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6 — 13 November 2023
Silk Street Theatre

Opera Double Bill:

Dominic Wheeler conductor

Victoria Newlyn director
Laura Jane Stanfield designer
Jake Wiltshire lighting designer
Jonathan Strutt video designer
Alistair Burton assistant conductor
Laurie Slavin assistant director
Image above: The Day Dream by Rossetti (1828–82) © Bridgeman Art Library

Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Founded in 1
880 by the City of London Corporation
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Graham Packham
Professor Jonathan Vaughan


Vice Principal & Director of Music

Armin Zanner


Head of Opera Studies

Dominic Wheeler

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Maria egiziaca

Ottorino Respighi composer

Claudio Guastalla librettist


La bella dormente nel bosco

Ottorino Respighi composer

Gian Bistolfi librettist


Casa Ricordi Milano (Universal Music Publishing Group, Classics & Screen)

By arrangement with G. Ricordi & Co. (London) Ltd.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Please note that this production contains adult content. Haze will be used.

The performance will be approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes with one interval.

Notes & Synopses

Conductor's note

A particular curiosity about these two wonderful operas is that neither piece was originally conceived for what we now regard as a conventional operatic staging, in a theatre with the orchestra in a pit.

Maria egiziaca was originally conceived as a concert piece to be performed in a liturgical setting. To this end, the score contains direct quotes from the Life of St Mary of Egypt, as recorded in the 7th century by St Sophronius, at the start of the two large orchestral interludes that link the three “episodes”.  It seems logical to us that these may well have been shared with the audience/congregation, and we have therefore chosen to include them as projections during the interludes they preface. La bella dormente nel bosco was originally conceived as a puppet opera, with singers voicing the characters from within the orchestra.

In both cases, it seems likely that Respighi was restricted in terms of orchestral space, location and number of players, and it's clear that, consummate craftsman that he was, he chose the distinctive orchestrations of both pieces to support these particular contexts. Woodwind and brass sections are light in both works and Maria, for all its passion and drama, has no percussion, but uses a slightly larger wind and brass section than the mere seven players in La bella. Neither opera uses harp, usually a favourite instrument for Respighi; instead, Respighi uses a harpsichord at key moments in Maria's journey, and employs harpsichord, piano and celeste in La bella, whose very small wind and brass section also creates room for some carefully chosen percussion. Both scores are fascinating studies in a master orchestrator extracting maximum colour with extraordinary economy!


Dominic Wheeler 


Maria egiziaca

Episode 1

At the harbour in Alexandria, Maria begs a Sailor to take her on his next voyage. She has grown bored of her life as a sex worker and seeks new adventure. The Sailor declines and Maria turns her attentions to a Pilgrim embarking for Jerusalem. She tells him that she has neither money nor provisions but will pay her way using her body. The Pilgrim warns the Sailor not to allow such a sinful woman to join the voyage. Maria taunts the Pilgrim with her free-spirit, beauty and sex positive attitude and continues to tempt the Sailor. Encouraged by two of Maria’s companions the Sailor gives in and admits all three women aboard. As she boards the ship Maria hears a voice: “My life is on the other side of the sea. . .”

Episode 2

In Jerusalem, a Man with Leprosy and a Poor Woman wait on the steps of the Temple. The Man hopes that the religious relics inside might cure his disease. The Woman guides him to the Temple doors. As they enter together the voices of the faithful are heard.

Maria comes to the Temple guided by a Blind Woman. As the Blind Woman enters the voices sing of hope. Maria, inspired by this hope, starts to go inside but her way is blocked by the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is convinced that she is not worthy to enter the Lord’s house and drives her down the steps of the Temple.

Maria is defiant. The Pilgrim’s zealous attitude spurs her to make a second attempt at entry, but she is rebuffed by an unseen power. An angel appears to her in the form of a fierce bird of prey. Humbled by the divine vision, Maria repents of her former life. She is willing to undergo the harshest of penitence to avoid eternal death and commits herself to the search for salvation. The Angel tells her “There, beyond, is the sacred river, where you may be cleansed. Here you will find a place of rest.”

Episode 3

Forty-seven years later. The Pilgrim is a changed man, now a respected Abbot named Zosimus. At his hermit’s cave a grave has appeared overnight. Believing this to be a sign from God, Zosimus prepares for death. In the distance a figure makes its way through the desert towards him. It is Maria. She is naked and asks Zosimus to give her his cloak to wear.

Maria reveals that the grave is for her; she comes to receive a blessing as she transitions to the next life. As their eyes meet Zosimus and Maria recognise each other from decades ago. Still unsure of her worthiness, Maria questions whether the years of gruelling isolation in the desert have been enough to secure her salvation. Ashamed of his youthful arrogance and cruelty, Zosimus reassures her that Paradise already shines in her face and keeps vigil with her until she passes. The angelic chorus sing of Maria’s beautiful soul crowned with stars, as the Angel guides her to divine rest.  

La bella dormente nel bosco

Act 1 Scene 1

As the evening weaves her garlands across the night sky, the Nightingale sings and is joined in the duet by an eager Cuckoo. An audience of frogs comments that everyone considers themselves a poet in the moonlight. The animals are frightened away by the sound of approaching humans. It is the King’s Ambassador and his Herald searching for fairies to act as godmothers to the new royal baby.

Having remained concealed for a week as they considered the King’s invitation, the Blue Fairy and her sisters finally reveal themselves and agree to become the princess’ spiritual protectors. The grateful humans leave the forest and the Fairies set about collecting gifts and blessings for the christening.

