Saturday 18th 20.00 – 20.40 & Sunday 19th August, 17.00 – 17.40

Opera at Home


This one-act opera uses a multimedia approach to take an uncompromising look at our treatment of older people, particularly those whose mental fragility makes them both vulnerable and burdensome. Linked by the ever-present image of the sea, the opera explores the choices we are forced to make; and how devotion and duty are tested by a chance of love.


Genesis: Opera at Home is a professional chamber opera company based in South East London. The possibility to stage a chamber opera production was proposed and supported by producer Michael E. Corby. The creative team include director Jose Gandia (RADA/Birbeck, MA) and opera singer and composer Alexia Mankovskaya (MMus Trinity College of Music). Opera at Home provides critical performance experience for aspiring singers in lead roles, working with professional directors and music/language coaches. Our performances have a high standard of acting and singing. Opera at Home has chosen to perform Richard’s chamber opera The Yellow Dress at the sixth Tête à Tête opera festival (



This short opera takes an uncompromising look at one of the great challenges of our society: our treatment of older people, and particularly those whose mental fragility makes them both vulnerable and burdensome.Using a multi-media approach, the story travels across time and space into the tangled relationship between a daughter and her mother, leading to a deliberately equivocal conclusion. Linked by the ever-present image of the sea, the opera explores the choices we are forced to make, and the conflict between devotion and duty.


A young woman returns reluctantly from her holiday romance in the sun, to the stifling atmosphere of her elderly mother’s home. She arrives at the dark, airless house, and tries to slot back into her claustrophobic existence. Her sense of duty keeps her there; but we find that her mother, with a declining mental capacity, has never loved her.


Mother and daughter experienced a traumatic event in the past, which has been pivotal for both of them. They both apportion blame to each other for the tragedy, and this unrest is expressed throughout the opera in the ever-present image of the sea.


The Times review

Music: Richard Lambert

Words: Hilary Spiers

Director: Jose Gandia

Video Artist: Artsiom Azarenko

Design: Alexia Mankovskaya

Movement: Nadin Doran Holder

Assistant Director: Emma Sewell

Mother: Rosalind Stern

Daughter: Janna Sutherland

Lady: Alexia Mankovskaya

Girl: Karolina Kormiltseva


Richard Lambert (composer) was born in Bath, UK, in 1951. He gained invaluable experience from working with composers Elizabeth Poston and Malcolm Williamson over many years. Richard’s catalogue includes four operas, two concertos, chamber music,music for concert band, solo keyboard, solo instrumental works, sacred and secular choral, and vocal music.


Jose Gandia (director) completed a Master Degree at Trinity College of Music, London, with professor Rivka Golani and is now studying directing at RADA with Sue Dunderdale. He created the company ‘”El Pajarito Theatre” as a platform for collaborative art projects including Grotovski and Commedia Dell Arte Techniques.


Mother Rosalind Stern trained at City Academy and was a founder member of KinkyFish Theatre Company. She played The Boatswain, Stephano and the Goddess Juno in The Tempest. Other credits include Mum in Toxic for City Academy at Sadlers Wells Lillian Baylis Studio, Simonne Everade in Marat/Sade at Southwark Playhouse, Liz Morden in Our Country’s Good and wore Light Green in KinkyFish’s production of A Dream Play (Edinburgh Fringe Festival).


Daughter Janna Sutherland studied a BMus(Hons) in Classical Singing at Trinity College of Music Her opera credits include: StarWoman in Errolyn Wallen’s Another America: Earth directed by Bill Bankes-Jones, Jenny in


The Threepenny Opera directed by Jonathan Cocker and Hansel in Hansel und Gretel (produced by Runaway Opera). Janna was awarded a DipRAM for an outstanding public performance as Raffaela in production Grand Hotel directed by Matt Ryan.


Lady Alexia Mankovskaya studied at Trinity College of Music (London).During her study at Trinity she won first prize in both English Song Competition and Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Prize, and got a First Prize Diploma at the Padua International Music Competition. Among her recent engagements are Madam Larina/ Eugene Onegin (Grange Park) and Lola/Cavalleria Rusticana (Salzburg Voice Festival).


Girl Karolina Kormiltseva made her theatre debut at age 5 in Moscow at Et-Cetera Theatre in Eugene O’Neill ‘Beyond the horizon’. Then she took a part in TV film, ‘The Runway’. Now Karolina is a student at Haberdashers Ask’s College and Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Junior Department).