Gilbert and Sullivan

Colin Baldy

Colin BaldyColin’s career encompasses performing, teaching, writing and directing. As a singer, he is known principally as a character baritone, having worked for many years with companies such as Garsington Opera, Opera Restor'd, The New Savoyards, Opera Interludes, Country Opera etc. Such roles have included Sempronio (Lo Speziale), Don Alfonso (Cosi fan Tutte), Geronimo (Il Matrimonio Segreto), Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas) to name but a few. In addition, Colin has performed much contemporary music with groups such as the London Sinfonietta, Phoenix and New Chamber Opera. One of Colin’s signature roles is the soloist in Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King, a role he has previously performed with various groups in the UK and Europe. On the concert platform, he has appeared with the  Britten Sinfonia, the Ochestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Southern Camerata (under David Hill), L’Orchestra National de Picardie and L’Orchestra National de Lille, to mention just a few.

Colin has sung frequently on BBC Radios Two and Three, and has made several CDs; most recently appearing as Bass soloist in Bach's St John Passion (Naxos). In recent years, he has also enjoyed considerable success as a cabaret artist, performing the songs of Noël Coward and contemporaries.

As a teacher, Colin has had a long association with the University of Oxford, having been, for many years, the singing teacher at New College. Now, however, he splits his teaching between London and Umbria. He receives frequent invitations to teach around the world, and is a visiting professor at Utah State University (USA), and on the Cisternino choral course, Italy. He is also director of the Scheggino Advanced Course for Singers in Umbria.

Colin has directed productions of Cosi fan tutte (two productions), Le nozze di Figaro, Il Seraglio, Trial by Jury (three productions), Il barbiere di Siviglia, L'elisir d'amore, The old maid and the thief, L'enfant et les sortileges, Riders to the Sea, Dido and Aeneas and Venus and Adonis. He is Artistic Director of Hand Made Opera, which he co-founded in 2000.

In 2002, Colin published a book on vocal technique for the RSCM (Voice for Life, 5) and has also been published by The Guardian, Church Music Quarterly and The Independent. His latest book, The Student Voice, aimed at anyone who is serious about working on their voice, is published by Dunedin Academic Press in September 2008

Kevin WestKevin West

Kevin was born in Essex. Having worked at the outset of his career with the D'Oyly Carte, he then studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Walther Gruner. Subsequently he made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, singing PONG/Turandot , sang DAVID/The Mastersingers at the Coliseum and, for the Almeida/ENO Festival, THE MAYOR in Stephen Oliver's Mario and the Magician, and RICHARD/What Price Confidence?  by Ernst Krenek.  He made several visits to Belfast for Opera Northern Ireland where he  sang a number of roles including THE TEACHER in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and DON BASILIO/Le Nozze di Figaro, a role he has also sung over a hundred times for Opera North. He also sang Figaro Live for BBC Television, one of a number of appearances made for broadcast media in this country and Europe.

He has appeared several times at the Teatro Regio di Torino, where his roles have included THE GOVERNOR/ Candide, SNOUT in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and MISSAIL/Boris Godounov.  He sang Britten’s Les Illuminations  (for tenor and orchestra) in the Sala Verdi, Milan, which was broadcast by RAI.

Kevin has been lucky enough to have had work composed for him by several leading British composers. He created the role of SWAMI ZUMZUM in The Second Mrs Kong by Sir Harrison Birtwistle for The Glyndebourne Festival and Glyndebourne Touring Opera; in between these two commitments he performed the title role in Lo Speziale  by Haydn for the Antwerp Kammeroper, Transparant in Barcelona and Antwerp, where he also premiered a joint production of Judith Weir/Monteverdi's Missa e Combattimento for La Monnaie and de Singel. A recording of his performance of Raguel/ Tobias and the Angel, written for him by Jonathan Dove, will be released on the Chandos label in July, adding to a varied discography, which includes the operas of Charles Dibdin for Hyperion.

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Timothy Knapman

Timothy KnapmanTimothy Knapman co-wrote Hamlet! The Musical, a hit on the Edinburgh Fringe 2010 and winner of WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice award for Best Musical.  His plays include The Stag King (C Venues) and The Smallest Person (Trestle TC).  He has translated and adapted operas and musical comedies for I Fagiolini and Handmade Opera, and his children's books are published by Puffin, Macmillan, Scholastic, OUP and Simon & Schuster and have been translated into 11 languages.

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David Timson

David TimsonDAVID TIMSON has appeared in classical and modern plays all over the country and abroad. David has worked extensively in BBC Radio Drama since winning the BBC Student Prize in 1971 (now known as the Carleton Hobbes Award). He has made over a thousand broadcasts, ranging from the title-role in ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ and Dostoevsky’s ‘The Idiot’ to numerous short stories and the Woman’s Hour serial. Television appearances include parts in ‘The Bill’, ‘Eastenders’, ‘Casualty’, ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’ and  ‘Poirot’. David was in the film of ‘The Russia House’ with Sean Connery,(1989) and worked with Mike Leigh on ‘Topsy-Turvey’(1999). David is also a trained singer (Baritone), and has appeared in many musicals. He played the Baker in Sondheims’s ‘Into the Woods’ at Ipswich (1992), and Judge Lagus in Dave Clark’s rock musical ‘Time’ in the West End, with Cliff Richard.(1986/7). In 2001 he played Sir Joseph Porter in ‘HMS Pinafore’ for Opera della Luna, as part of the Covent Garden Festival. In 2007 he played Major-General Stanley in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ at the Kilworth Theatre in Leicestershire. Since 1997, David has been working regularly for NAXOS AUDIO-BOOKS, recording many poetry and prose compilations. He has recently completed recording the complete Sherlock Holmes stories, and has directed 4 of the successful series of Shakespeare’s plays recorded in conjunction with Cambridge University Press. In 2001, he won the Spoken Word Publishers Association Awards for Best Original Production: ‘The History of Theatre’, which he wrote; and Best Drama Production: ‘Richard III’ (with Kenneth Branagh) which he directed. In 2002 he won the Audio-Book of the Year Award for his reading of ‘A Study in Scarlet.’ In 2005 he directed his first production for BBC Radio 3 ‘Bequest to the Nation’ with Kenneth Branagh as Nelson. Since then he has directed ‘The Rivals’ ‘Fuente Ovejuna’  ‘An Ideal Husband’ ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ ‘Arms and the Man’, Goethe’s Faust, and Beaumarchais’ ‘Marriage of Figaro (to be broadcast Dec.26 2010 ). Since 2003 David has been a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art