Act 1 Scene 2

The princess’ tutor attempts to instruct his tiny pupil but realises she is occupied with matters of digestion. A grand procession enters as the courtiers, the King and Queen, and the Fairy Godmothers assemble to celebrate the royal birth with the giving of gifts and dancing. Suddenly the Green Fairy appears. She is furious and vows revenge.

She dispels the assembled well-wishers before placing a curse on the baby princess: at the age of twenty she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep from which she will never be woken.

The King attempts to foil the curse by ordering the destruction of all the spindles in the land; the Queen, understanding that there are forces beyond human control, mourns her child’s magical fate while the stars watch over her destiny.

Act 2 Scene 1

Twenty years later. Princess Bella is exploring the furthest reaches of the castle, excited by stories of Spring. She stumbles upon a forgotten room inhabited by an Old Woman, a Cat and a Spindle. Intrigued by this dashing pointy stranger she asks Sir Pussycat for an introduction. After some enthusiastic dancing, the Old Woman teaches Bella how to spin with the Spindle. As prophesied, the princess pricks her finger; she feels herself flooded by blue light and falls into a deep sleep. The Spindle gloats that even a King cannot pit himself against the will of the Green Fairy.

Act 2 Scene 2

Some days later, the foremost physicians of the realm admit that nothing can be done to wake Bella. The King is furious but his anger gives way to grief as royal protocol unfolds. The mourners arrive and weep for Bella as though she were already dead.

The Blue Fairy appears to the Queen and offers a glimmer of hope: she vows that the Green Fairy’s spell will be overcome by love in the warmth of April. With this promise the Blue Fairy induces a great sleep across the whole Royal court, keeping Bella safe with an enchanted spider’s web of protection.

Act 3 Scene 1

Hundreds of years later. An expedition led by Prince April stumbles upon an artists’ commune led by the Woodcutter, who are discussing and collecting little remembered folk tales. They relate the legend of a sleeping beauty who can only be awakened in April. The Prince is intrigued; he dismisses his entourage (the Duchess; an American benefactor named Mister Dollar Cheque; and April’s trusty motorbike valet) and vows to seek the “Sleeping Beauty” alone. Guided by a mysterious blue light, the Prince enters the enchanted castle.

Act 3 Scene 2

Inside the castle the Green Fairy makes a last-ditch attempt to prevent Prince April from breaking the curse on Bella. She is defeated, April finally sets eyes on the sleeping princess and Bella awakes. The two young people explore their nascent love. The King and Queen embrace their daughter and the court welcomes the rest of Prince April’s expedition to the Kingdom. Old and New Worlds collide and together Bella and April start a new chapter. The Prince finds a haven in the quiet repose of the royal libraries and Bella is finally free to explore a world of adventure.

Cast & Production Team



Maria egiziaca


Holly Brown (8 & 13 November)

Vladyslava Ionascu-Yakovenko (6 & 10 November)

Il pellegrino / Abbate Zosimo

Alaric Green (6 & 10 November)

Emyr Jones (8 & 13 November)

Il marinaio

Steven van der Linden

Il lebbroso

Jonah Halton

Uno compagno

Ana-Carmen Balestra (6 & 10 November)

Yolisa Ngwexana (8 & 13 November)

Voce d'un angelo

Ana-Carmen Balestra (8 & 13 November)

Yolisa Ngwexana (6 & 10 November)

Secondo compagno / La cieca

Shana Moron-Caravel (6 & 10 November)

Rachel Roper (8 & 13 November)

Il povero

Shana Moron-Caravel (8 & 13 November)

Rachel Roper (6 & 10 November)

Voce del mare

Joe Chalmers (6 & 10 November)

Jacob Harrison (8 & 13 November)

La bella dormente nel bosco

La Regina

Shana Moron-Caravel (6 & 10 November)

Rachel Roper (8 & 13 November)

La Principessa

Ana-Carmen Balestra

Il Principe Aprile

Jonah Halton

Il Re

Joe Chalmers (6 & 10 November)

Jacob Harrison (8 & 13 November)

La Fata azzurra

Yolisa Ngwexana

La Fata verde

Holly Brown

Il Gatto

Julia Merino

Il Fuso

Vladyslava Ionascu-Yakovenko

L'Ambasciatore / Un Boscaiuolo

Joe Chalmers (8 & 13 November)

Jacob Harrison (6 & 10 November)

Il buffone / Mister Dollar

Steven van der Linden

Il Cuculo / La Duchessa / La vecchietta

Shana Moron-Caravel (8 & 13 November)

Rachel Roper (6 & 10 November)


Biqing Zhang


Camden Bonsu-Stewart

Charles Brocklebank

Michelle Cheung

Ambrose Chiu

Dani Croston

Cuan Durkin

Alice Hermand

Aldi Ho
Hannah Hughe

Elizabeth Mwale

Saul Rothwell

Harun Tekin

Georgia Tolson

Laura West

Production Team


Opera Department Students & Fellows​

Assistant Conductor
Alistair Burton

Assistant Director
Laurie Slavin

Ben Kubiak
Samuele Piccinin

Production Arts Students

Production Management:

Production Manager     

Charlotte Munro

Assistant Production Managers     

Eli Hunt   

Jakub Sypien


Stage Management:

Stage Manager

Charlotte Antingham

Deputy Stage Manager

Eva Gaidoni

Assistant Stage Managers

Agatha Giannini

Dallas Thompson


Technical Management:

