Thursday 8th August & Friday 9th August, 2013 21:00-22:00

Size Zero Opera



Genesis: Size Zero Opera specialise in the commissioning and production of chamber opera written by emerging composers, with emerging opera creatives, and have grown to be recognised as “holding the torch for the future of new opera” (Classical Music Magazine). They have premiered over ten chamber operasand have four projects planned for 2014, including commissions from Chris Gendall, Laura J Bowler, Lorenzo Troiani, and Sam Bordoli.


About: KETTLEHEAD tells the story of Polly, a girl in colonial Africa, who tries to escape a systematic ritual of abuse and mutilation. It is a raw, passionate piece where the sublimity of the landscape offers the promise of revolution and romantic freedom, whilst violent social processes threaten to extinguish the flame of human desire and will. Polly burns her head off in a fire and becomes an instrument of rebellion and revenge against her parents. Onstage is a ring of fire in which an African tribe re-­‐enact the story of Little Kettlehead (originally written by Helen Bannerman, from which the libretto for KETTLEHEAD evolved). This opera – like Viagron (the other production Size Zero Opera will be premiering at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival this weekend) – provides a profound meditation on what it means to desire intimacy, and what it means when that intimacy is unachievable. Together, these operas make a visceral, profound and intense pairing


Recommended reading: Helen Bannerman, Little Kettlehead




Music: Darren Bloom

Words: Neil Georgeson

Artistic Director: Laura Bowler

Director: Matthew Monaghan

Designer: Fly Davis

Costume Designer: Steph Williams

Lighting Designer: Anthony Arblaster

Stage Manager: Brain Perkins

Deputy Stage Manager: Gwennan Taylor

Music Director: Jonathan Mann

Assistant Music Director: Robert Guy


Polly: Laura Bowler

Cook: Andrew McIntosh

Other Person: Ben Williamson

Father: Christopher Jacklin

Mother: Kathleen Linton-­‐Ford

Governor: Christopher Diffey-­‐Wilson

Ensemble Leader/Clarinet: Max Welford

Flute: Helena Gourd, Horn: Nicholas Ireson

Percussion: Feargus Brennan

Piano: Timothy End

Violin: Patrick Dawkins

Cello: Valerie Welbanks,

Double Bass: Yu Chen Chen


Darren Bloom’s music has received performances across Europe and the USA. He teaches composition at the Junior Trinity College of Music and Wellington College, is Composer-­‐in-­‐Residence at Forest School, a founding member of the Ossian Ensemble and an LSO Soundhub composer. He holds an MMus and DipRAM from RAM.


Neil Georgeson specialises in scripts for music-­‐dramatic performance, including spoken drama and opera. He is Artistic Director and pianist of the Ossian-­‐Ensemble (a contemporary music group that creates integrated concert-­‐events). He has performed at venues like the QEH, Barbican and Tate Modern. He studied piano at RAM.


Laura Bowler is a composer, mezzo-­‐soprano and opera director. She is Artistic Director of Size Zero Opera and Lands End Ensemble, has worked within the operatic field in many guises for The Opera Group, Music Theatre Wales, ROH, Den Jyske Opera and Glyndebourne, and is Manchester Camerata Composer-­‐in-­‐Residence 2013-­‐14.


Matthew Monaghan is Director in Residence at Size Zero Opera. Directing credits include: The Two Noble Kinsmen, Penetrator, Crave, Vincent River and Measure for Measure. Staff and assistant directing credits include: La Bohème, The Barber of Seville, The Mikado, and Don Giovanni (ENO). Matthew trained at RADA.


Fly Davis trained at RADA and Motley and is SZO’s resident designer. Most recently she has been Associate Designer at the Royal Court. Fly has designed for the Bush, Arcola and Finborough theatres, the Riverside Studios, Old Vic Tunnels, Hull Truck, Northern Stage and York Theatre Royal.


Steph Williams. Trained on Motley’s Theatre Design Course. Hard Feelings (The Finborough), When you cure me (Hull Truck), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (LAMDA), Bodies Unfinished (Brockley Jack Studio), Word Play (Arcola Theatre). Sparked Exhibition (London Cultural Olympiad). BBC Sitcom Showcase 2011/12.


Anthony Arblaster graduated from the postgraduate Lighting Design course at RADA (2012). Recent lighting designs include: Saved (The Drama Centre) and Dido and Aeneas (Opera in Space). Anthony recently worked as Associate Lighting Designer for Ben Ormerod on Der Ring Des Nibelungen at Longborough Festival Opera.


Gwen Taylor has a first-­‐class Music degree from the University of Birmingham, and studied Stage Management at RWCMD. She has worked as DSM for Clod Ensemble, as ASM for Music Theatre Wales, OperaUpClose and Grange Park Opera, and has interned with the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and Barber Opera.


Jonathan Mann is Music Director of the Cardiff Sinfonietta, Principal Conductor of the Hertford Symphony Orchestra and has a close relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has recorded for BBC Radio 3. Jonathan has worked regularly with Size Zero Opera since 2011.


Robert Guy is Artistic Director of NEW Sinfonia and Principal Conductor to the Orchestra of Square Chapel. He will participate in this year’s ‘International Masterclasses Berlin’, alongside Michail Jurowski and the Berlin Sin-­‐ fonietta. Past highlights include working with Kirill Karabits and winning the Orion Young Conductor’s Award.


Andrew McIntosh studied at TCM and RAM (Peter Moores Foundation Scholar). Credits include: Soloist Porgy and Bess (Orchestrè National de Lyon, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Dancairo Carmen (Kentish Opera), Silvano Un Ballo in Maschera (Surrey Opera), and Sharpless Madam Butterfly (OperaUpClose).


A former Choral Scholar at King’s College (Cambridge), Ben Williamson trained on the Opera Course at the RCM. Performances include: Mago Christiano (cover) Rinaldo (Glyndebourne), Nireno (cover) Giulio Cesare (Opera North), Bertarido Rodelinda (London Handel Festival), and The Fairy Queen (Wigmore Hall).


Christopher Jacklin trained on ENO’s OperaWorks and at the RCM. Credits include: Curio (cover) Julius Caesar (ENO), Oreste Iphigénie en Tauride (Somerset House), Marcello La Bohème (Silent Opera), Figaro Barber of Seville and Keith Burnstein’s Manifest Destiny (OperaUpClose), and Grosvenor Patience (RCM, Musée D’Orsay).


Kathleen Linton-­‐Ford attended Oxford University and Trinity College of Music. She has sung at both Tête à Tête and Grimeborn before. 2012/13 highlights include: Emilia Otello, Meg Page Falstaff and Coridon Acis & Galatea. Kathleen is a regular performer with Music in Hospitals and helps run the Project:Opera charty.


Christopher Diffey trained at RAM. Awards include the English Touring Opera Young Artist bursary. Operatic roles include: Condulmiero Maometto Secondo (Garsington), Fenton Falstaff (Longborough Festival), Triplet 1 Clemency and Mercury Orpheus in the Underworld (Scottish Opera).


Max Welford graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2012. He is a Park Lane Group Young Artist, and has performed widely as a concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral player, most recently in New York, Berlin, Singapore and at the BBC Proms.