Flat Pack

The Opera Room

Thursday 31 July & Friday 1 August, 2014

White Lab Central Saint Martins




Opera Room develops, writes and produces original opera. We are always exploring new ways to tell a story. FLAT PACK is an exercise in concision: a tight narrative in one location, using only two instruments and a single voice. In terms of production, we’re excited by the opportunity Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2014 has given us to hold the first performance in a unique environment that enables us to communicate the intentions of the piece, as well as stimulating an exciting relationship with the audience.



It’s late. Simon’s life is falling apart. Life doesn’t have instructions. Simon’s life sucks. But his new drinks cabinet has instructions! It’s logical. It needs him to make things fit. “Insert screw A into hole G on shelf E, using allen key 2”


Why can’t life be that easy?


FLAT PACK is a new tragicomic micro-­‐opera from Opera Room.


Flat Pack

Richard Knight has worked in education as a teacher, examiner and author. He studied music at St John’s College (Oxford), where he was an Organ Scholar, and then Director of Music forfourteen years. His compositions – including the oratorio, The Crown of Life – have been performed internationally.


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 and has had choral works published by the Oxford University Press.


Neil Smith is a freelance director and writer, Co-­‐Artistic Director of Opera Room and Artistic Director of Crucial Theatre. He has worked around the UK, as well as Poland and the Isle of Man. Whilst his work spans various forms of live performance, he focuses on new work, modern myths and actor training in the rehearsal process.


Rachel Carter is a recent graduate from Wimbledon College of Art. Design credits include: 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 with Digital Culture, Arts and Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, where she majored in Professional Perspectives for Creative Industries. She has worked in theatre since the age of fourteen. She has worked backstage as stage manager and photographer on both professional and amateur productions. She joined Opera Room in 2012 as Production Manager.


Ned Welch acted in, and carried out technical theatre work for plays at both Malvern College and King William’s College (Isle of Man). He is a writer and video games enthusiast. He has previously run sound and lighting on two Opera Room productions: All to Play For and The Invited.


Elspeth Wilkes has performed at St John’s Smith Square, Royal Opera House, Hackney Empire, Swan Theatre (Stratford-­‐upon-­‐Avon) and internationally, in countries including France, Italy, Greece and South Africa. She has worked with BBC Wales, Lesley Garret, Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Companyand Southbank Sinfonia. Elspeth works as Music Director/Repetiteur for Opera Room, Opera up Close, Co-­‐Opera, Riverside Opera, Opera de Baugé, Barnes Choir and Thurrock Choral Society.


Peter Brathwaite trained at the Royal College of Music International Opera School and Flanders Opera Studio (Ghent). Recent roles include: Sid La Fanciulla del West (Opera Holland Park), Marcello La Boheme, Luis Katibu di Shon (Nationale Reisopera), Billy Bone Captain Blood’s Revenge (Glyndebourne on Tour), Mimoun Zatopek (Second Movement), Jean Julie (Ghent), Malatesta Don Pasquale, Guglielmo Così fan tutte (La Rochelle), Nelson Porgy and Bess (Opéra National de Lyon), Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Nardo La Finta Giardiniera, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RCMIOS).


Aled Jones is a versatile viola player, based in London. He studied at the Royal Welsh College Of Music& Drama before continuing studies at the Royal College of Music. Aled is in demand as an orchestral and chamber musician and is a founding member of Quartet Voluté – who play regular recitals throughout the UK.


Emma Westley studies bassoon with Martin Gatt and Sarah Burnett at the Royal College of Music (RCM) and is generously supported by a Robert McFadzean Whyte Award. Previously, she attended the RCM Junior Department and was principal bassoon in the National Youth Wind Orchestra – performing at the BBC Proms in 2012.