Technical Manager

Eloise Soester-Gulliver

Technical Assistants

Eli Hunt

Jakub Sypien


Production Electrician

David Csogor

Assistant Production Electrician & Programmers

Dan Basnett

Linus Pomroy


Sound Operator

Ethan Harris



Video Engineer & Operator        

Ethan Harris



Construction Manager  

Emily Cave

Scenic Carpenter             

Katie Ranson

Assistant Carpenters     

Owen Kelly        

Beau Morton-Turner     

Mabel Nash



Props Co-ordinator         

Georgie Sunter

Props Maker     

Aleyna Feran

Assistant Prop Makers 

Billy Boarman Powell     

Bea Taylor

Brighton Temple


Scenic Art:

Scenic Art Co-ordinator

Lola King

Scenic Artist      

Johan Berendsen

Assistant Scenic Artists

David Agcaoili

Lauren Jones

Oscar Keeys

Wigs, Hair & Makeup:

Wigs, Hair & Makeup Assistant
Liam Allen

Costume Assistants
Eddie Comerford
Jasmin Davenport

Additional Staff

Production Manager/Lecturer in Production Management          

Julia Bermingham

Stage Management Staff Supervisor

Jo Holmes

Stage Technology Staff Supervisor

Alastair Pullan

Lighting Supervisor

Nick Peel

Sound Staff Supervisors

Andy Taylor

Ben Collins

Video Staff Supervisor 

Pete Wallace

Construction Lecturer   

Jordan Rousseau

Construction Lecturer   

Matt Farley

Prop Making Lecturer   

Aurelie Clark

Scenic Art Lecturer         

Vanessa Cass

Design Realisation Assistants
Marta Zen
Izzy Froude
Language Coach
Emma Abbate


Production Sound Engineer
Sam Ferstenberg
Scenic Artist
Danielle Mullins
Costume Supervisor      

Arianna Dal Cero

Chorus Costume Supervisor / Wardrobe Manager

Rosie Elliott-Dancs

Costume Assistant         

Hannah Quin

Wigs, Hair & Makeup

Debbie Purkiss

Lucia Mameli

Surtitle Writer & Operator

Ruth Hansford

Stage Crew


Working across our Opera and Drama productions this year:
Liam Allen
Iden Amys
Christina Angus
Jamie Baker
Alfred Blake
Didier Brown
Katherine Byrne
Archie Carr
Ru Chen
Eddie Comerford
Alissa Crew
Jay Culmer
Seth Cunningham
Jasmin Davenport
Tara Duffy
Kirsty Edwards
Nia Edwards-Williams
Josh Essl
Iris Farquharson
Alice Friend
Hawks Gómez
Jasmine Green
Rohan Green
Finn Irving
Toby Ison
Meg Jordan
Finn Karat

Talia Servadio Kenan
Hollie Lester

Koren Little
Imogen Marinko
Emma Mason
Daniel McDermott
Walter Nash
Shannon Parker
Jaiden Parsons

Kamila Przybylski
Kez Reynolds
Beca Roberts
Agnes Rønningen
Joshua Sanderson
Dan Shelley
Abbie Simcock
Kennedy Stephens
Pasha Taylor-Hanson
Nicole Thomaz
Iris Towers
Grace Waring
Lili Warden
Isabela Way
Joseph Wilkins
Sid Worth
Christa Yap Shin Yee


Violin I

Victor MacAbies*
Maria Reinon Roig
Benedict Wong
Isabelle Allan
Rowan Dymott 

Yente Lottman
Colby Chu

Violin II

Seren Nickson*
Mario Gutiérrez Gorría
Evan Lawrence
Anna Brown
Kayla Nicol
Helen Rutledge


Sirma Baramova*
Sean Lee
Josh Law
Connor Quigley
Andrei Gheorghe


Alex Acomb*
Niki Moosavi
Joe Barker
Kalina Videnova
Chiarra Dozza Lopez

Double Bass

Maria egiziaca:
Aaron Aguayo Juarez*
Cynthia Garduno Meneses
Caetano Fernandes Oliveira
La bella dormente nel bosco:
Cynthia Garduno Meneses*
Aaron Aguayo Juarez


Isabelle Harris


Elly Barlow



Kosuke Shirai*

Teah Collins



Lily Wang


Dan Hibbert*
Kate King



Maria egiziaca:

Noah Bailis

La bella dormente nel bosco:

Parker Bruce



Maria egiziaca:

Felix Rockhill

La bella dormente nel bosco:

Sam Cox


Bass Trombone

George Good


Reuben Hesser*

Ava Kinninmonth


Piano, Harpsichord & Celeste

6 & 10 November:
Samuele Piccinini (piano)
Ben Kubiak (harpsichord & celeste)
8 & 13 November: 

Ben Kubiak (piano)
Samuele Piccinini (harpsichord & celeste)

Ensembles, Programming
& Instrument Manager

Phil Sizer

Orchestra Librarian

Anthony Wilson

Music Stage, Logistics & Instrument Manager

Kevin Elwick

Music Stage Supervisors

Shakeel Mohammed
Louis Baily

*Section Principal


Names and seating correct

at time of going to print.

Creative Team Biographies

Creative Team 

Dominic Wheeler


Operatic credits Das Rheingold, Siegfried, War and Peace, The Trojans and The Turk in Italy (ENO); The Barber of Seville (ENO and ON); L’elisir d’amore (ON); Don Giovanni (ON, SO and Batignano Festival); Alceste (SO and Opera de Nice); Manon (New Zealand Opera); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hungarian State Opera); Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi (New National Theatre, Tokyo); Curlew River (Geidai Arts, Tokyo); Echo and Narcissus by Stuart Macrae and Gentle Giant by Stephen McNeff (ROH2 at the Linbury - both world premieres); The Sofa/The Departure by Maconchy (Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells); recordings for Chandos Pelléas et Mélisande (shortlisted for RPS Opera Award); productions for RAO, ETO, OHP, Chelsea Opera Group and Batignano Festival.

