Biographies




Robyn Sevastos (Conductor)
graduated from Melbourne University with a BMus, with First Class Honours in Performance. She subsequently moved to England to continue her studies, obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Piano Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a Performance Diploma (ARCM) from the Royal College of Music. She went on to perform extensively as a piano soloist and to coach and accompany a wide range of singers and instrumentalists both in the UK and abroad. She is also music director of London Opera Productions, Llantilio Crossenny Festival, Sevenoaks Philharmonic Society, Bromley Philharmonic Choir and is a professor at the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music. Robyn has conducted a large and diverse selection of the choral and operatic repertoire, and has performed at many of the leading London concert venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Fairfield Halls, the O2 Arena and at Sandringham for HRH The Prince of Wales.

 

Terry John Bates (Director) was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his choreography for Brian Friel's play Dancing at Lughnasa at the Royal National Theatre and on Broadway. He devised and directed Tango in the City to a script written by Fay Weldon, performed at Sadlers Wells and on UK tour. With Jonathan Miller he has choreographed Carmen (ENO), The Marriage of Figaro (ENO, Metropolitan Opera New York,Vienna State Opera), Don Giovanni (ENO, Florence, La Coruna, Valencia), Ariadne auf Naxos (Florence, Lausanne), La traviata (ENO, Glimmerglass Opera Festival), The Beggar's Opera (Broomhill Opera). For ENO has worked on Rusalka, The Marriage of Figaro, Königskinder, The Pirates of Penzance, Toussaint. La traviata and Oviedo. He has directed The Merry Widow and Madam Butterfly (US tour for American Artists Management). Forza del Destino (Paris Opera and Barcelona), Gounod's Romeo and Juliet (Korean National Opera, in Seoul), an 'operita' Hogarth based on the life and times of William Hogarth and Verdi's Giovanna D'arco (Buxton Opera Festival).

 

Enid Strutt (Set Designer) studied at Wimbledon School of Art. She won an Arts Council Travel Bursary and began her career as Arts council Trainee Designer at Manchester Library Theatre. Her many designs for Kentish Opera include Peter Grimes, Aida, Die Fledermaus, HMS Pinafore, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Bartered Bride, Eugene Onegin and The Merry Widow. She has worked for companies in Germany including Bielefeld, for whom her designs for opera included costumes for Tannhâuser, Boris Godunov and Arabella; the Landesbuehne Hannover, for whom she designed plays and musicals including Uncle Vanya and Kiss Me, Kate. Enid has also worked on productions in Spain and Austria. Other recent work in England has included designs for The London School of Musical Theatre and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, for whom she also works as a design tutor.

 

Carol Stevenson (Costume Designer) began her career as a textile designer, selling her work in Europe and America. She started designing for the theatre while living in Singapore. On her return to England she studied at Croydon College of Art, designing costumes for Cavalcade whilst there. She has designed many sets and costumes for Kentish Opera since 1984 and, with her team, has made hundreds of costumes. Productions include Carmen, Aïda, Die Fledermaus, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Manon Lescaut, Peter Grimes, Macbeth, La traviata, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, A Masked Ball, Nabucco, Don Quixote, Samson and Delilah, The Pearl Fishers and Tosca. Carol has also designed for Abbey Opera, Pavilion Opera, Opera South, Opera Viva, New Sussex Opera, the Theatre Royal Northampton, the Bruton Theatre, and also for community productions.

 

Colin Martin (Lighting Designer) has designed the lighting for Kentish Opera productions for 60 years. In the first 22 years he helped to create the atmosphere in the old Orpington Civic Hall but he particularly remembers the move in 1978 to the Churchill Theatre with its superb lighting facilities. These allowed delightful settings for such classics as Carmen, Faust, Aïda, Peter Grimes, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Macbeth, The Queen of Spades, The Force of Destiny, The Pearl Fishers, Nabucco, Die Fledermaus, Manon Lescaut, The Merry Widow, Eugene Onegin, The Bartered Bride and Samson and Delilah. Colin also lights plays for Bromley Little Theatre and musicals for Petts Wood Operatic Society at The Stag, Sevenoaks.

