Aaron Prewer-Jenkinson (Figaro)
Aaron’s musical experience began at the age of seven when he became a chorister at Worcester Cathedral while studying at the King’s School Worcester becoming head chorister in 2007. His experience in choral music continued at Durham University, with Aaron becoming senior choral scholar at Durham Cathedral, whilst reading Classics and Music at Durham University between 2012 and 2015 and during which time he has performed solos ranging from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and the part of ‘Pilatus’ in Bach’s ‘St John Passion’ to the bass solos in Faure’s Requiem with the OSJ, as well as featured as leads in various operatic productions.
Whilst at King’s, Aaron explored a variety of musical styles. He currently performs bass guitar, saxophone and harmonica as part of a band with a UK No. 1 selling artist which plays at venues across the UK and Europe, developed from playing as part of a jazz duo at King’s with a pianist for functions and gigs around Worcester. He has also performed guitar with the British Police Symphony Orchestra in their rendition of the James Bond and Austin Powers themes in Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Aaron has also developed a love of opera, particularly those of the great late romantics. His performances have ranged from leading roles in Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’ and ‘HMS Pinafore’, Lehar’s ‘The Merry Widow’, Purcell’s ‘Dido & Aeneas’ and Mozart’s ‘Cosi fan Tutte’ and ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (among others) with opera groups in both Worcester and Durham. More recently, Aaron has also performed solos with the British Police Symphony Orchestra in extracts from Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ and ‘Tosca’ in Beacon Park, Lichfield.
Aaron has a keen interest in public speaking, winning two commended delegate awards at Model United Nations competitions while at King’s as well as chairing the school debating club, continuing to become an active member of the Durham Union Society. He has narrated various works with orchestras and chamber groups, including Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and the poetry of Ogden Nash to Saint-Saen’s ‘Carnival of the Animals’ to Poulenc’s ‘Babar the Elephant’ and ‘Popular Song’ from Walton’s ‘façade.
Claire Johnson (Susanna)
Claire Johnson trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a part-time vocal student whilst studying for a B.A. (Honours) degree in Music and Publishing. She completed post-graduate singing studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Pamela Cook M.B.E. and enjoyed advanced Masterclass tuition with the late Anthony Rolfe Johnson C.B.E. Claire is in regular demand as a Midlands concert soloist and has performed extensively in a wide variety of principal operatic roles; as Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) and Preziosilla (The Force of Destiny) for Royal Sutton Opera; Anna (Moses), Konchakovna (Prince Igor) and Carmen for Midland Opera; Tebaldo (Don Carlos) for Bel Canto Opera and The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) for Opera Worcester (GWOS) as well as Carolina (The Secret Marriage), Countess Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro) and Rosina (The Barber of Seville) for Opera Novella. Claire is also Artistic Director of Consensus Opera, a group of experienced Stratford-based performers looking to bring opera to a wider public in a fun and innovative way, whilst raising money for worthy charitable causes.
Tim Johnson (Count Almaviva)
Tim Johnson studied singing with his father, Anthony Rolfe Johnson C.B.E. and Diane Forlano. Tim is a well-known concert soloist and has worked extensively around the Midlands, most notably with Knowle Operatic Society, Moseley Operatic Society, New Arcadians Operatic Society, Midlands Opera, Bel Canto Opera, Severnside Theatre Company, Stratford-upon-Avon Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Opera Novella and Opera Worcester. Tim won the Oratorio, Opera and recital classes together with the Arthur Street Prize for outstanding vocal performance at the Birmingham Music Festival. Tim is also co-founder and Executive Director of Consensus Opera which he runs together with his wife, Claire. Major singing roles have included Schubert (Lilac Time), Sutton (White Horse Inn), Luiz, Marco (Gondoliers), Charlie (Brigadoon), Pluto (Orpheus in the Underworld), Remendado (Carmen), Hilarion (Princess Ida), Alexis (Sorcerer), Strephon (Iolanthe), Frederic (Pirates of Penzance), Ralph Rackstraw (HMS Pinafore), Colonel Fairfax (Yeomen of the Guard), Nanki-Poo (The Mikado), Paulino (The Secret Marriage), Fenton, Simple (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Figaro (Barber of Seville, Marriage of Figaro), Monastatos (Magic Flute).
Patricia Head (Countess Almaviva)
Originally from Devon, Patricia has a postgraduate diploma in Vocal Studies from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow having initially studied for an English Degree.
She has made concert appearances all over the country including an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but locally has been a soloist with the Elgar Chorale, The Alcester Male Voice Choir, The Bromyard Choral Society and Philomusica in Cheltenham.
Opera is her first love and Patricia’s roles have included Cupid, The Coronation of Poppea (Monteverdi), leading soprano roles in a number of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas (with GWOS), Hanna, The Merry Widow (Lehar); Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro; Despina, Cosi fan Tutte, Zerlina Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi (Puccini).
