Introducing our team...

Cambridge Handel Opera Company (CHOC) is extremely fortunate to have a gifted and devoted team to manage the company, as well as a wonderful team of trustees and associated supporters. Meet some of them here.

As Artistic Director of CHOC, Julian Perkins values co-creating staged productions of operas by Handel and his contemporaries that aim for a meaningful integrity between what happens in the music and on stage.

Julian Perkins has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and BBC Proms, directed the Academy of Ancient Music and conducted opera productions for organizations including the Buxton International Festival, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Kings Place, Netherlands Opera Academy, New Chamber Opera, New Kent Opera and Snape Maltings. He has performed as the solo harpsichordist in productions for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, assisted on numerous productions and worked with many leading period instrument ensembles and orchestras.

One of Julian’s longest associations is with the Southbank Sinfonia, for whom he conducts Baroque programmes at the Anghiari Festival in Italy. Their annual projects at the London Handel Festival see advanced string players learning about a wide range of Baroque music and performing it with Baroque bows and gut strings. This educational ethos infuses CHOC’s orchestra, where leading period instrumentalists from Sounds Baroque rehearse and perform alongside advanced students.

Kate came to Cambridge in 1997 after a career in arts management and fundraising in London and the South Coast.  She has since worked for various local arts organisations, including Cambridge Arts Theatre, Wysing Arts and the Stradivari Trust.  Following her interest in modern languages, she previously took a German degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and has also worked as a translator.

Kate is a member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

A graduate in French and Spanish, Heather Swain lives in Dulwich and is a keen amateur singer with choirs that perform in the principal London venues and regularly tour in Europe. Her varied educational and business roles have ranged from ownership of the  Dulwich First Steps Montessori Day Nursery, of which she was Principal, to joint ownership and directorship of Le Chardon Brasserie Ltd.

A keen supporter of CHOC, Heather believes in the importance of the transformative ability of music education at all stages in life.

CHOC Board and Trustees

Louise Soden


Professor Peter Holman MBE

Vice Chair

Michael Darvell


Dr Lawrence Zazzo


Professor David McKitterick


Dr Alan Morgan


Richard Perkins


Amy Klohr


CHOC Ambassadors

Dr Simon Bailey

Dr Alan Howard

Andrew Radley

Dr William Salaman

Dr Ruth Smith

Ian Soden


Professor Tony Watts OBE

Dr Andrew Jones

Artistic Advisor

Find out what makes CHOC unique

About Us

Discover the journey of CHOC from its beginnings to now

Our HIstory