Bampton Classical Opera has worked with a number of conductors, some of whom are described below. We do not have a permanent music director.
Thomas Blunt studied at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music, London, and has held positions of Chorus Master at Glyndebourne and Assistant Conductor to Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a graduate of the Allianz International Conductors’ Academy where he worked with the LPO and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Opera credits include L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff and La Cenerentola for Glyndebourne on Tour, Handel’s Jephtha for Welsh National Opera, La Cenerentola for Opéra National du Rhîn, Cimarosa’s Italian Girl in London for Bampton Classical Opera, Turn of the Screw and The Rape of Lucretia for Arcola Theatre. He has also worked at La Monnaie, Opera North, the Cantere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, assisted Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Iván Fischer with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Concert work includes performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Sala São Paulo), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, St Endellion Festival (St Matthew Passion), Coro da Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Oxford University Orchestra, Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra, and South Bank Sinfonia. Future engagements include I Pagliacci with Opéra de Baugé.
Gilly French is a founder and artistic director of Bampton Classical Opera, where recent performances include stagings of Apollo and Hyacinth and The Conspirators, a concert of Marian music by Vivaldi and an all-Mozart programme. She is conductor of the London-based chamber choir Cantandum, and the two groups have performed together on a number of occasions in Bampton as well as at St John’s, Smith Square in London. Gilly is also the conductor of Imperial Winds, a concert band based at Imperial College. Recent highlights include a baroque Messiah with Cantandum and the Bampton Classical Players and concertos for alto sax and for trombone with Imperial Winds. Future plans include débuts at St Margaret’s Westminster and in Oxford.
Andrew Griffiths studied conducting under Martyn Brabbins, and trained at Scottish Opera, the National Opera Studio and as a Jette Parker Young Artist at The Royal Opera. He has conducted productions for The Royal Opera, Opera North, Opera Theatre Company, Early Opera Company, Mid Wales Opera, Bampton Classical Opera, Iford Festival Opera and Paragon Ensemble Scotland, and appeared in concert with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, the Orchestra of Opera North, Southbank Sinfonia and the Orpheus Sinfonia. He has worked as an assistant to conductors including Bychkov, Elder, Mackerras and Pappano at The Royal Opera, ENO, Glyndebourne, WNO, Chicago Opera Theater and with the BBC Symphony and Scottish Symphony Orchestras. A sought-after choral conductor, he is Musical Director of Londinium and Kingston Choral Society and regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 with the BBC Singers; other engagements include New London Chamber Choir and the choirs at Dartington Summer School. He is regularly engaged as a coach at The Royal Opera and the National Opera Studio. Andrew’s engagements in 2014 include Rodelinda (ENO), Gawain and Les mamelles de Tiresias (BBC SO), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Opera North), Steffani and CPE Bach at Dartington and a WW1 commemoration with the BBC Singers.
Julian Perkins performs widely as a conductor and harpsichordist. As director of Sounds Baroque, he has launched two in a series of cantata recordings with Avie and performed at London’s Southbank Centre and festivals such as Ryedale, York and Tel Aviv. His conducting engagements have included appearances at the Anghiari Festival and staged productions of Telemann’s Pimpinone (Buxton Festival), Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (Dutch National Opera Academy), a pasticcio – Handel Furioso (Grimeborn Festival), Arne’s The Cooper and Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista (Guildhall School of Music & Drama), Arne’s Artaxerxes (New Chamber Opera), Platt’s King Fred (New Kent Opera) and Cunningham’s The Okavango Macbeth (Cambridge Summer Music Festival), and the world-première recording of Daniel Purcell’s The Judgement of Paris with Spiritato and the Rodolfus Choir for Resonus Classics. Julian regularly works with most of the UK’s leading period instrument ensembles and has performed concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Sixteen and the New London Soloists. He has also performed and recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and given world premières of works by leading composers including Stephen Dodgson and Jonathan Dove.
David Owen Norris