Wagner Society and Bury Court Opera to present talk on The Rake's Progress


St Botolph's Church Hall Bishopsgate London EC2M 3TL

St Botolph's is a 2-minute walk from Liverpool Street Station. For a map and directions click here. Doors open at 6.30pm and the evening will take the form of a talk, followed by a recital of excerpts from The Rake's Progress


Dr Harriet Boyd-Bennett

Our speaker is Dr Harriet Boyd-Bennett.  Having recently finished a PhD in Music at King’s College London, Harriet  is now a Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. Her specialist area is opera—both old and new—in the twentieth century. She has published articles on topics ranging from musical futurism and Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 to avant-garde music theatre and opera performance in the age of mass media. She has given numerous talks on opera both in the UK and in the United States, and is currently completing a book on opera in postwar Venice.

Harriet will be speaking for about 45 minutes and taking questions.  


Rhonda Browne (Baba the Turk) Wagner Society Singing Competition Winner 2012

Rhonda’s passion for singing began with the internationally acclaimed NZ Youth Choir. In 2004, having performed in Opera New Zealand’s chorus, she made the move to London to pursue a solo career.

Rhonda has performed the roles of Erda (Das Rheingold/Siegfried) and Schwertleite (Die Walküre) for Longborough Festival Opera, Auntie (Peter Grimes) with the Nottingham Philharmonic, The Duchess of Plaza Toro (Gondoliers) and Ludmila (Bartered Bride) for Surrey Opera. The Witch (Hänsel und Gretel) for Open Door Opera and Opera in Space, Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) for Talent Unlimited and Giornata Opera, Zita (Gianni Schicchi) for Fulham Opera and two staged productions of the Messiah for The Merry Opera Company. She covered First Norn and Flosshilde at Longborough Festival Opera and sang Rossweisse - Die Walküre for the Mastersingers. She also created the role of Gudrun (World Premiere of Coleridge Taylor’s Thema - Surrey Opera)

Rhonda was awarded the London Wagner Society’s Bayreuth Bursary and Audience Prize and was a finalist in the ROH Jette Parker Audition rounds 2014. She is currently studying at the National Opera Studio on their Singers of Tomorrow Scheme.

Concert engagements include Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Sheffield Symphony Orchestra Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Missa Brevis and Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem, Saint Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, and recitals in New Zealand, Germany and the UK.  

She is currently studying with Jacqueline Bremar and coaches with Ludmilla Andrew, Jane Robinson and Kelvin Lim.

Andrew Dickinson (Tom Rakewell) Wagner Society Singing Competition Winner 2014.

Andrew hails from Liverpool and graduated from the Royal Academy Opera School in 2011. He recently won the UK Wagner Society Competition and the Maureen Lehane Competition at the Wigmore Hall. 

He began his training in Glasgow at RCS, graduating in 2008.   Recent roles include Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia (Glyndebourne), George in The Crackle (Royal Opera House), Gerhard in Gloria - A Pigtail (Bregenz Festival), Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Opera Project), Albert in Albert Herring (Royal Academy) and Raoul de St Brioche in The Merry Widow (Scottish Opera).   

Andrew has sung Handel’s Messiah as a soloist across Central and Eastern Europe, including venues such as Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna and the Lizst Academy in Budapest. Other highlights include Bach's B Minor Mass in Italy, Elgar’s The Apostles in Glasgow, Mendelssohn's Elijah in Jordan, Britten War Requiem at Dunblane Cathedral and Bach's St Matthew Passion at Canterbury Cathedral.   

Andrew will make his Royal Albert Hall début later this year as Frank in Magna Carta - The Freedom Game. Other forthcoming appearances include Hadji in Lakmé with Opera Holland Park, Dancairo in Carmen with Scottish Opera and Steuermann in Der Fliegende Holländer at Nationale Reisopera.