Guildhall School productions The Angel Esmeralda (world premiere), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Così fan tutte, The Long Christmas Dinner, A Dinner Engagement, Dialogues des Carmélites, The Tale of Januarie (world premiere), Mavra and Iolanta, The Rape of Lucretia, The Cunning Peasant, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Little Green Swallow Dove (UK premiere), Le nozze di Figaro and Owen Wingrave with the Banff Centre (Canadian premiere).

Orchestral and choral credits Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, RPO, BSO and Chorus, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Proms 2014, BBC Singers, ECO, London Mozart Players, Northern Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestre de l’Opera National de Bordeaux, Tokyo Mozart Players, EUYO, Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Future plans concerts at Lichfield and Three Choirs Festivals, National Children’s Orchestra and London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Opera engagements in Berlin, Florence and South Africa.

Victoria Newlyn


Director credits Kurtág’s Fin de partie (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the Proms); L’occasione fa il ladro (British Youth Opera); The Telephone/A Dinner Engagement, Albert Herring, The Rape of Lucretia & A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki); L’elisir d’amore, La Cenerentola & Così fan tutte (West Green House Opera); The Green Bird (Shanghai Theatre Academy/tour); Atalanta (Cambridge Handel Opera); Die Fledermaus (Clonter Opera) and seven semi-staged productions at the St Endellion Festival.

Movement director credits include productions with Göteborg Opera, Bucharest National Opera, Opera North, Opera Holland Park, BYO and Royal Academy Opera.

Guildhall School productions Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, Aminta e Filide & Venus and Adonis as director; and numerous productions as movement director.

Future plans Il barbiere di Siviglia (West Green House Opera)

Laura Jane Stanfield


Set and Costume Design Credits Little Red Riding Hood (Northern Opera Group, dir. Sophie Gilpin); La Descente d’Orphee aux enfers(Vache Baroque Festival, dir. Jeanne Pansard-Besson); Acis and Galatea(Vache Baroque Festival, dir. Sophie Gilpin); Magic Flute (RAM, dir. Andrew Sinclair); Cunning Little Vixen (RAM, dir. Ashley Dean); Turn of The Screw (Barnes Festival, dir. Donna Stirrup); Così fan tutte and La Finta Gardiniera (Ryedale Festival Opera, dir. Nina Brazier); The Juniper Tree (UK premiere, dir. Donna Stirrup).

Costume Design Credits Dido and Aeneus (RAM, dir. Jack Furness); Mille Regretz (English Touring Opera, dir. Liam Steel); Cendrillon (Northern Opera Group, dir. Sophie Gilpin); Peter Pan Reimagined (Birmingham Rep., dir. Liam Steel); Assistant Costume Designer Fortitude (Sky Atlantic); Assistant Designer The Victorian Bakery (BBC TV); Dubai,Rostov, New York (National Opera Studio, dir. David Pountney); English Eccentrics (British Youth Opera); Landscapes (English National Opera); Riders to the Sea and Savitri (British Youth Opera); La Boheme (Nevill Holt Opera); The Flying Dutchman and Noye’s Fludde (NI Opera).

Guildhall School Productions The Long Christmas Dinner/The Dinner Engagement (dir. Ashley Dean); Autumn Opera Scenes, Opera Triple Bill (dir. Rodula Gaitanou).

Jake Wiltshire

lighting designer

Recent credits include Andrea Chenier (St. Galler Festspiele, Switzerland); Don Giovanni  (Kilden Opera, Norway); The Magic Flute and Don Pasquale (Welsh National Opera); Blue Beards Castle - Winner of  the Royal Philharmonic Society Award (Theatre of Sound - London, Atlanta, Beijing and Toronto); Amadigi and Le Comte Ory (Garsington Opera); Peter Pan, The Dark Side - World Premiere (Haydn Fondazione, Italy); Vixen (Silent Opera in association with ENO - London, Helsinki, Trento, Hong Kong and Beijing); Sounds and Sorcery - Celebrating Disney's Fantasia (The Vaults); Purcells's King Arthur and The Fairy Queen (Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Centre); Die Zauberflöte  and Le nozze di Figaro (Turku Opera at Åbo Svenska Teater, Finland).

Other credits include numerous productions for Opera Holland Park including most recently the critically acclaimed World Premiere of Jonathan Doves Itch as well as Margot La Rouge and Le Ville and The Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore. His designs have been seen on multiple seasons for both Buxton International Opera Festival (La sonnambula, Land Of Might Have Been, Il re Pastore, La Donna Del Lago) and Longborough Festival Opera (La Traviata, The cunning Little Vixen, Spell Book and La liberazione di Ruggiero).

Jonathan Strutt

video designer

BA (Hons) in Production Arts (third year).

Guildhall School Productions include Video Designer Opera Makers (dir. Will Kerley); Video Designer Spring Opera Scenes (dir. Olly Platt); Lighting Programmer Autumn Opera Triple Bill (LD. Simon Corder); Lighting Programmer Our Town (LD. Joshua Gadsby); Production Assistant Macbeth (dir. Ashley Zhangazha); Scenic Art Assistant Summer Opera Double Bill (des. Anna Bonomelli).

