Who's who at CHOC

Artistic Director: Julian Perkins

Julian Perkins

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 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.

Rodelinda: Alice Privett

Alice Privett

Alice Privett grew up in Hastings, and has performed with professional opera companies from a young age. After attending the Guildhall School of Music for her undergraduate studies, she completed the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music. She now performs in the UK and abroad, most recently as a soloist with Garsington Opera, Opera Holland Park, and Longborough Festival. Her previous Handel roles include Ginevra in Ariodante and Romilda in Xerxes. She was a finalist in the 2015 London Handel Competition. In her free time she loves outdoor swimming, walking, and reading.

Garibaldo: Nicholas Morris

Nicholas Morris

Nicholas Morris trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). Fast making a name as a performer of contemporary music, he has recently appeared in debuts from Portugal to Croatia. Before training as an opera singer, Nicholas studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, where – when not singing or playing rugby – he read history and philosophy of science. During his time at Cambridge he was a member of King’s College Choir. He began his singing career as a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral.

Eduige: Ida Ränzlöv

Ida Ränzlöv

Swedish mezzo-soprano Ida Ränzlöv is currently finishing her training at the International Opera School at the Royal College of Music, where she studies with Dinah Harris as a Victoria Robey Scholar supported by an Independent Opera Award. Recent roles include The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen (RCMIOS), The Daughter in The Vanishing Bridegroom (British Youth Opera), Faramondo in Faramondo (London Handel Festival) and Arminda in La Finta Giardiniera (RCMIOS). Other roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Flora in La 14  Traviata, Kate Julien in Owen Wingrave and Romeo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi. Upcoming performances include Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Glyndebourne Festival 2018. Ida was also the winner of the Lies Askonas Competition 2017 and is a Jerwood Young Artist 2018.

Unulfo: Tom Scott-Cowell

Tom Scott-Cowell

Tom Scott-Cowell graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music and is continuing at the RCM on the Masters course, supported by a Pidem Foundation Scholarship and the RCM. He was generously supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmons Award, a Help Musicians UK Maidment Award in 2016, a Help Musicians Ian Fleming Award in 2017, and the Josephine Baker Trust. He is currently under the tutelage of Dinah Harris. Past and future performances include Polinesso in Ariodante (London Handel Festival), Gernando in Faramondo (London Handel Festival), Nireno in Giulio Cesare (English Touring Opera), Acis in Acis and Galatea (Aldeburgh), Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RCMIOS) as well as the core oratorio repertoire.

Bertarido: William Towers

William Towers

William Towers read English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and was a postgraduate scholar at the Royal Academy of Music where he graduated with Distinction. His opera engagements have included solo roles at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Hanover Staatsoper, Aldeburgh Festival, La Monnaie Brussels, Luxembourg, Toronto, Prague State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Bregenz Festival, Teatro Real Madrid, Göttingen Festival, Drottningholm in Sweden, Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Gothenburg Opera, Casa da Musica Porto, Monte-Carlo, Glyndebourne, Opera Theatre Company, and Music Theatre Wales; he also sang Unulfo (in Handel’s Rodelinda) at the Bolshoi in Moscow.

Grimoaldo: William Wallace

William Wallace

William Wallace won the 2016 Handel Singing Competition at the London Handel Festival, for whom he has also sung the tenor solos in Messiah and Joseph and his Brethren (Simeon/Judah). In 2018 he returns to the London Handel Festival in his Wigmore Hall début in Esther, and makes another début at Göttingen in Alexander Balus (Jonathan). He will also perform in The Barber of Seville (Count Almaviva) for Swansea City Opera’s 2018 Tour. In Glyndebourne’s 2017 productions he covered Ferrando in Così fan Tutte and Arbante in Hipermestra. Other opera roles include The Magic Flute (Tamino), Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio), The Cunning Little Vixen (The Schoolmaster), The Turn of the Screw (Prologue/Peter Quint), La Traviata (Gastone), Albert Herring (The Mayor), Roméo et Juliette (Tybalt) and the title role in Arne’s Alfred.

Set & Costume Design and Scenic Artist: Simon Bejer

Simon Bejer

Simon Bejer’s 2017 work in opera has included Krešimir Dolenčić’s production of The Love for Three Oranges for the Croatian National Opera and Charles Court Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.  He also collaborated on the design of the recent major exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. 

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
Louise Soden

Ambassadors:

Dr Alan Howard
Amy Klohr
Dr William Salaman
Dr Ruth Smith

Artistic Advisor:

Dr Andrew Jones