Cast and Crew

Crew List

Original Staging                        …………….     Martin Berry

Revival Director and Design  …………….     Ashley Pearson

Music Director                           …………….     William Green

Lighting Design                         …………….     Matthew Swithinbank

Devised and Produced             …………….     Alison Thorman


Cast List

Violetta            ……………..     Loretta Hopkins

Alfredo             ……………..     Ben Leonard

The Mother     ……………..     Alison Thorman

The Pianist      ……………..     Simon Howat


Martin Berry ……… Original Staging

MartinBerryHeadshot copyMartin trained at the National Opera Studio, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Rose Bruford College. He is the current Head of Participation at Nottingham Playhouse. Previous credits include: 30 Odd Feet Below Belgium (Coventry Belgrade), Much Ado About Nothing, Richard The Third (RADA), Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Playing With Fire with Aurora Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall and European tour), Smile (2 UK tours with Tiger Press Publishing), Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be? (Webber Douglas Studio), Hubbub A Musical Adventure (2 UK tours), The Storm Officer (2 UK tours), The Libertine (Ovalhouse London), Harvest, Julius Caesar, Richard the Third, Macbeth (Italia Conti), The Last Five Years (Tobacco Factory Theatres), The Lonesome West (Alma Tavern), Neverland, A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Lysistrata, Oh What a Lovely War, Little Shop of Horrors, Doctor Faustus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wiz (Nottingham Lakeside), Savage Children (Bristol Old Vic and on tour as assistant), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (West End and tour), Spirit House (Snape Maltings), To Kill A Mocking Bird with Harriet Walter (Bath Literature Festival) and The League of Youth, Our Man in Havana (as assistant at Nottingham Playhouse). Forthcoming work in 2018/19 includes The Downfall of Robert Huntingdon for Shakespeare’s Globe and a new UK tour of Strange Creatures. Martin is Director Practitioner for the JMK Trust and sits on the board of Stage Directors UK.


Ashley Pearson ……… Revival Director

Ashely headshotA Canadian writer and director based in London, Ashley Pearson’s directing work includes Partenope (Hampstead Garden Opera); Don Giovanni (Opera On Location); Così Fan Tutte, Orphée aux Enfers, Die Zauberflöte (St. Paul’s Opera); Nerves of the Heart (Quest). Her work as a writer/librettist includes Carmen (King’s Head Theatre); Music Oft hath Such a Charm (OperaUpClose); Coverage (Riot Act); Mary, Mary (Theatre Mensch). She was Associate Director of the 2017 Opera Works programme at the ENO. Her work as Assistant Director includes Macbeth, Berenice (Royal Opera House); Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar); Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Une Éducation Manquée (Royal College of Music); Carmen, La Traviata (OperaUpClose). Ashley holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School.


William Green ……… Music Director

WilliamGreenHeadshot2019William Green is a pianist, repetiteur, and conductor. He was educated at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music and Christ Church Oxford. He received his PhD in Music Analysis from the University of Liverpool in 2017. William has performed as soloist with many amateur and semi-professional orchestras, and includes the complete concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, and Ravel, as well as concertos by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Saint Saens, and Tchaikovsky in his repertoire. In April 2019 he was the joint winner of the Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize at the 2019 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He was a Young Artist Répétiteur at the National Opera Studio in 2018/19, and he joins the International Opera Studio at the Opernhaus Zürich in September 2019.


Matthew Swithinbank ……… Lighting Design

MattSwithinbankHeadshotMatthew is a London-based lighting designer and technician from Luxembourg. Having graduated with a Ba(Hons) in Technical Theatre from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2013, he now works extensively as a technician and lighting designer throughout London, as well as the occasional foray out of the country. Credits include Kings (New Diorama), Fugee & Wasted (Southwark Playhouse), A First World Problem and Clickbait (Theatre503), Callisto: A Queer Epic (Arcola Theatre), Warehouse of Dreams and Beetles From The West (Lion and Unicorn), Brass, People Like Us & Around The World In 80 Days, Can-Can! (Union Theatre)Safe Sex & On Tidy Endings and Game Theory (Tristan Bates), Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes (Park Theatre), There Is A War & The Secret Marriage (Jackson’s Lane), Victor Frankenstein (King’s Arms, Salford), White Rose & Very Pleasant Sensations(Cockpit), Jane Eyre & Picnic At Hanging Rock (Abbaye Neumunster, Luxembourg), and The Devil His Due (FEATS2011, Geneva). Matthew was nominated for an Offie in 2018 for best lighting on Brass. Website:


