One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is involvement in projects that take music and movement to sectors of the community who might not otherwise have that access. As well as co-leading the ENB’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme, I work with dance artists Roosa Leimu-Brown and Louisa Dalton to deliver music and movement workshops as MuMo Creative.

Drawing our respective backgrounds in biology,  history and dance, we build our sessions around story, science, and themes tailored specifically to clients’ needs—such as a series of workshops for older people, based on the Museum of Rural Life’s collection, and sessions for the Oxford Playhouse exploring music, movement and story linked with productions taking place in the theatre. For more details, see our website.

I’ve joined forces with a number of dance artists to create live music sessions in hospitals and homes around the area, including a project at Witney Community Hospital, visiting the wards and day room to bring some song and dance into the daily routine. Dancer Rhonda Sparrey and I were among 12 practitioners funded by the FLOURISH programme to encourage the use of arts among people with dementia. We led a course of eight Dance for Dementia workshops at the Christchurch Centre in Henley, featuring themes such as A Night At The Theatre and A Day At The Seaside. Here’s a short film about our work, which gives some idea of the extraordinary power of music to revive and reconnect.
It’s been a privilege to work with talented dance practitioner Danielle Teale, creator of the DfP programme, on a variety of projects, including a weekend of DfP workshops in Glasgow for Scottish Ballet, and an introductory course for DfP teachers at the People Dancing conference in De Montfort University, Leicester.

In 2019 and 2022 I  joined a chamber group of musicians in Suffolk to record the music for HerStory, The Catchpole Chronicles. This opera, scored by composer Amy Mallett in collaboration with people living with Parkinson’s Disease, was inspired by the story of 19th-century convict Margaret Catchpole.  Community arts company Cohere Arts, headed by Amy and Nicola Wydenbach, have developed the project into a wonderful film involving Dance for Parkinson’s groups around the UK. In Oxford, our workshop company MuMo Creative explored the opera at our weekly DfP sessions, and some participants featured  in movement sequences, and in a very dramatic trial scene filmed at the old courtroom in Oxford City Hall! The film’s launch takes place in Suffolk in July, and the project is being presented at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Barcelona.


VERITY – ditched at her wedding, nagged by her mum, hates her job … and it’s only Monday. This short musical gives a glimpse of Verity’s life, friends and family, with a lot of songs along the way. After great feedback from two Oxford productions, Verity made her debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, where we were rewarded with a four-star review from The Mumble. And now VERITY, along with her companion piece DEXTER, giving the groom’s POV, returns to Edinburgh in 2023! You can see them on alternate nights from 21st to 26th August, at theSpace at Symposium Hall (The Annexe), and the show goes on sale on 16th February.

A video of our original production is available on Scenesaver. We’re delighted that Verity was voted BEST MUSICAL in the 2022 Scenesaver Birthday Honours Awards.

Here are some quotes from our Fringe review:
‘…a  veritable modern masterpiece’ … ‘an extremely talented bunch’ …  ‘she rhymes like a rapper’… ‘A fabulous piece on so many levels’

And here are some audience reactions:
‘I loved it! Such great performances from everyone, and fab music.’
‘I really enjoyed the story, the fantastic singing and the slick presentation – very humorous, with some comical dance moves …’
‘It was absolutely bloody brilliant!’

To hear some songs from the show click here — or see video clips of the live performance on the Three Chairs and a Hat Youtube channel.

VERITY scores and scripts are available for hire. If your group or society would like to stage it, go to the Contacts page and drop me a line for more information.

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Opera Anywhere’s touring productions have entertained audiences around the country in theatres, schools, village halls, cowsheds and even an air hangar. Some shows feature locally recruited chorus singers; others follow workshops with schoolchildren, who then join in the action. I have great fun as the MD and pianist, and along with flautist Nick Planas, percussionist Dave Hadland and cellist Rosie Burchett I enjoy the challenge of accompanying a production where anything might happen! The programme includes operettas and operas by Gilbert & Sullivan, Puccini, Mozart and Humperdinck, and several modern one-act operas, including Menotti’s The Telephone, Samuel Barber’s mini-opera A Hand of Bridge, William Walton’s The Bear, and Menotti’s The Old Maid And The Thief. In 2019 we added ‘Hansel & Gretel’ to the repertoire, in a beautiful new production by Serenna Wagner. This has now become the basis for one of a series of ‘learning through opera’ digital projects for children aged 8 to 12, with an audiobook featuring specially commissioned illustrations and wonderful text by Serenna and recordings, and video modules exploring the music, characters, costumes, set and lighting.

One of the best things about being a pianist is getting to play the role of ‘orchestra’ for smaller-scale productions and performances. As well as enjoying the rich and exciting operas of Mozart, Puccini and others in my regular work as MD and pianist for Opera Anywhere, I’ve had the opportunity to accompany some thrilling close-up opera at the Arcola Theatre in London, where Paula Chitty’s company Irrantional Theatre presented a dramatic double bill of ‘Gianni Schicchi’ and ‘Pagliacci’ as part of the annual Grimeborn opera festival. ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ is the best-known aria in Puccini’s witty tale, in which Gianni Schicchi uses his impersonating skills to take revenge on his snobbish family; and in Leoncavallo’s highly emotional melodrama, based on a real murder case, professional clown Pagliacci lets reality break into performance, with violent and terrible consequences. Two original and involving productions, and two nights of excellent and accessible opera.

Stuart Pendred’s inspiring Oxford Opera Company brings opera to new audiences, with a winning combination of superb professional singers and community and school choruses. It’s been a privilege to work for OOC as répétiteur and in the pit with the Oxford Chamber Orchestra, for a concert performance of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’, featuring international soprano Lee Bisset; and two fully staged productions at the Oxford Playhouse, both directed by Paul Carr: ‘Carmen’, with renowned mezzo Hannah Pedley in the lead role; and in 2020, a stunning version of ‘La Bohème’, with the latest stars of the opera scene Sam Furness and Marlena Devoe as Rodolfo and Mimi.