Opera Room

Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 July, 2015

New Diorama Theatre, 15-16 Triton Street, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3BF



Opera Room writes and produces new work forged from classic traditions for a modern audience. Richard Knight’s music is steeped in the classics but imbued with his own style and passions. Norman Welch writes dynamic stories and creates characters that straddle the line between archetype and day-­‐to-­‐day reality. The direction of Neil Smith comes from theatrical traditions that explore the aliveness of the event and the dynamic connection between performer and audience.



When a young woman is hit by a car, she is thrown into the air.EBB follows her experience during these final seconds, as shock and trauma release memories of a video message from her father – recorded when she was little – explaining his own upcoming death from cancer, and of her uncle singing a requiem mass at her father’s funeral. The piece is a final journey towards untimely death and a beatific realisation of the nature of existence, captured in but a few seconds, experienced in this one-­‐act operatic study.



Music: Richard Knight

Words: Norman Welch

Director: Neil Smith

Designer: Rachel Carter

Producer: Rebecca Abbott

Production Manager: Charlotte Dobson

Musical Director: Elspeth Wilkes

The Dying Woman: Katie Slater

Priest: Julian Charles Debreuil

Physicist: Mark Fleischmann

Violin I: James Widden

Violin II: Nicola Bates

Viola: Aled Jones

Cello: Alison Holford

Double bass: Gemma Murray

Clarinet: Helen Pierce

Flute: Helen Wilson

Horn: Kate Hainsworth

Piano: Elspeth Wilkes

Percussion I: Tim Evans

Percussion II: James Crook


Richard Knight’s many works include oratorio, orchestral and chamber music. His music has been performed in cities from New York to L’viv. He has composed two full-­‐scale operas, two one-­‐act operas and a song-­‐cycle for Opera Room. His tango cantata was recently premiered by the Malvern Festival Chorus and Tango Siempre.


Norman Welch studied Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri. He worked as an entertainment journalist in North Carolina, writing about music and theatre, before moving to the United Kingdom. He is also a lyricist for choral pieces whose work has been published by the Oxford University Press.


Neil Smith is a playwright and Artistic Director of both Opera Room and Crucial Theatre. He has worked in the UK, Poland and the Isle of Man. While his work spans various forms of live performance, he mostly focuses on new work, modern myths and actor training in the rehearsal process.


Elspeth Wilkes studied at King’s College, London, Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. She has performed in places from the Royal Opera House to St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, and has worked with organisations from the Royal Ballet and the RSC to Opera Up Close and Opera de Baugé.


Rebecca Abbott is a creative producer and director of theatre and events. She studied Performance Arts at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Her previous projects have included work for the Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, London Fashion Week, Channel 4 and Tate Modern.


Rachel Carter is a recent graduate from Wimbledon College of Art. Other work includes: Pushers (Etcetera Theatre), A Mother’s Absence (Corbett Theatre), Gentlemen Please (White Bear Theatre), This Solemn Mockery (CLF Cafe) and Curiouser and Curiouser (Installation Design for Polka Theatre).


Charlotte Dobson read Film, Radio and Television Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has worked in theatre since the age of 14, as an actress and stage manager or photographer on both professional and amateur productions.


Julian Debreuil studied at the Georg Solti Academia and has received awards from the Wingate Foundation, English Speaking Union, Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Royal Society of Musicians. He has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Welsh National Opera and Opera Municipal de Marseille.


Katie Slater gained a Masters with Distinction and the Contemporary Music Prize from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Operatic roles include: Dorabella, Hansel, Olga, Mrs Herring, Mad Margaret (Ruddigore) and Kate Pinkerton. Passionate about contemporary music, Katie has recently premiered roles at Southwark Cathedral, the Arcola Theatre, Riverside Studios and Aldeburgh Festival.


Mark Fleischmann trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and, since then, has appeared in The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre), The Collector (Arcola), Wolfblood (CBBC/Disney), Being Human (BBC), Hollyoaks (Channel4), Inception (Warner Brothers), Stan Lee’s Lucky Man (Sky 1), The Five (Sky 1) and Brothers in Blood (Contact Theatre Manchester).