Music Directors


Biographies of the music directors behind W11 Opera productions.


Year Work Music Director
2018 Shadowtracks Alistair Chilvers 
2017 The Cutlass Crew Philip Sunderland
2016 The Price Philip Sunderland
2015 Eliza & the Swans Philip Sunderland
2014 Deep Waters Philip Sunderland
2013 The Fizz Philip Sunderland
2012 Good Intentions Philip Sunderland
2011 Original Features Philip Sunderland
2010 Rain Dance Philip Sunderland
2009 The Whale Savers Philip Colman
2008 The Song of Rhiannon Philip Colman
2007 Shadowtracks Philip Colman
2006 Chincha-Chancha Cooroo Philip Colman
2005 ANTiphony Philip Colman
2004 All in the Mind Philip Colman
2003 Game Over Philip Colman
2002 Stormlight Philip Colman
2001 Flying High Philip Colman
2000 Deep Waters Philip Colman
1999 Rip Dominic McGonigal
1998 Birthday Dominic McGonigal
1997 Eloise Dominic McGonigal
1996 Ulysses and the Wooden Horse Dominic McGonigal
1995 The Dancing Princesses Dominic McGonigal
1994 ANTiphony Harry Gregson-Williams
1993 Travellers Tale Harry Gregson-Williams
1992 Listen to the Earth Wayne Marshall
1991 A Time of Miracles Wayne Marshall
1990 Double Trouble Wayne Marshall
1989 Koppelberg Wayne Marshall
1988 The Return of Odysseus Nicholas Kraemer
1987 Ulysses and the Wooden Horse Nicholas Kraemer
1986 The Tin Knight Nicholas Kraemer
1985 Bel and the Dragon Nicholas Kraemer
1984 The Adventures of Jonah Nicholas Kraemer
1983 Rainbow Planet Nicholas Kraemer
1982 Birthday Nicholas Kraemer
1981 Wenceslas Nicholas Kraemer
1980 Mak the Sheep Stealer Nicholas Kraemer
1979 Dreamtime Nicholas Kraemer
1978 The Girl and the Unicorn Nicholas Kraemer
1977 The Adventures of Jonah Nicholas Kraemer
1976 Like This, Like That Nicholas Kraemer
1975 Joseph Nicholas Kraemer
1974 The Winter Star Nicholas Kraemer
1973 Bel and the Dragon Nicholas Kraemer
1972 The Pied Piper Nicholas Kraemer
1971 Noye’s Fludde Nicholas Kraemer

Philip Sunderland (2010 – 2017)

Philip was born in Norwich and attended the Cathedral School.  He studied at the Royal Academy of Music as an undergraduate and postgraduate and it was here that he caught the opera bug which took him to the National Opera Studio upon graduation from the Academy.

Philip began professional work as a repetiteur and worked extensively for English National Opera, Opera North and Glyndebourne.  His first professional engagement was with English Touring Opera who took him under their wing and encouraged him to conduct – The Marriage of Figaro was his conducting debut and he continued to conduct several more operas for the company.

Philip then moved to Leeds, appointed as Chorus Master to Opera North. As well as training and managing 36 choristers, Opera North asked him to conduct too and gave him free rein to organise concerts with the chorus and orchestra – most notably the Durufle Requiem in Leeds Parish Church and the Brahms’ Requiem in York Minster.  He also conducted Sweeney Todd and La Traviata during his time with the company.

Philip now lives in Saffron Walden and continues a busy freelance career. Most notably he recently conducted Paul Bunyan for English Touring Opera and won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. He returned to the company this year with Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann.

Philip’s first opera The Glass Knight, with a libretto by Gareth Prior was performed in the Saffron Hall this year with a cast of over 300 students and professionals. It was designed by Neil Irish.

Philip is currently Head of Vocal Faculty and Preparatory Opera at the Royal Academy of Music.


Philip Colman (2000 to 2009)

Conductor and music director for a number of London and regional choral, operatic and musical theatre companies, Philip Colman is a member of the professorial staff of Trinity College of Music.

2009 was Philip’s tenth and final year as Music Director of W11 Opera. “Every year has been very different. No two operas are alike and each new opera presents challenges and adventure in equal measure”.

Philip has been vocal coach for the W11 Opera children participating in Opera Holland Park for many years, guest conductor for the British Suzuki Institute at the Royal Festival Hall, and for Enfield Youth Symphony Orchestra, and he also conducts the young singers’ Vocal Ensemble at Trinity College. He has a particular interest in Sondheim musicals. As a pianist Philip has worked for Ballet Rambert, the Royal Opera House, RADA, the NFT and the BBC children’s programme Playschool.

