We’re kicking off our young people’s workshops this week as part of our Cosi Fan Tutte street opera project. We’ll be running workshops at various schools across the borough of Merton over the next few weeks teaching young people about Mozart, getting them singing a bit of the opera themselves and hearing our professional opera singer Felicity Buckland sing! Kindly supported by the Wimbledon Foundation, we’re super excited to be introducing lots of young people in Merton to Mozart’s fabulous music!!
We’ll let you know soon how we get on but for now wanted to introduce you to our workshop leaders for this project – if we’re coming to your school or group you’ll get to meet these opera professionals over the next few weeks! And we’re all really looking forward to meeting you…..
As Artistic Director of Baseless Fabric Joanna has directed Drifting Dragons (Merton Street Opera & Grimeborn Festival, Arcola Theatre), A Secret Life (Theatre 503), A First Class Death (VAULT Festival) and Treasure This? at the Bush Theatre in collaboration with Theatre Delicatessen for the Bush Bazaar.
Other directing credits include Battersea Odyssey (Lightbox Theatre), A Little Princess (University of Cumbria), Opera Scenes (Morley Opera and Leeds College of Music), The Price (Theatre Uncut at the Bussey Building), Do You Wish to Continue? (Theatre 503), Nine Stories High (Wrexham Soap Opera, Welsh National Opera), The Withered Arm (Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, Riverside Studios), You’re It (Southwark Playhouse) Paperweight (Liverpool Everyman Young Writers Programme), Can You See Me Yet? (Brockley Jack).
As Associate Director Joanna has worked at New York City Opera with Tim Albery and Vlaamse Opera, Belgium with Daniel Kramer. Previously she worked as Assistant Director at Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Shakespeare’s Globe and Exeter Northcott. She was Jerwood Assistant Director at the Young Vic in 2011. Directors assisted include Katie Mitchell, Daniel Kramer and Lucy Bailey.
Joanna has worked as a script reader for Liverpool Everyman and Manchester Royal Exchange including for the Bruntwood Prize, and as a youth theatre leader at the Orange Tree Theatre and Hackney Music Development Trust.
Felicity trained at the RNCM, and on ENO’s Opera Works programme. She studies privately with Mary Plazas.
Her operatic appearances include Angelina La Cenerentola (High Time Opera); Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Up Close); Cupid Orpheus in the Underworld and Ida/cover Orlovsky Die Fledermaus (Opera Danube); Una, Kiss Me, Figaro! (Merry Opera) and Mercedes Carmen (Co-Opera Co). She has also spent seasons in the chorus at Opera Holland Park, as a chorus mentor for Birmingham Opera, and at English Touring Opera, where she also sang the role of Mama in Dust Child, a specially-written opera for children with special educational needs.
Felicity is in demand for solo oratorio, and performs and records extensively as a professional consort singer, including appearing on Eric Whitacre’s Grammy Award-winning choral disc, Light and Gold. She is also a singing tutor and experienced choral animateur, leading workshops for a variety of groups of people.
Felicity is currently preparing the role of Rossweisse in Die Walküre for Grange Park Opera, in their brand new theatre at West Horsley Place.
Leo Geyer studied composition and conducting at Manchester University, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. Leo’s music has been performed worldwide and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Leo has had particular success with his theatrical works including his opera The Mermaid of Zennor which was described by The Times as “imaginative and beautifully shaped.” Recent projects include works for the BBC Singers, Opera North and the Rambert Dance Company. Leo currently works at the Royal Opera House as a Cover Conductor for The Royal Ballet. He is also conductor for Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, Music Director for EMG Symphony Orchestar and Artistic Director for Constella OperaBallet. Recent guest conducting performances include the Manchester Camerata, Psappha Ensemble and the New York based group Ensemble 212. www.leogeyer.co.uk.
Jenny Gould is a composer, songwriter, musical director, pianist and singer. She does a lot of work with children and young people including running recording sessions for Sing Up, co-running children’s musical theatre company Full Circle and accompanying and composing for Finchley Children’s Music Group. Her book of children’s songs Songs of Imaginings is published by English Philharmonia and is a popular choice with children’s choirs. In 2016 she contributed music to and performed in her first ‘baby opera’ for the Salisbury Celebrate Voice Festival. She has also written a children’s opera, Prince Caspian, for Opera Brava, which tours UK primary schools, and is resident Composer/MD for Young Shakespeare Company and MD/Workshop Leader for songwriting workshops with HMDT Music. With her performing hat on she is a gigging songwriter, with a self-released album Spring, and is MD/Performer with the cabaret acts Shoo Shoo Baby, Cautionary Tales For Daughters and Jenson Duo. She is currently working on a new children’s opera for Opera Brava, to be premiered early 2018.