Madeline Kirby - Opera Libretto Translator
Musician and linguist Madeline is about to graduate in Modern Languages and Music from the University of Birmingham, where she specialises in translation with research interests in opera. Having lived and worked in both Italy and Germany, gaining experience working at Berlin's Deutsche Oper, Madeline enjoys translating from German and Italian. She is also a trained singer, harpist, and pianist having sung in the CBSO Chorus, BBC Proms Youth Choir and for several opera companies including Associazione Tito Gobbi in Rome.
Deirdre McCabe - Soprano
Deirdre has performed throughout Ireland and the UK on the concert platform as a guest soloist
with choral societies and orchestras. She holds a BA and first class honours in music from National
University Ireland, Maynooth. Deirdre secured a scholarship to attend The Royal Birmingham
Conservatoire as a postgraduate student. During her time in Birmingham competition prizes include:
The Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize, The Ashleyan Opera Prize and second prize in the Edward Brooks
English Song competition. She was also a finalist in The Mario Lanza opera prize. Operatic roles to
date include: Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Cathleen Riders to the Sea and Adina, The Elixir of Love.
Deirdre has also sung solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s The Messiah. After completing her
studies in Birmingham, Deirdre was invited to join Glyndebourne Opera chorus for their 2017 festival
and tour. Deirdre looks forward to performing Flora La Traviata for New Sussex Opera for their tour
of performances in Lewes, East Grinstead and Brighton in June. In August Deirdre will join The
Opera Experience for four performances as Gretel in their production of Hansel and Gretel in the
magical setting of The Minories Galleries, Colchester. Deirdre is delighted to be performing Zerlina in
Rogue Opera’s exciting and imaginative production of Don Giovanni for performances in May, June
Lorna Rushton - Soprano
Lorna is from Bolton and is a graduate of both the RNCM and National Opera Studio, she has performed the lead in many operas including Madama Butterfly, Violetta (La Traviata) Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow) Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)
Her career has taken her to many diversely wonderful places such as a Bajan plantation, a French vineyard and Sir William Walton's tropical paradise on the Italian island of Ischia. Lorna has an extensive concert repertoire and a private teaching/coaching practice.
Marrianne Town Smith - Soprano
Marrianne started to sing in 2007 as a hobby and distraction from a fast-paced Marketing
management role. In 2015, she successfully auditioned at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and
Dance and was accepted onto the Advanced Independent Study Programme and then stayed on for
a further year, graduating in 2017 with a Postgraduate Advanced Diploma. In 2018 she performed
her first full role with Opera in the Meantime as the Witch in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel”. In
2019 she has an exciting year of new projects: beginning with Midsummer Opera as the cover of
Maddalena in “Andrea Chenier” and again performing with them in November in “Les Dialogues des
Carmélites” as cover of Madeleine Lidoine and cast as ensemble. She was delighted to be accepted
onto the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Sicily to perform the role of Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni”,
her role debut with orchestra in July, and to cover both Witch and Mum for The Opera Experience in
Since Hannah heard the flute, music has been her passion. She enjoys working as a music teacher both with Essex Music Education Hub, “Stave House” and privately. She teaches woodwind, piano, brass and singing as 1-1 lessons, and teaches woodwind and ukuleles to whole-classes. She also leads ensembles and is running an orchestra in a school.
She graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Music degree from Colchester Institute, specializing in education and performance, in 2013. Whilst there, she was awarded a Centre for the Performing Arts Prize, and won the John Mayatt cup for Solo Woodwind Performance 2013 (flute). Since then she has achieved an LCM Diploma in Early Music Education using the Stave House method, which uses stories and songs to engage children in learning to read music.
Hannah continues to actively play music and is in a party function band “It’s Fete”, a big band “Essential Sounds”, and a saxophone quartet “One Screw Loose”. She also regularly takes part in concerts (e.g. as a soloist for the Chelmsford Male Voice Choir concert), and plays for musical theatre shows, the most recent being “Oklahoma” in Southend and “Iolanthe” in Witham.
Hannah is honoured to be part of this exciting project.