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WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCES 19 July 7pm 20 July 2.30pm & 7pm

ra d roa g e

Welcome to the world premiere performances of Road Rage – Garsington Opera’s first community opera. A wonderfully ambitious project, Road Rage features over 180 amateur performers from local schools and the community, working alongside professional soloists and players from Britain’s leading orchestral academy, Southbank Sinfonia. The starting point for Road Rage came directly from the local community, following a two-year residency by Garsington Opera Education with schools and community groups local to Wormsley. From this emerged a huge cast with distinct ownership of the project, expertly trained and directed by our world-class creative and production teams. Composed by Orlando Gough, with a libretto by Richard Stilgoe and staged in our award-winning Opera Pavilion, Road Rage has been produced with the same care and attention as anything from this year’s opera season. This level of consideration demonstrates the fundamental importance we attach to our education work, now and for the future. We are immensely grateful for the imagination and commitment of the many supporters who helped realise this venture. Special thanks go to Youth Music, the Alvarez family and to Baron and Baroness de Turckheim and their family foundation, La Fondation Terrévent, for their extremely generous support. We hope you enjoy seeing Road Rage as much as we and our wonderful community cast have enjoyed creating it. Douglas Boyd, Artistic Director

Road Rage was commissioned by Garsington Opera Education. It has been made possible thanks to the support of a number of individuals and organisations. Garsington Opera is grateful to the following for their generous support.

The Blackwell Charitable Trust The Bergqvist Charitable Trust CHK Charities Ltd The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Fuserna Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts The Kathleen Hannay Memorial Charity Leonard Ingrams Foundation Mercers’ Charitable Foundation

The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation Old Possum’s Practical Trust PF Charitable Trust PRS for Music Foundation Richardsons Chartered Accountants The Steel Charitable Trust La Fondation Terrévent Youth Music One anonymous donor

Additional design workshops were supported by West Wycombe Decorative and Fine Arts Society (NADFAS) and Speen Festival.


ra d roa g e 19 July 7pm, 20 July 2.30pm & 7pm

An opera in one act Music Orlando Gough Libretto Richard Stilgoe


Karen Gillingham


Susanna Stranders

Vocal Director

Lea Cornthwaite


Rhiannon Newman Brown

Lighting Designer

Chris Vaughan

Assistant Director

Katherine Wilde


Wyn Hyland

Deputy Repetiteurs

Sam Laughton, Amber Rainey, Tim Venvell, Tom Wakeley


Clare Presland


Alexander Hargreaves


Daniel Norman


Peter Willcock


Schools’ Cast Stokenchurch Primary School

Chalgrove Community Primary School

Dormice Lara Campbell Varun Dinesh Kacey Edgar-Hedges Millie Hanson Oliver James Isabel Munger-Styles Georgia Pitt Arun Sreenivasan

Apple Trees Ellie-Mae Adams Charlotte Arnold Ashley Bowden Daniel Cantwell Charlotte Croxford Ella Jolley Beatrice Justice Adam Morris Elizabeth Tattersall

Foxes Ben Burton Isabella Dinley Devon Grimsdell Daisy-May Hudson Travis Ludlow Connor Thurston Abigail Tilbury Rabbits Courtney Brown Angelina Goosen Roux Kerr Jessica Maxwell Alex McTavish James Threadgold Charlotte Troth Alex Youle Squirrels Katie-Jane Blaylock Dexter Dinley Nina Jolly-Reynolds Leonie Sargeant Zara Skidmore Eloise Tomkinson Ted Woodise

Blossom Trees Joshua Barker Holly Campbell Lewis Campbell Finley Carter Jack Alexander Carter Leah Clifton Holly Crosthwaite Emily Hawes Hayley Hawes George Nixey Finley Spiers Hannah Wasmuth Oak Trees Zoe Bowman Malachy Bromell Reece Bruce Olivia Gaskin Thomas Harrison Tyan Hawkins Tom Mercer Megan Rees Olivia Soper

“I really enjoyed the activity making the tails. I will do some at home for my bedroom.” MILLIE


Ibstone CofE Infant School Newts/ Village Children Toby Axford-Lavin Oliver Ball Jack Clark Oscar Clinton-Green Adam Ford Kane Gaska Mia Gaska Ellie Gowers Lottie Gracey Ischia La Placa Jessica Meek Alex Pitt Henry Prince Matthew Raven Nicole Raven Jessica Rhodes Luke Rider William Saint Tyler Swallow Hazari Tamana Sam Vaughan Finn Williams Jones Geron Williams Jones

