Philip Clieve: Tenor


Philip is from Lancashire and recently completed his Masters degree at the RNCM in Manchester. He is a Buxton Festival Opera Young Artist and in 2014 was a recipient of a Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton award. In 2014, he was a finalist in the Frederic Cox Award at the RNCM. He has performed regularly with RNCM opera, performing Baburov in the 2012 production of Shostakovich’s ‘Paradise Moscow’, Dulcamara in the 2013 production of Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ and Baron Zeta in the 2014 production of ‘The Merry Widow’. Other roles include Silvio, Paris and The Defendant, to name a few.

Philip began his musical education at the age of five, joining a local church choir. He gained stage experience as a teenager, appearing in pantomimes and musicals from the age of fourteen; he moved on to operetta relatively quickly and gained a passion for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Philip has sung in choirs all his life, and has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, Aughton Male Voice Choir, Hallé Youth Choir, Southport Bach Choir, RNCM Chamber Choir, and Formby Choral Society. He is choral director for Ormskirk Music Society, and does education work for Operetta Theatre Company and Elysium Performance Academy in Manchester, as well as running a busy private teaching practice.




Helen Anne Gregory

Helen was born in Bradford but is now based in the North West. She studied music and graduated from Cardiff University with BMus (hons) in 2001. After Graduation Helen moved to Bolton and worked in Sales & Marketing before returning to full time studies in 2010 at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with David Maxwell Anderson and Barbara Robotham. She completed her postgraduate MMus studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2012 and she now studies with Dramatic Soprano Jane Irwin.

Prior to her studies at the RNCM Helen performed the following operatic roles: Carmen (Carmen, Mercedes), Samson & Delilah (Delilah cover) and Orpheus in the Underworld (Diana), Dido & Aeneas (2nd Witch),  La Traviata (Flora), Trovatore (Azucena) and Jenufa (Grandmother Buryja).  At the RNCM Helen played (Mrs Grose) in Turn of the Screw, (Bradamante) in Alcina and (La Natura) in La Callisto in staged opera excerpts, Cinderella’s Stepmother (and cellist) in a singer/musician production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods, the roles of; (the Baroness) in the college’s full production of Barber’s Vanessa and (Florence Pike) in Albert Herring and (Arsamenes) in Xerxes. Since leaving the RNCM in 2012 Helen has gone on to play (the Witch) in Hansel & Gretel for Clonter opera, a role that she went on to cover for Garsington Opera 2013. Helen returned to Garsington in 2014 making her principle debut there as (Pi Pasek) in their critically acclaimed production of A Cunning Little Vixen and she revived her role as (the Witch) in Hansel & Gretel when Garsington took their 2013 production to the West Green Opera Festival in Jul 2014. Helen received coaching on this role from Dame Ann Murray.

In the last few years Helen has sung the role of Kate Pinkerton and covered the role of Suzuki in Madame Butterfly on tour with Heritage Opera,  She sang Carmen in concert for Hashtag Opera and played Azucena in il Trovatore and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for Opera Seria, and she helped launch a new Opera Company called Outreach Opera with whom she performed the roles of Gertrude and Witch in Hansel & Gretel in their inaugural production in July.  In summer 2017 she returned to Heritage Opera to play the roles of 3rd Lady and 3rd Spirit in their new production of The Magic Flute.

Helen is also much in demand as a concert soloist and has even performed as a pre-match singer at Rugby Super League Matches in front of crowds of up to 17,000 fans. Recent concert appearances include: Alto Soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonelle with Bradford Festival Choral Society and soloist in Elgar’s Music Makers at Haslemere Hall in Surrey and for Kington Choral Society, The Angel in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius for the St George’s Singers with Stockport Symphony Orchestra at Gorton Monastery and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.  In 2012 she performed Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder at the Bridgewater Hall. She has also worked regularly for Opera Barcarola on Swan Hellenic cruises.

Christopher Ellis: Pianist

Christopher is a former student of Chetham’s School of Music, where he studied with Simon Bottomley; and the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Christopher Elton.

Christopher has received numerous awards and performed in some of the most prestigious concert venues including the Royal Festival Hall and the Bridgewater Hall. He was a runner-up in the Christopher Duke Memorial Competition and awarded a diploma for his performance of Prokofiev at the International London Piano Competition. Whilst at Chetham’s he was finalist at the Royal Overseas League Competition and recorded Rachmaninov’s fourth concerto with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and Vassily Sinaisky. Later successes include being finalist at the Recotres International des Jeunes Pianistes and Musica Aeterna Piano Competitions in Belgium.

Christopher now maintains a busy schedule as teacher, accompanist and soloist, and works closely with several local choirs including St. Ann’s Hospice Festival Choir and The Robins Singers.

Jonathan Ellis: Pianist

Jonathan Ellis started learning the piano at the age of three. From the age of 11 onwards, he studied at Wells Cathedral School, and then moved on to the joint music course of the RNCM and Manchester University. He achieved a first class degree from both institutions plus the PPRNCM diploma in solo piano studying with John Gough, and afterwards attained postgraduate-level diplomas in accompaniment and chamber music under John Wilson.

During his time at college, he was to win many prizes as an accompanist, plus the RNCM’s two major chamber music prizes with his trio, its annual Beethoven competition as a solo pianist, and subsequently the Audience Prize at the Intercollegiate Beethoven competition. He currently performs regularly as a soloist, as chamber musician with The Ryebank Trio, as vocal and instrumental accompanist, choral/operatic repetiteur or musical director, and has also been a competitor in international piano competitions: besides making regular appearances with City of Manchester Opera, Opera Seria, Heritage Opera, Bury Choral Society, the Pennine Spring Music Festival and the Buxton Festival Fringe (where he is three times the winner of the “Best Solo Musician” prize). He also performs with “Classical Evolution”, and musical charities “Music in Hospitals” and “Live Music Now”.

