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Your Tutors

David Edwards - Stage Director

DAVID EDWARDS is a freelance director, writer and presenter. He was born in London and graduated in Classics from Cambridge University. David has directed opera around the world in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, London (including ten revivals for The Royal Opera), Milan, Vienna, Singapore and regularly in Tokyo at the New National Theatre where he has taught on the Young Artists' programme for over a decade.

His original scripts have been performed in London and Aldeburgh (Wagner & Berlioz, Verdi in Venice, Wagner, Britten & the Sea, From Bayreuth to Busseto, Verdi's Singers on record, Wagner in Exile) and at the Chicago Humanities Festival (Opera at the Movies, Exiled In America).

He is Production Director for The Mastersingers, staging excerpts from DER RING and DIE MEISTERSINGER with emerging Wagner singers, and for many years was a regular tutor at the Motley Theatre Design Course in London. Future projects include BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE with the Philharmonia, FIDELIO in Singapore, and CURLEW RIVER in Japan and the U.K.



Mary Hill - Music Director, Conductor

From Birmingham, Mary studied piano, organ and viola, gained both ARCM and LRAM piano diplomas and played with the CBSO before going to Oxford University. A founder member of Schola Cantorum there, she also sang with the Elizabethan Singers, Schutz and Monteverdi Choirs in London and studied at the London Opera Centre, where she became a member of staff. As an accompanist she gave concerts in all the major London venues, played for the BBC and toured with Intimate Opera.

 She founded her own company, Abbey Opera, as an ILEA education class. Over a period of 40 years it acquired its own orchestra under Antony Shelley, and became a major force for young professional and amateur singers wishing to showcase their work. It staged a wide variety of known and lesser-known repertoire in and around London and for the Camden and Edinburgh festivals. It visited Rennes in France, and gave major concerts at St. John’s Smith Square, the Bloomsbury Theatre, British Museum, and collaborated three times in the Barbican with Chelsea Opera. It gave British premiers of operas by Samuel Barber, Virgil Thomson and Robert Ward, and also Pfitzner’s “Palestrina.” Many performances were broadcast on Radio London, and in its final ten years Abbey Opera became an accredited Diploma Course for the University of London.

Mary has also worked as a coach for Glyndebourne , Welsh National Opera, Kent Opera, Opera Rara, Northern Ireland Opera Trust, the Royal Opera (Stockholm), and Virginia Opera (USA). She was Director of Opera Studies at the Royal College of Music when the Britten Theatre was opened, coached regularly for the National Opera Studio, and ran the postgraduate opera courses at Trinity College of Music. She has recently retired after 27 years at the Royal Academy of Music as Opera Co-ordinator and Chief Coach, and has been awarded an Hon.ARAM for outstanding contribution to the opera department.

Jennifer Carter - Pianist

Jennifer Carter was born in Bristol in 1985. She studied first at Colston's Girls' School, where she was awarded the Merchant Venturer's Vocational Scholarship. She then won a full scholarship to the Junior Department of the Royal Welsh College of Music, where Jennifer received the Elgar Recital Prize, concurrently receiving a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama.

At the age of 17, Jennifer was asked to accompany Robin Bowman's classes at the Académie Internationale d'Eté de Nice, and has now played for his teaching both in and outside Guildhall. Jennifer was then awarded a further postgraduate scholarship to specialise her studies in accompaniment with Robin Bowman, Paul Roberts, Caroline Palmer, and Eugene Asti at the Guildhall, gaining a

Jennifer has played in masterclasses with Chris Elton, Andrew Ball, Michael Dussek, Martin Roscoe, and Ruth Harte and appeared on BBC Wales aged 16 playing in a masterclass with Richard MacMahon.
Jennifer has enjoyed playing in the Edinburgh Festival, LSO St Luke's as part of the LSO
Discovery series, the Colston Hall in Bristol, the Barbican Centre
as part of the Barbican Lates series, St James Piccadilly, St John's Smith Square, St
Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Albert Hall and Kings Place and has also toured Norway and Germany with her piano trios.

She won the Queen Mary II accompanist prize at the Guildhall, and has now been made an accompanist for the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Junior and Senior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. She was awarded scholarships for her postgraduate study from the Stationers' Company, and the Lawrence Atwell Trust.
She has also performed Britten in LSO St Luke's with the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, and premiered the Carter piece at the Barbican
Pit Theatre devised for her by the composer Michael Picknett in 2012, with a repeat performance in 2013.

Jennifer was a Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, and was the first person to be awarded a further extension of this fellowship for an unprecedented third year. She has now been made a Concordia Artist.
Jennifer was also awarded the Leonard Hancock Bursary for her work at the RCM, and was also selected to perform in Iain Burnside's new work 'Journeying Boys' at the Britten Theatre. Jennifer performed recently at the Fidenza Opera House, the Royal Opera House, the Oriental Club, the National Gallery and Lady Solti's house.

Upcoming concerts include performing in Lyon and touring the UK with cellist Mikhail Lezdkan.