Other Credits include work on various productions at Roundhouse, Troubadour Studios and Southwark Playhouse as well as working on multiple productions and local tours as the Production / Technical Manager for Beaconsfield Musical & Opera Society, Chiltern Theatre Company and Red Kite Theatre.

Alistair Burton

assistant conductor

Guildhall School Junior Fellow.

Repetiteur credits include Autumn Opera Scenes 2022, Dead Man Walking, Blond Eckbert & Summer Opera Makers 2023 (Guildhall School); Così fan tutte, Bach’s St. John Passion, Don Giovanni (Cumbria Opera Group); various student productions including Le nozze di Figaro, Acis and Galatea, second UK performance of Denis and Katya by Philip Venables (Cambridge University Opera Society).

Future plans Assistant conductor for Guildhall School Spring Opera Scenes 2024.

Laurie Slavin

assistant director

Guildhall School Assistant Director Junior Fellow.

Assistant Director Credits include The Yeomen of the Guard (The Grange Festival).

Performer Credits include Albert Herring Albert Herring, Acis Acis & Galatea, Lensky Eugene Onegin (Byre Opera); Hilarion Princess Ida (The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company); Soldier & Other Roles Scoring a Century, Ramiro (cover) La Cenerentola (British Youth Opera).

Cast Biographies

Opera Department Students & Fellows

Ana-Carmen Balestra


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with John Evans.

Scholarships Anne Pashley Opera Scholarship; Weavers' Scholarship; Tallow Chandlers' Scholarship; David Family Foundation; Kathleen Trust; Van de Ende Foundation; Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

Competitions Miluska Duffkova 2021; Opera Viva! Awards 2021; Sinfonia Rotterdam Award 2020.

Previous roles include Frasquita Carmen (Waterperry Opera Festival); Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro, Dalinda Ariodante, Denise Le marriage aux lanternes (Royal Danish Opera Academy) ; Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, L’ensoleillad Massenet, Blanche Dialogues des Carmélites, Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Governess The Turn of the Screw, Adina L’elisir d’amore, Tirésias Les mamelles de Tirésias (Guildhall School Opera Scenes); BBC Total Immersion: Songs by Kaija Saariaho, broadcasted on BBC Radio 3.

Holly Brown


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with John Evans and Yvonne Kenny.

Scholarships Wax Chandlers' Scholarship; Walter Hyde Memorial Prize; Behrens Foundation Scholarship; Help Musicians Sybil Tutton Opera Award.

Previous roles include Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Cumbria Opera Group, Orchestra Vox); Queen of Shemakha The Golden Cockerel (Orchestra Vox); Clorinda La Cenerentola (British Youth Opera); Countess Capriccio, Maria Maria Stuarda, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Countess Le nozze di Figaro, Armida Rinaldo, Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande (Guildhall School Opera Scenes); Traveller in Lost Property, a new opera for Guildhall School Opera Makers.

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024.

Joe Chalmers


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with John Evans.

Scholarships Elizabeth Sweeting Award; Help Musicians Sybil Tutton Opera Award; Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship; The Drake Calleja Trust; Mario Lanza Foundation.

Previous operatic roles include Captain Corcoran (cover and performed) HMS Pinafore (English National Opera); Death Sāvitri, Partner Reborns, Narratore I due timidi (Guildhall School); Nettuno la liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Longborough Festival Opera); Bass Shepherd, Plutone (cover) and Caronte (cover) L’Orfeo (Garsington Opera); Martino L’occasione fa il ladro (British Youth Opera); and scenes from A Rake’s Progress, Maria Stuarda, Capriccio, I Capuleti e Montecchi, Le nozze di Figaro, Albert Herring, Carmen, and L’elisir d’amore (Guildhall School).

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024.

Alaric Green


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Robert Dean and Stephan Loges.

Scholarships Fishmongers' Music Scholarship; Countess of Munster Musical Trust; Henry Oldfield Trust.

Previous roles include George Benton Dead Man Walking (Guildhall School); Count Le nozze di Figaro, King Alphonso La Favorita, Cecil Maria Stuarda, Le Philisophe Chérubin, Graf Cappricio (Guildhall School Opera Scenes); created the role of Ulric in Lanternfish, a new opera for Guildhall School Opera Makers.

Jonah Halton


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Amanda Roocroft.

Scholarships Carpenters' Company Henry Osborne Award Scholarship; Dyers' Scholarship; Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship. 

Previous roles and experience include Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw, Leicester Maria Stuarda, Der Tenor Capriccio, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Števa Jenůfa (Guildhall School Opera Scenes); Walther/Hugo/Old Woman Blond Eckbert (Guildhall School); Robert in Lanternfish, a new opera for Guildhall School's Opera Makers; Head Peasant/Lensky (cover) Evgeny Onegin (West Green House Opera); Solo in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella; Pasek The Cunning Little Vixen with Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars (Barbican Centre and Philharmonie de Paris); BBC Symphony Total Immersion: Chamber Music & Songs by Detlav Ganert, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Jacob Harrison


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Samantha Malk and Robert Dean.

Sponsorships Behrens Foundation Scholarship; Help Musicians Van Allan Award 2023; Eva Kleinitz Scholarship 2023.

Competitions The Wyburd Prize for German Lieder 2021; Keith Bonnington Prize 2022; Weston Award 2022; Chris Treglown Award 2023.

