Creative Team

W11 Opera is proud to have the following professions currently working with us.  Their knowledge and expertise ……

 

Philip Sunderland, Music Director

Philip has been the W11 Opera Music Director since 2010.

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.

 

Susan Moore, Stage Director

Susan Moore is a character contralto and arts education specialist who has spent the last five years building a reputation as an opera director alongside a busy performing schedule.  After co-directing and scripting several musical theatre revues for Last Word Productions – Musical Theatre Group, she made her operatic directing debut with Trial by Jury (Sullivan) at Oakham Castle for Opera Minima.  The success of this production led to Susan directing sell-out productions of The Magic Flute (Mozart) and Don Pasquale (Donizetti) also for Opera Minima.  In 2014 Susan wrote a one-woman play for Soprano Abigail Kelly entitled Swan Song: Memoirs of a Dudley Diva and was Assistant Director on W11 Opera’s Deep Waters.  In 2015 she became W11 Opera’s Outreach & Education Director and Associate Director for Eliza & the Swans as well as directing Dido & Aeneas (Purcell) and Carmen (Bizet) in Provence for Love to Sing Opera.  This year Susan has been Staff Director for English Touring Opera on their spring 2016 tour alongside reprising the role of Valentina in the childrens’ opera Laika the Spacedog.  In addition, she directed a new production of The Magic Flute for Opera Anywhere and performed the role of Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro) at Kilden Theatre, Norway for Pop Up Opera.

Future plans include developing and running Outreach & Education for W11 Opera and creating the role of Millie in the world premiere of Silver Electra for English Touring Opera.  Susan will also be performing Mendelson’s Elijah at Snape Maltings.

 

Maggie Rawlingson, Movement Director

Maggie trained at Arts Educational School, Tring Park. Her theatre credits include Grease, Hairspray (SYP Wyvern Theatre) 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) and In a Land of Plenty (Talkback Productions). 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). The Price will be Maggie’s ninth 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 Sadlers 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, and Il Trittico for Opera Holland Park. Forthcoming projects include Look Back In Anger for Derby and Bolton Octagon, A Tale of Two Cities in Hong Kong, China and Edinburgh Festivale. The Cambridge Greek Plays 2013 and the Glass Knight, a new opera by Philip Sutherland for Saffron Hall. And Centerentola for Opera Holland Park 2016 season. Future projects for next year include. Don Giovanni for OHP.    A UK Tour of the Rock Opera Tommy.    Betrayal by Pinter for Derby Theatres, and Julius Caesar for Guildford Shakespeare Company.  

Neil has worked with W11 Opera since 2007

 

Anett Black, Costume Designer

Anett’s costume design work includes The Picture of Dorian Grey at the Trafalgar Studio; Pygmalion for European Arts Italian tour; Bacchae for aod (open air theatre at the National Trust), Don’t dribble on the dragon for Ptc; Henry V for Guildford Shakespeare Company; MIL-STD -1815 Alan Turing for Goldsmith College; Doubt and Pygmalion for Enigma theatre; The Promise (Elizabeth Hall London); Associate designer for Much Ado About Nothing for Guildford Shakespeare Company. She has been Assistant Designer for various Guildford Shakespeare Company productions and Anett’s exhibition “From Page to Stage”, based on her MA costume design, was shown at the Robert Philips Gallery.

Anett is delighted that this is her third production with W11 Opera after Deep Waters and Eliza and the Swans

 

Stephen Ley, Lighting Designer

Stephen works regularly with the Tower Theatre Company, for whom he has lit over 120 productions at its various London venues. He is also a Trustee of the Company. As well as being a freelance lighting cameraman, Stephen has created lighting designs for many diverse companies and venues including productions at the Edinburgh Fringe, Minack Open Air Theatre in Cornwall, the West End’s Leicester Square Theatre. Most recently he has had the pleasure of working with Dame Shirley Bassey and Yusuf/Cat Stevens on music projects. Stephen is very pleased to be back for his fifteenth season with W11 Opera.