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Day One in the Dido House : guest post from the Miranda Wright singers

Posted on 31 July 2012

On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August, The Miranda Wright Singers, in conjunction with the Young Musicians’ Programme at Sage Gateshead, will perform Henry Purcell’s opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’ in Sage Two.

Here, Emma Butler, Assistant Director and Artistic Associate of the Miranda Wright Singers, gives an insight into her team.

I’m Emma Butler and here I’ll be writing about our upcoming production of the Purcell classic, Dido and Aeneas. I’ll be posting about everything from company information to backstage gossip so keep checking in to find out our latest news. This is our second full production, the first being our hugely popular version of Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ this time last year.

Let me introduce you to some of our creative team. Our artistic director Miranda Wright teaches on Sage Gateshead’s Young Musicians Programme. She has a busy practice in Durham teaching undergraduates and other singers from the region. She is also the singing teacher for the boy and girl choristers at Durham Cathedral and works closely with James Lancelot, Master of the choristers, and the Chorister School. Miranda will be one of the course leaders, alongside Paul Farrington and Patricia MacMahon, on the new Samling Academy Masterclass Programme. She teaches on the Eton Choral courses with Ralph Allwood and for the National Youth Choir.

David Murray, our accompanist and conductor is one of the most acclaimed pianists in the North East and is constant demand as a soloist, accompanist and chamber music partner. He has played with the Northern Sinfonia for many years as orchestral pianist in this country and abroad and is featured as pianist on their Chandos recording of ‘The Bear’ by William Walton. On an educational front David has been lucky enough to have helped many young pianists who are now starting to make their way in the musical world. He continues to teach privately and is also Head of Keyboard Studies at the Weekend School at Sage Gateshead, as well as Head of Keyboard Studies at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

I am a young director based in London and have been working professionally for two years. I trained on the directing course at Mountview Academy of Dramatic Arts after completing a music degree from Durham University. My latest credits include being a young director on ‘The Globe to Globe Festival’ at Shakespeare’s Globe; assistant director on ‘The King James Bible’, also at Shakespeare’s Globe; an assistant director at The Royal Academy of Music and director of ‘Dying City’ by Christopher Shinn at The Cockpit Theatre in London.

Day one of our intensive rehearsals is complete and we’ve set the whole of ‘Come Ye Sons of Art’, done movement workshops, eaten birthday cake and had fish and chips on the beach!

Watch out for words from the cast in a future blog post. Click here for more details of the performances in Sage Two.