Oh Whistle & I’ll Come!
Ghost Story Opera
Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 August, 2015
RADA Studios, Chenies Street, London WC1E 7EX
R. James’ famous ghost story has long interested Louis Mander as the subject for a chamber opera because of his interest in the supernatural and mystical. After meeting Jack Cherry by chance in September, the pair began working on the project and devised it specifically to be accessible for people who are new to opera. The story is contemporary and both comical and terrifying, exploring the genre of horror that is seldom portrayed in opera today. It is the first time the librettist and director have worked in the medium of opera and, therefore, they are passionate about making it appeal to others who may not haveexplored such a diverse art form. The team are grateful to Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival for offering them the chance to premiere the opera and talents of the company and hope they will have the opportunity to continue to perform it in the future.
OH, WHISTLE AND I’LL COME! is an operatic adaption of M. R. James’ famous ghost story of the same name. Written by Jack Cherry and composed by LouisMander, the opera tells the story of Dr Parkins, a Cambridge academic who escapes to the English east coast to relax and play golf. However, when the doctor arrives at a guesthouse and is greeted by colourful and mischievous staff, it becomes clear that his stay will be far from relaxing. Whilst rambling across the coast, he discovers an object with a sinister secret that begins to haunt him and makes him paranoid about those around him, as he starts to question his strong beliefs about the supernatural. On discovering said strange artefact, the mood changes: nightmares and trickery torment Dr Parkins. He can no longer find logical explanations for the strange happenings taking place.
Music: Louis Mander
Words: Jack Cherry
Director: Naomi Jones
Designer: Anna Driftmier
Costume Designer: Vikki Medhurst
Lighting Designer: Yaron Shyldkrot
Musical Director: Louis Mander
Dr Parkins: Adam Tunnicliffe
Colonel: David Jones
Innkeeper: Thomas Colwell
Maid: Becca Marriott
Boy: Caroline Kennedy
Ghost: Carmel Morrissey
Orchestration Assistant: Simon Nathan
Flute: Ros Ridout
Harp: Anne Denholm
Viola: Caleb Sibley
Double Bass: Jack Cherry
Louis Mander (b.1984) – composer and clairvoyant – trained at the Royal College of Music and Birmingham University. He actively works as a composer of opera,for film and ballet. Future works include a full-‐length opera Beowulf commissioned by Cantata Dramatica and a large-‐scale opera The Life to Come with a libretto by Stephen Fry, due to be performed in October 2016.
Jack Cherry is a freelance double bassist working throughout the UK. Jack studied in Cambridge, where he gained a First degree in Music before moving to London to study double bassas a postgraduate at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, where he also won the Vernon Elliot double basscompetition. OH, WHISTLE AND I’LL COME! is Jack’s debut work as a librettist.
Naomi Jones is currently the Director of the Stahl Theatre in Oundle. Previously, she was Associate Director of Eastern Angles Theatre Company and Assistant Director of Out of Joint Theatre Company. Naomi has directed for many of the country’s leading drama schools including LAMDA, Mountview andthe Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Anna Driftmier is a set and costume designer based in London. Design credits include: The Legacy (Word Play),
Arrhythmia (Goldsmiths), Grim: A New Musical (Untold Theatre Company), East O’ the Sun West O’ the
Moon (workshOPERA), Transfigured Night (re-‐form productions), sculpture installation (Barbican Centre), Knuffle
Bunny: A Cautionary Musical (Cape Rep Theatre), Uncommon Women and Others (Mount Holyoke College)
and The Conference of the Birds (Theatre Paradok). More Information: annadriftmier.com.
Yaron Shyldkrot is a theatre and performance maker. Yaron is Co-‐director of Fye and Foul Theatre Company and has been involved in productions across the UK, Croatia, Germany, Israel and France. Credits include: Cathedral (BAC, CPT), Astronaut (Unheard Festival), Safe Word (HAU, The Pleasance) and The Clown (Israel’s National Festival).
Adam Tunnicliffe (tenor) studied music at Oxford and GSMD. Roles include: Werther, David Die Meistersinger, Lensky Eugene Onegin, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi, Alfredo La Traviata, Albert Albert Herring, Quint Turn of the Screw, Sandy The Lighthouse, Canio I Pagliacci and Ferrando Cosi Fan Tutte. Future engagements include Tom Rakewell The Rakes Progress and Froh Das Rheingold.
David Jones (baritone) studied at Oxford University and Trinity Laban. A prize winner in the 2015 AESS Patricia Routledge Competition, recent highlights include explorations of song cycles by Schumann, Finzi and Vaughan Williams. As Ko-‐Ko in The Mikado with Co-‐Opera, “his deadpan sense of humour and immaculate timing proved irresistible” (Opera magazine).
Tom Colwell (baritone) studied at the RNCM and has since been working throughout the UK and abroad. This year, he has sung Helmsmann Tristan und Isolde (Longborough Festival Opera), Marcello La Boheme (Opera up Close) and is performing in Carmen with both Opera up Close and Wedmore Opera.
Becca Marriott (soprano) holds an MMus with distinction from Trinity Laban, where she was the Morag Noble Scholar and Roy Pleasance Prize winner. She currently studies under Joy Mammen. In 2013, Becca made her West End debut as Tosca at the Soho Theatre. Roles include: Elvira, Don Giovanni, Nitocris, Belshazzar and Countess Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro.
Caroline Kennedy (soprano) has covered a number of roles at ENO and Scottish Opera and has sung for various companies including Mid Wales, Brampton, Holland Park and Nevill Holt, since graduating from the RSAMD Opera School. This summer, she sang Barbarina (Regent’s Opera) Valencienne (Wilton’s) and will sing Nannetta (Grimeborn).
Carmel Morrissey (dancer) trained at the Court Theatre in Acting and has worked in film and theatre. Her own work as a performer/director/producer spans from being a vocalist in punk jazz improv. outfit Little Princess Orchestra, through stand up comedy and mcing, to more current work Rifting on Shakespeare gigging in various venues as a ‘happening’ style event. Her company Ketchup Creations is a champion of encouraging woman artists. Anaïs Nin: “ I believe one writes so one can create a world in which one can live“.