classical encounters


Sally-Ann Shepherdson - soprano

The Jewel Song - Faust - Gounod - PLAY

Sally-Ann was born in Yorkshire, and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, at the National Opera Studio in London funded by the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, and in Paris on a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

She has appeared in opera and concert throughout the world, performing with Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, the D’Oyly Carte, Opera Factory, European Chamber Opera, Mid Wales Opera, Castleward Opera, Opera Interludes, Diva Opera, Court Opera, Opera South East, First Act Opera, Caledonian Opera, Stowe Opera, Opera Northern Ireland and Dublin Grand Opera.

Her roles include: Drusilla (The Coronation of Poppea), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Despina (Cosí fan Tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Pamina, and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore), Musetta (La Bohème), Lauretta and Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Micaëla (Carmen), Violetta (La Traviata), Adele and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Valencienne and Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow), and Yum Yum (The Mikado).

Recent engagements have included tours as a guest artist with P&O Cruises and MSC line, concerts in Paris, London and the Channel Islands with special guest José Carreras, Frasquita (Carmen) at the Royal Albert Hall, and performances as Clorinda (La Cenerentola), in the UK, Moscow, France, Tuscany, and at the newly restored Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

She has appeared as First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Nella (Gianni Schicchi) and Madame Larina (Eugene Onegin) for Diva Opera, in many venues across the UK and Europe; as Norina (Don Pasquale) for Garden Opera, and as Musetta (La Bohème) and Norina (Don Pasquale) on a nationwide tour of the UK and Ireland. She also sang the role of Musetta with the company at the Cayman Islands Arts Festival.  Other roles include Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) for Riverside Opera, Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow) for Opera South East and Yum-Yum (The Mikado) for Opera 2000 in Brighton.

Sally-Ann has appeared as soprano soloist with the British Philharmonic Orchestra in two World War anniversary celebration concerts at Lincoln Castle, and many times with the Spa Concert Orchestra in Scarborough. She recently directed, and sang the role of Yum-Yum, in The Mikado for The Bedford Park Festival, London, and appeared in concerts in Dublin, Donegal, Lancaster Priory and Leeds Town Hall.

Mail Sally-Ann • 07778 313479 • 020 8351 2176 •


Trevor Alexander - baritone

Some Enchanted Evening - South Pacific - Rodgers & Hammerstein - PLAY

Trevor studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since graduating he has worked for many companies including The Royal Opera, ENO, Opera North, European Chamber Opera, The New D'Oyly Carte, Crystal Clear Opera, Midsummer Opera and The RSC.

His operatic roles include Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Marcello (La Bohème), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Ping (Turandot), Dr Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dr Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’amore), Germont Pere (La Traviata), Lescaut (Manon), Albert (Werther), Silvio (Pagliacci), The Father (The Prodigal Son), Nottingham (Roberto Devereux) and Captain Corcoran (H.M.S.Pinafore).

Equally at home on the concert platform, Trevor's repertoire is varied and extensive. His oratorio work includes Carmina Burana (Orff), Child of Our Time (Tippet), The Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé Requiems, A Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem (Vaughan Williams), Elijah (Mendelssohn), St John Passion and St Matthew Passion (J.S.Bach), and Handel's Messiah. He has also sung Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Berlioz' Les Nuits d'été and Poulenc's Le Bal Masqué.

Trevor sang in a Gala concert in Kuala Lumpur for the President of Malaysia and also in Bangkok for the Thai Royal Family. He has toured the world on the P&O cruise liners Oriana and Aurora, singing in an extensive series of operas and concerts. He created the role of George Bateson in the Community Opera, The Promised Land, which opened the 2006 Canterbury Festival, and the following year sang Hughes, a role especially written for him, in the world première of Sorbet! Sorbet! at WEM07 Festival in Provence. He has continued to create new roles for the Canterbury Festival, including Agnes Leadbetter, in Kentish Tales and three characters in Castle Rackrent.

More recently Trevor sang the roles of Danilo in The Merry Widow, Ko Ko (The Mikado) for the Bedford Park Festival, London, and gave a series of recitals of Roger Quilter songs which he will be recording later this year.

