CURRENT & RECENT PROJECTS (selection):

 

WRITING (& PERFORMING) A NEW ONE-WOMAN OPERA with writer Octavia Bright (Snape Maltings Residency 2017)

https://snapemaltings.co.uk/whats-on/open-session-a-one-woman-opera

 

SCENES FROM THE END – a new show for solo soprano

Performer: Héloïse Werner

Director: Emily Burns

Words & music: Jonathan Woolgar

6-10 December 2016, Tristan Bates Theatre, London

11& 11 August 2016, Camden Fringe Festival, London and 22-27 August 2016, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

(Roxana Haines directed the preview at Tristan Bates Theatre on 1st Feb 2016).

Scenes from the End is a new solo show exploring the overwhelming themes of death and grief.

At times reserved and reflective, at times comically direct, it is a tour de force showcase for soprano Heloïse Werner. Using a colourful array of vocal and performative means, composer Jonathan Woolgar and director Emily Burns imagine historic, comic and tragic pictures of “the end”, from the heat death of the universe through to the demise of humanity and finally the end of an individual life. How might we grieve for them?

Video of the show is available upon request. And photos can be found here (credit: Nick Rutter).

PRESS:

“The ten hottest tickets in town” Evening Standard

“extraordinary” Classic FM

“Arts picks of the week” Evening Standard

“wow (…) very powerful performance” Katie Derham, BBC Radio 3

INTERVIEWS

BBC Radio 3 interview here

Evening Standard interview here

London Live interview here

Resonance FM interview here

Wandsworth Radio interview here

Schmopera interview here

LaLaLa records interview here

Music Musings and Such interview here

From the Box Offirce interview here

REVIEWS

“sombre and powerful, it’s a tour de force for its sole performer, the 25-year-old soprano Héloïse Werner, a rising figure on the contemporary music scene. (…) she makes great use of her considerable vocal and acting range (…) Like the soprano Cathy Berberian, whose vocal acrobatics and theatrical prowess fascinated Luciano Berio, Werner must have been a pleasure to write for.” ★★★★ The Stage  Full review HERE

“Werner delivers a striking vocal performance that oscillates between pure, perfect musical notation, guttural cries of misery and mantra-like chanting” ★★★★ London City Nights

“sublime soprano Heloise Werner (…) This is a production of rewarding complexity and beauty, showcasing the brilliance of Miss Werner and Mr Woolgar. Scenes from the End is your opportunity to follow these talents forwards from here.” ★★★★ London Theatre 1

“Scenes From the End. A powerful solo opera performed with precise movement & subtle acting by the virtuosic Héloïse Werner” ★★★★ Fringe Biscuit

“Exceptional and breathtaking” ★★★★★ Mumble

“It really is hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck stuff, and her wonderfully expressive face means that 45 minutes of operatic singing remains engaging (…) It is undeniable that Werner has immense talent” ★★★★ Edfringe review 

“Werner’s well-supported voice is powerful, it’s quality sweet and clear (…) remarkable vocal range. Impressive too was her agility, switching from a fragmented spoken to sung language.” Thoroughly Good

“using impressive range of her vocal and acting skills” UK Theatre Network

“Werner moves on to explore so brilliantly the human apathy that we have for our own life (…) putting you at ease with her theatrical charm. (…) wholly eye opening” ★★★★ The Metropolist

“powerful and thought provoking (…) incredibly strong voice, haunting stage presence and overwhelming physicality” A Younger Theatre

“arresting and very powerful” (…) Heloise’s voice has a piercing clarity and depth, one moment beautiful, the next visceral and freighted with distress.” The Cross-Eyed Pianist

“remarkable, with some exquisite acting, singing, speaking and physical theatre” Andrew Benson-Wilson

“Heloise Werner is an extraordinary performer, combining a versatile and powerful operatic voice, with the expressive theatricality of mime and movement. Through fractured fragments of percussional sounds and the words of Shakespeare and Eliot for literary insight, it is the sparse minimalism of this one woman Opera, which creates a pure, profound interpretation of human emotion – the raw sense of grief and loss.” Vivien Devlin

“sees Héloïse Werner display extraordinary uses of the human voice with great versatility (…) well-acted, quirky and charming production” ★★★★ London Theatre 1

“With extraordinary skill, Werner morphed into countless people, some of them archetypes, and some who felt specific and familiar. Her voice holds huge power and broad options; though it was entirely enmeshed in what we saw, Werner’s singing left a deep impression. (…) Scenes from the End is a dense, exhaustive evening, beautifully wrapped in a clean, mobile performance” Schmopera

“Héloïse Werner had captivating stage presence as the opera’s anonymous protagonist. (…) Werner used her versatile voice creatively, displaying consistent flair in operatic, avant-garde and bluesy styles. She is surely one of the most exciting young sopranos emerging in the industry.” The Cusp Magazine