“I like it when we all come together and it makes a harmony.” ELLIE

Youth Cast

Community Cast

Kites Juliette Dudley Sophie Haxworth Oliver Winter

Roman Surveyors Stephen Bucknill Andrew Mactavish

Kite Understudies Emma Tucker Rebecca Winter

Roman Centurians Phil Birtles Bernard Carter Rob Hill Peter Willcock

Reporter Jenna Overstolz, Jennifer Swallow Slaves / Activists Joanna Bains Teenage Boy Phil Birtles Dan Biss Josephine Biss Understudy Johnny Langridge Wendy Brand Georgie Brooks Teenage Girl Ros Cadogan Harmony Hill Lynn Callaghan Understudy Claire Deards Helen Cole Alicia Correia Advisors Charlotte Dennis Sophie Shanahan Philip Hayes Emilie Barret Lynnie Highfield Ben Biss Rob Hill Dan Biss Mary-Anne Howlin Sam Biss Kate Hussey Immy Creed Sarah Klamut Claire Deards Judy Knowles Monty Graham Johnny Langridge Izzy Higgs Verna Lipinski Harmony Hill Heather Ramsay George Marcou Nigel Robertson Catriona McTavish Becky Saunders Daisy Mossop Ute Scrace Stephanie Nicholls Bess Sharpe Mel Salmon Jennifer Swallow Joe Siddy Caroline Swanborough Elle Treacher-Morley Maria Sweeney Emma Tucker Diana Telfer Annie Webb Britta von Lewinski Rebecca Winter Amy Whelan Georgia Woodward Rosie Wotherspoon

Villagers Hilary Beck-Burridge Phil Birtles Carolyn Bradfield Frank Brooks Manon Brown Stephen Bucknill David Cairns Bernard Carter Jan Channer Harriet Denne Amanda Drake-Brockman Aude Dupont-Dudley Louise Edwards Judith Essery Angela Farquhar Rosemary Forest Nikki Gracey Jackie Graham Sue Hammond Philip Hayes Rob Hill Katie Hinton Cate Holloway Mike Howlett Johnny Langridge Sue Lawton Andrew Mactavish Pauline Mactavish Jane McBain Angela McTavish Lois Nisbet Helen Orchard Steve Orchard Jenna Overstolz Sue Price David Redhouse Mark Richardson Wendy Richardson Nigel Robertson Catherine Saker Jillian Seddon Carol Shufflebotham David Shufflebotham Sue Smith Jenni Thackwray Angela Tremayne Silvana Turner Carolyn Wyndham


About the project We are delighted that the first world premiere to take place at Garsington Opera is a community opera – the most ambitious project undertaken so far by the education team. Road Rage is a culmination of our work over the last 10 years and a springboard to expand our programme, develop new partnerships locally, and attract individuals who wouldn’t necessarily consider performing in public or being involved in a project of this nature. One core aim of this project was to engage young people, to build confidence, develop musical skills and open up opportunities. Our inspirational creative team have always kept these aims at the heart of the rehearsal process. We have three highly committed schools who have embraced the project as part of their curriculum, enabling children of all backgrounds and upbringings to take part. The recruitment process also involved many others, including children from the Early Intervention Service in Oxfordshire, who have become key partners over the last few years in association with The Turville School Trust. Richard Stilgoe and Orlando Gough have created an intricate and fun community piece for a mixed age group, with themes drawn from those performing. Road Rage involves an immense cast of over 180 people from the local area. They are joined by four professional singers and young orchestral players from Southbank Sinfonia and performances will enable a further 2300 people over the age of five to attend the opera at Wormsley, many of whom will not have experienced an operatic performance before. We have worked with many wonderful individuals and organisations during this project and we hope that the result demonstrates the immense value of creative work within a community. Karen Gillingham, Creative Director, Garsington Opera Education


