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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.

2016 Production Director - Mairi Coyle

Our director for 2016 productions, she graduated in Theatre Studies from the University of Glasgow.

She studied singing with Joan Alexander and Patricia MacMahon.She has performed with Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Pimlico Opera, G&S Festival Company and Opera on a Shoestring.Roles include Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Jenny (Company), The Wife (Putting it Together), Sara Jane Moore (Assassins), Old Woman (Les Miserables, Juno (Orpheus in the Underworld), Duchess of Plaza Toro (The Gondoliers), Pitti-Sing (The Mikado), Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Melissa (Princess Ida) and Mabel (Mack and Mabel in Concert).

As a director of work for young people and communities. Mairi has worked for Welsh National Opera, National Theatre, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, National Opera Studio, Scottish Youth Theatre and Perth Theatre among others.She recently directed the premiere of The Pied Piper, a new opera by Matthew King, commissioned by the Stour Music Festival, with Michael Chance in the title role.


Artistic 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.

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.


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