“Werner puts body and soul into her performance, and is a name to watch. Stunning.” Fairy Powered Productions

“Werner’s impassioned and masterful performance (…) superbly performed” The Upcoming

Emily Burns is a director who works in theatre and opera. Most recently she directed Liam Williams’ debut play Travesty. This year she has been at Opera North assisting on their award winning productions of Das Rheingold and Siegfried and will return this winter for their production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden, directed by John Fulljames. Prior to that she was the assistant director on Chichester Festival Theatre’s productions of Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull which have now transferred to the National Theatre. She studied English at Cambridge.

www.emily-burns.com

Jonathan Woolgar is a composer. He is particularly interested in music as drama and music for the stage, and his work draws from a wide range of musical experience, aiming to engage every kind of listener.

Jonathan has had works performed at the Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Albert Hall by ensembles such as Manchester Camerata, Onyx Brass, Aurora Orchestra and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, as well as broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2010 he won the BBC Proms Young Composers’ Competition. His music has been recorded for commercial release by the choir of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, while he enjoys close associations with contemporary music ensembles The Hermes Experiment and Khymerikal. Jonathan is Composer in Residence at Eton College for 2015-17, and will be the Cambridge University Musical Society Composer in Residence for 2017.

Jonathan attended Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester from 2008-10, where he studied composition and conducting with Jeremy Pike and Gavin Wayte. From 2010-13 he read music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he graduated with First Class Honours and studied composition with Giles Swayne, going on to study with David Sawer at the Royal Academy of Music.

jonathanwoolgar.com

THE HERMES EXPERIMENT

Soprano / Co-Director

“The performance was meticulously nuanced, witty and chic.” ★★★★ The Times

“This clever mix of instruments is more versatile than you might first think.” ★★★★ The Observer

“The combination of harp, clarinet, voice and double bass is not one you hear every day, but in the right hands it works brilliantly. The Hermes Experiment who sport this line-up have in a short few years commissioned prodigiously for it, opening a whole new expressive world” Evening Standard

“The Hermes Experiment last night were barmy but brilliant” Classical Music Magazine

“odd but great” The Wire

“The virtuosic skill of each member of the group was on display from the start (…) witty and engaging performance, leaving the listener constantly wondering what was coming next” London Jazz News

“Groundbreaking” ★★★★1/2 The Reviews Hub

“Demonstrating boundless versatility and dexterity (…) gifted and exciting quartet The CUSP

 

The Hermes Experiment is an ensemble of four young professional musicians passionate about contemporary and experimental music, inspired to create something innovative and unique. Based in London, The Hermes Experiment comprises Héloïse Werner (soprano), Oliver Pashley (clarinet), Marianne Schofield (double bass) and Anne Denholm (harp), who met whilst studying music at Cambridge University. It is co-directed by Héloïse Werner and Hanna Grzeskiewicz. Capitalising on their deliberately idiosyncratic combination of instruments, the ensemble regularly commissions new works, as well as creating their own innovative arrangements and venturing into live free improvisation. So far, the ensemble has commissioned 36 composers at various stages of their careers, including Giles Swayne, Stevie Wishart and Misha Mullov-Abbado.

Winners of the Tunnell Trust Awards 2016, Park Lane Group Young Artists 2015/16, and winners of Nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands 2014, The Hermes Experiment has established itself on the London contemporary classical scene, with regular performances across the city for organisations including Nonclassical, Kammerklang, Listenpony and Bastard Assignments.

The ensemble strives to create a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration. In June 2015, they created a ‘musical exhibition’ with photographer Thurstan Redding, and in September 2016, they developed a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale during an Aldeburgh Music Residency. Reducing the play to an hour’s duration in collaboration with director Nina Brazier, composer Kim Ashton & five actors, The Hermes Experiment become part of the drama alongside a wonderful group of actors. The show premièred in London in December 2016.

The ensemble is also dedicated to the value of contemporary music in education and community contexts; they were accepted to Wigmore Hall Learning’s Chamber Tots and For Crying Out Loud schemes in 2014-15.

The Hermes Experiment repertoire list is available here.

The Hermes Experiment is generously supported by Arts Council England, Aldeburgh Music, the RVW Trust, Hinrichsen Foundation, Britten-Pears Foundation, Oleg Prokofiev Trust and Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.
“It was an enormous pleasure to write for The Hermes Experiment, and to work with them: they are four immensely talented young musicians with bags of enthusiasm and energy, and an impressive commitment to the material they perform. I think they have a very bright future.”  Giles Swayne

www.thehermesexperiment.com I Twitter @TheHExperiment I Facebook

THE COACH HOUSE COMPANY

Vocals / Cello

Since their formation at university in late 2010, five-piece folk band The Coach House Company are rapidly becoming known for their uplifting and wholesome sound through dynamic live performances in London and Cambridge. Inspired by the folk heritage of the British Isles, the band fuses traditional jigs, reels and folksongs with rich harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and compelling upbeat rhythms to create a unique folk expression. Original compositions and arrangements form the core of the band’s repertoire, which is also infused with influences from the classical and jazz domains.