Road Rage – Synopsis Prologue It is 200AD. Despite the slow collapse of the Roman economy, the Romans are still building new roads in obsessively straight lines. A pair of hungry Red Kites watch as two surveyors plan the route. A gang of ancient British slaves, whipped into shape by two Centurions, are moving an 8’ cube of chalk on its way to be part of a temple miles away. Thinking them easy meat, the Kites attack. The slaves run away, leaving the stone slap in the middle of the route of the new road. The Centurions drink a lot of wine, and also run away – not in a straight line. Trenton Oldfield, The Village Green, the present day The stone has stood, unchanged, for 1800 years. It is now surrounded by talkative trees and animals, and provides a trysting place for the village’s young lovers. A Surveyor arrives, with plans for a new motorway. He is accosted by a feisty young woman (the Girl), who persuades the trees, the animals, the car commuters and the bus queue to object to the road. Outside the Minister’s house The Minister of Infrastructure – who is also the local MP – is relieved that the new motorway (like the Roman Road, a vanity project designed to give the impression that the economy is doing better than it is) will not go through his beautiful park, but across the village green. His improbably young advisers are furious that the surveyor has given away the proposed route before they were able to control the information. The Minister sings about the frustrations of being a politician hampered by party lines and protocol. The Village Green The Surveyor is on the green again, and the Girl again accosts him – having just photographed the information on his laptop. They disagree vehemently, but also find each other confusingly attractive. The Village Hall The Minister is addressing the Girl and the village. The Girl now knows about the planned road. The trees and animals eavesdrop. The meeting ends in uproar, with the whole village determined to prevent this unwanted change. The Ministry of Infrastructure Plans for damage limitation after the

disastrous meeting. The Girl, as well as tragically losing her mother, has a father who gives thousands to the party. She must be carefully handled, with spin. The Village Green The village slowly comes apart as it disagrees about how (and whether) to protest. Old resentments surface. By the Stone The Girl and the Surveyor grow closer – despite their continued disagreement over the road. A group of professional activists arrive, and instruct the village in the business of protesting – the ineffectiveness of people, and the value of wildlife (especially barn owls, bats and newts) and archaeology. It is decided to proclaim the stone an early Christian shrine, and therefore untouchable. A television reporter broadcasts the important news. The Ministry The advisors are disturbed by the TV broadcast, but decide to spin it to their advantage – the stone is so important it must be moved to the British Museum. And everything must go slowly, so the protestors and the media run out of steam. The Stone Days and weeks pass. The Surveyor is sent to another project. Gradually protestors drift away. The Girl, alone, sings of her determination to keep the world beautiful. A huge, aggressive crane arrives to remove the stone. The Girl stands in its way, like the lone Chinese protestor in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The Surveyor embraces her, but only so he can hand her over to two security guards. The crane lifts the stone just enough for a group of great crested newts – the planners’ nightmare, tiny but omnipotent – to emerge. The Ministry, and the television studio The advisors decide that, because of the newts, the original route through the Minister’s park must now be used. The Kites don’t care – they will fly anywhere for food. The Minister does care, and makes an impassioned resignation speech on television. The Minister’s House The Minister and all the village – and the animals and newts – are established in the Minister’s park, now determined to support him in his protest. For the same reason as before – they want to stay the same, and protect their green and pleasant land. 7

Who’s who Orlando Gough composer Orlando Gough writes music mostly for the theatre – operas, plays, dance pieces, music-theatre, directs the choir The Shout, and devises and directs large-scale site-specific choral pieces. His recent work includes The Tree of Light, a site-specific dance piece choreographed by Charlie Morrissey (Cultural Olympiad); XX Scharnhorst, a site-specific choral piece on HMS Belfast directed by Emma Bernard (Thames Festival); Imago, an opera, libretto by Stephen Plaice (Glyndebourne); Foghorn Requiem, a site specific piece for foghorn, tuned ships’ horns and brass bands (Souter Lighthouse, South Shields). He is an associate artist of the ROH. “Working on Road Rage has been a joy – great themes (Machiavellian politics, ecology, nimbyism, protest, love, betrayal, the power of small things), witty and dramatic libretto, delightful production team, lovely location. What could possibly go wrong? Er, the music, for a start.......” Richard Stilgoe librettist As well as writing hundreds of songs for radio and television, Richard Stilgoe has written part or all of CATS, Starlight Express, Phantom of the Opera, Brilliant the Dinosaur, Bodywork and Orpheus the Mythical. Most recently he wrote the lyrics for the National Theatre’s 2012 production of The Magistrate by Pinero. In 1997 he founded the Orpheus Centre in Surrey, which trains young disabled people for independent living through a series of performing arts courses. He has eleven grandchildren and a JCB, and was knighted in the 2012 Jubilee honours list. “For the last twenty years much of my work has not been writing songs, but getting young people to write songs – everywhere from schools to the Orpheus Centre to prisons. Young people will sometimes sing about things they find it difficult to talk about. Road Rage was created using a similar process – we took the simple idea of a village invaded by a proposed motorway, and listened to the thoughts of the grown-ups and children who were going to perform the piece. The resulting opera is radically different to what I thought we might write before the consultation process, and is just as much the creation of the cast you see on stage as it is mine or Orlando’s.” Karen Gillingham director Directing credits include The Magic Flute (Garsington Opera Studio Programme at West Green House), Gone Fishing (ROH Linbury), WorldSkills Opening Ceremony (O2 London), Beached community opera in Bridlington written by Lee Hall and composed by Harvey Brough (Opera North), On Off (Tête à Tête Festival), When I am Old (Glyndebourne Youth Opera), Out Foxed (Royal Festival Hall Southwark Splash), On the Rim of the World by Orlando Gough (ROH and WNO Millennium Centre). Demon Juice (ROH and Stratford Circus), Twenty Women Singing (WNO Women’s Prison Tour), Jack Sheppard children’s opera (ENO), Chorus! (WNO) (Movement


