Artistic Director: Max Hoehn



Handel Furioso, Grimeborn Festival 2013 (Photos: Robert Workman)


A New Stage Work
Music by George Frideric Handel

with Anna Starushkevych (mezzo-soprano), Robyn Allegra Parton (soprano)

Sarah Moffatt (First Violin and Leader), Kinga Ujszaszi (Second Violin), Emma Alter (Viola), Daisy Vatalaro (Cello),
William Carter (Theorbo), Joel Raymond and Oonagh Lee (Oboes and Recorders).

Set Designer: Holly Pigott
Lighting Designer: Edmund Sutton
Tour Producer: Hillary Elk

Handel Furioso is a love story told through arias and duets, exploring a couple’s life together from childhood to old age. Two outstanding young singers, Anna Starushkevych (Winner of the Handel Singing Competiton 2012) and Robyn Allegra Parton appear in this production, directed by Max Hoehn. Acclaimed soloist, Julian Perkins, conducts the Sounds Baroque Ensemble, following their much-admired recording of early cantatas. Handel Furioso has evolved from a thirty-minute showcase, successfully presented at Grimeborn 2012, into a full-length piece of theatre, with music from Rodelinda, Rinaldo, and lesser known works, accompanied for the first time by a period ensemble. This is the opening production by a new company, Isle of Noise whose aim is to create new work, freely adapted from existing repertoire and presented outside the context of a traditional opera house. The production is part-funded by an Arts Council Grant award.


Anna Starushkevych (Mezzo Soprano)

Born in the Ukraine. Anna is in her last year of study on the Guildhall's Opera Course. In 2012, she won both the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Handel Singing Competition, singing excerpts from 'Rodelinda' and 'Rinaldo' under Laurence Cummings with the London Handel Orchestra. This coming spring, she will appear as Cleofe in 'La Resurrezione' at the Wigmore Hall and perform a recital at St. George's, Hannover Square as part of the London Handel Festival. She participated in the prestigious Georg Solti Accademia in the summer of 2012. The BBC's recent documentary on the life and legacy of Solti, 'Maestro or Mephisto', included footage of her singing 'Cara Sposa' from 'Rinaldo' in a masterclass with Angela Gheorghiu. Her roles at Guildhall include Jean in 'Le Portrait de Manon' and Eva in 'Comedy on the Bridge'. Website: She appears at the Barbican Hall in a performance of 'Elijah' and returns to the Wigmore Hall in a performance of Charpentier's 'Acteon'.

Robyn Allegra Parton (Soprano)

Robyn read music at Worcester College, Oxford. This was followed by an apprenticeship with the Monteverdi Choir, ENO's Opera Works programme and further studies at the Royal College of Music with Sally Burgess. Robyn made her international stage debut, singing Mercedes in 'Carmen' for the Opera Comique on tour at the Grand Theatre de Luxembourg. She has just sung Belinda in 'Dido and Aeneas' as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme for the Aldeburgh Festival. Concert highlights include Handel's 'Israel in Egypt' and Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solennelle' (with John Eliot Gardiner) and song recitals for the Oxford Lieder Festival and Royal Albert Hall Coffee Concerts. Operatic roles also include Zerlina (Co-Opera and Garsington, cover), Guadalena in 'La Perichole' (Garsington, cover) and covering Chloe in Rameau's Anacreon with the OAE. She has recorded Charpentier for Novum and songs by Joseph Marx for the RCM. In 2012, she won the Salzburg Nachwuchspreis and was a Kathleen Ferrier Award finalist. Website:

Max Hoehn (Director)