The band is made up of Maya Amin-Smith (vocals/violin/mandolin), Patrick Milne (vocals/guitar), Héloïse Werner (vocals/cello), Marianne Schofield (vocals/double bass) and Colin Danskin (vocals/trumpet). The Coach House Company have recently performed at, amongst others, Ronnie Scott’s, Cecil Sharp House, Green Note, Jamboree, The Forge, London Folk Festival & Wilderness Festival. 2014 saw the launch of the band’s debut EP at Cecil Sharp House, where they returned in 2015 to share a gig with Maz O’Connor. They also recently shared a bill with The Fair Rain at Bush Hall.

Their second EP Maiden Tales is out now on bandcamp.

“The Coach House Company have produced an excellent second EP, proving that it is high time for a full-length album.” – Bright Young Folk 

“The Coach House Company are a rarity on today’s folk scene. A group of five highly accomplished classical musicians, their take on traditional music is carefully crafted and intriguingly intricate, and never more so than on their new EP, Maiden Tales” EDS Magazine

“refreshing and uplifting (…) one to watch out for” – Folk Radio UK

“There are times when you hear a record and recognise that the musicians involved are revelling in the experience just as much as their audience. Listening to The Coach House Company EP is one of those.” – Bright Young Folk 

“The Coach House Company are a band that deliver great folk rock in a contemporary style and they do that with real style and panache. The songs are really solid and the band, whilst tight, have got a fluidity about them that makes you feel that each gig they play has got an individual dynamic.” – FATEA

“Influences come thick and fast from the traditional folk core of jigs, reels, song and beyond into jazz and classical, while the vocal harmonies add a most impressive aspect to this collection.” – Bright Young Folk

Interview with the EFDSS available here.

www.thecoachhousecompany.co.uk I Twitter @CoachHouseC I Facebook 

 

TIPPETT QUARTET

Marketing & Media Manager (since May 2014)

www.tippettquartet.co.uk I Twitter @tippettquartet I Facebook

MANNEQUIN

Performer – July 2015, Tête à Tête Festival

New one-woman video opera by Maria Vatenina

“Héloïse Werner sings gracefully, but with a frightening twist. She exhibits the anger felt by her character Ania after discovering she is the clone of a famous deceased singer. One moment her voice floats in the air and another she shouts in shock.” **** Ldn Card

“three women combine their considerable talents to unsettling effect” Morning Star

 

KAMMER KLANG

PR Coordinator – 2014/15

www.kammerklang.co.uk I Twitter @KammerKlang I Facebook

 

MINOR DELAYS

Cellist / Producer – August 2014

Minor Delays is a brand new sketch trio consisting of Abi Tedder (Cambridge Footlights President 2010), Harry Michell (Cambridge Footlights President 2013) and Joe Barnes (Leeds Tealights President 2013).

Ediburgh Festival 2014, Gilded Balloon

PRESS

The Scotsman ****

Broadway Baby *****

The Skinny ****

Twitter @minordelays Facebook

IN THE PENAL COLONY

Producer for Shadwell Opera – June 2014

He knows you are trapped in European attitudes. Perhaps you’re opposed to capital punishment, or this mechanical execution. Perhaps you will consider my procedure too extreme…

Shadwell Opera is taking over the Arts Theatre in the West End for two nights only, interrupting the run of Ghost Stories with an installation-style operatic retelling of Franz Kafka’s famously visceral short story. In the Penal Colony will harness the mounting tension of Phillip Glass’ music, and draw on Kafka’s influences, to mount a multi-media exploration of literary and colonial attitudes towards the ethics and aesthetics of violence that will etch its message and music into your body.

CAST

Andrew Dickinson, Nick Morris, James Swanton, Love Ssega

Musicians from the Perks Ensemble

PRODUCTION TEAM

Musical Director, Matt Fletcher

Director, Jack Furness

Producer, Héloïse Werner
Assistant Musical Director, Finn Downie-Dear
Assistant Director, Celine Lowenthal
Designer, Kitty Callister
Lighting Designer, Christopher Nairne
Associate Lighting Designer, Damian Robertson
Projections, Tom Harding – AV3
Production Manager, Ben Hosford
Publicity Designer, Rebecca Pitt
Production Photographer / Videographer, Thurstan Redding

 

PRESS

The Observer ****

Fringe Opera *****

The New Statesman

www.shadwellopera.co.uk Twitter @shadwellopera Facebook