Director and Revival Director), Dogfight by John Browne (ENO), South of the River community opera (ENO). TV credits include a panellist on Channel 4’s Operatunity and Workshop Director on BBC2’s Gareth goes to Glyndebourne. Karen is Creative Director for Garsington Opera Education and Artistic Director of the ROH Youth Opera Company. “I feel incredibly privileged to be directing such an enthusiastic and hardworking community group on this hugely ambitious project. I have been overwhelmed by the commitment the cast have shown in working towards the performances of Road Rage and can’t wait to see this come to fruition.” Susanna Stranders conductor After graduating from Exeter University with first-class honours in music, Susanna Stranders studied at GSMD and University of Cincinnati, winning many accompanist prizes. She was repetiteur for Cincinnati Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Programme, and a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Texas. Susanna was on the Young Artists Programme at the ROH, Covent Garden. She has since worked regularly for the ROH, Glyndebourne, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the LSO, Complicite and the Salzburg Festival. Susanna has accompanied leading singers and instrumentalists in recital performances and has broadcast live for the BBC on both television and radio. Susanna is official pianist for the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, is Music Director for the Opera Scenes at the Oxenfoord International Summer School and is Head of Music for Garsington Opera. “As a passionate advocate for the importance of community-based work, I believe this community opera will open many new ears, eyes and throats to the wonder, power and magic of life on the opera stage.” Lea Cornthwaite vocal director Lea Cornthwaite is a singer, choir director and vocal and song writing animateur who works with children as young as 5 to adults of 95, singers and non-singers alike. He has worked on projects with the Royal Opera House, Opera North, ENO, the LSO, Glyndebourne, the Barbican Centre, the Southbank Centre, and many others as a singer, chorus master and workshop leader. He has a particular interest in singing for health and wellbeing and is Managing Director of the Mind & Soul Choir based at the Maudsley Hospital in London. “I’ve been involved with Road Rage from the beginning and have enjoyed seeing the participants grow in skill and confidence as the piece has developed, particularly those who have stuck with the process from the very start of our education work at Wormsley.”

Rhiannon Newman Brown designer Opera set and costumes designs include Tamerlano, Così fan tutte and Eugene Onegin (Opera By Definition), On Off, When I am Old (Glyndebourne Youth Opera), Firebird (ROH Education Main Stage), Still Life at the Penguin Café, Turtle Opera (ROH Education Linbury Studio), Songs of the Marshes (ROH Thurrock), Heart in a Box (Garsington Opera Education), ‘Write an Opera’ Course Leader (ROH Education). Theatre set and costumes designs include The River Line (Jermyn Street Theatre), Fewer Emergencies, City of Lost Angels (The Print Room), James and The Giant Peach (Nuffield Theatre), Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill A Mocking Bird (Tricycle Theatre).

Katherine Wilde, assistant director Katherine Wilde studied music at Christ Church, Oxford University. In 2010 she became one of Contact Theatre’s ‘Future Fires’ and secured funding to establish the community opera project SOAP (Salford Opera Action Performance). She is also Artistic Co-Director of the music theatre collective Re:Sound.

“I think 80 year old Sheila painting umpteen chairs orange with a paint brush in one hand and a walking stick in the other, pretty much sums up how brilliant the Road Rage project has been!”