Patricia recently fulfilled a number of singing ambitions by performing her first Micaela, Carmen in 2016 and last year, Pamina in The Magic Flute , both for Opera Worcester (formerly GWOS). She is about to mark another musical milestone by singing Countess Almaviva for the first time in 2018.
She studies locally with Margaret Field after studying privately for many years with Maureen Guy. www.patriciahead.com
Paul Ellis (Dr Bartolo)
Paul began singing in early childhood in Coventry, but didn’t take up performing on stage until his mid-twenties, when he appeared with West Bridgford Operatic Society in Nottingham, where his first principal role was Major Murgatroyd in ‘Patience’. Having moved to Worcestershire soon after, he has since performed many times with various local societies. Favourite roles include Robin Oakapple in ‘Ruddigore’, Giuseppe Palmieri in ‘The Gondoliers’, Dr Daly in ‘The Sorcerer’ and Captain Corcoran in ‘HMS Pinafore’. He is very much looking forward to playing Dr Bartolo in this performance of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’
Caroline Causier (Marcellina)
Caroline has sung with many operatic societies in Worcestershire. She has enjoyed singing many lead roles, working with professional producers and musical directors. Caroline has competed successfully in many Music Festivals throughout the Midlands and has performed in many prestigious venues across the country and Channel Islands where her late husband, Anthony, accompanied her. In addition to her theatre work, spanning over forty years, Caroline also sings with the music group, Vocal Score and is guest soloist for a variety of functions. Caroline joined GWOS in 1996 for Orpheus in the Underworld when she took the role of Eurydice and has sung many roles for the society. She is now privileged to act as the society’s Chairman. Caroline started singing at the age of twelve with the late Joan Bright and studied for many years with the late Pam Foort, she now works with Margaret Field. Last year Caroline sang the role of Papagena in The Magic Flute and during the run became a grandmother for the first time. This year her grandson will celebrate his first birthday during the run!
Sue Lupton (Cherubino)
After graduating in German and Music, Sue undertook postgraduate studies in Music Therapy and Teaching. She taught special needs and drama. She has performed numerous roles with Malvern Theatre Players as well as co-directing for the company. She has performed principal roles in Carmen and Kiss Me Kate, as well as singing in a jazz group and two choirs, the Aldwyn and the Pax. She has just embarked on a new career as an examiner of drama and musical theatre. Sue is principal bassoonist in the Chandos Symphony Orchestra and a frequent pit player. It is with great delight and excitement that she steps out of the pit once more and on to the stage with Opera Worcester.
Michael Burgess (Don Basilio)
Michael was a chorister in Worcester Cathedral from 2009-2013, which laid the foundations for his love of singing. He has since achieved a grade 8 with distinction, and developed his performance skills as a member of Wymsical Theatre, which stages several showcases of musical theatre repertoire throughout the year. He has also recently enjoyed playing ‘Posner’ in a production of The History Boys at the Norbury Theatre in Droitwich last September, as well as ‘Lt Cable’ in his school’s production of South Pacific in December. He sings in several choirs including the RSCM’s Millennium Youth Choir, the Elgar School of Music’s Baroque Choir and Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir.
Laurie Standish Hayes (Don Curzio)
Laurie is 21 and works part-time, devoting the rest of his energies to pursuing his musical career. Laurie has taken part in many choral performances including ‘The Armed Man’ at The Albert Hall, sung solo pieces for the Malvern Male Voice Choir and from Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and ‘Olivet to Calvary’ with Holy Trinity Augmented Choir. He has performed principle roles in ‘Grease’, ‘The Beggar’s Opera’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and Timothy in ‘Salad Days’. He was a founding member of The Nearly Ten Tenors A Capella group. This will be Laurie’s first venture into operatic singing. He hopes to study opera at Conservatoire level.
Sophie Hutton (Barbarina/Young Girl 1)
Having studied piano and brass when Sophie was at school, Sophie never had much spare time to devote to singing but had always enjoyed it. After studying law at university, she spent 15 years playing brass in a brass band in her spare time. Sophie decided to swap the cornet for singing a few years ago and started having lessons. A recent change in jobs meant she had more time to pursue hobbies in between being a busy mum and work. Earlier this year Sophie was in the chorus of HMS Pinafore, she caught the ‘performing bug’ and is now really excited to be playing Barbarina –her first solo role
Amy Heptinstall (Young Girl 2)
Amy is 16 years old and is currently studying at the Kings School Worcester as a Music Scholar. Amy has taken part in many stage productions and choral performances which include performances at Symphony Hall as a member of the CBSO children chorus, The Desert Song, The Sound of Music and West Side Story in which she played Maria. Amy has also achieved grade 8, classical singing at Distinction level and has won the Opera Class at the Worcester Arts Festival in 2016 and 2017. Amy hopes to go on to study Opera at conservatoire level after taking her A levels.