Next year will mark Clonter’s 50th Anniversary, and we want to make sure it is the best year yet, but in order to make it to 50 we need your help. Any funding raised will help us be able to celebrate Clonter’s 50th Anniversary and continue to provide a nurturing and supportive place for emerging talent to flourish and entertain our audiences for generations to come.
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The Magic Flute
22 – 29 July

We are delighted to now be able to announce the cast for this year’s production of The Magic Flute.

One of the most popular operas of all time, The Magic Flute delights audiences everywhere. Four young people journey through a magical kingdom questioning the old world and forging a new one. A beguiling blend of romance, comedy and philosophy, Mozart’s virtuoso score shows him at his brilliant, inventive best in this dazzling, fast-paced fantasy.

Sung in English with Orchestra
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The Company

Louisa Stirland – Queen of the Night

Lancashire-born Soprano Louisa Stirland is a current scholar of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studies with Yvonne Kenny. During her time at Guildhall Louisa has performed as Aurore in Massenet’s Le portrait de Manon, Columbine in Ethel Smythe’s Fête Galante, Lucia in Nino Rota’s I due timidi, Kitty Hart & Sister Catherine in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Clorinda in Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. She has also performed as Lisette La Rondine, Sophie Werther, Sophie Der Rosenkavalier, Aspasia Mitridate, Armida Rinaldo, Despina Così fan tutte, Ilia Idomeneo and Puck A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Guildhall Opera Scenes. Louisa also recently created the role of Lucia in Lucid; a new opera performed for Guildhall’s Opera Makers. Louisa’s other operatic experience includes covering the role of Lucia in The Alexander Gibson Opera School’s production of The Rape of Lucretia during her masters at RCS. Louisa also covered a number of roles in the London premier of David Blake and Keith Warner’s Scoring a Century with British Youth Opera. In addition, Louisa has performed as Ilia Idomeneo in Opera Scenes during her undergraduate at RAM, and as Adina L’elisir d’amore, Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Servilia Clemenza di Tito and Carolina Il matrimonio segreto in Opera scenes at RCS. This summer Louisa will perform in Guildhall’s upcoming summer opera as The Bird in Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert. Louisa is generously supported by the Guildhall School, the Dow-Clewer foundation and the Gita de la Fuente prize.

Click here for full biog
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Naomi Rogers – 1st Lady/Papagena

Naomi is a soprano from Suffolk with a Master of Music in Performance degree and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Royal Northern College of Music. She has worked with many of the UKs top opera platforms, such as Opera Holland Park, Clonter Opera, BBC1, Opera North, Buxton Opera, and Northern Opera Group. Last summer was one of Naomi’s most rewarding seasons, making her debut with Opera Holland Park in Adamo’s UK premier of Little Women, whilst also singing Papagena and Gretel in Clonter Opera’s production of Papageno’s Quest at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Naomi has regularly worked with Clonter, projects that have included another outreach production as Queen Titania in the newly commissioned Pucks Adventure, as well as performing as the soprano soloist in 2022 Opera Gala, directed by Lysanne van Overbeek and Clive Timms. This coming season Naomi will be performing one of her ‘bucket list’ roles as Papagena and First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Clonter, which she is extremely excited about. This will be followed on by a collaboration with Opera Holland Park and the English National Ballet in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, performed at Sadlers Wells in September. Finally, Naomi looks forward to premiering the newly commissioned contemporary opera by Gary Lloyd, playing the lead role, and taking it on tour around venues in the North of the UK.

Click here for full biog
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Laura Fleur – 2nd Lady

Laura Fleur is a British mezzo-soprano and National Opera Studio Young Artist, studying with Susan Waters. She has performed operatic roles including Speranza in Orfeo at Garsington Opera, Ernestina in Rossini’s L’Occasione fa il laddro with British Youth Opera, and Ruggiero in Alcina at Grimeborn Festival. Laura has also made her Barbican Hall debut singing Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, and has performed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Guildhall Chamber Orchestra and Bach cantatas with the London Handel Orchestra. She completed her studies on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and holds a first-class honors undergraduate degree and a Master of Performance degree with distinction from the Royal College of Music.

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Rachael Liddell – 3rd Lady

Scottish Mezzo Soprano, Rachael Liddell, is an alumna of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Edinburgh Napier University and Central Washington University. An awardee of various scholarships throughout her studies, Rachael was generously supported by The Cross Trust, The Split Infinitive and The Santander Universities Mobility Scholarships. This season, Rachael’s performances include soloist for Origin Scotland’s Easter concert at the Usher Hall, premiering the role of Bet in Sam Peña’s musical One Shoe of Each Colour and making her principal role debut as Third Lady in Clonter’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Highlights of Rachael’s 2022/23 Season, include performing alto solo in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival production of Handel’s Messiah conducted by Stuart Hope, performing as a part of Philharmonia Voices in the Edinburgh International Festival production of Beethoven’s Fidelio conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles, and being a season chorus member for the Glyndebourne Festival premier of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers both at the inaugural Glyndebourne Festival and again for broadcast at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Rachael has participated in masterclasses with concert pianist and broadcaster, Ian Burnside, Operatic Tenor, Alan Oke, and concert pianist Michael McMahon. On the International Concert Platform, Rachael has performed extensively in both choral and solo repertoire. Also experienced in Theater, Rachael has performed notable roles with Dundee Repertory Theatre including productions of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution and Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.
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Jordan Harding – Papageno

Jordan Harding studied at the University of Manchester (BMus) and the Royal Northern College of Music, where he attained an MMus Masters degree in voice under the tutelage of the Bass-Baritone and Conductor Matthew Best. Jordan has become a familiar face at Clonter, with recent performances including the 2022 Opera Gala, and the role of Mr Gedge in Clonter’s production of Britten’s Albert Herring. As a Cheshire native, Clonter has played a key role in Jordan’s operatic journey. As a child, he heard operatic singing for the first time at one of Clonter’s outreach workshops. This year, Jordan has also featured as a guest soloist with the Symphonia Verbum Orchestra (SVO), Stoke on Trent’s only professional symphony orchestra, for their Summer Spectacular concert. In September, Jordan will move to Germany to join the ensemble of the Nationaltheater Mannheim as a member of their Opera Studio for the 2023/24 season. Previous operatic highlights include the roles of Maggiordomo in Puccini’s La Rondine (If Opera); Herald in Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress (RNCM), and Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Jordan also sang the role of Townsperson in the children’s opera The Orphans of Koombu (Buxton Festival) and has performed with other leading companies in the UK including Opera Holland Park and Opera Rara. In concert, Jordan has shown his artistic versatility in performances of works including Karl Orff’s Carmina burana, Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem and Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. In the field of song he has embraced text-forward interpretations of English song and Lieder, as well as the music of the Great American Songbook. Away from classical performance, Jordan also works as a jazz vocalist and as a writer and songwriter, with some of his recent collaborative work published on the Flexitracks label.

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Hannah O’Brien – Pamina

Irish soprano Hannah O’Brien is currently studying with Elizabeth Ritchie at the RNCM where she will perform the role of Mary Crawford (Mansfield Park/Dove) this Spring. She previously studied at The Royal Irish Academy of Music with Sylvia O’Regan and Dr. Dearbhla Collins. Hannah is a Wexford Festival Opera Factory Artist for the 2022/2023 seasons and will return to the festival this year to perform the roles of Elvira (L’italiana in Algeri/Rossini), Nella (Gianni Schicchi/Puccini), and Tatiana (L’Aube Rouge/Camille Erlanger) and in May will give a recital for the Italian Institute of Culture, Dublin in conjunction with WFO. Hannah’s previous roles include Griselda (Cinderella/Alma Deutscher) at Wexford Festival Opera, and Polly in a film adaptation of Kevin O’Connell’s Dreamcatcher, Il Destino/Linfea (La Calisto/Cavalli) and Nance Farrell (Banished/Stephen McNeff) with RIAM Opera. In competition success, Hannah was awarded the Song Prize at Northern Ireland Opera’s Glenarm Festival of Voice 2022, and placed 2nd in the Dramatic Cup and Lieder Prize at the ESB Feis Ceoil. Hannah was also selected to perform in Drogheda Classical Music’s inaugural Celebration of the Voice featuring world renowned mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught.
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Jack Roberts – Tamino

Jack trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutorage of David Pollard, winning the Joyce Budd Second Prize of the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for young singers in his second year. In the past year, Jack mades his debuts with Opera Holland Park, singing Lensky in their production of Eugene Onegin, for which he was described by Opera Magazine as “the epitome of an emerging talent”. He subsequently debuted with Clonter as Mr Upfold in their production of Albert Herring and returned to Charles Court Opera’s touring production of The Mikado. In January, he sang Almaviva in Ulster Touring Opera’s Barber of Seville. Other roles include Rodolphe in Gounod’s La Nonne Sanglante (for which he is a finalist in the Off West End Award for best opera performance) for Gothic Opera, Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) for Barefoot Opera, Satyavan (Savitri) for Hampstead Garden Opera, Marco (The Gondoliers) for the National Gilbert and Sullivan Tour, Lensky (Eugene Onegin) and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for Opera Loki, Fe-ni-han (Ba-ta-clan) for West Green House Opera. Jack has also worked for Royal Opera, Garsington Opera, Grange Park Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, and Longborough Festival Opera, and is delighted to be back at Clonter to make a debut in such an iconic role.