Previous roles include Figaro Le nozze di Figaro (University of Exeter Opera Society); Don Quijote El retablo de maese Pedro (Encuentro de Santander); Scenes from Don Giovanni, Il barbiere di Sivilgia, L’elisir d’amore, The Rake’s Progress, Pelléas et Mélisande(Guildhall School Opera Scenes); Death Sāvitri, Prison Guard 2 Dead Man Walking, Lord Fortune Miss Fortune, Der Begleiter des Zaren Der Zar läßt sich photographieren, Le Baron de Pictordu (cover) Cendrillon (Guildhall School).

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024

Vladyslava Ionascu-Yakovenko


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Marilyn Rees.

Scholarships Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers' Scholarship; Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship.

Previous roles include Elle La voix humaine, Elisabetta Maria Stuarda, Vitellia La clemenza di Tito, Miss Jesel The Turn of the Screw, Donna Anna Don Giovanni, Jenůfa Jenůfa, First Lady Die Zauberflöte; Majenka The Bartered Bride; Arabella Arabella; Poppea L’ incoronazione di Poppea; chorus member in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Judicium Salomonis & Eintänzer (Guildhall School).

Future Plans Glyndebourne Festival Chorus 2024.

Emyr Jones


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Susan Waters.

Scholarships Horners' Becker Scholarship; Tobacco Pipe Makers' Scholarship.

Competitions Pendine Park International Voice of the Future (Llangollen International Eisteddfod) 2022; Betty Bannerman French Song Prize (RNCM/Clonter Opera) 2022; The Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the singing of Strauss (RNCM) 2021.

Previous roles include Eckbert Blond Eckbert (Guildhall School), Bunyan/Evangelist The Pilgrim’s Progress, Sir Hugh Evans Sir John in Love (British Youth Opera); Il Conte di Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro, Musiklehrer Ariadne auf Naxos, Forester The Cunning Little Vixen, Edmund Bertram Mansfield Park (RNCM).

Future plans Faure Requiem (Havering Singers); Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024.

Ben Kubiak


Guildhall School Repetiteur Course (first year) studying with Elizabeth Rowe.

Scholarships Jack Irons Repetiteur Scholarship; Wolfgang Bruckner Scholarship.

Repetiteur experience includes Macbeth, The Strangest of Angels, Ihitai A'Veia, Don Pasquale, The Unruly Tourists, Le nozze di Figaro (New Zealand Opera); Fidelio (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra); Opera Scenes (University of Auckland).

Future Plans Opera Scenes Spring 2023, Opera Makers Summer 2023 (Guildhall School); The Magic Flute (The Curious Opera Company).

Julia Merino


Guildhall School Opera Course (first year) studying with Janice Chapman and Marcus van den Akker.

Scholarships Herbert and Theresie Lowit Memorial Scholarship.

Previous roles include Woman 2 Frida (Northern Opera Group); Joseph´s Mother (cover) Dead Man Walking, Prince Orlofsky (English) Die Fledermaus, Scenes from Così fan tutte, Carmen, Semele, Die Zauberflöte (Guildhall School); Scenes from Falstaff, La clemenza di Tito, Le nozze di Figaro (Conservatoire of Málaga, Spain).

Future plans Guildhall School Autumn Opera Scenes 2023.

Shana Moron-Caravel


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Robert Dean and Marcus Van Den Akker.

Scholarships Sally Cohen Opera Scholarship; Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship.

Competitions The Trinity Laban English Song Competition 2020.

Previous roles include Gianetta L’elisir d’amore (King’s Head Theatre); Parthénis La belle Hélène(Blackheath Halls); Scenes from La Favorita, Le nozze di Figaro, Werther, La clemenza di Tito (Guildhall School); Leading role in the newly composed Lanternfish by Luka Venter (Guildhall School Opera Makers).

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024.

Yolisa Ngwexana


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with Yvonne Kenny.

Scholarships Gwen Catley Scholarship (The Amar-Franses & Foster-Jenkins Trust); Innholders' Scholarship; Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship.

Competitions Finalist in the Voices of Black Opera Competition 2022.

Previous roles include Lauretta Gainni Schicchi (Operatunity, South Africa); Gilda (cover) Rigoletto (Opera North); Scenes from Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Werther, Capriccio, The Rake's Progress, L'enfant et sortiléges (Guildhall School); Quicksilver Lanternfish (Guildhall School Opera Makers).

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024.

Samuele Piccinini


Guildhall School Repetiteur Course (first year).

Scholarships Margery & Frederick Stephen Wright Eisinger Award; Leverhulme Arts Scholarship.

Collaborative piano experience for competitions (Sogliano al Rubicone, Premio Alberghini & ForlìMusica), academies (Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna & Accademia Internazionale di Imola) and conservatoires (Conservatori di Bologna, Milano & Cesena). Solo recitals in Italian theaters, piano concerto performances at Teatro Auditorium "Manzoni" di Bologna and Teatro Lirico Sociale di Rovigo.

Future plans Guildhall School Opera Makers summer 2024.

Rachel Roper


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with John Evans.

Scholarships Marianne Falk Award.

Competitions MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year 2022; Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers Joyce Budd Second Prize 2018.

Previous roles include Jewish Child A Child in Striped Pyjamas (Echo Ensemble), Mistress Ford Sir John in Love (British Youth Opera), Dritte Knabe Die Zauberflöte (Bloomsbury Opera), Chorus La Bohème (Nevill Holt Opera), Jade Boucher Dead Man Walking, Berthe Blond Eckbert, Offstage Chorus Sāvitri, Artist Reborns, Chorus Fairy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ottavia L’incoronazione di Poppea; Scenes from I Capuleti e Montecchi, Maria Stuarda, La clemenza di Tito, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Calisto, Alcina, Così fan tutte, Madama Butterfly, Jenůfa, Chérubin and Albert Herring (Guildhall School).

