Pirates of Penzance – July 2017

 Here’s our main cast for Pirates of Penzance

Alan Philps (Major General Stanley)

Alan studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, and appeared in several television dramas He has toured with the Arts Council performing children’s opera. On coming to London In 1976, he studied singing with Florence Norberg. He sang several seasons of opera at the Plymouth Festival and toured England with The Life and Music of Kern and Berlin.  His recent performances in Wedmore include: Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads, A Chip in the Sugar

Sam Cumming (The Pirate King)

Sam is delighted to be working with Wedmore Opera as the Pirate King. This is Sam’s first major role in an operatic production, and he has benefitted from the expert tutelage of International Operatic baritone – Ben Bevan. Most of Sam’s singing background comes from younger choral performances, until he joined Wedmore Opera.  Sam has performed in the chorus of Wedmore Opera for a number of years, and has been scouted by MD Carolyn Doorbar to lead the pirates!

  Francesca Bowkett (Ruth)

Francesca studied singing with Geraldine Frank at Morley College, London; She sings regularly as. Mezzo soprano soloist including yearly Viennese Concerto in Bristol and for 15 years Finale soloist at the Festival of Remembrance and Gala Concerts at the Colton Hall.  Francesca has enjoyed principal roles with local operatic companies. Her Wedmore Opera roles include Ulrica in The Masked Ball, Mercedes in Carmen, The Sorceress (Dido and Aneaus), Lady Vivienne in Jago and a Black Widow in Eleanor Vale. She was awarded the West Country Rose Bowl awards as Mother Superior in The Sound of Music and Katisha in The Mikado.

Tom Creswick (Frederic)

Tom is delighted to be playing Frederick in his first show with Wedmore. Tom is a four time nominee of the Somerset Fellowship of Drama awards, and has recently received a distinction in his Grade 8 University of West London Musical Theatre exam. A highlight from his 13 years in Musical Theatre to date has been performing in the Professional touring production of Evita at the Bristol Hippodrome. Other standout roles include Colin Craven in The Secret Garden and the title role in Joseph

Roger Burdock (Samuel)

Roger is a solicitor who comes originally from Street where he sang in the 1970s with Strode Opera, including several opera, Viennese operettas and Gilbert and Sullivan productions. He then moved to Swindon where he was so impressed with Swindon Opera’s Nabucco (and one of the Hebrew slaves in particular) that he joined them for their next production of Die Fledermaus, and later married the Hebrew slave, better known as Jane who is a piano teacher.  After 40 years with solicitors Berry Redmond Gordon and Penney, Roger is delighted that semi-retirement now allows him after many years to return to the world of opera by joining Wedmore Opera this year.

Ian Maitland-Round (Sergeant of Police)

Ian met John Reed in Harrogate in 1980 and shares half a surname with Thomas Round (no relation) – G&S fans take note.  His musical career has been con sordino thus far, as church organist, singers’ accompanist and latterly acting second trombone (on the euphonium) with Congresbury Brass.  Plucked from obscurity and thrust into the limelight as Sergeant of Police, he is sure that his lot will continue to be a happy one.

Emily Coombes (Mabel)

Emily is reading English and Classical studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. Having trained with soprano Rachael Cooper, this is Emily’s second time performing Gilbert and Sullivan, having previously played Josephine in HMS Pinafore. Other past productions include: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Bristol Hippodrome, various performances with Bruce James Productions, both Cinderella and Lucinda in Into the Woods and Dido and Aeneas and Carmen previously with Wedmore Opera. Emily is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Wedmore to play the part of Mabel, and hopes that you will enjoy the show as much as she does!

Bobby Bass (Edith)

Bobby has enjoyed amateur dramatics and singing since a young child performing in pantos. Since then she has appeared in many school productions and completed an A-level in theatre studies.
Bobby qualified as a Physiotherapist 12 years ago and has two children. She has appeared in many pantos and musicals. Her roles in musicals include Anne Ergaman  in A Little Night Music and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes. She also sings in local music festivals and in the church choir.She comes from a musical family with both her sister and father in the show.

Natalie Hope (Kate)

Natalie greatly enjoys singing and is a keen member of a number of local choirs, singing groups and operatic societies. She has participated in a varied range of productions including pantomime, musicals and opera; she joined Wedmore Opera for Carmen in 2015 and is looking forward to taking part in Pirates of Penzance.

Hannah Blake (Isabel)

Since joining Wedmore Opera in 2014, Hannah has enjoyed being in the chorus for the productions of Carmen (2015) and A Night at the Movies (2016). Music has always been an important part of Hannah’s life – her great grandmother was a professional Opera Singer with The Carl Rosa Opera Company and D’Oyly Carte, and one of Hannah’s earliest theatrical memories was being taken to see D’Oyly Carte’s performance of G&S’s HMS Pinafore. Hannah has performed lead roles in numerous childhood productions and is enjoying her active re-engagement in the musical world.