After graduating from Oxford University with a First in History, Max directed, co-wrote and acted in an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master and Margarita', which toured to London's Battersea Arts Centre, Oxford's Modern Art Museum and the Edinburgh Fringe, gaining many plaudits (Wall Street Journal's Critic's Choice, 'Must-see, The Stage). Mehmet Ergen, the Artistic Director of the Arcola, invited him to direct Viktor Ullmann's opera, 'The Emperor of Atlantis' (Grimeborn 2011, 2012, **** Telegraph). This was followed by a new adaptation of Pushkin's short story, 'The Queen of Spades (Arcola, 2011, 'Unique and compelling' The Arts Desk) and a staging of Charlotte Bray's song cycle, 'Midnight Closes' for the Tete a Tete Festival at the Riverside Studios. As an Assistant Director, Max has worked on Jonathan Kent's productions of Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen' at Glyndebourne and Strauss's 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten with the Mariinsky Theatre at the Edinburgh International Festival. At the Zurich Opera House, Max has assisted on new production of Mozart's 'Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail'. In 2011, he assisted director-designer, David Fielding, on 'Tristan und Isolde' (Grange Park) and 'Rodelinda' (London Handel Festival/RCM) and worked on Keith Warner's production of 'The Rape of Lucretia (Theater an der Wien) . In spring 2013, he assists Graham Vick on a new version of Musorgsky's 'Songs and Dances of Death' with Birmingham Opera. 


Julian Perkins (Conductor)

Julian performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. As director of Sounds Baroque, he has launched a series of cantata recordings and performed at London’s Southbank Centre and festivals such as Ryedale, York and Tel Aviv. He has performed concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Orchestra of the Sixteen, has performed and recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and given world premieres of works by composers including Stephen Dodgson and Jonathan Dove. Julian’s conducting engagements have included appearances at the Anghiari Festival and staged productions of Telemann’s Pimpinone (Buxton Festival), Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (Dutch National Opera Academy), Arne’s Artaxerxes (New Chamber Opera), Platt’s King Fred who never was (New Kent Opera) and Cunningham’s The Okavango Macbeth (Cambridge Summer Music Festival).  Based in London, Julian teaches harpsichord and vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, is a tutor for the Southbank Sinfonia and has taught at the National Opera Studio. In 2010, Julian was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his contribution to the music profession.

Holly Pigott (Set and Costume Designer)

Holly graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2011 with a First Class Honours in Theatre and Performance Design. Since finishing she was shortlisted as one of 12 finalists in the Linbury Prize for Stage Design, where she worked with ROH2 on a conceptual design for OperaShots in the Linbury Studio. Her work on this project was exhibited at the National Theatre in November 2011. She is currently working as an Assistant Designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company, alongside which she is designing The Island for The Young Vic with JMK winner Alex Brown and Elegy for a Lady and The Yalta Game for Salisbury Playhouse. Previous design credits include: The Prophet (Gate Theatre); Sex With A Stranger (Trafalgar Studios); Lean (Tristan Bates Theatre); The Cage Birds (LAMDA’s Linbury Studio); The Sound of a Voice (Arcola Tent); Who’s Afraid Of Rachel Roberts (Torch Theatre tour); Hitchcock Blonde (Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff).

Edmund Sutton (Lighting Designer) 

Edmund Sutton has a physics degree from the University of Bristol.

He has most recently lit WOH Productions' Six Characters in Search of an Author (Rose Theatre, Bankside), the Armenian Institute's exhibition Salon Mashup (Shoreditch Old Town Hall), and TNT Theatre Britain's Macbeth (German tour).

Other recent work includes Max Hoehn’s The Emperor of Atlantis (Grimeborn Opera Festival, Arcola Theatre, 2011 & 2012) and The Queen of Spades (Fusebox, Arcola Theatre), Keneish Dance's triple bill Vigour (UK tour), the Musical Theatre Academy's première of In Touch and annual revue Something Old, Something New (both Bridewell Theatre), Chloe Austin’s Virgins, and re-lighting of Oily Cart's Drum (Abu Dhabi Festival) and Tour de Force Theatre's The Great Gatsby (Swiss & German tour).


  A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Federico Zanni, Danielle Feuer, Nicholas Fliess, Michael Jovic, Colleen Jovic, Valerie Eatherington, Paul Dosaj, Serena Fenwick, Kitty Vagi and Shareen Chua for your generous donation to Handel Furioso on SPONSUME!

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Handel Furioso: Duet from 'Poro'