Katherine’s production credits include: Director/ Designer Battles Within and Without (Re:Sound), Assistant Director The Magic Flute (Garsington Opera Studio Programme at West Green House), Director/ Designer The Mask Behind the Face (Re:Sound), Director/ Designer Emily, Mrs. Lazarus (Re:Sound), Assistant Director/ Stage Manager Beached (Opera North), Designer The Game of Love and Chance (RNCM), Assistant Director Hera’s List (International Anthony Burgess Foundation), and Designer Cigarettes and Chocolate (RNCM).

Chris Vaughan lighting designer Since graduating in Technical Theatre from West Cheshire College of Performing Arts, Chris Vaughan has travelled the world working on West End and International Productions.

“It has been very exciting to be part of a production that reflects so much of the community and that gives its cast such fantastic and varied characters to perform. It has been a pleasure to work with and to get to know the cast over these past few months and I cannot wait to see it on the Garsington Opera Pavilion stage.”

West End productions include Jailhouse Rock The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), RSC Season at The Roundhouse London, The Bodyguard Musical (Adelphi Theatre). Opera productions include The Magic Flute (Garsington Opera), Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera). Touring productions include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (National Tour), Hairspray (UK Tour), Avenue Q (UK Tour), Dirty Dancing (National Tour). Other credits include Cloud 9 (Sevenoaks Playhouse – LD), CATS (Germany Tour – ALD), 711 (Sevenoaks Playhouse – LD), Aladdin (The O2 Arena Theatre – Programmer), CATS (UK Tour 2013 – ALD & Programmer), Let It Be (Monte Carlo 2013 – Re-Light & Programmer). Touring Re-Lights include CATS (UK & Portugal Tour), West Side Story (UK Tour), The Sound of Music (National Tour), Mamma Mia! (International Tour). His career highlight so far has been working on the London 2012 Olympic Games. “Garsington Opera’s production of Road Rage is a very exciting new project. Not only is it being brought together by experienced people but it is also an opportunity for local people to be involved in a professional production here at Wormsley.”

Wyn Hyland repetiteur Wyn hails from Cardigan, Wales and was educated at Chetham’s Music School, Wadham College, Oxford and the RCM. Credits include recitals in Asia, Bolivia, Uganda, Australia and New Zealand, concertos at The Royal Festival Hall, St. David’s Hall and BBC Maida Vale and Musical Director on the European tours of Cabaret and Guys and Dolls. Wyn has just been working as a keyboard player and associate conductor on the West End with Chicago. He has performed on Woman’s Hour, worked with WNO, appeared on Last Choir Standing with the winning choir Only Men Aloud and been Assistant Musical Director on The Music Man at Chichester. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this ambitiously wonderful project. I have been accompanying and taking part in the education programme since Garsington Opera’s move to Wormsley and am overjoyed how far we have come in these few years. It’s exciting to see familiar faces from the early workshops performing here with such enthusiasm and panache, as well as plenty of new faces of all ages giving so much to the performance. I’m so eager to see the final product!”


Cast Clare Presland mezzo soprano Girl Clare Presland trained at GSMD and at ENO Opera Works. She was a recipient of the 2012 Grange Park Opera Scholarship, a finalist in the Maureen Lehane vocal awards at the Wigmore Hall and won the Odette Sansom Memorial prize for English song. Clare is also a Britten Pears Young Artist; she continues to study with Robert Dean. Clare made a highly acclaimed debut with ENO as the Palestinian Woman in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, which was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Other operatic roles include Flora Bervoix La traviata, Musetta La Bohème, Rosina Barber of Seville, Suzuki Madama Butterfly (Opera UpClose), Dorabella Così fan tutte (Jackdaws Young Artists), Jenny Threepenny Opera (People’s Theatre and Aloha Theatre, Hawaii), Kate Pinkerton/Aunt Madama Butterfly, Peaseblossom A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Longborough Festival Opera), Annina La traviata, Second Witch Dido and Aeneas (Opera Project), Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias with Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles (Aldeburgh). “I have loved every minute of the rehearsal process, which has proven to be full of laughter and joy! I am very excited to premiere this piece with all of the wonderful cast and chorus.” Alexander Byron Hargreaves baritone Surveyor Born in Sydney, Alexander sang with Australian Opera as a treble before moving to the UK aged 13. Alexander has studied at York University, the RCM and Flanders Opera Studio in Ghent. At the RCM he was supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Cuthbert Smith Award. Notable engagements include Hades Followers (Glyndebourne), La Mort La Mort au Bal Masqué premièred in Ostend, Melisso Alcina. The Shepherd The Three Strangers, Adonis Venus and Adonis, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Rutter’s Mass of the Children. Alexander made his debut as a director in 2012 when he presented Die Fledermaus with Surrey Opera at the Minack Theatre. This year he is engaged to direct Iernin for Surrey Opera and a new production of his own devising involving the music of Verdi for New Devon Opera. “Thank you all so much for involving me in this great project and congratulations to everyone. I won’t look at kites or great crested newts in quite the same way again.” Daniel Norman tenor Minister Daniel Norman was a choral scholar at New College Oxford and went on to study in the USA and Canada and at the RAM. Opera roles include Count Elemer Arabella, Dancing Master Ariadne auf Naxos, Fabrizio Mirandolina and Don Basilio Le nozze di Figaro (Garsington Opera), Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw (Glyndebourne on Tour), Borsa Rigoletto (ROH), Mao Nixon in China (Opera Boston and Verona), White Minister Le Grand Macabre and Squeak Billy Budd (ENO), title role Hugh the Drover (New Sussex Opera) and Moser Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Glyndebourne). Recent engagements include Donald Crockett’s The Face for The Firebird Ensemble, Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro (Glyndebourne on Tour), Renard (Southbank Centre), Orlando Gough’s Imago (Glyndebourne) and title role in staged performances of Handel’s Joshua (Opera North). Forthcoming engagements include Mime Das Rheingold (Oviedo Opera) and Red Whiskers Billy Budd (Glyndebourne in New York). “It’s such a joy seeing people discover opera for the first time. Garsington has surpassed all my expectations with this glorious trailblazing project.”