 

Reisha Adams (Lady Macbeth) trained at the National Opera Studio in London and on the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama opera course. She was the winner of the inaugural Ian Stoutzker Prize for outstanding musicianship in July 2012, awarded a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for excellence in performance in November 2012 and a semi-finalist in the 2011 Mozart Singing Competition. She made her debut at English National Opera as Pamina (The Magic Flute) in February 2016; other roles include Micaela (Carmen) with Riverside Opera; Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) with Wandsworth Fringe; Countess Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Alms Sister (Suor Angelica) with RWCMD; Despina (Cosi fan tutte) with Opera'r Ddraig Armida; and covers for Armida (Rinaldo) with Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Romilda (Xerxes) and Countess Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro) with ENO and Suor Angelica with RWCMD. Reisha's masterclass appearances include John Fisher, Dame Anne Evans, Susan Bullock, Natalie Dessay, Sarah Walker at the Chelsea Schubert Festival, Mark Padmore at Wigmore Hall and Bengt Forsberg at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011.

 

Steven East (Banquo) first worked as a history teacher in Albania and an English teacher in Greece, and subsequently he tripped into the gushing maelstrom of women's glossy magazines. But a joyous time spent carousing with the London Bulgarian Choir gave him a taste for controlled shouting and in 2010, he downed tools to study singing at Trinity in Greenwich. In February, he appeared microphone-in-hand as a Jeremy Kyle inspired Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) for King's Head Theatre, and in June he will play Leporello (Don Giovanni) for Winslow Hall Opera before beginning a four-month tour with Pop-Up Opera as Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). Over the August bank holiday, he will wield his mighty sword playing King Hrothgar (Louis Mander's Beowulf) for Opera at Chilmark. In the last few years, he has played Leporello, Prince Gremin, Dulcamara, Capellio, Zaretski, Tonio, Gregorio, The Pirate King, Doctors Bartolo and Grenvil, Sparafucile, Simone, Sarastro, Sacristan, Spoletta, Sciarrone and probably Shaggy Rogers. He has also sung with the English National Opera chorus in seven productions since 2012 and currently studies with Neil Baker. Recently he recorded a demo of a new musical, Dracula, but is still waiting for the call from The Lord Lloyd-Webber !

 

Paul Featherstone (Macduff) is from Dalgety Bay in Fife and worked as a professional actor at the Glasgow Citizens, Edinburgh Royal Lyceum, Dundee Rep and on television before studying singing at RSAMD with Peter Alexander Wilson. Since then he has sung with Opera della luna, Iford Festival, Opus 1, Edinburgh Grand, Duchy Opera, Tayside Opera, Burry Port Opera, House Opera, Shoestring, Wexford Festival, Grange Park, Garsington, Burry Port Opera, Opera Box, Northern Wagner Orchestra, The Opera Group, Buxton Festival, Scottish Opera and Kentish Opera. Roles have included Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Calaf (Turandot), Michele (The Saint of Bleecker Street), Gustavus (A Masked Ball), The eponymous Ernani, Macduff (Macbeth), Alfredo (La traviata), Elder Hayes (Susannah), Patre (Penelope), Lonigan (Wonderful Town), Subtil (Fortunio), Antonio (La gazza ladra), Amenophis (Moses), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Mime (Das Rheingold), Governor & Martin (Candide), Eric (Walking Not Driving), Bill (Mahagonny Songspiel), Ivan (The Nose), Animal Seller (Der Rosenkavalier), 3rd Jew (Salome) and Fergus (Cliona's Wave). He now studies with David Pollard in London.

 

Christopher Pelmore (Malcolm) is a young lyric tenor based in the South East of England. Following the recent completion of a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering he studies singing with Justin Lavender. Operatic appearances have included Tom Rakewell (The Rake's Progress) with Bristol Opera and solo and chorus roles with the Bristol-based contemporary opera group Little Room Productions and the Bristol University Opera Society productions, including Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozart's The Magic Flute and Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado. After three years singing with the Exultate Singers and depping at Bristol Cathedral while an undergraduate in Bristol, he now sings regularly in London with the Epiphoni Consort, "an amateur chamber choir with professional ambition" . He recently performed Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock Edge with the Lydian Orchestra in Kent and Handel's Messiah, Stainer's Crucifixion, Bach's Magnificat and Haydn's Nelson Mass. Following the Kentish Opera production, he will be touring with Surrey Opera to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall as Snout (Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream) and playing Acis (Handel's Acis and Galatea) in Somerset.

