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The Creative Team behind Wedmore Opera

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.
Director - 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 Miss Saigon for Sidcot School.
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. 
Judith Blake
Producer - Judith Blake
Judith comes from a musical family: in her early years she developed her love of music, and in particular singing, at the side of her grandmother, who was a singer with The Carl Rosa Opera Company, and a singing teacher in her later years. Judith joined a number of choirs in her native Cumbria including Cockermouth Community Choir, and the Castlegate Singers, with whom she toured France. In Somerset, she has been a member of the Maesbury Singers and Wells Oratorio.
A lover of musicals, Judith was also active with Wells Little Theatre for a while. However, it was not until she joined Wedmore Opera in 2007 that her passion for opera was truly ignited. She was captivated by Wedmore Opera’s dedication to making opera accessible.
Dido and Aeneas marked Judith’s debut as Producer, a role in which she enjoyed developing her knowledge and skills in moving vision to reality in staging, set design and production.
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


Wedmore Opera Limited registered office: 1 New Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2LA