Who's who at CHOC

Artistic Director: Julian Perkins

Julian Perkins

As Artistic Director of CHOC, Julian Perkins is looking forward to 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 conducted staged productions for organizations including the Buxton Festival, Dutch National Opera Academy, Grimeborn Festival, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Kings Place, New Chamber Opera and New Kent Opera. He has performed as a 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 most of the UK’s 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 will infuse CHOC’s orchestra, where leading period instrumentalists from Sounds Baroque will perform alongside advanced students.

Stage Director: Max Hoehn

Max Hoehn

Max Hoehn was the winner of the UK’s first competition for opera directors, run by Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells and a recent nominee for Best Young Director at the 2016 International Opera Awards. His productions as director include Biedermann and the Arsonists (Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells), Stephen Oliver’s The Waiter’s Revenge (Birmingham Opera Company) and Handel Furioso (a pasticcio of Handel arias and duets) (UK Tour). He wrote a new English translation of Musorgsky’s Khovanshchina for Graham Vick’s 2014 Birmingham Opera Company production and participated as librettist in Aldeburgh Music’s Jerwood Opera Writing Programme. Other engagements include work for Glyndebourne, Opernhaus Zürich, Welsh National Opera, the Mariinsky and directing National Opera Studio’s 2017 residency at Scottish Opera. He was a prizewinner at the 9th Europäischer Opernregie-Preis in Berlin. Plans include productions at Oper Frankfurt, Grand Théâtre de Genève and the launch of a new ensemble, Opera Lab Europe (OLÉ) with his production of three a cappella operas by Judith Weir, Stephen Oliver and Zad Moultaka in Lisbon.

Company Manager: Mike Jennings

Mike Jennings

Mike Jennings has a varied career as a composer and arranger. 

He largely composes for film and television; most recently he scored the ten-part drama The Five (directed by Mark Tonderai) for Sky 1 and Netflix. As an arranger he has collaborated with high-profile bands such as Massive Attack, The Kooks and with the sound artist Janek Schaefer on a number of projects including the award winning installation Extended Play which won Janek the BBC Composer of the Year (Sonic Arts) 2008.

His concert work includes a choral commission for the Royal Maundy Thursday Service from the choir of Liverpool Cathedral and the Chapel Royal and, most recently, from the Bernardi Music Group for the Shipley Arts Festival. Michael also teaches music theory and composition part-time at King’s College School.

He lives in Cambridge with his wife and daughter.

CHOC Board & Trustees

Professor Peter Holman MBE (Chair)
Professor Tony Watts OBE (Vice-Chair)
Michael Darvell
Dr Alan Morgan
Richard Perkins
Dr William Salaman
Louise Soden


Dr Alan Howard
Amy Klohr
Simon  Payne
Dr Ruth Smith
Professor Christopher Underwood

Artistic Advisor

Dr Andrew Jones