Peter Willcock baritone Activist Peter Willcock’s varied career has included soloist work for various companies including ROH2 and Grange Park Opera, an opera education animateur for ROH, Streetwise Opera, WNO and Opera North, and a contemporary dancer and deviser for groups from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. Recent roles include Monterone and Escamillo Rigoletto (Pimlico Opera), Owl The Owl and the Pussycat (ROH2/Secret London), Rover/ Chairman A Doctors Tale (ROH2), dancer/singer Without Warning (Laban Theatre). He has also worked on Orlando Gough’s On the Rim of the World (ROH). Upcoming engagements include Opera Circus’ Naciketa Tour of India. “I love being involved with Road Rage because I get to work with such a wonderful group of people and share the opera experience with them. I also love the fun music, the great libretto, the weekly trips to the countryside, seeing the real kites hovering over our roads and then our own production kites in action.” Schools’ Cast Last autumn we approached primary schools local to Wormsley and asked if they’d like to apply to take part in a new project. One group in each school undertook to commit to weekly rehearsals from March to July and perform on the main stage at Garsington Opera. This is no mean undertaking, and we have been privileged to work in partnership with such great schools and teachers as a result. All schools have provided us with rehearsal space, staff, governors or parents for our adult chorus, and up to 30 enthusiastic children each (sometimes made from different classes or a combination of two). The pupils have shown patience and commitment and we are hugely grateful to them as well as their parents and teachers for enabling them to have this extraordinary experience. Thanks particularly to Jo Bray, Claire Sutherland, Jo Reid and all the support and head teachers involved who should really appear in the cast list above. Youth Cast We’ve been on an eventful journey with these twenty five young people whose exposure to Orlando’s score began on a dark Monday evening in temperatures of minus five in Stokenchurch and has ended up (admittedly, not far away) in the Garsington Opera Pavilion, sandwiched between a chorus of slaves, activists, villagers and over eighty small animals. As individuals, some of them have flown. As a group they have unified, helped frequently by the use of a Blackberry and briefcase. What is striking is the different number of local schools they attend, and although a strong element is drawn from our closest secondary school, Icknield Community College, we have pupils from over ten other state schools representing Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in this performance. If they are future political advisors, we cannot say that you are in safe hands, but they have learned something of the art of spin. “Road Rage has given me the opportunity to work with professional singers, and to meet people who share the same passion for music and acting as me. I have loved it from the very beginning.” Izzy Higgs “Amazing! I have loved every bit of it from the music and acting to making new friends and improving my confidence!” Rebecca Winter “Taking part in Road Rage has been a great experience. I’ve had lots of fun meeting new people and playing a character I never thought I’d play! I’m really looking forward to flying on the stage.” Sophie Haxworth Key ENO GSMD LSO RAM RCM RNCM ROH RSC WNO

English National Opera Guildhall School of Music & Drama London Symphony Orchestra Royal Academy of Music Royal College of Music Royal Northern College of Music Royal Opera House Royal ShakespeareCompany Welsh National Opera

