Bushra El-Turk - Composer
Bushra El-Turk's music of ‘...ironic...’ and ‘limitless imagination’ forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and straddles Eastern and Western idioms. Her music has been performed by leading ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, Opera Holland Park, London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Orchestras, and performed by Western and multi-ethnic orchestras across Europe, the Middle East and the USA. Selected as one of the BBC 100 most inspiring women, she is founder and artistic director of the cross-genre ensemble, Ensemble Zar. She is completing a AHRC-funded PhD in Composition, exploring the integration of Middle Eastern and Western art music.
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Eleanor Knight - Librettist
Eleanor Knight is a published writer of short fiction and libretti and is currently working on a novel as part of a PhD in creative writing. She studied drama at Liverpool John Moores University (1991) and holds a master’s degree in contemporary literary studies from the University of Lancaster (1992). Her first short story, ‘Rosa’ was published by Serpent’s Tail in 2000. In 2011 she took part in the ROH2’s The Singing Word workshops with John Lloyd Davies and Dominic Muldowney, and worked with composer Elfyn Jones on The Trial of Jean Rhys (a project that was already underway) The following year ROH2 invited her back to showcase more of Jean Rhys and a new piece which she wrote with Helen Porter called Cafeteria: or Infidelity Contained. In 2014, with Elfyn Jones, she wrote a series of five-minute mini-operas for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.
She spent five years in touring theatre, and three as editor at Methuen drama. She teaches stage-craft on a sessional basis at Trinity Laban. She also teaches creative writing.
Director and developer - Michael Moxham
Although born in England, Michael is of Italian origin and was raised between the cities of London and Naples. He was awarded a scholarship by the Italian Institute of Culture to study Italian theatre in Milan at the Piccolo Teatro with Giorgio Strehler and Luca Ronconi. After cutting his teeth by directing plays on the Fringe he moved into opera after an invitation to become resident assistant director for Scottish Opera.
As assistant his career has been varied and taken him to some of the most important opera houses in Europe, culminating with his work as revival director for The Ring Cycles of Covent Garden, which also saw him direct a semi-stage presentation of Walkure for the Royal Albert Hall Proms 2005 sung by Bryn Terfel, Placido Domingo and conducted by Sir. Antonio Pappano.
He now works primarily as director of his own shows. Most recently he had his German debut for Oldenburg Opera House with a highly acclaimed production of Hansel and Gretel; due to it's success Michael has been invited back for 2016 to direct Sweeney Todd in German. Other Credits include: L’Ajo Nell’Embarazzo’ Opera Barga, ‘Xerxes’ OTC Ireland, ‘La Voix Humaine’ Wexford Festival. As director of Productions for New Sussex Opera: ‘Hugh the Drover’, ‘The Poisoned Kiss’, ‘Tobias and the Angel’, ‘Falstaff’, ‘Lucia De Lammermoor’, ‘Il Cappello di Paglia’ and ‘Cabaret’ Trinity College of Music, ‘La Calisto’ Birmingham Conservatoire.
Other work includes: 'Eastern Voices...Western Echoes'. Operatic scenes directed by Michael, were accompanied by a mix of Arabic music composed/arranged by Bushra El Turk.
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Co-Director and Movement - Maria Koripas
Trained at the Laban Centre in Dance Theatre Studies, Maria has worked as dancer in multi-disciplinary projects in the UK and particularly in the field of opera with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and, extensively with the English National Opera performing in new productions, revivals and Royal Galas.
Following vocal training in opera her work developed in voice and movement based performance. Her roles include: Fiorilla, (Turco in Italia) Chilham Castle, Stately Homes Music Festival, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Rosina (Barber of Seville) Royal Overseas League, Papagena (Magic Flute) Questor’s Theatre, Spirit (Pillow Song) Purcell Room, South Bank and World Premieres composed for her as singer/dancer in El Tigre (BAFTA Award winning Composer, Ben Bartlett) Donmar Warehouse and Hutu in Conference of the Birds (Composer Dirk Campbell) Robin Howard Theatre, The Place.
She has sung operatic excerpts in a series of dance theatre pieces with 'CandoCo Dance Company' under the direction of Athina Valha, namely Momento Mori-Momento Amore with sound designer Wadjid Yaseem, Greenwich Borough Hall, In Praise of Folly (recorded voice) Queen Elizabeth Hall and International Tour also Spaces Between with composer Nick Parkin, Royal Festival Hall.
As movement director and choreographer she has worked with Opera Circus, Palace Opera, European Chamber Opera, English Touring Opera, Floral Opera student opera showcases at Wimbledon School of Art and in a long association with Birkbeck Opera and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design performances at the Cochrane Theatre and Birkbeck Opera performances at the London Oratory Theatre.
She has led movement workshops for the late Else Mayer Lismann MBE at the Royal Opera House, and for English National Opera’s Baylis Programme – ‘Live Wires’, as well as heading movement teaching and choreographing for Abbey Opera Training at Kensington and Chelsea College.
Costume and set designer - Giulia Scrimieri
Her experience ranges from stage to screen. She trained in Fashion Styling at Istituto Marangoni and then joined the Motley Theatre Design post-graduate course and gained a Certificate of Higher Education in Dance at Birkbeck, University of London (UOL).
Her dance credits include The Place, Laban, Stratford Circus and a touring piece about the 1930's dance marathon choreographed by Arthur Pita. Giulia was costume supervisor for the International Dance Festival (Birmingham ‘10 and ‘12), she has also designed costumes for four feature films, more than 40 short films and several TV adverts.
Giulia has worked for companies such as Weilands ( Reed.co.uk and Allinson’s adverts),Tee Pee Productions ( Pepsi), Tomboy Films, Blink Productions, The Broadcast house, Catsnake Cineworld , FDA Anti-piracy, Kodak and Foyles competition, Red Cross, and for virals ( Nokia and Video News Agency/SKV Communications). She has designed costumes for music videos for The Whip, Tourist and the Pink Floyd Division Bell's 20th Anniversary.
Giulia has also designed costumes for the promo video and TV appearances for the group Prodijig (Got to Dance). She has assisted on the BBC’s TV series “Not Going out” and costume supervised the TV Drama “London’s Burning” for Channel 4.Her work includes set and costume design for operas at the Royal Academy of Music, New Sussex Opera, Ryedale Festival, Birkbeck University, Grimeborn Opera Festival, Tete a Tete ( Riverside Studios), Dartington and the UK premiere of the Serbian Opera “Narcissus and Echos”.Giulia’s theatre design projects include Theatre is & Throwdown UK, the Finborough Theatre, the Old Red Lion, the Union, the Pleasance Theatre, the Greenwhich Playhouse, the Tabard Theatre and the New Diorama.