Samson et Dalila

Brian Smith-Walters

Brian began his musical career as a French horn player before turning to singing. In recent years, Brian has performed such roles as Tristan Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal, Siegmund Die Walküre, Peter Grimes, Loge Das Rheingold, Schreiber Tannhäuser, Don José Carmen, Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia, Mark The Wreckers, and Samson Samson et Dalila.

In contemporary music, he has premiered various works by Nicola LeFanu, Michael Torke, Domenic Muldowney, and Ailis Ni Riain and has collaborated with Harrison Birtwistle, Oliver Knussen, and Pierre Boulez on performances of their works. As a student, Brian was the UK’s sole representative to the first Lucerne Festival academy for contemporary music.

Brian has performed on BBC Radios 3 and 4; SWR Radio (Switzerland); NDR Radio and Television (Germany); and African Television.  He has worked with conductors Valery Gergiev, Sir Mark Elder, and Christoph Eschenbach in festivals such as Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Longborough, Buxton, Grange Park, and Aldeburgh.

Christie Cook

Originally from New Zealand, Christie Cook completed a Bachelor of Music (Hons) Performance Voice in 2011 with Isabel Cunningham while also studying performance piano with Professor Terence Dennis at the University of Otago. She came to the UK in 2014 to study at the highly acclaimed Wales International Academy of Voice under the direction of international tenor Dennis O’Neill.

Opera roles since then include Madam Popova in The Bear  by Walton (Festival Valle D’Itria Martina Franca), Mrs North Wind/The Book of Fate/Old Woman in The Enchanted Pig by Jonathan Dove (Hampstead Garden Opera), La Zia Principessa Suor Angelica (Lunch Break Opera and Opera Anywhere), Maddalena Rigoletto (Teatro Govi, Genova), Olga Eugene Onegin (Days Bay Opera), Delia in The Prometheus Revolution by Keith Burstein (Fulham Opera) and Cornelia Giulio Cesare (Teatr Wielki).  Next year Christie will be performing the role of Flosshilde in Das Rheingold with Tarnhelm Opera.

Andrew Mayor
High Priest

Andrew Mayor was born in Manchester, and won a postgraduate scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he received various prizes. He has sung Beckmesser Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Edinburgh, the Count Le Nozze di Figaro, Prospero in Berio’s Un Re In Ascolto at the Städtische Bühnen, Münster and Man 1 in Harrison Birtwhistle’s The IO Passion at the Konzerthaus, Berlin, Zurga Les Pêcheurs des Perles on tour throughout the UK, Schaunard La Bohème, Johann in Andrea Hölszky’s Bremer Freiheit at the Konzerthaus, Berlin and recitals in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Avignon and St Petersburg. Recent work includes Miller Luisa Miller for Midsummer Opera in London, a rôle debut as Bartolo Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera a la Carte and Roderigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo for Fulham Opera.

Derek S. Henderson

Derek S. Henderson, bass-baritone, is from the Republic of Panamá. He moved to England in 2006 to study voice with David Pollard. Derek regularly performs throughout England and has performed in Italy, Kenya, the USA, and Panamá. In addition to opera – where he’s equally at home with the old and the new, the comic and the dramatic – Derek enjoys exploring the modern song repertoire, especially that of late Shostakovich.

Tobias Odenwald
Old Hebrew

Tobias initially trained at the opera class of the Conservatory of Music in Würzburg, Germany, and more recently at the Morley Opera School in London. He has also participated in master classes with Ian Page, Jonathan Miller, Judith Weir, Mark Shanahan and Della Jones, amongst others.

In recent years he has sung with several opera groups in the UK and in Germany. His roles include Bartolo and Antonio Le Nozze di Figaro, Sarastro and Speaker Die Zauberflöte, Commendatore Don Giovanni, Kecal The Bartered Bride, Friar Laurence Romeo et Juliette, Luther and Crespel Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Banquo Macbeth, Colline La Bohème, Caspar Der Freischütz. Recent roles include Lodovico Otello, Dulcamara L’Elisir d’Amore and Oroveso Norma.