Community Cast We’d planned for fifty, but were overwhelmed at the taster workshops; it seemed we’d tapped some unspoken local need. Having made the decision not to turn people away, we finally settled into two choruses: slaves and activists plus villagers. Our seventy-threestrong adult chorus spans every decade from 20s to 80s and includes a wide variety of professions, skills and past experience, not all of which included singing. When they were asked to describe any singing experience the answers ranged from “not a lot”, “in the shower”, “I can make a noise but would not describe it as singing”, and included many who had not sung since school or college (which for some is a significant gap!), to involvement in local choirs and some experienced singers. However, combining singing and drama has been, for many, entirely novel. Let us hope that following this experience all our adult chorus will urge anybody to take part in a community opera “as it is great fun and you meet new people – I met two of my neighbours who I didn’t know before!”. Kate Laughton (Road Rage Producer) and Andrew Miller (Road Rage Company Manager)

“The most amazing thing about the Garsington Opera Community Opera is how Karen and Lea get us, a group of regular people, creating, designing and performing without us even realizing that we’re doing it!” Jen Swallow “An amazing, fun journey on which we have been inspired by Karen, Lea and Susie and the outstanding soloists to tell a story about our community set to wonderful and quirky music.” David Cairns “I loved meeting all these new people from this area and slipping into roles and actions I would never otherwise do.” Britta von Lewinski


Garsington Opera Garsington Opera was founded in 1989 by the late Leonard Ingrams and his wife Rosalind. Leonard was an accomplished musician and his growing love of opera was given an unexpected chance to develop when they bought Garsington Manor in 1982 and discovered a natural stage on the terrace and in the garden. In 2011, following Leonard’s tragic death in 2005, Garsington Opera moved to the Wormsley estate in the Chiltern Hills. We are fortunate to have settled into our new home, an award-winning, purpose-built Opera Pavilion, overlooking the lake and the beautiful deer park, and close to Sir Paul Getty’s famous cricket ground. As well as engaging experienced, world-class opera singers, Garsington Opera promotes young British talent by providing a platform for those just beginning to make their name on the world-wide opera stage and a number of notable UK debuts have taken place. Our resident orchestra in the main opera season, the Garsington Opera Orchestra, is made up of exceptionally talented musicians many of whom also have careers as soloists and their own chamber ensembles. From the very early days, Garsington Opera began to explore the neglected works of first-class composers such as Haydn, Rossini, Richard Strauss and latterly of Russian and Czech composers and has produced a number of British premieres. This detailed and continuous development of repertoire has awakened critical interest and established a reputation that has grown not only nationally but internationally. For 2014, our 25th Anniversary Season, our new Artistic Director Douglas Boyd conducts one of the greatest operas in the repertoire – Beethoven’s Fidelio (a revival of the acclaimed 2009 production), David Parry returns to conduct the British premiere of Offenbach’s Vert-Vert, and we will be welcoming Garry Walker to conduct Janácˇek’s 20th Century masterpiece The Cunning Little Vixen. Nicola Creed, Executive Director


Garsington Opera Education Through Garsington Opera Education we want to share our passion and love of opera with a wider audience, helping to demystify the wonderful and varied genre of opera for those who would not normally have access to it. Following on from our long-standing outreach programme in the vicinity of Garsington Manor, we are fortunate to have a thriving programme in our third year at Wormsley and, in addition to the community opera, we continue to offer school and community groups the opportunity to attend rehearsals in the build-up to the season, enabling them to see the company in action and, for many, experience live opera for the first time. Composition workshops for vulnerable children have also continued, in collaboration with the Turville School Trust. These can be a transformational experience for children in difficult circumstances, a key theme to our educational work. Further afield, and following an approach from East Lindsey District Council last year which resulted in a live show relay of La Périchole on the beach at Skegness, we were thrilled to work with local schools in Louth, providing workshops and preparing the local community for this year’s relay of Hänsel und Gretel.

