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The Creative Team behind Wedmore Opera

Carolyn
Musical director and conductor - Carolyn Doorbar
Carolyn is one of the founders of Wedmore Opera. As a professional flute player, she trained with leading players Laurie Beers and Douglas Townshend, worked regularly with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and toured with a variety of ensembles in Europe, while also teaching young musicians. In 1988, inspired by the idea of producing excellent opera for a local audience, she picked up a baton for the first time and conducted Wedmore Opera’s production of La Traviata. She has been the musical director and conductor of every Wedmore Opera production, learning and experimenting as she goes. She had conducted other companies’ productions of Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera and Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret and has composed music for productions of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Under Milk Wood and A Christmas Carol. Carolyn worked with composer John Barber and librettist Peter Cann on Wedmore Opera’s commission for 2012, Eleanor Vale.
Marylin
Director and producer - Marylin Johnstone
Marylin is one of the founders of Wedmore Opera. After a career in theatre and education that has encompassed teaching, working as an actor with West Country Drama in Education Service and with Lemonzest Theatre Company and being an examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she re-trained as an arts administrator and managed several small-scale arts festivals, including the first Wedmore Arts Festival in 2000. Marylin has directed and produced every one of Wedmore Opera’s 15 productions, recruiting and enthusing a 200-strong volunteer workforce and looking for funds. In 2001 Marylin and Carolyn Doorbar set up noc opera limited and commissioned Mike and Kate Westbrook to write a piece for solo soprano voice and piano. Directed by Marylin, conducted by Carolyn and starring soprano Marie Vassiliou, Cape Gloss: Mathilda’s Story premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, at the University of Plymouth, in February 2007. Marylin retains her commitment to providing people of all ages with excellent experiences of the arts and last year directed an acclaimed production of Les Miserables for Sidcot School.
Mike
Lighting Designer – Mike Rippon
Mike’s first major lighting designs were for the annual Shakespeare productions in Cloister Court in Queens’ College Cambridge. He continued to be fascinated by theatre lighting design, and since moving to Wedmore in 1983 he has been an active contributor to Wedmore Theatre, working as lighting designer with directors Marylin Johnstone and Sue Rippon. Productions have included The Seagull, Mansfield Park, Oh What A Lovely War, Romeo & Juliet, Anthony & Cleopatra, The Bourgeois Nobleman, A Chorus of Disapproval, Dracula, Aladdin, The Scottish Panto and Snow White. His first lighting plan for Wedmore Opera resulted from a successful collaboration with Charlie Cridlan, which produced an acclaimed design for La Boheme in 2008. He was delighted to work with her again on Eleanor Vale.
Kate Lynch
Children’s Coach - Kate Lynch
Kate was herself a member of Wedmore Opera’s Children’s Chorus in 1990, before training as a teacher. She has worked for Music Services in Hampshire, North Somerset and Somerset, teaching singing and running vocal workshops and teacher training courses. She currently works both freelance and for the county, teaching singing, recorders and general music in local first and middle schools and is director of the local children's choir, Cheddar Valley Voices.

Peter Johnstone
Administrator - Peter Johnstone
Peter is one of the founders of Wedmore Opera.  He worked in industry for many years, latterly at Capgemini, in a variety of technical and management roles, gaining a reputation for bringing projects in on time and to budget.  At the same time he has pursued his lifelong, passionate interest in theatre and music.  He has directed and acted in plays, most recently appearing as the eccentric billiard player Gaev in The Cherry Orchard.  He has sung, either playing small roles or in the chorus, in every Wedmore Opera production. 
Mark
President - Mark Hamlin
Mark has always been a committed to the Arts. His mother is an artist and at school he was a lighting designer working on productions, in Germany, at The Edinburgh Festival, and with a touring theatre company whilst still a teenager. At the same time he was invited to design lighting rigs for ATV – the large independent television company that broadcasted to the Midlands in the 1960s and 70s. He trained to become a Clinical Psychologist and researched the impact of environmental lead on children’s intelligence. Work that lead to the introduction of lead-free petrol in the UK.
After leading a large Health Promotion department in the National Health Service he started a new career as a Management Consultant – establishing the ORGroup of Companies in 1990. Over the last twenty years Mark has worked around the world with a wide variety of clients on Strategy, Leadership and Change. The ORFoundation has been a major supporter of community based arts groups in the UK as well as funding start-up not-for-profit organisations in Africa, where Mark was born. More

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