The Monster in the Maze

Made and played for all ages 
July | 18 & 19


Composer | Jonathan Dove

Librettist | Alasdair Middleton

Orchestra | Hampshire 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.

Our outstanding director Thomas Guthrie and choral director Suzi Zumpe will be hosting a workshop for those in the Hampshire community interested in joining the adult chorus on Friday 29 November 7-9pm in the Alresford area (venue tbc). We need adults of any age (over 18 years), to make up a group chorus (approx. 40-45) so the more the merrier!

Please note there is no cost involved and you do not need to read music, be a fantastic singer or have had experience on stage. All we ask for is a willingness to get involved!

This is a terrific opportunity to be part of a local project, to perform for two nights in the magnificent 600-seat Grange Festival theatre, work alongside a team of arts professionals and make connections across generations and beyond!

To register your interest, please click the below.







Production Team
See bio

Alice Farnham


See bio

Tom Guthrue


See bio

Ruth Paton


See bio

Suzi Zumpe

Choral Director

Alice Farnham

 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).

Recent highlights

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.


A contemporary interpretation of the myth of the Minotaur focussing 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, Daedalus, 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.