The Production Team
Music Director & Producer Evelyn Nallen
Founder of the Weaver Ensemble, creator and musical director of this project, Evelyn Nallen, 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, and she recreated the musical score, from theatre music of the early 18th century, for The Loves of Mars & Venus, the company’s first production. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Department.
Director Alan Privett (Pygmalion)
Alan Privett’s career reflects a wide and varied training in different fields that have contributed to his work as a director. He read English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and also studied at the Leicester School of Education and the Architectural Association. He has an ARCM in vocal performance.
Opera credits include productions for Midsummer Opera (venues in UK, Europe, Bermuda Festival); Mrs Fraser’s Frenzy (Canterbury, Cheltenham Festivals, Purcell Room); Madam Butterfly, Turandot, Aida, Macbeth, La traviata, L'elisir d'amore, Orpheus in the Underworld, and Don Giovanni (Opera South East).
As Artistic Director at Longborough he was responsible for the development of the 2013 Ring project. The 'mini-Ring' was performed as a complete cycle in 2004 at Longborough and the Cambridge Arts Theatre. 2013 saw the culmination of the project when the Ring cycle received three performances at Longborough - the only fully-staged production of the Ring in the UK in Wagner's bicentenary year.
Director Jenny Miller (Mars and Venus)
A National Opera Studio alumnus, Jenny sang as a soloist for Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, ENO and ROH before moving to the dramatic soprano repertoire and singing lead roles for Loughborough Festival Opera. Her directing credits include Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, a touring production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ (based on 17th-century solo cantatas). She has directed several Mozart operas for Loughborough Festival Opera and directed young singers in touring versions of these productions, as well as directing Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers for Opera South East.
Playwright Stephen Wyatt
Stephen Wyatt is an award-winning writer for radio, theatre and television.
Highlights include: creating two Classic Dr. Who stories, Paradise Towers and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy; co-writing Cameron Mackintosh’s first independent musical production; winning the Tinniswood Award for best original radio script twice; working with Patrick Stewart on two plays about Raymond Chandler in Hollywood; providing the libretto to an unfinished opera by Debussy; and dramatising Dante’s The Divine Comedy for radio.
He has recently published his first novel, The World and His Wife: a true story told by two unreliable narrators.
Designer Chris de Wilde
Chris de Wilde is an experienced set and costume designer equally at home with large and small-scale productions. His large scale theatre and opera commissions include CANDIDE and SWEENEY TODD (Värmlandsoperan, Karlstad, Sweden), NINE (Malmö Musikteater, Sweden), IL TROVATORE (Tbilisi Opera & Ballet Theatre, Georgia), CYBERJAM (Queen’s Theatre) & NIXON’S NIXON (Comedy Theatre) in the West End and EDMUND THE LEARNED PIG (Manchester Royal Exchange Studio).
While he is very happy to create work on a larger scale, he also enjoys the challenge of distilling the essence of a piece when resources are limited, designing regularly for small scale and touring companies. Shows include CROSSINGS (Julie McNamara Productions), TOMORROW MORNING (Landor), CALL ME MADAM (Union Theatre) and STRAKER SINGS BREL (King’s Head).
Chris works regularly with Youth Music Theatre: UK, for whom he has designed eight shows, and was Associate Artist with Krazy Kat Theatre Company, collaborating on seventeen shows, including THE WAVING CAT OF JAPAN, A VICTORIAN MIKADO, CLOWNDERELLA and THE VERY MAGIC FLUTE.
Choreographer Gilles Poirier
Gilles Poirier was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, and studied classical and contemporary dance at the National Conservatory of Lyon.
From 1994 to 2004 he was a soloist in the Baroque Dance Company L’Eventail, directed by Marie-Geneviève Massé, with whom he performed in ten productions and many international tours. In 1995 he worked with The Commedia dell'Arte of Ferruccio Soleri particularly on baroque gesture with Philippe Lénaël in the Baroque Theatre of France,in two Comédie-Ballet by Molière and Lully.
From 1993 to 2013 Gilles has also worked in various Opera productions in Paris, New York, Brussels, Versailles, Boston, Lausanne and Japan, working with choreographers Ana Yepes, Françoise Denieau, Lucy Graham and Natalie Van Parys.
As choreographer Gilles has worked with the Baroque Ensemble of Limoges, directed by Christophe Coin, at the Opera Theatre of Limoges and choreographed and directed the opera Orfeo by Luigi Rossi at the Opera Theatre of Limoges for the students of the conservatory Limoges. Under the musical direction of William Christie, he works with Les Arts Florissants and is currently teaching at Centre of Baroque Music of Versailles.
Baroque Dance Historian Moira Goff
Researches and reconstructs the notated dances of the eighteenth century. Her doctoral thesis ‘Art and Nature Join’d’: Hester Santlow and the Development of Dancing on the London Stage, 1700-1737’ and her book The Incomparable Hester Santlow: A Dancer-Actress on the Georgian Stage (Ashgate) make her the world expert in our subject. Moira was also a curator of rare books at the British Library in London, where she was responsible for the collections of British material printed from 1501 to 1800 and was the curator for the Library’s enormously successful exhibition Georgians Revealed.