Saturday 14th August, 21.15 The Errollyn Wallen Songbook




The Errollyn Wallen Songbook returns to Tête á Tête: The Opera Festival with brand new additions and graced with the sound of strings. Songwriting and performance runs alongside my work as a composer and is its lifeblood; there is always a song on the go. I relish opening small windows onto the world of impressions and fleeting thought. I first met Bill Bankes-Jones when he directed my opera Another America: Earth at Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House in 2003. That was an unforgettable experience and we have since shared many musical and non-musical adventures. Errollyn Wallen






An array of melodic and textural delights – The Guardian


The 13 tracks attest to her genius on all fronts – The Tucson Chronicle


Expect the unexpected – The Observer


Her fingers on the pulse of contemporary music – The Independent


Bright, funky, irreducible – What’s On


Moments of rare, poignant beauty – The Times


A remarkable unleashing of fearful (un)symmetry! – Classical Music


The most exciting discovery – San Francisco Chronicle


Packs considerable emotional force – The Evening Standard


Errollyn Wallen’s music is always her own, highly original and a winning addition to the repertoire – Tempo Magazine


A leading composer – The Observer


Wallen is a brashly creative, open-minded composer striding with confident abandon from jazz, to Tippett, to spirituals, to Schoenberg, to Mediterranean mystery – MusicWeb

Featuring: Errollyn Wallen and Quartet X

Music & Words: Errollyn Wallen

Voice and Piano: Errollyn Wallen

Violin: Rustom Pomeroy

Violin: Rebekah Allan

Viola: Oliver Wilson

Cello: Christopher Allan


Errollyn Wallen MBE studied in London and Cambridge. She has performed as a keyboard player with numerous bands then ran a commercial recording studio, wrote the music and performed live as a tap-dancing hostess on a 21-episode television game show. On becoming a full-time composer she formed her own group Ensemble X to perform her compositions. Widely commissioned (including the Royal Opera House, BBC and Royal Ballet) she has performed internationally and her award-winning music is featured on numerous recordings including the Brodsky Quartet’s Moodswings and the NMC Songbook CD. Errollyn’s own CDs include Meet Me at Harold Moores, The Girl in My Alphabet and Errollyn. All three have been to outer space on Space Shuttle Atlantis mission STS -115. In 2005 she won the BBC Radio 3 Listeners/British Composer Award. Her multi-media show Jordan Town was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Festival as was her opera The Silent Twins at Almeida Theatre in 2007. Errollyn has contributed to several books including a chapter in Navigating the Unknown published by Middlesex University Press. Recent performances include the acclaimed show Wallen with her brother Byron (at last year’s Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival) All the People of the World for the Hallé Orchestra, a tour of her oratorio Carbon 12: A Choral Symphony for WNO, the film Falling for Channel 4 and ABC television, Clothesburger, a children’s opera for Pegasus Opera and recent New York premières by the American Composers Orchestra at Miller Theatre and the New Juilliard Ensemble at the Museum of Modern Art. The last Thursday of each month sees The Errollyn Wallen Song Club at The Green Carnation in Soho where the audience is invited to contribute songs. She is currently working on two operas – one for the Royal Opera House and one for Opera North, making a total of 11 operas in her output so far.


Chris Allan graduated with Honours from the Guildhall in 1996 and joined the critically acclaimed string septet, the Gogmagogs, performing with them across the world. He has broadcast live in the UK, the Czech Republic and in Brussels as solo cellist for pianist and composer Mike Westbrook, and currently works as soloist and chamber musician (CHROMA, Chamber Music Company, Le Page Ensemble). Recent recordings include a disc of the Goldberg Variations with the Le Page Ensemble.


Oliver Wilson read Classics at Cambridge and he resumed his musical studies with Bjorn Sjogren in Stockholm. Since returning to England Oliver has pursued a diverse musical life. He has performed a wide range of 18th and 19th century repertoire around Europe. Recent contemporary music projects have included performances of George Crumb’s Black Angels with CHROMA and programmes of contemporary British music with Contemporary Consort. On stage he has appeared as a member of Ensemble X with Errollyn Wallen in her multimedia spectacular Jordan Town, and in the Gogmagogs’ show Gobbledygook he has danced around the stage of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith dressed as a rabbit.

Rebekah Allan studied the violin at Trinity College of Music and The Royal Conservatory in The Hague and works with a variety of groups, including devising and playing music for Hofesh Shechter’s widely acclaimed dance pieces ‘In Your Rooms’ and ‘Politic al Mother’, guest player with the Le Page Ensemble, and touring Brazil performing both English and Brazilian music. She freelances with the Brighton Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Swan amongst others and lives in Hackney with her two young children.


Rustom Pomeroy attended Wells Cathedral School (Music Schorlarship). He graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, B/MUS and Advanced Instrumental Studies Postgraduate Course 2003. Rustom was awarded Sir John Barbirolli Foundation award to purchase a 1986 violin by William Luff. He has played with numerous orchestras including: BBC Concert Orchestra, British Philharmonic Orchestra, CHROMA, English Classical Players, National Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia.