RNCM Opera Double Bill: Creative Team
Ariadne auf Naxos (Prologue) + The Medium
Peter Robinson was born in the North-East of England and studied music at Oxford‚ where he was Organ Scholar of St. John’s College. He began his operatic career as Chorus Master at Glyndebourne‚ followed by several years as Resident Conductor and Head of Music Staff for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House. He then joined ENO as Assistant Music Director‚ where his repertoire includes The Mastersingers of Nuremburg‚ Otello‚ Rigoletto‚ Carmen‚ Orfeo‚ Hansel & Gretel‚ The Turn of the Screw‚ and all the major Mozart operas.
Recent and future plans include The Mikado at ENO‚ Manon Lescaut‚ Zazà‚ Fidelio‚ La Wally‚ Falstaff‚ Wolf-Ferrari’s I gioielli della Madonna and L’amore dei tre re with Opera Holland Park‚ L’occasione fa il ladro, The Rape of Lucretia and The Bartered Bride with British Youth Opera‚ a Triple Bill of La Navarraise‚ Le Portrait de Manon and Comedy on the Bridge at the Guildhall School as well as Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Academy of Music.
He is invited back to Australia regularly as guest conductor for all the major opera companies and symphony orchestras and recent performances have included Aida‚ Lucia di Lammermoor‚ La Fanciulla del West‚ Così fan tutte and Romeo & Juliette. He has also appeared in Canada‚ Mexico‚ Hong Kong and Italy and conducted for Scottish Opera‚ Kent Opera and Opera Factory London. For television he has conducted Jonathan Miller’s productions of The Mikado and Così fan tutte and‚ for Channel 4‚ The Marriage of Figaro.
In the concert hall‚ he has conducted most of the major British orchestras‚ including the LSO‚ LPO‚ RPO‚ Hallé and BBC Philharmonic‚ and appears regularly in concerts and broadcasts with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
During a long collaboration with Raymond Gubbay and David Freeman‚ Peter Robinson conducted Madam Butterfly‚ Tosca‚ Aida and Carmen at the Royal Albert Hall. In recent seasons he has appeared in concert with the Queensland‚ Royal Philharmonic‚ BBC Concert and Northern Sinfonia Orchestras. Most recent engagements include The Marriage of Figaro for West Australian Opera‚ Madam Butterfly‚ Romeo and Juliet‚ Andrea Chenier‚ La bohème ‚ Turandot and La Traviata with Opera Queensland‚ Die Zauberflöte with Opera Zuid in Holland‚ Falstaff at Scottish Opera‚ La Gioconda‚ Un ballo in maschera‚ L’amore dei tre re‚ Rigoletto‚ Fidelio‚ Luisa Miller and Andrea Chénier with Opera Holland Park‚ and Madam Butterfly and Carmen Royal Albert Hall. He teaches and coaches singers regularly at the National Opera Studio‚ the Guildhall School of Music and Drama‚ The Royal Academy and Royal College of Music and at the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera. Peter has had a long association with British Youth Opera‚ for whom he was Artistic Director for 8 years. In this time he has conducted many operas for the company‚ including The Magic Flute‚ Eugene Onegin‚ Roméo et Juliette‚ The Rape of Lucretia‚ La rondine‚ Albert Herring‚ The Rake’s Progress‚ La bohème‚ The Bartered Bride and Paul Bunyon. In 2012 he conducted a concert at Cadogan Hall‚ featuring the English Chamber Orchestra and BYO Alumni‚ in a concert celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary.
Stuart Barker grew up in Ongar. He has a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics from Royal Holloway, University of London and is currently studying for an MA in Art History with the Open University. For the RNCM he has directed La Vie Parisienne and several sets of opera scenes. Stuart is Director of Training and Productions for British Youth Opera, for which he has directed La Cenerentola, The Enchanted Island, The Vanishing Bridegroom, English Eccentrics, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Little Green Swallow, A Night at the Chinese Opera, Euridice and L’elisir d’amore, and regularly runs workshops. He has directed Don Giovanni (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy), Black Sand (Tête à Tête and Grimeborn), Pavane for an Invisible Princess, Night Dance and The Sandman (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), La voix humaine (Kypria International Festival, Cyprus), Suor Angelica and L’enfant et les sortilèges (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama).
Stuart is a founder member of Third Hand, the UK’s only dedicated puppet opera company, and has co-directed Puppet Lieder, Njogel, Master Peter’s Puppet Show, Angela – an Inverted Love Story and Renard. As Artistic Director of The Minotaur Music Theatre he directed La voix humaine, A Dinner Engagement, Comedy on the Bridge, Sāvitri, The Waiter’s Revenge, Hin und zurück, A Man of Feeling, L’occasione fa il ladro, Riders to the Sea, The Bear, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Dido and Aeneas, Cox and Box, La bohème, The Wandering Scholar, La Cenerentola and Rita.
Other productions include Les contes d’Hoffmann, The Rake’s Progress, Samson, Aida, Eugene Onegin, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Die Zauberflöte, Trouble in Tahiti, The Beggar’s Opera, Patience, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, HMS Pinafore and Merrie England. Musicals include Hermes and Alice in Wonderland. Stuart has also directed opera scenes for the Royal College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and Birkbeck’s Opera Diploma Course.
Raphaé Memon is a British architect and award-winning designer, working between architecture, stage design and scenography. His projects explore performance design for the live audience, from the scale of civic public events and buildings, to stage sets and sculpture. An interest in theatre and music developed whilst he studied Architecture at Manchester School of Architecture, and performed as a clarinettist for Manchester University Wind Orchestra. He had the opportunity to design the set for the University’s production of Sweeney Todd, and this excelled his pursuit to explore the interstice between architecture and stage design.
Following a Masters in Architecture from The Bartlett UCL, Raphaé worked at the V&A for London Design Festival, collaborated with Es Devlin as an intern designer, and had the opportunity to work on a range of high-profile architectural projects, including being part of the team to realise AstraZeneca’s new Cambridge headquarters. Most recently as set designer Raphaé has worked with an emerging dance company in London, creating an immersive experience exploring movement, augmented reality and multi-media installations. Full length work and film to follow in 2022.
Raphaé has also designed set and costume for Scott Joplin’s ragtime opera Treemonisha at the Arcola Theatre London, as part of Grimeborn Opera Festival 2019, and assisted for Rossini’s La Cenerentola, performed by British Youth Opera. In 2018 he created sculptural work for a new production of Wagner’s epic Tristan and Isolde which was entirely based on the female protagonist and her emotional journey. This was a site specific performance at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre. Raphaé’s stage design for the British première of Gounod’s Polyeucte at Theatre Royal Stratford East London in 2018 won Best Design and was represented in the digital exhibition Staging Places – UK Design for Performance 2015-2019 at the Prague Quadrennial and at the V&A’s Theatre and Performance galleries.