Future plans Guildhall School Spring Opera 2024; Glyndebourne Chorus 2024; recital tour with collaborative pianist Claire Habbershaw.

Steven van der Linden


Guildhall School Opera Course (second year) studying with John Evans and Marilyn Rees.

Scholarships Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds; VandenEnde Foundation; The Countess of Munster Musical Trust; Grocers' Scholarship.

Previous roles include Varo (cover) Arminio (Jette Parker Opera); Fenton Sir John in Love (British Youth Opera); Septimius Theodora, Aeneas Dido & Aeneas (International Bach Festival Canarias); created the role of Norman Papoea Opera (IJsalon); Satyavān Sāvitri (Guildhall School); The Attendant Lost Property (Guildhall School Opera Makers); Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando Così fan tutte, Nemorino L’elisir d’amore, Albert Herring Albert Herring, Le Chevalier Dialogues des Carmélites (Guildhall School Opera Scenes).

Biqing Zhang


Guildhall School Opera Course (first year) studying with Marilyn Rees.

Scholarships Rosemary Thayer Award.

Competitions Semi-finalist for Handel International Competition 2023; Finalist for Susan Longfield Competition 2022.

Previous roles include Poppea Agrippina (Hampstead Garden Opera); Lucia The Rape of Lucretia; Phebe Castor et Pollux; Sandman Hansel and Gretel; Romilda Serse (Guildhall School).

Autumn Events at Guildhall School

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra
Wednesday 22 November, 7.30pm
Barbican Hall


Leading Dutch conductor Antony Hermus, Chief Conductor Designate of Belgian National Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Opera North, joins Guildhall Symphony Orchestra for a fantastical evening of music by Unsuk Chin, Bartók and Zemlinsky.

Clarinet Masterclass with Anthony McGill
Thursday 30 November, 7pm
Milton Court Concert Hall 


Milton Court Artist-in-Residence Anthony McGill – the New York Philharmonic’s Principal Clarinet – shares his ‘lustrous sound and dynamic range’ (Bachtrack) with outstanding Guildhall musicians in an evening masterclass, presented in partnership with the Barbican. 

Autumn Opera Scenes
30 November – 5 December
Silk Street Theatre 


Outstanding performers from the first year of Guildhall School’s Opera Course present classical and contemporary operatic excerpts performed with piano accompaniment.

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra & Choir: Songs of the Auvergne
Monday 4 December, 7.30pm
Milton Court Concert Hall

World-famous British jazz singer Norma Winstone joins Guildhall Jazz musicians for her 'Songs of the Auvergne' – a mirage of pastoral magic.

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Autumn Events
Supporters & Scholarships

Guildhall School Scholarship Fund

Each year the Scholarships Fund enables talented young actors, musicians, production artists and theatre technicians to take up their places or continue their studies at Guildhall School. We are extremely grateful to the many trusts, foundations, businesses, City livery companies and individuals who make annual donations to the Scholarships Fund, and to those people who make provision for legacy donations in support of the School in their wills. Production Arts and Opera students involved in this production who have received support from this year’s Scholarships Fund and from external donors are as follows:

Ben Kubiak Wolfgang Bruckner Scholarship, Jack Irons Repetiteur Scholarship
Samuele Piccinini Leverhulme Arts Scholarship, Margery & Frederick Stephen Wright Eisinger Award


Opera Scholars
Ana-Carmen Balestra Anne Pashley Opera Scholarship, Weavers' Scholarship, Tallow Chandlers' Scholarship
Holly Brown Wax Chandlers' Scholarship, Walter Hyde Memorial Prize, Behrens Foundation Scholarship
Joe Chalmers Elizabeth Sweeting Award, Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship
Alaric Green Fishmongers' Music Scholarship
Jonah Halton Carpenters' Company Henry Osborne Award Scholarship, Dyers' Scholarship, Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship
Jacob Harrison Behrens Foundation Scholarship
Vladyslava Ionascu-Yakovenko Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers' Scholarship, Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship
Emyr Jones Horners' Becker Scholarship, Tobacco Pipe Makers' Scholarship
Julia Merino Herbert and Theresie Lowit Memorial Scholarship
Shana Moron-Caravel Sally Cohen Opera Scholarship, Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship
Yolisa Ngwexana Gwen Catley Scholarship (The Amar-Franses & Foster-Jenkins Trust), Innholders' Scholarship, Dow Clewer Foundation Scholarship
Rachel Roper Marianne Falk Award
Steven van der Linden Grocers' Scholarship
Biqing Zhang Rosemary Thayer Award

Production Arts Scholars
Billy Boarman Powell Skinners' Lawrence Atwell Scholarship
Agatha Giannini Guildhall Scholarship
Lauren Jones Guildhall Scholarship
Oscar Keeys Guildhall Scholarship
Katie Ranson Guildhall Scholarship
Eloise Soester-Gulliver Guildhall Scholarship
Bea Taylor B&T Scholarship


Our Supporters

Guildhall School is grateful for the generous support of the following individuals, trusts and foundations, City livery companies and businesses, as well as those who wish to remain anonymous.