Jennifer Parker

Jennifer, a mezzo-soprano, completed her Masters with Distinction at the RNCM in 2015, studying with Antonia Sotgiu and Louise Winter. Whilst at college, she performed the roles of Valencienne (The Merry Widow) and Jenny (Company), in addition to a variety of concert appearances including Bernard Rands’ Walcott Songs and performances with the RNCM Jazz Collective.

Since graduation Jennifer has performed with a range of prestigious companies; most notably Opera Holland Park, Wexford Festival Opera, Manchester Opera Ensemble, Buxton Festival and the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. Furthermore, she has premiered works at the North West New Music Festival, with the International Opera Theater in Umbria, as well as participating in the Young Artist Platforms of both the Helios Collective and Bury Court Opera. She has also been fortunate enough to appear in public masterclasses with Sarah Connolly, Juanjo Mena, David Poutney and Mark Wigglesworth.

Additionally Jennifer has performed numerous oratorios; namely Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

Forthcoming engagements include a return IOT, Umbria to premiere Orlando Furioso, Jenkins’ The Armed Man for Gainsborough Choral Society, and concert performances in Assisi, Lithuania and Dublin.

Neil Balfour

Half-indian, half-scottish bass-baritone, Neil Balfour, is an opera singer whose repertoire spans a diverse range of music. He graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with Masters distinction under singing teacher Nicholas Powell.

Upcoming 2018 performances include covering Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte for Opera Holland Park, touring the the same role with Heritage Opera and a return to the Isle of Man to perform the title role of Don Pasquale.

Recent performances have included Mustafà in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri for Mananan Opera on the Isle of Man and being on the young artist programme for Buxton Festival opera in Verdi’s Macbeth. Previously, Neil has covered Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera and shadowed the role of Lt. Ratcliffe in Opera North’s production of Billy Budd.

Operatic roles have included Colline in La Boheme, Figaro, Bartolo and Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lord Ellington in La Vie Parisienne, Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, Baculus in Der Wildschütz, Barone di Kelbar in Un Giorno di Regno, Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire and world premiere of Nikolaus’s father in Mysterious 44 by Kevin Malone.

Other jobs of interest include doing voice-over work for Youtube Channel’s with views on his videos reaching well over 70 million, premiering the first electronic opera, conducting 300+ mass choirs and performing a private show for Her Majesty The Queen.

Neil keeps a busy schedule as a recitalist and concert soloist across the UK as well as appearing on live Broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, 4 and 6.

Georgina Rosanna Murray

Georgina Rosanna Murray is a soprano from Manchester. She was a student at the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School before moving to London where she studied the Double Bass and Voice at the Royal Academy of Music. She completed a postgraduate course as a mezzo soprano at Trinity College of Music in 2009, where she was awarded the Muncey Scholarship and where she was a finalist in the English Song and Lieder Competitions. In 2012 she was the runner up in the Llais Llwyfan Llambed Award. Georgina is currently a student of Jane Irwin and has since moved up to the soprano repertoire.

Roles in opera include Idomeneo (Idamante), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro) Leocasta (Handel’s Giustino), Shepherd Boy in (Puccini’s Tosca), Mother Goose (Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), Princess Clarissa (Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges), Hansel (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), Gianetta (Donezetti’s L’elisir d’amore), Rosina (Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Countess Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro) and Norina (Donizetti’s Don Pasquale).

She has worked with many opera companies including British Youth Opera, Grange Park Opera, Pavilion Opera and is a regularly invited to perform at the Clapham Opera Festival. She has regularly sung on cruise ships travelling all over the world most notably on Swan Hellenic’s MV Minerva. Georgina recently sung the role of Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Preston Opera. She is one of the founding members of Outreach Opera and is a leading singing teacher and workshop leader with Bolton Music Service.

Helen Latham

Preston born soprano, Helen Latham graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire with a Post Graduate distinction in performance, under the tutelage of Anne Dawson and then continued her studies with Jane Irwin.

Upcoming Roles include Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus for Bolton Choral Union, Vivaldi’s Gloria/Bach Magnificat for Darlington Choral Society, and the Bach Cantatas Project for ADM Productions.

Roles have included; Fox Cub (Cunning Little Vixen) Birmingham Conservatoire opera, Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Micaela (Carmen) for North Star Opera, Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw), Anne Truelove (The Rake’s Progress) and Mimi (La Boheme) for the Birmingham Conservatoire Opera Scenes. Helen also sang the the role of Micaela in Opera74’s production of Carmen, and the role of Gretel in Outreach Opera’s debut production of Hansel and Gretel.

Other performances have included Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Opera Seria, for which the company won an Buxton Fringe Festival award and First Boy in Preston Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. Helen also performed as part of The Octagon Theatre’s Reveal Festival in Bolton, bringing pop-up opera events to the town centre.

Helen’s community based work began with Welsh National Opera Max, where she sang the role of Nurse Notes at Wrexam Maelor Hospital, for their ‘Singing Doctor’s project, and had the pleasure of working with expectant mothers, helping them to write lullabies for their unborn children for the Blooming Voices project.

Helen continues her community based work, as choral director of Hoghton In Harmony and as a founding member of Outreach Opera.