 

Matthew Sprange (Macbeth) completed the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010,studying with John Evans. He began his vocal training with Wynford Evans whilst at Royal Holloway University of London where he took BMus and MMus degrees, specialising in composition. Operatic engagements have included Ford (Falstaff) for Opera Project, Marcello (La Bohème) for Lyric Opera Productions Dublin, Vignette Productions and Charles Court Opera; Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) for Diva Opera; for English Touring Opera; Pietro (Simon Boccanegra) & covering Eustachio (Donizetti's L'assedio di Calais). He performed Cross Crosshaulsen in their Olivier Award winning production of Paul Bunyan. For Welsh National Opera he has covered the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte). For Mid Wales Opera he performed Sid (Albert Herring) and Yamadori (Madam Butterfly). He has also covered Germont Pere (La traviata) for the Iford Festival. Concert engagements at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle; The Royal Festival Hall; The Cadogan Hall; Worcester Cathedral; St James' Piccadilly; the Barbican and the National Concert Hall, Dublin have included Handel's Solomon, Judas Maccabeus and Messiah; Haydn's Creation; Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers; Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle; Puccini's Messa di Gloria; Tippett's Five Negro Spirituals; and Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.

 

Håkan Vramsmo (Macbeth) was born in Sweden and studied singing at Malmö Musikhögskola, Sweelinck Conservatorium and Conservatoire de Metz with Udo Reinemann and Mitsuko Shirai, and at Hartmut Höll's Liedclass in Karlsruhe. In 1999 he moved to London, subsequently graduating from Guildhall School of Music & Drama with distinction and immediately going on to sing at the opening night of the BBC Proms.He has performed extensively on the concert platform, where he is especially appreciated for his intimate musicianship, appearing at major venues throughout Europe including Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Stuttgart Liederhalle, Sibeliusacademin and Aldeburgh, in collaboration with Iain Burnside, Julius Drake, Bengt Forsberg, Rudolf Jansen, Graham Johnson, Gary Matthewman, Roger Vignoles, Llyr Williams and Andrew West at the piano. At Festivals such as L'Heures Romantiques, BBC Proms, St Magnus, Nürnberg, Oxford, Schriermonikoog and Wroclav he has appeared with the Hebridies Ensemble, Carducci Quartet, Gabrieli Consort, Sharoun Ensemble (Berliner Philharmonier) and English Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with many symphony orchestras including the BBC, Jerusalem, City of Birmingham, Bournemouth, Wroclaw, Barcelona, Zagreb, Gothenburg, and Malmö, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, Paul McCreech, Leonard Slatkin, Sir David Willcocks, Sakari Oramo and Leon Botstein.

 

Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz (Lady Macbeth) grew up in Australia and has called London home for several years. After initial studies at the Canberra School of Music she attended the Australian Opera Studio and English National Opera's Opera Works, and currently studies privately with tenor Neil Jenkins. She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Elizabeth Connell Prize for Dramatic Sopranos and other performance highlights include title roles in Tosca (St Albans Chamber Opera), Aïda (Kentish Opera) and Madama Butterfly (Concert Performance), as well as Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) with InterOpera/North East Brass Ensemble, Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) with Opera Seria, Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw) with Seastar Opera, Mother (Hansel and Gretel) with Sinfonia d'Amici, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Sinfonia d'Amici, #OperaCo), and chorus at Grange Park Opera in Fiddler on the Roof (starring Bryn Terfel as Tevye) and Eugene Onegin. Future highlights include a recital for the Liszt Society with pianist Coady Green in June 2016, and her debut in the title role of Puccini's Turandot with Opera Seria in October 2016. Laura is delighted to return to Kentish Opera as Lady Macbeth.

 

Sophie Yelland (Lady-in-Waiting) was born in Australia and has a B.Mus(Hons) in voice and a B.Mus in Cello. She completed further study at The Opera Studio Melbourne. Professional operatic experience includes Hansel (Hansel and Gretel) with OzOpera and Opera Australia, Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with Grimeborn Festival and 2nd Solostimmen- cover (Moses und Aron) with Welsh National Opera. She has completed ENO Opera Works and performed numerous roles with Co-Opera Co., Ryedale Festival Opera, Hampstead Garden Opera, London Youth Opera, Bath Opera and Clapham Opera Festival. In 2015 She performed with the English National Opera chorus in The Force of Destiny and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. She also joined the Glyndebourne chorus in Carmen and Poliuto. At the end of this year she is excited to be re-joining Opera Australia in their production of Wagner's Ring Cycle covering the role of Rossweisse.