Philip is now a Patron of W11 Opera and more about is varied career can be found here.


Dominic McGonigal (1995 to 1999)

After training as a chorister, Dominic McGonigal read music at King’s College, Cambridge where he sang bass in King’s Chapel Choir including theFestival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast to several hundred million people around the world. He then combined a career in the music business with ad hoc performing and conducting, including appointments as music director of W11 Children’s Opera, Stoneleigh Choral Society, the Church of St Anselm & St Cecilia in Holborn and Opera Spezzata. He is now focused on the business side of music, as an executive director of PPL, licensing and collecting royalties for performers and record companies both in the UK and overseas. Most recently he has been spearheading the campaign to extend copyright for musicians. He holds a number of non-executive positions within the creative industries, but still finds time for occasional conducting and composing.


Harry Gregson-Williams (1993 & 1994)

Harry Gregson-Williams is a Golden Globe- and Grammy-nominated British film score composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer. In the 1980s he taught music to the pupils at the Amesbury School in in Hindhead, Surrey and later at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama whre he had been a pupil.

He has scored numerous motion pictures includingKingdom of HeavenPhone Booth, The Chronicles of Narniafilms, the Shrek series, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Gone Baby Gone. He also composed the soundtrack for the latest film in the X-Men series. To some he is possibly now best known for the many striking works he created for the Metal Gear Solid video games.

In August 2003 he opened his studio complex, Wavecrest Music, in Venice Beach, California.


Wayne Marshall (1989 to 1992)

Wayne Marshall was born in the UK and, after musical studies there and in Vienna, swiftly established an international reputation as organist and pianist. He is now also in great demand as conductor and duo recitalist. Other musical activities include improvisation, jazz, radio and television presentation and composition. In 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bournemouth University in recognition of his longstanding relationship with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. A regular visitor to the BBC Proms, he featured in the 1997 Last Night of the Proms as both organ and piano soloist and the following year made his Proms conducting debut with Porgy and Bess (their Gershwin centenary tribute) and also took part in the ‘Prom in the Park’.

As organ recitalist he draws on an exceptionally large and varied repertoire, particularly favouring the French Romantics, and has appeared widely throughout the UK, Europe, North America and the Far East. As solo pianist, his repertoire includes the complete works of Gershwin for piano and orchestra to works by Ravel, Bernstein, Stravinsky and Franck. In recent seasons, guest conducting has taken him all over the UK and to many parts of Europe and the USA. As pianist/director and organ soloist he has appeared with orchestras worldwide.

Wayne Marshall is Organist-in Residence of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and in 1996, gave the inaugural solo recital on its splendid Marcussen organ, plus Jongen Sinfonie Concertante (Hallé Orchestra/Daniel Harding) to a capacity audience of 2,400. He regularly opens their organ recital series and other appearances include duo recitals and concerts with orchestra as organist, pianist and symphonic conductor. In addition to consultation over programming, he is closely involved with the Hall’s audience development, education and outreach programmes.

Outside Manchester, work with young musicians has included a number of youth orchestras and conservatoire orchestras, such as the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, students of the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the conservatoires of Dresden and Winterthur.

Nicholas Kraemer (1971 to 1988)

Nicholas Kraemer co-founded W11 Opera with Serena Hughes in 1971 when Britten’s Noye’s Fludde was presented in St.James’ Church in W.11. At that time, Nicholas was principally a harpsichordist with ensembles such as the Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields and the Monteverdi Orchestra (to become John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists). From 1975 he began to conduct the English Chamber Orchestra with whom he had an association until 1984 and, from 1982, Manchester Camerata with whom he is still principal guest conductor. Other orchestras with which he has been closely associated include Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Bach Orchestra (artistic director 1985-1993), Irish Chamber Orchestra (artistic director 1985-1991), Music of the Baroque, Chicago (principal guest conductor from 2002), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  St.Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Halle Orchestra.

In the opera world he has conducted mainly the operas of Handel and Mozart in Geneva, Paris, Lisbon, Marseille, Aachen, Glyndebourne and London (ENO).His speciality is to work with orchestras in the baroque repertoire, to recapture the spirit of the music of that time. He does occasionally work with younger musicians, most recently in a project with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh Secondary Schools Orchestra.