Composer | Jonathan Dove
Librettist | Alasdair Middleton
Orchestra | Hampshire County Youth Orchestra
Sung in English
Learning@TheGrange is delighted to be producing their first community opera as part of our Summer 2020 Festival. Over 120 children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, Hampshire community members and friends of all ages will come together to create and perform the first ever professional opera house production of Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze.
A contemporary interpretation of the myth of the Minotaur on the bonds of community and family. Theseus has to penetrate the labyrinth in order to kill the half-man half-bull Minotaur, which feeds on human flesh. Helped by his mother and the architect of the maze, Deadalus, he kills the Minotaur and frees the Athenian children, held as a regular supply of food for the monster. This is a searing portrayal of adolescent worry and fear of the future: the dangers of confusion and hopelessness. Heroes and role models are available to help them out of the labyrinth, and guide them away from danger and darkness, into the warmth and clarity of the Mediterranean light. They are shown the importance of resilience and courage to face the modern world.
Recent conducting engagements include Royal Opera House (Firework Maker’s Daughter), Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg (The Rape of Lucretia), Folkoperan Stockholm (Turandot, Satyagraha, Carmen), Teatru Manoel Valletta (Dido & Aeneas), Welsh National Opera (Kommilitonen! Paul Bunyan), Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (The Gondoliers), Guildhall School of Music & Drama (La Fedeltà Premiata) Malmö Opera Orchestra, Wermlands Opera, Danish Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and BBC Concert Orchestra.
Alice is Artistic Director of the award-winning Women Conductors with the Royal Philharmonic Society, and the Female Conductor Programme at the National Concert Hall Dublin. She is listed in the BBC Woman’s Hour Music Power List 2018.
Thomas Guthrie is an innovative and award-winning British director and musician working in theatre and music to tell stories in vivid, new and direct ways.
A former Jette Parker Young Artist Stage Director at the Royal Opera House in London, his revival of David McVicar’s Die Zauberflöte there won What’s On Stage Best Revival 2018. His own productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte at Longborough Festival Opera led to an invitation to direct Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer there in 2018 (subsequently called ‘one of the best productions at this venue I have seen’, Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph).
L’Orfeo (I Fagiolini), Semele (Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner), Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and Apollo et Hyacinthus (Classical Opera Company), Dido and Aeneas (Academy of Ancient Music /Barbican), Il barbiere di Siviglia and The Fairy Queen (English Touring Opera), the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze (LSO), and Carmen (Prison Choir Project, HMP Dartmoor). He has revived Il barbiere di Siviglia, Andrea Chenier and Die Zauberflöte (Royal Opera House).
Future projects include a revival of his recent Barbican/AAM Dido and Aeneas for the Nordland Musikkfestuke, new productions of Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze at Grange Festival and Cunning Little Vixen at Blackheath Halls, and a new staging of Aida at the Liceu in Barcelona.
With a reputation for stylish, unfussy, energetic, physical, theatrical and sometimes controversial work, the clarity of the storytelling, the commitment of the performers and a pre-eminence of musical values are at the heart of his productions.
Guthrie is dedicated to outreach work, with highlights including Carmen for the Prison Choir Project at HMP Dartmoor, projects for Royal Opera House, Streetwise Opera, and National Youth Choir.
Guthrie is the founder and artistic director of Music and Theatre for All, a groundbreaking charity which works to connect performers and public through transformative music, theatre and opera. He is also Guest Artistic Advisor to York Early Music Festival, and regularly sings and plays with Bjarte Eike’s group The Alehouse Boys.
Recent work includes:
The Happy Princess, Eliza and the Swans (Garsington Opera Company), Orfeo I
Fagiolini, Dido and Aeneas (Barbican/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), Der Fliegende Holländer and The Magic Flute (Longborough Opera Company), Rumbled and Waxwings (English Touring Opera), Millions of Years (Streetwise Opera/ English National Opera) and several large community operas for The Royal Opera House.
Work with Blind Summit includes:
Der Rosignol (Bregenz Festival), The Little Match Girl (Spoletto Festival) and Peter and the Wolf (Hollywood Bowl/ LA Philharmonic)
Ruth is a judge for the annual Royal Opera House Design Challenge
Suzi is a choral director, vocal coach and singer who specialises in teaching complicated material to a broad range of people, regardless of their previous musical experience. She regularly trains large groups – professional and non-professional alike, working with challenging repertoire and imparting good singing technique stealthily along the way. Comfortable with all ranges of expertise, she has worked with opera houses, with children, with the corporate sector, with conservatoires, with teenagers, with classroom teachers and with the homeless. Suzi is vocal director of both the junior and senior youth companies at Garsington Opera and was joint artistic director of the Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company from 2009 to 2017. In addition, she regularly contributes to English National Opera’s youth programme.
Recent large scale projects include vocal director of Bernstein’s Mass at the Southbank Centre – conductor Marin Alsop, director Jude Kelly; vocal director for Panufnik’s Silver Birch, a people’s opera at Garsington Opera – conductor Douglas Boyd, director Karen Gillingham.
Besides The Grange Festival and the companies above, others with whom she has recently worked include Music for Youth, the Royal Academy of Music and Spitalfields Music Festival. Suzi is also director of Mondegreen Leadership Ltd, a corporate leadership development programme.
