1. Describe yourself in three words
Teacher, inspirer, team builder
2. What’s your role in this summer’s production?
I’m the director so am in charge of making the story clear to the audience.
3. What’s your vision for the production?
I think Ravel and Colette’s vision for the opera is very clear – it’s magical and transformational. We are setting it in 1920, which is the year of its first performance. Our production will be simple, but beautiful. We are using Dena Lague’s stunning choreography, Matt Haskins’ wonderful lighting designs, period costume and some specially designed pieces by the young theatre designer, Emily Bestow, to bring the story to life. Our fabulous young singers are going to have a ball!
4. What do you do when you’re not working with Samling?
When I’m not working for Samling, I am a singing teacher based in the North East and adjudicate and give masterclasses across the country.
5. What’s your favourite opera & why?
The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, for many reasons. The music is so instinctively dramatic and funny, but it also makes me cry! It was the first opera that I ever performed and the first opera that I ever directed.
6. What are you most looking forward to about the production?
The team spirit. We have been working hard for several months and rehearsals at Newcastle University have helped build a great atmosphere so greater artistic risks can be taken – they dare to be brilliant!
7. What do you order from the chip shop?
Traditional fish and chips, with mushy peas of course AND Saltburn fish and chips on the beach is the best in the country. They even make their own homemade tartar sauce!
8. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour
Cinnamon (when I can find it!)
9. Give us your elevator pitch for why people should come and see this production
It’s a magical show about childhood, dreams and growing up and it’s being performed by an amazing cast of young singers.