Louis Dupré / M. Pygmalion (Pygmalion)
Louis Dupré / Mars (Mars and Venus)
Born in Toulouse, Romain Arreghini trained at the ESDC Rosella Hightower dance school and the Rudra Béjart Lausanne. His first professional work was with the French choreographer Redha in 2009, followed by the baroque dance company L’Eventail. He worked as part of the cabaret La Coupole des Anges dance crew and the contemporary dance company Christine Hassid Project.
He has also worked with Françoise Denieau and with Les Art Florissants on Rameau, maître à danser, as well as with the German contemporary dance company Tanzcompagnie Giessen. In France, he was in the baroque production of Les Amants Magnifiques. He is the founder of the contemporary dance company Dhyana Dance Lab.
Hester Santlow / Galatea (Pygmalion)
Hester Santlow / Venus (Mars and Venus)
French-Italian performer Chiara Vinci was born in London. She trained at the Arts Educational and Ballet Rambert schools. She works professionally as a dancer, actor and opera singer. She also trained and works closely with her singing teacher Jenny Miller, director of Barefoot Opera. Her recent roles for that company include Serpina in La Serva Padrona and Gianetta in L’Elisir d’Amore.
Most recently, Chiara created the role of Sophie Kroll in Maxwell Davies’s opera Kommilitonen with Welsh National Youth Opera. Future work includes the role of Carolina in Il Matrimonio Segreto with Pop-up Opera and the lead role of Susan in the new musical Paris Snow written by Patrick Kealey.
John Weaver / Mr Worldly (Pygmalion)
John Weaver / Vulcan (Mars and Venus)
Matt Devitt began his professional career as a performer and Director in 1982 at The Bubble Theatre Company. He has worked extensively in theatre, television, radio and film with his performance as Cookie in the original cast of the cult musical Return To The Forbidden Planet receiving an Olivier nomination for Most Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Musical. He also starred in, directed and co-produced another West End transfer with the Bob Carlton musical From A Jack To A King. Despite a long a varied television career his most notorious TV role was as DOG in one early episode of Red Dwarf. He was a mainstay of The BBC Children’s Department for much of the late 80s and early 90s including the ultimate accolade, an appearance on Jackanory!
Matt has an independent video production company, Devision Films, specialising in developing dramas for use in the teaching of English as a foreign language and has co-authored publications on the use of music and drama within the English Language classroom. He is a member of The Helbling Academy.
Jim Fish - John Weaver / Vulcan (Mars and Venus)
Jim’s acting credits include, The Winters Tale, King Lear and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC), The Tempest and Adventures in Wonderland (Teatro Vivo), Purposeless Movements (Birds of Paradise), Two, Gold Dust and Four Play (Deafinitely Theatre) Day By Night (The Albany), Seven Jewish Children (Hackney Empire), The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse), Master Juba (Fittings Multimedia), The Perfect Spot (Cartoon Theatre), Fire in the Fields (Theatre and Beyond), For Once I Was (The Silent Collective), Body Checks (Yvonne Arnaud), Transmissions (Birmingham Rep), La Cage Aux Folles (Tour).
He is also a principal actor for the Krazy Kat Theatre Company. For TV, ‘Doctors’ and ‘Davina McCall A Comedy Roast’. Film credits include ‘The Brits are Coming’, 'High Rise’ and ‘The End'.
Evelyn Nallen / Recorder
Music director and producer Evelyn Nallen, creator of this project, made her BBC debut as a recorder player at the age of nine and since then has appeared on BBC TV and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4. Together with harpsichordist David Gordon, she formed the innovative early music/jazz group Respectable Groove. Their take on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas integrates improvisation with written compositions. Evelyn devised a programme with Respectable Groove and the French baroque dancer Gilles Poirier called Dido’s Got the Blues.
In 2012, Evelyn worked with the baroque dancer and dance historian Moira Goff to create the score for The Loves of Mars and Venus which underpins the present entertainment. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Department.
Lesley-Anne Sammons / Harpsichord
Lesley-Anne Sammons, harpsichord, is a freelance Musical director, Repetiteur and Coach and has worked for: Glyndebourne Festival & Touring Opera, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera North, Royal Opera House, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Festival Opera, ROH2, European Opera Centre and New Sussex Opera.
She has been a regular vocal coach at The Royal College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, The National Opera Studio, Dartington International Summer School , The Complete Singer Summer School, Ardingly International Music Summer school.
Lesley Anne has conducted for Opera Box (La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, The Pearl fishers, Dido and Aeneas), Opera Holland Park with the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra (Madama Butterfly, I Barbiere di Siviglia) and Longborough Festival Opera (Die Zauberflote).
She is also an Associate Lecturer at Chichester University, teaching, coaching and nurturing young people in Classical Singing, Piano Accompaniment and Musical Theatre.
Lucy Mulgan / Double bass
Composer, arranger and double bass player, Lucy Mulgan trained as a jazz bassist at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music (now Victoria University School of Music), completing a Diploma in Jazz Performance in 1992. She moved to the UK in 1996 to further her studies in composition at the University of York, studying with Nicola LeFanu and Roger Marsh where she graduated with a PhD in Composition in 2004.
Lucy’s music has been performed by BBC Philharmonic, NZSO, Juice Vocal Ensemble, London & New York Gay Men’s Choruses and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 & 4, BBC World (TV), Concert FM (NZ) and Radio NZ.
In 2012 she wrote and produced the soundtrack for Europe’s Last Dictator (narrated by Joanna Lumley), which won the best documentary at the London Independent Film Festival. In 2015 Lucy co-created and performed in The Flaming Galahs – A Feathery Riot show, which performed at the Brighton & Edinburgh Festivals.
Lucy is a co-founder of jazz punk ensemble DOLLYman who perform across London regularly including The Southbank Centre, The National Portrait Gallery, Vortex Jazz Club. She has been resident bass player with Barefoot Opera since 2013.
Lucy has taught bass and coached various jazz ensembles in schools and universities in both the UK and NZ. Current composition projects include a new children's opera for Barefoot Opera and Muffin’s Musings, a collection of quirky original songs.
Derek Scurll / Percussion
Derek Scurll plays drum kit and orchestral percussion, and has a busy gigging life as well as teaching. He moved to Cambridge in 1995 to study music at Selwyn College Cambridge, and has stayed in the Cambridge area ever since. He has been playing with Prime Brass regularly since 2007 and has recorded with St John’s College Choir and with the composer and conductor Bob Chilcott
Jamie Akers / Baroque guitar
Jamie Akers was born in Scotland and studied lute and early guitars at the Royal College of Music, London. Following a Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music, London, he began a varied career as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral and session musician and teacher. He has performed or recorded with many leading UK based ensembles and soloists, including I Fagiolini, the Scottish, English and Irish Chamber Orchestras, the Dunedin Consort, the Ulster orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble, Alison Balsam and Damon Albarn.
Jamie has worked with the opera companies English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Innsbruck Festival Opera. He has performed often in the theatre, including at Shakespeare’s Globe. Jamie has given recitals throughout Europe of lute and early guitar music. He is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Gareth Deats / Cello
Gareth Deats gained a first-class honours degree in music from Southampton University, where he was also awarded the Peter Evans prize for outstanding performance. He completed a post-graduate course at the Guildhall School of Music. He has recorded for television, radio and on compact disc and has performed extensively throughout Europe.
He has performed as principal cello for La Serenissima, New London Consort, Classical Opera Company, the Avison Ensemble, the Galeazzi Ensemble, Charivari Agreable, the Feinstein Ensemble and the Cambridge Baroque Camerata and has recorded concertos and chamber music with several of them.