The genius of

Gilbert & Sullivan

A study day

The Menuhin Hall
Cobham Road, Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey KT11 3QQ

Monday 8th October 2018       10.30 am – 4.00 pm

presented and introduced by

Peter Medhurst | bass-baritone


Helen Semple | soprano

Clare McCaldin | mezzo-soprano

Richard Rowe | tenor

Nick Gee | baritone

Linda Howarth | flute

Jeremy Limb | piano

The humour, tunefulness and lightness of touch found in the 14 Gilbert and Sullivan operas often camouflage the creators’ solid technique, sound scholarship, and sharp eye for detail.   With the current rise in Gilbert and Sullivan’s popularity, Peter Medhurst explores the so-called ‘Savoy Operas’ and takes a fresh look at the role that the partners played in Victorian England, namely, To help unhappy commoners and add to their enjoyment.

Music to include

I am the Very Model – The Pirates of Penzance Act I

The Sun Whose Rays – The Mikado Act II

Small Titles and Orders – The Gondoliers Act II

The Mikado’s Song – The Mikado Act II

Spurn not the Nobly Born – Iolanthe Act I

The Judge’s Song – Trial by Jury

Oh Gentlemen Listen – Trial by Jury

The Sentry’s Song – Iolanthe Act II

In Sailing O’er Life’s Ocean Wide – Ruddigore Act I

‘Tis done I am a Bride – The Yeomen of the Guard Act I

Oh is there not one Maiden Breast – The Pirates of Penzance Act I

Stay, Fred’ric stay! and following duets – The Pirates of Penzance Act 2

Poor Wandering One – The Pirates of Penzance Act I

Minerva – Princess Ida Act I

Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes – The Gondoliers Act II

We’re Called Gondolieri – The Gondoliers

The Hours Creep On – HMS Pinafore Act II

The Nightmare Song – Iolanthe Act II

You Hold Yourself Like this – Patience Act II

Never Mind the Why and Wherefore – Pinafore Act II

Tickets: £38     Telephone box office 08700 842020

The day will run from 10.30am – 4pm. Please bring your own lunch.

Patrons may purchase tea and coffee on the day with cash.

The performers

Helen Semple held a Choral Award at Cambridge University before going on to postgraduate performance studies at Trinity College of Music. Operatic roles include both Susanna (Candlelight Opera) and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro; Countess Adele in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Adele (both Guildford Opera), Micaela (Opera Brava), Margarita in Gounod’s Faust, and Pamina, not to mention playing Donna Anna in two versions of Don Giovanni, Mozart’s and Gazzaniga’s, the latter with Bampton Classical Opera.


Clare McCaldin has built a diverse career spanning the opera stage and concert platform, including Salzburg Easter Festival, Royal Opera, BBC Proms, Radio 3 and Edinburgh International Festival.  She is a great advocate of new music, in operatic roles by Errollyn Wallen and Stephen McNeff, and as a soloist in concert with Oliver Knussen, the Brodsky Quartet, and Iain Burnside. She is known for her innovative recital and has a significant solo discography: her recordings of Stephen McNeff’s Madrigali dell’Estate, Hugh Wood’s Laurie Lee Songs and her most recent Notes from the Asylum, all won four stars from BBC Music Magazine.  Through her McCaldin Arts, Clare produces one-woman shows about neglected female characters ranging from Queen Mary 1 to Jessie Matthews.

Richard Rowe pursued a career in science and business before studying at the Royal Academy of Music.  Recently, he was with Scottish Opera singing two roles in their contemporary Five: 15 production and Stroh in Intermezzo (Strauss). Richard Rowe’s operatic engagements have included the contemporary project Cautionary Tales at Opera North, and Mr Bunce The Fantastic Mr Fox for Opera Holland Park. He has also covered the title-role in Joshua for Opera North. Last Autumn he returned to Scottish Opera to sing Grimoaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda. He recently covered Andres in Wozzeck and Roderigo in Otello for ENO. Future appearances include Goro, Madama Butterfly for Gubbay Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

Nick Gee was born on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and, having been educated at Bedford School and the University of Manchester, trained with Robert Alderson at the Royal Northern College of Music and Boris Bakow at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. He is a founder member of JE Promotions, performing the title roles in Le nozze di Figaro and Don Pasquale, Guglielmo Così fan tutte, Leporello Don Giovanni, Tonio I Pagliacci, Prince Gremin Eugene Onegin, Marcello La Bohème, Il Sagrestano & Sciarrone Tosca, Doctor Falke Die Fledermaus, and Méphistophélès Faustin venues owned by The National Trust and English Heritage, as well as privately owned houses including Wilton House, Hatfield House and Arundel Castle. Other roles include Escamillo Carmenand Colline La Bohèmefor Commedia Opera; Melchior Amahl and the Night Visitors, Ben The Telephone, and The Vicar Albert Herring for Operamus.

Linda Howarth won a scholarship to study the flute with Clare Southworth at Wells Cathedral School, Somerset at the age of twelve.  Following this she went on to become a full time student at Trinity College of Music, London.  Linda graduated in 1995 having being awarded the Fellowship.  During her time at College, she won – among other prizes – the Albert Cooper competition at the International Flute Festival at Stratford-on-Avon.  As well as gaining a reputation as a gifted teacher, Linda holds down a busy recital schedule and performs regularly in the British Isles and abroad.  No stranger to the radio, she has given recitals on Classic FM Friday Live, and Radio 3.

Jeremy Limb read music at Queen’s College, Oxford, then studied piano at the Royal College of Music. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, given numerous recitals around the country, and won 1st Prize in the 18th Brant National Piano Competition.  He now works as a freelance musician in various capacities – soloist, accompanist, sight-reader, repetiteur (including work for English National Opera).  He is also a writer and performer of comedy and has had material used on BBC1 by Harry Enfield, has written and performed on ITV2, BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC Radios 1, 2 and 4, and was nominated for the LWT New Comedy Writing Award for his play ‘Play Wisty For Me’ – The Life of Peter Cook.

Peter Medhurst 2017 was one of the busiest years of Peter’s career. 2018 is set to be even busier.  He begins with a lecture-recital tour of the Highlands in early January before heading off on two tours to Venice, where he will give recitals in all the churches linked with the life and career of Antonio Vivaldi. He then travels to Dresden and Vienna to explore the local art and music and to participate in concerts and workshops with Julia Debruslais cello and Jeremy Limb piano.  Further musical adventures this year will take him to Berlin, Jersey, Delft, Bordeaux, Santiago de Compostela and Lisbon.  He will also be presenting special events at Dartington Hall and the King’s Place in London.  Peter trained at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He also studied privately with Edgar Evans (voice) and Ruth Dyson (harpsichord).