Loretta Hopkins ……… Violetta

Loretta Hopkins, soprano.jpg

Loretta Hopkins studied music at The University of Edinburgh and Birmingham Conservatoire, where she gained a postgraduate diploma, generously supported by The South Square Trust, and continues to train with Raymond Connell. In competition, Loretta was a finalist in Birmingham Conservatoire’s Mario Lanza Prize and Vienna Conservatoire’s Internationale Sommerakademie opera prize. Opera roles include Mimi La bohème, Micaëla Carmen , Donna Anna Don Giovanni, and Countess Le nozze di Figaro (Dulwich Opera Company); Violetta (cover) La traviata, Donna Anna (cover) Don Giovanni (Winslow Hall Opera); Lisa The Queen of Spades (Park Opera); Adina, L’Elisir d’Amore (Midland Opera); Kate Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Lambeth Orchestra); Greta Fiorentino, Street Scene and Fox (cover), The Cunning Little Vixen, (Birmingham Conservatoire); a Sprite Fantastic Mr Fox and The Aunt Madama Butterfly (Opera Holland Park). Future plans include Fiordiligi Così fan tutte on tour with Dulwich Opera Company.


Ben Leonard ……… Alfredo


Ben Leonard is a Young Artist at The National Opera Studio (NOS) London, supported by Sir Peter and Lady Walters, Christopher Ball, The Darkley Trust and The Kathleen Trust. He is an Alumni of the Royal College of Music, completing his training on the Masters of Performance Degree with Timothy Evans-Jones in 2018. Upcoming performances include a residency at Welsh National Opera, a masterclass at the Royal Opera House with Christine Opolais and Bach B Minor Mass in Glasgow City Halls with the Bearsden Choir.  In the 2018 season, Ben sung at Glyndebourne as part of their chorus and at the BBC Proms. He is an Alumni of British Youth Opera and a Young Artist at Nevill Holt Opera in 2017 and a Next Generation Artist with Iford Arts in 2016. Recent engagements include a performance with the Orchestra of the English National Opera at Cadogan Hall for the fortieth anniversary of the National Opera Studio and residencies with Opera North in Leeds and Scottish Opera in Glasgow/Edinburgh. He has performed Habdonah (Esther) at Wigmore Hall for the London Handel Festival. His opera roles include Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) and Tybalt (Romeo et Juliette). Most notable concerts include a reception at Windsor Castle for HRH Prince Philip, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Strings at the Throne Room, Buckingham Palace with John Wilson, soloist at the Thousand Male Voices concert Royal Albert Hall, Yeomen of the guard at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall with the CBSO with John Wilson, Handel Messiah at Glasgow City Halls with the McOpera Orchestra and with Nicholas Chalmers/Northern Sinfonia at Nevill Holt Opera.


Alison Thorman ……… The Mother


Alison Thorman worked as a lawyer. She has studied voice privately with Susan Waters and is coached by Jennifer Partridge. John Rawnsley is helping her prepare the role of Germont. Alison has attended performance courses at National Opera Studio, Birkbeck College, CityLit and Morley College and participated in Oxford Lieder masterclasses with Sophie Daneman, Henry Herford and Sarah Walker. Her opera roles include Aunt Norris (Dove Mansfield Park), Marcellina (Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro) and Mama Lucia (Mascagni Cavalleria Rusticana), Larina (Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin), Witch / Mother (Humperdinck Hansel und Gretel), and Marquise (Donizetti La fille du regiment).   She also enjoys singing art song and has performed a number of recitals with pianist Simon Howat.


Simon Howat ……… The Pianist

Simon Howat colour 2018.jpg

Simon grew up in South Buckinghamshire. He studied music at Christ’s College, Cambridge, then followed this with post-graduate training as an accompanist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, studying then/subsequently under: Graham Johnson, Paul Hamburger, Robin Bowman, Gordon Back, Nina Sereda and Norman Beedie. Over the last twenty-five years, Simon has built up a busy portfolio career, both as an accompanist/solo pianist/piano duettist, and as a peripatetic piano-tutor for the Buckinghamshire Music Trust. He has given acclaimed performances of concerto repertoire including the Grieg A Minor, Beethoven’s Emperor and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Simon also works as a music examiner across England for ABRSM. He is the long-standing pianist for the Wooburn Singers choir in Bucks, and has regularly accompanied Alison Thorman (Mère Germont) in recitals.