Exceptional Giving

Estate of David Bartley

The Cole Bequest

Victor Ford Foundation

The Leverhulme Trust

Estate of Barbara Reynolds

Estate of Rosemary Thayer

Estate of Berthe Wallis

Professor Christopher Wood MD FRCSEd FLSW

Leadership Giving

Amar-Franses & Foster-Jenkins Trust

City of London Education Board

Estate of Diana Devlin

Fishmongers’ Company

Norman Gee Foundation

Estate of Ralph Goode

Leathersellers’ Company

Herbert and Theresie Lowit Memorial Scholarship

Sidney Perry Foundation

Estate of Denis Shorrock

Wolfson Foundation

Henry Wood Accommodation Trust

C and P Young HonFGS

Estate of Eleanor van Zandt

Major Benefactors

Jane Ades Ingenuity Scholarship

Baha and Gabriella Bassatne

Behrens Foundation

Maria Björnson Memorial Fund

John S Cohen Foundation

Sally Cohen Opera Scholarships

D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Elmira Darvarova

David Family Foundation

Dow Clewer Foundation

Drapers’ Company

Margaret Easton Scholarships

Marianne Falk

Amy and John Ford HonFGS

Albert & Eugenie Frost Music Trust CIO

Girdlers’ Company Charitable Trust

Haberdashers’ Company

Paul Hamburger Prize for Voice
nd Piano

Headley Trust

Estate of Elaine Hugh-Jones

Professor Sir Barry Ife CBE FKC and
Dr Trudi Darby

Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust

Gillian Laidlaw

Damian Lewis CBE FGS

London Symphony Orchestra

Alfred Molina FGS

Ripple Awards

Dr Leslie Olmstead Schulz

Skinners’ Company - Lawrence Atwell’s Charity

South Square Trust

Garfield Weston Foundation

Estate of Elizabeth Wolfe

Worshipful Company of Carpenters

Worshipful Company of Grocers

Worshipful Company of Innholders

Worshipful Company of Tobacco
Pipe Makers




Anglo-Swedish Society

Athena Scholarship

Estate of Ewen Balfour

George & Charlotte Balfour Award

Peter Barkworth Scholarship

Binks Trust

William Brake Foundation

Sir Nicolas Bratza

Noël Coward Foundation

Gita de la Fuente Scholarship

Robert Easton Scholarship

Eversheds Sutherland

Carey Foley Acting Scholarship

Mortimer Furber Scholarship

Andrew Galloway

Dr Jacqueline Glomski

Hargreaves and Ball Trust

Ironmongers’ Company

In memory of Barry MacDonald

Marina Martin

Estate of Sheila Melluish

Music First

NR1 Creatives

Norwich Chamber Music

Noswad Charity

John Peach

Peter Prynn

Harry Rabinowitz Memorial Scholarship Fund

Salters’ Company

Edward Selwyn Memorial Fund

Stanley Picker Trust

Steel Charitable Trust

Steinway & Sons

Thompson Educational Trust

Kristina Tonteri-Young Scholarship

Hugh Vanstone

Worshipful Company of Barbers

Worshipful Company of Carmen Benevolent Trust

Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors

Worshipful Company of Dyers

Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers

Worshipful Company of Horners

Worshipful Company of International Bankers

Worshipful Company of Musicians

Worshipful Company of Pewterers

Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers

Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers

Worshipful Company of Weavers

Staff at Guildhall School

Guildhall School Production Arts Department

Vice-Principal & Director of Production Arts

Andy Lavender

Office Manager & Executive Assistant 

Melissa Bonnelame

Deputy Director of Production Arts & Programme Leader BA Production Arts

Hansjörg Schmidt

Programme Leader, BA Digital Design & Production (formerly BA Video Design for Live Performance); Head of Theatre Technology

Andy Taylor

Programme Leader, MA Collaborative Theatre Production & Design

Emily Orley

Head of Costume

Rachel Young

Head of Design Realisation

Vanessa Cass

Head of Stage Management

Helen Barratt

Associate Producer

Stuart Calder

Outreach Manager (Production Arts)

Jon Hare

A full list of Production Arts teaching staff and technicians can be found on our website.

Guildhall School Opera Department

Head of Opera Studies

Dominic Wheeler

Resident Producer

Martin Lloyd-Evans

Opera Department Manager

Steven Gietzen

Visiting Music coaches

Lionel Friend
Alexander Ingram
Michael Llo
Elizabeth Marcus
Linnhe Robertson
Peter Robinson

Elizabeth Rowe
Susanna Stranders

Drama coaches

Martin Lloyd-Evans
Victoria Newlyn

Movement coaches

Victoria Newlyn

Rachel Wise

Combat coaches

Jonathan Leverett

Language coaches

Florence Daguerre de Hureaux

Gerhard Gall
Johanna Mayr
Norbert Meyn

Emma Abbate
Emanuele Moris

Lada Valešová

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Become a Patron & Donate


Become a Guildhall

Join the Guildhall School community and become part of our family.

Guildhall Patrons enjoy exciting events and experiences behind the scenes, while making a significant difference to the lives of talented young artists in training.

To find out more about getting involved in the world-leading performing arts conservatoire on your doorstep, visit


Access a pair of free tickets to an upcoming event by emailing


We hope you have enjoyed today’s performance by students from Guildhall School. We would be grateful for a voluntary donation to support world-class training for these talented artists, as they embark on their journeys to becoming world-leading performers and production artists. You can make your donation via our website, or text* GSDONATE to 70970 to donate £5.
*Fundraising, payments and donations will be processed and administered by the National Funding Scheme (Charity No: 1149800), operating as DONATE. Texts will be charged at your standard network rate. For Terms & Conditions, see
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