The Voice of Minos
Yvonne Howard studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and performs regularly with all the major UK opera companies. Recent and future engagements include Mistress Quickly Falstaff (Garsington)‚ Rosa Mamai L’arlesiana and Norma (Opera Holland Park)‚ Caesonia Caligula (English National Opera and Teatro Colón‚ Buenos Aires)‚ Lady Billows Albert Herring (Buxton Festival Opera)‚ Queen of the Fairies Iolanthe‚ Katisha The Mikado‚ Berta The Barber of Seville (ENO)‚ Spring Beauty Snow Maiden‚ Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre‚ Auntie Peter Grimes (Opera North)‚ Nettie Carousel (Opera North and The Barbican)‚ Mrs Grose (Northern Ireland Opera)‚ Mother in the British premiere of Dove’s Monster in the Maze (LSO at the Barbican)‚ Dream of Gerontius (Lisbon) and the title role in Holst’s Savitri (CBSO and with Choros Chamber Choir).
Concert and recital work has taken Yvonne to Japan‚ France‚ Spain‚ Scandinavia‚ Switzerland‚ USA and‚ throughout Great Britain. She has received great critical acclaim for her interpretation of the Angel in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius‚ Verdi’s Requiem and the song cycles of Mahler and Berlioz as well as for her performance as Marilyn Klinghoffer in the TV film of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer and in Roxanna Panufnik’s Beastly Tales with City of London Sinfonia. Recordings include Sieglinde Die Walküre with Sir Mark Elder (Hallé)‚ the Sweet Swan of Avon (Meridian)‚ Messiah (Arte Nova Classics)‚ Walton’s Troilus & Cressida‚ Moussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Chandos).
Henry Waddington studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. He performs regularly with all the major UK opera companies as well as with La Monnaie Brussels, Liceu Barcelona, de Nederlandse Opera, Teatro Real Madrid and Stuttgart Staatstheater. His repertoire includes Baron Ochs Der Rosenkavalier, the title role in Saul, Banquo Macbeth, Colline La bohème, Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tutor Le comte Ory, Geronimo The Secret Marriage, Publio La clemenza di Tito, Plutone Orfeo, Valens Theodora, Soljony Three Sisters (Eotvos), Leporello Don Giovanni, Don Magnifico La Cenerentola, Don Fernando Fidelio, Don Alfonso Così fan tutte, Pallante Agrippina, Frère Laurent Roméo et Juliette as well as Quince and Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Recent/future operatic engagements include Man at window, Old man, Youth, Beggar in Martinu’s Julietta, Jupiter Castor and Pollux, Sacristan Tosca and Lt. Ratcliffe Billy Budd (ENO), Spinellocchio (ROH) Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro (WNO), Lt. Ratcliffe Billy Budd (Netherlands Opera), Pallante Agrippina (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Pastor Oberlin Jakob Lenz (Staatstheater Stuttgart, La Monnaie and Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin), Kothner Die Meistersingers and the title role in Saul (Glyndebourne), Publio La clemenza di Tito, Lodovico Otello, Joshua, Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Baron Ochs and Don Magnifico (Opera North), Priest Cunning Little Vixen, Barone di Kelbar Un Giorno di Regno and Falstaff (title role) (Garsington), Swallow Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh), Prospero Miranda (Opéra Comique in Paris), Caen and Bordeaux, Bottom (New National Theatre, Tokyo), Gobrias Belshazzar (The Grange Festival), Baron Ochs (Norwegian Opera) as well as concert performances of Wozzeck with the Philharmonia under Esa Pekka Salonen in Europe and the US, Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Cleveland Orchestra, Beethoven 9 with the Classical Opera Company and The Creation with Huddersfield Choral Society.
Having graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge, with a degree in Classics, Xavier moved to Moscow where he studied with Professor Pyetr Sergeevich Gluboki. On his return to the UK he learned privately with Christine Cairns before being accepted into the Royal College of Music as Their Serene Highnesses Dr Prince Donatus and Princess Heidi Von Hohenzollern scholar. He receives additional support from Opera Prelude and currently studies with Russell Smythe.
Recent engagements include the title role in Monteverdi’s l’Orfeo (Minack Theatre, Cornwall); Lensky Eugene Onegin, title role Jephtha, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice; Sailor Dido and Aeneas, Don Curzio and Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro (Dartington Festival), Sir Thomas Allen’s acclaimed production of Le Nozze di Figaro and the Page in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (Bampton Classical Opera); and Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Damnation de Faust (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus).
As a concert soloist Xavier has sung throughout England including St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall; Salisbury, Ely and Winchester Cathedrals and Dorchester Abbey. He is a young artist for Opera Prelude and regularly gives concerts and lecture-recitals in London and Henley on Thames. He has worked with conductors such as Jane Glover CBE, John Lubbock, Michael Rosewell, Robin Ticciati and Rafael Payare and participated in masterclasses with well known artists such as Gerald Finley, Della Jones, Sir John Tomlinson, Dame Felicity Lott and Joan Rogers.
Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and all round national treasure.
Whilst at university, Fry became involved with the Cambridge Footlights, where he met his long-time collaborator and friend Hugh Laurie. As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and took the role of Jeeves (with Laurie playing Wooster) in Jeeves and Wooster. Fry’s acting roles include the lead in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the titular character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta, Mycroft Holmes in Warner’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Master of Laketown in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. He was a Presidential candidate in Veep and plays Roland in CBS’ series The Great Indoors. He has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award-winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, and was the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI. He played Prime Minister Alistair Davies in the 9th season of Fox TV’s 24: Live Another Day.
As a proudly out gay man, the award-winning Out There, documenting the lives of lesbian, bisexual gay and transgender people around the world is part of his thirty-year advocacy of the rights of the LGBT community.
As well as his work in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines, appears frequently on radio, reads for voice-overs and has written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and his latest, More Fool Me. The most recently published works are Mythos and Heroes, constituting the first two parts of what will be a trilogy retelling the Greeks myths from the Creation to the aftermath of the Trojan War.