My Opera Experience
Award-winning theatre director known for her all-male productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operas including HMS Pinafore and The Mikado; founder of the Union Theatre
What was your first opera?
The first one for me was an operetta that my grandpa took me to, The Mikado (1885). I would have paid more attention as that eight-year-old if I had known that I would end up directing Gilbert and Sullivan for a living.
What was the last opera you saw and where?
I saw Jonathan Miller’s Mikado at the ENO, still an inspiring production after all these years. It looks stunning!
What is your favourite opera and why?
Forgive the obvious choice but you can’t really beat Carmen (Bizet,1875 ) – the sexiness and passion are thrilling and the score gives me goosebumps. I’d love to direct it one day.
How did you get into opera?
I have always directed musicals and just wanted to try something new. The beauty of working on an opera is the freedom as a director to reinvent the work. I never change the script or score, but I have a lot of fun with the staging and hopefully my work helps to keep old traditionalists happy, but inspires more young people to come and see an operetta or opera.
What opera would you recommend to a newcomer and why?
One of mine! Start with G&S and then you will be hooked and can confidently go on to live a life watching opera.