Click here for full biog
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Adam Jarman – Speaker

Originally from Kent, Adam Jarman is currently studying for an MMus at the Royal Northern College of Music and is very thankful to Ann Gerrard Bursaries for making this possible. Prior to this Adam completed a BMus at Royal Holloway, University of London (2015-2018) where he sang in the college Chapel Choir. Upon graduation he was awarded the Dame Felicity Lott bursary for promise in performance. Since then he has worked as a Lay Clerk at Rochester Cathedral and Manchester Cathedral, as well as being a Voces8 scholar and participating in the St Martin’s Voices fellowship programme. During his time at the RNCM so far, he has had the privilege of performing the roles of Der Lakai in Ariadne auf Naxos, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus. In the summer of 2022 Adam sang in the chorus at the Buxton International Festival and participated in British Youth Opera’s production of Sir John in Love. He has also recorded the bass solo in Joanna Marsh’s cantata The Pearl of Freedom with the London Mozart Players for Signum Classics.
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Henry Ngan – Monostatos

Tenor Henry Ngan graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Royal Northern College of Music, then furthered his study with Dennis O’Neill CBE at Wales International Academy of Voice under Full Scholarship.

Performed across the UK, Europe and Hong Kong.
Opera roles included Don Jose & Remendado Carmen, Ernesto Don Pasquale, Gastone La traviata, Ferrando Così fan tutte, Tamino & Monostatos Die Zauberflöte, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi, Goro & Yamadori Madama Butterfly, Spoletta Tosca, Parpignol La bohème, Arturo Lucia di Lammermoor, Ruiz Il trovatore, Camille & Raoul The Merry Widow, Body Guard Dr. Sun Yat Sen (world premier), Master Siu Legend of Zhang Baozai. As well as the soloist for Mozart’s Requiem and Missa Brevis.
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Fionn Ó hAlmhain – Sarastro

Fionn Ó hAlmhain is a German-born bass who grew up in Ireland and is now based in London. He completed a BMus at the TU Dublin Conservatoire and studied singing with Dr. Robert Alderson. He has performed across Ireland and the UK, including work with Irish National Opera, Opera Collective Ireland, the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, the Salford Choral Society and Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra. Fionn is now undertaking an MA at the Royal Academy of Music under Professor Mark Wildmann and is a recipient of the Elton John Scholarship. Since moving to London he has performed both as an ensemble member and student soloist with the Philharmonia Chorus and has appeared as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Market Drayton Choral Society. His upcoming performances include Sarastro for Clonter, Verdi’s Macbeth with BVOF and Buxtehude’s Membra Nostri Jesu with Epsom Chamber Choir. He is an alumnus of the Glyndebourne Academy where he was nominated for the Gus Christie Award.
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Michael McCaffery – Director

Michael McCaffery has directed in opera houses and theatres across the world for more than thirty years. His productions have been seen in major theatres in this country and abroad, including Glyndebourne, Bayreuth, Opera Comique, Paris, Volksoper, Vienna, Garsington, Wexford Festival, the National Theatre Tokyo, the Halle Handel Festival, in North and South America and the Middle East.  He also writes and has produced a series of acclaimed features and documentaries for RTE Radio and BBC Radio 4 where his adaptation of the Matchmaker was nominated for a Sony Comedy Award. His association with Clonter also goes back many years, which includes his production of Faust in 2014.
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Philip Sunderland – Music Director & Conductor

Philip was born in Norwich and educated at the Cathedral School. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, Philip began his professional like as a repetiteur, working for all the major opera companies in the UK. This led to many conducting opportunities, first with English Touring Opera, for whom he conducted Marriage of Figaro, Cenerentola, Pearl Fishers, Daughter of the Regiment and Così fan tutte. In 1999, having worked as an assistant conductor at Opera North, Philip was appointed Chorus Master, a role he performed for five years. Whilst working for Opera North he conducted La traviata and the company’s acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd, as well as numerous concerts including the Brahms’ Requiem in York Minster. Philip has continued to conduct for ETO, winning an Olivier Award for Paul Bunyan in 2015 and returned the following year with Tales of Hoffman. He was music director to Swansea City Opera and W11 Opera for Young People and Chorus Master at the Bregenzer Festspiele. In 2014 he was commissioned by the Saffron Hall to write an opera for over 200 schoolchildren, professional singers and orchestra. The Glass Knight was first performed in the Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden in March 2015. Advent Calendar, a setting of biblical texts and a poem by Ronan Williams, was premiered in St Mary’s church, Saffron Walden in 2018. Philip is delighted to return to Clonter, having conducted Rigoletto in 2009, a particularly exciting time as his son was born prematurely during the final stage and orchestra rehearsals! Philip is currently Head of Preparatory and Vocal Faculty Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, for whom he conducted Cunning Little Vixen in 2019.
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Benjamin Schilperoort – Assistant Director