Get Involved Putting on a community opera is an opportunity for Garsington Opera to develop and extend existing partnerships with schools and community groups whilst building new individual relationships and increasing our profile as a vibrant opera company in the area. We have exciting plans afoot to keep our existing cast and loyal regulars busy and challenged over the coming year whilst extending our reach to new schools and local groups who do not easily have access to opera and the wealth of resources it holds. New for the next academic year will be a programme of skills-based operatic workshops for adults and young people and a dedicated performance of The Cunning Little Vixen as part of the season at Wormsley for local schools and community groups. More details will be available from September. For more information on how to get involved in future events please contact our Education Manager:


Southbank Sinfonia Southbank Sinfonia is an orchestra of young professionals described by The Times as “a dashing ensemble who play with exhilarating fizz, exactness and stamina”. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Southbank Sinfonia is internationally recognised as a leading orchestral academy, providing graduate musicians from all over the world with a much-needed springboard into the profession. Every year its players, each supported by a bursary, undertake an intensive and wide-ranging nine month programme of performance and professional development. This comprises performances across Britain and Europe involving orchestral repertoire, chamber music, opera, dance and theatre, alongside development sessions embracing leadership and teamwork, and opportunities to be role-models, inspiring many younger musicians on London’s Southbank and beyond. A distinctive and integral part of the programme is the orchestra’s creative partnerships with leading performing arts organisations including the Royal Opera, National Theatre, BBC Concert Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and acclaimed artists such as Patron Vladimir Ashkenazy. The orchestra is proud to be based at St John’s Waterloo, in the heart of London, where its regular free Rush Hour concerts give many people their first ever experience of live orchestral music. Violin Double Bass Clarinet / Bass Clarinet Saxophone Trumpet Trombone Piano Percussion

Charlotte Maclet Lachlan Radford John Slack Hayley Lambert Lizzie Jones Billy Yates Amber Rainey Tim Brigden

Creative Leadership Manager Jennifer Lang


Credits Production Manager Production Assistant Stage Manager Deputy Stage Manager Assistant Stage Managers Costume Supervisor Wardrobe Mistress Head of Stage Stage Crew Chief Electrician Assistant Electrician Sound by Scenery by Scenic Artists Performer Flying by

Andrew Quick Emily Seekings Jenny O’Connell Jennifer Courtney-Hall Bex Harding, Alice Horsey, Lucy Neal Estelle Butler Kate Flanaghan Stuart Relph Kieren Patrick, Max Tolland, Jason Williams, xxxxx, xxxxxxx Chris Tidmarsh Philip Lewis Creative Sound Design Garsington Opera Workshop Metal Edge Charlotte Lane, Frances Waddington Freedom Flying

Special thanks to

Blackberry Cristiana Aureggi XXXX

Creative Director, Garsington Opera Education Education Manager Road Rage Producer Road Rage Company Manager External Evaluator

Karen Gillingham Gemma Baxter Kate Laughton Andrew Miller Helen Blakeman

Artistic Director Executive Director Director of Opera Planning Press & PR Head of Corporate Membership Head of Membership Membership Marketing Officer Box Office and Administration Head of Finance Head of Music Site Manager

Douglas Boyd Nicola Creed Susan Hamilton Clare Adams Pippa French Johnny Langridge Kate Ehrman Eileen Forsey Vanessa McNaught, Philip Gietzen, Mary Hartley Cate Teideman Susanna Stranders Angus Boyd-Heron

Garsington Opera Board of Directors: Bernard Taylor DL (Chairman), Miranda Curtis (Deputy Chairman), Dr John Drysdale, Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Graham Greene CBE, Catherine Ingrams, Rosalind Ingrams, Neil King QC, Iain Mackinnon, Lady Marks, David Suratgar.

Garsington Opera thanks the following individuals, schools, community groups and organisations: Anthony Whitworth-Jones, Buckinghamshire Music Hub, Caretakers of Stokenchurch Primary School and Wycombe High School, Chalgrove Community Primary School, Chiltern Camerata, Ewelme Primary School, Gwen Medd, Harlequin Travel, High Wycombe Music Centre, Ibstone C of E Infant School, Icknield Community College, Katie Tyssen and all at Wycombe District Council, Littlemore Early Intervention Hub, Longburrow Hall, Lord Williams’s Upper School, Oxford Social Services, Oxfordshire Music Hub, John Hampden Grammar School (technology department), Speen Festival, Stokenchurch Parish Council, Stokenchurch Primary School, The Fox Country Inn – Ibstone, The Oxford Belfry Hotel, The Royal Grammar School – High Wycombe, The Stokenchurch Centre, Turville Parish Council, West Wycombe Decorative and Fine Arts Society, Wycombe Arts Festival, Wycombe District Arts, Wycombe High School.


Road Rage - Programme 2013  

Programme for Garsington Opera's 2013 Community Opera: Road Rage