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Successful Italian Opera Dinner

Thanks to everyone involved in the Italian Opera Dinner on 10 November at the Hampstead Golf Club. It was a hugely enjoyable evening and we raised over £3000, helped by a very generously funded auction. The music, food, wine and company were much appreciated by all.

Liz Collini makes different forms of texts using simple but often ambiguous words and phrases, mostly through printmaking and drawing. The written word holds many paradoxes, not least those of absence and presence. There are gaps and overlaps between reading and viewing, text and image, the hand and the machine. The artist tries to create breathing spaces in which we can pause and look back at language. Whole narratives can be compressed into a single word or familiar phrase. The drawings’ resemblance to plans and blueprints reflects the strange provisionality of written language; the things about which we write are always elsewhere.

North london soprano, Emily Phillips trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama after completing a degree in Music & Media at Sussex University. Operatic roles include: Servilia, La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart) for Hampstead Garden Opera, Tytania, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten) for Opera Playhouse, Papagena, Magic Flute (Mozart) for Jackdaws Opera. She has performed with British Youth Opera & Opera de Baugé in France; where she received the Gil-Rodriguez scholarship. In 2011 Emily was accepted to Scottish Opera’s freelance chorus list. This summer, Emily performed in Falstaff & Eugene Onegin with Opera Holland Park, 1st Boy with Longborough Festival Opera on tour, and the role of Puck & Tytania (cover) in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Co-Opera Co. Other recent highlights include soprano soloist in Haydn’s Nelson Mass for the North Camden Chorus, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts, Orff’s Carmina Burana & Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with UCS Centenary Choir.

Catherine Carter, Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Catherine Carter studied music at Cambridge and voice at Trinity College of Music receiving a distinction for her MMus in June 2011. Recent highlights include: Alto 2 solo and chorus in the world premier of K Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera Company; XOver/Aria Cunningham/Cage with Merce Cunningham Dance Company; Aria by John Cage at ENO MusiCircus; The Difference Engine Duke/Duke/Palermo/Svendson a Dance Umbrella & RPS Drummond Award co-commission including a recording of the piece with the Arditti String Quartet and the title role in Menotti’s ‘The Medium’ at the Kings Head Theatre for Open Door Opera. Catherine is a founding member of the chamber ensemble TROUPE – concerts that tell stories and also runs Fairbeats! Music at Action for Refugees in Lewisham.

Luke D. Williams, Baritone

Luke D. Williams is a Levesley Scholar on the RCM International Opera School under the tutelage of Russell Smythe and acknowledges the generous support of Peter Miller. He was born in Bath, and started an unconventional journey towards an operatic career by training as a Nurse! After qualifying he became a postgraduate scholar at the RCM studying first with Peter Savidge and then with Russell. His principal roles include Puck A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RCM) for Ian Judge, Barone La Traviata & Starveling A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera de Baugé), Title Role Eugene Onegin (Suffolk Opera), Sid Albert Herring & Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Co-Opera Company). He is currently singing the roles of Liberto & Littore in Monteverdi’s Lincoronazione di Poppea (RCM) and will perform his second title as Handel’s Imeneo at the RCM as part of the London Handel festival in March 2013.

Suzy Ruffles took a postgraduate diploma in piano accompaniment at TCM studying with Eugene Asti and finishing in 2007. She works at the AIMS International Music School, plays for the Two Moors Festival and performs as part of the Britannic Ensemble. Suzy has worked as repetiteur for several London and European based operatic productions for companies including TCM, Vignette Productions, Hampstead Garden Opera and in summer 2012, worked as Assistant Musical Director on Cendrillon for Blackheath Community Opera (Nicholas Jenkins/Harry Fehr). This month Suzy won the David Ebbage Accompanist Prize, awarded as part of the John Kerr Award for English Song competition. She works as a staff accompanist for Trinity College of Music and is the accompanist for the Godalming Choral Society under Michael Veazey and the Greenwich University Choir conducted by Nicholas Jenkins.

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