Opera Gala in the Garden
West House, High Street, Wrotham - 3-5pm on Monday 26 August
£12 per adult, £6 children (under 16).
(SOLD OUT) Click HERE for online ticket sales
or call 07526 019221 to arrange pick up in the village.
Bring a blanket or deck chair to sit on!
Helen Bailey - Soprano
Helen Bailey was born in the North East of England and is a graduate of Royal Academy Opera and Trinity College of Music, initially graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a First in English Literature and Cultural History.
Helen was a finalist in the 2013 AESS English Song competition, received the RAM’s 2011 Ernest Butcher prize, was awarded the Paul Simm opera prize while studying at Trinity College of Music, and was chosen to receive the inaugural Buxton International Festival Young Artist's bursary for 2016.
On the operatic stage, Helen has performed principal roles for Opera Up Close (Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots), Kentish Opera (Santuzza, Cavalleria Rusticana), Red Earth Opera (Vitellia, La Clemenza di Tito), Ryedale Festival Opera (Pamina, The Magic Flute), Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival (Angel/Mission Controller, Apollo’s Mission; Earthling 1, The Art of Venus), Pop-Up Opera (Véronique, Le Docteur Miracle), Bath Festival Opera (First Lady, The Magic Flute), Blackheath Halls Opera (Giannetta, The Elixir of Love), and Buxton International Festival (Dama, Macbeth; Zuma, Alzira). She has also performed the roles of Mother (Amahl and the night visitors), Rosina (La Vera Costanza), Anne Truelove (The Rake’s Progress), Dido/Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas), Aunt Norris (Mansfield Park), Cathleen (Riders to the Sea), and recently covered the role of Miss Jessel (Turn of The Screw) for Bury Court Opera.
Helen has a busy concert schedule, performing regularly as a soloist for the Botley, Compton and Shawford, Dover, Ember, Folkestone, and Sutton Valence choral societies, Thanet Festival Choir, The Seventy Singers, and Maidstone Wind Symphony.
Forthcoming engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with Sutton Valence Choral Society, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Winchester Cathedral alongside Sir Thomas Allen, and the role of ‘Ilia’ in Mozart’s Idomeneo with Rose Opera.
Please visit Helen's website for full details:
Fiona Mackay - Mezzo-Soprano
British mezzo-soprano Fiona Mackay studied music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and has recently graduated from Royal Academy Opera, where she studied with Elizabeth Ritchie and Audrey Hyland.
During her studies at the Royal Academy, Fiona was generously supported by the Sickle Foundation, and was also a Bach Cantata Kohn scholar and a member of the Academy's prestigious Song Circle.
Fiona recently made her principle debut with Opera Holland Park as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw. Other recent highlights include singing the roles of Maman and La Libellule in a concert performance of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges with Stephane Denève and the BBC symphony orchestra, Rosina in Haydn's La Vera Costanza conducted byTrevor Pinnock and Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin conducted by Jane Glover. She also performed the alto solos in Bach's Magnificat at St John Smith Square and in the St John Passion at St Martin-in-the-fields.
Other operatic roles include Second and Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Popova in Walton’s the Bear, Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Maurya in Riders to the Sea, conducted by Peter Robinson, Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, and Lady Bertram in the London première production of Dove’s Mansfield Park.
Fiona's solo concert work has included performances at the Spitalfields, Dartington, York and Bath Music Festivals, on BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, and with the City of London Sinfonia, Thames Chamber Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Her oratorio repertoire includes Elgar Sea Pictures, Verdi Requiem and Handel Messiah.
This summer, Fiona covers Smeraldina in Dove's The Little Green Swallow for British Youth Opera.
Richard Dowling - Tenor
Richard is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music’s Opera Course, where he was privileged to perform the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ . He is now supported by Opera Prelude.
Richard recently travelled to Tokyo with ‘Diva Opera’ to perform as ‘Pedrillo’ in their production of Mozart’s ‘Entführung aus dem Serail’ and in the autumn performed with English Touring Opera, as a soloist in their productions of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and a triple Bill including a mixture of Purcell, Carissimi and Gesualdo. In 2018 he also sang the High Priest in Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’ for the Buxton International Festival. Previously he sang Ferrando in Mozart’s ‘Cosi fan tutte’ with West Green Opera and, working under Graham Vick, performed the role of the Sailor in Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, and performed as the Glassmaker in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ conducted by Steuart Bedford with Garsington Opera. He has also performed the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ as a young artist with Mid Wales Opera and the role
of Nemorino in Donizetti’s ‘Elisir d’amore’ with Jackdaws OperaPLUS.
Richard originally studied Chemical Engineering at The University of Manchester, where he completed a PhD in the field of crystallisation.
Please visit Richard's website for further details:
Jim Clements - Baritone
Born into a family of musicians, Jim Clements (baritone) has been performing and writing music from a young age; the choir of Rochester Cathedral premiered his first choral composition when he was just twelve. A decade later, he graduated from Manchester University, where his principal instrumental study was percussion, with a first-class degree in music and decided to pursue a career of singing and composing.
Jim has since enjoyed a busy career as a consort singer, performing with many of the world’s finest vocal ensembles, including the BBC Singers, Ex Cathedra, Opera Rara, and the choirs of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. He was for seven years a member of the GRAMMY-nominated ensemble Stile Antico, with which he performed extensively in Europe and the USA, including engagements at the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and recorded nine critically acclaimed discs, winning awards including the Diapason d’Or, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and Edison Klassiek Award. He also relishes the freedom of performing as a soloist, singing numerous oratorio roles and occasional recitals, frequently alongside his wife, Helen.
Jim is a published and recorded composer and arranger, receiving commissions from numerous and diverse artists including Tim Minchin, Tom Jones, G4, Neil Cowley Trio, and The King’s Singers, and orchestras including Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. He is Arranger in Residence for the a cappella octet, VOCES8, for whom he has written over fifty bespoke vocal arrangements which they have performed around the globe and recorded on ten award-winning discs. His music is published by Edition Peters and Faber Music and has been recorded on Decca Classics, Signum Classics, and Universal Records by ensembles including VOCES8, Temple Chapel Choir, and Queen’s College Oxford, receiving three CARA nominations.
For more information, please visit