Benjamin Schilperoort is a stage director and performer based in France. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London and an artist-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, Benjamin’s directing work includes Così fan tutte, La Voix Humaine/The Telephone, and a one-act musical about Lotte Lenya entitled Lenya-Lenya (Opera on the Move). He has worked with many of the most renowned opera directors in Europe and the UK, including Christof Loy and Simon McBurney. Most recently, he assisted Alexandra Lacroix for Carmen Case, a contemporary reworking of Bizet’s opera by Lacroix and the composer Diana Soh. As a singer, Benjamin’s recent operatic roles include the bass roles in Purcell’s King Arthur, Golaud Pelléas et Mélisande, Colline La bohème, Fiorello Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Masetto and Il Commendatore Don Giovanni and Seneca L’Incoronazione di Poppea. In the forthcoming season, he will sing the roles of Walther Fürst and Melchtal Guillaume Tell with Nouvel Opéra Fribourg and the bass roles in The Fairy Queen with Les Arts Florissants under William Christie. Benjamin made his Clonter debut in 2021 with the role of Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, and he is delighted to return this year.
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Jessica Staton – Designer

Jessica is a set and costume designer, graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2016 with a First Class (Hons) degree in Design for Performance. Her design credits include: Tryst (as designer, nominated for an Off West End Set Design Award 2020, with the production winning the Standing Ovation Award for Outstanding Theatricality 2020 from the London Pub Theatre Awards), From Here (Chiswick Playhouse); Così fan tutte (Regents Opera); Fritz and Matlock (The Pleasance Downstairs, London; The Pleasance Attic, Edinburgh); As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Extra Yarn (nominated for The Stage Debut Design Award), King Lear, The Merchant Of Venice (The Orange Tree Theatre); The Kaspar Hauser Experiment (touring); A Woodland Opera, Puck’s Adventure (Clonter Opera Theatre); The Exonerated (Hope Mill Theatre); Little Echoes (The Hope Theatre); A Pupil (Park Theatre: P90); Neverland (Elan Frantoio, Fucecchio). Alongside her design work, Jessica is a puppet designer and maker, prop maker, model maker and scenic artist. She also leads many of the design workshops for local schools at Clonter.
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Pablo Fernandez Baz – Lighting Designer

Pablo’s recent lighting design credits include Oliver Award-nominated show Warheads, directed by Toby Clarke at the Park Theatre. Contemporary Circus production Staged, Winner Total Theatre Awards for Circus 2019. United Queendom, site-specific, immersive production at the Kensington Palace, produced by Les Enfants Terribles. Nearly Human by Perhaps Contraption, Offie-nominated (IDEA 2020). Valhalla, site-specific directed by Rich Rusk, nominated OffFest short run 2019. Other companies Pablo has collaborated include Talawa Theatre, The Sleeping Trees, Little Soldier Production, Nofit Circus State. Recent credits as LD assistant: El Medico, El Musical, El tiempo entre costuras ( Spain Tour)
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Alice Winter – Production & Assistant Stage Manager

Mel Purves – Stage Manager

Elizabeth Barry – Deputy Stage Manager

Cieranne Kennedy-Bell – Costume Supervisor
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Performances

Thursday, 20 July (Public Dress Rehearsal)

Never been to an opera before? Why not come to the public dress rehearsal of The Magic Flute, which includes a pre-performance talk, given by the director.

Tickets £20, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Doors Open 6pm
Director’s Talk 6.30pm
Performance Starts 7pm
Interval 30 minutes. The audience is welcome to bring a pre-performance picnic
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Saturday, 22 July (Opening Night – Inc. Pre-Performance Talk & Filmed)

Tickets £47, £60, £66, £71, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 6pm
Director’s Talk 6.30pm
Performance Starts 7pm
Interval 70 minutes
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Sunday, 23 July (Matinee)

Tickets £24, £35, £40, £45, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 2pm
Performance Starts 3pm
Interval 30 minutes
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Tuesday, 25 July

Tickets £34, £49, £55, £60, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 6.30pm
Performance Starts 7.30pm
Interval 30 minutes. The audience is welcome to bring a pre-performance picnic
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Thursday, 27 July

Tickets £47, £60, £66, £71, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 6pm
Performance Starts 7pm
Interval 70 minutes
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Saturday, 29 July

Tickets £55, £70, £77, £82. FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 6pm
Performance Starts 7pm
Interval 70 minutes
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Drink Arrangements – All drink consumed inside the premises must be purchased from the bar. These may be ordered in advance.
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N.B. Table booking facilities close a week before the performance date. Pre-order drinks facilities close at 4pm the day before a performance.
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Partnered with Tickets for Good – Click here for more info
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