Miracle for the Royal Academy of Music and Cosi Fan Tutti for Guildhall, London.
He has worked with W11 Opera since 2007.
Anett Black, Costume Designer
Anett’s design work includes Pippin, 9-5, Hair, The Fix (Ivy Arts Centre), and The Picture of Dorian Grey at the Trafalgar Studio; Pygmalion, Jekyll and Hyde, Christmas Carol for European Arts Italian tour, Bacchae for aod (National Trust open air theatre), Don’t Dribble on the Dragon for The People’s Theatre Company; Henry V, King Arthur for Guildford Shakespeare Company; MIL-STD -1815 Alan Turing for Goldsmith College; Doubt and Pygmalion for Enigma Theatre; The Promise ( Elizabeth Hall London) Bluebeard’s Castle (Lilian Baylis); Associate Designer for Much Ado About Nothing for the Guildford Shakespeare Company. Anett’s exhibition “From Page to Stage”, based on her MA costume design, was shown at the Robert Philips Gallery. Anett is delighted to be part of the W11 family again!