Mail Trevor • 07910 857227 • 020 8780 2793


Pauline Birchall - mezzo soprano

Habanera - Carmen - Bizet - PLAY

Pauline studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and at La Scala, Milan. She has received critical acclaim for her comedic abilities and wide-ranging concert repertoire from Broadway to operetta in addition to her roles on the operatic stage.

Operatic roles include Fidalma in Il Matriomonio Segreto (Les Azuriales Opera Festival); Tisbe in La Cenerentola (La Fenice, Venice); Erda and Third Rhine Maiden, Das Rheingold; Erda in Siegfried; Rossweisse and, for the Covent Garden Festival, Schwertleite, Die Walküre; First Norn in Götterdammerung; Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro; Fenena, Nabucco and the title role in Carmen; Suzuki, Madame Butterfly. For Diva Opera, Pauline has performed Third Lady, The Magic Flute; Filipyevena, Eugene Onegin; and Zita, Gianni Schicchi.

She was invited by the Hoffnung Society to perform Azucarmen in Let’s Fake an Opera and The Dowager Lady Frankenstein in Horrortorio at the Gasteig Concert Hall, accompanied by the Bayrische Rundfunk Orchestra and broadcast live on Munich radio.

Pauline was a founder member of the new D’Oyly Carte Opera, for which she sang the roles of Lady Ellington (Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne); Edith and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance; Pitti Sing in The Mikado at the Royal Festival Hall, London. For various other companies: Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus); Fairy Queen, Iolanthe; Katisha, Mikado; Ruth, Pirates of Penzance; The Duchess, The Gondoliers; and Dame Carruthers, The Yeomen of the Guard.

As well as on tours to the Far and Middle East, she also enjoys performing her wide range of concert repertoire aboard Saga Cruises, various P&O ships, the River Danube’s MS Amadeus and Cunard's Queen Mary II.

Pauline has appeared on TER Records’ cast recordings of My Fair Lady, It’s a Wonderful Town, Guys and Dolls, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, and numerous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas for The D’Oyly Carte.


Bruce Graham - bass baritone

Bruce is from Edinburgh and is a graduate of its university. In 1978 he joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with whom he played many of the Gilbert and Sullivan character roles. Since then Bruce has been much in demand, appearing with the national opera companies, Opera della Luna, the International G&S Festival, and University College Opera as well as in many concerts for Raymond Gubbay Ltd, repertory seasons, concerts, and tours both in the UK and abroad. Bruce is no stranger to the West End stage, having appeared in eight hit musicals, including such classics as Me and My Girl, Follies, Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Cats. He has also had the honour of appearing in a Royal Variety Command Performance. Although other aspects of Bruce's work have ranged from film and television to Old Time Music Hall and pantomime, he is proud to have appeared all over the world from Hull to Halifax, from Aukland to Los Angeles as a principal with the Carl Rosa Company, thereby returning to his first love, the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Very soon he will be appearing in four roles (two of them new) with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company.


Declan Kelly - tenor

Declan studied singing with Paul Deegan at the RIAM in Dublin and then at the National Opera Studio, London. For Opera Ireland he has sung Beppe I Pagliacci, Doctor Maxwell The Silver Tassie and Remendado Carmen. He made his Opera National du Rhin debut as Flute A Midsummer Night's Dream at Strasbourg and returned to sing Scaramuccio Ariadne auf Naxos, Hirt Tristan und Isolde and Remendado. For Opera Theatre Company he has sung Tamino Die Zauberflote, Kudrjash Katja Kabanova, Gomatz Zaide and Harlequin Der Kaiser von Atlantis; for Wexford Festival Opera Barbarino Alessandro Stradella, which was recorded for Fone Italia. He has also sung Nanki-Poo Mikado for both D'Oyly Carte and Carl Rosa Opera on tours of the UK. With English Bach Festival he has sung Spirit Dido and Aeneas at the Royal Opera House. For Garden Opera he has sung both Ottavio Don Giovanni and Almaviva; for English Touring Opera Brighella Ariadne auf Naxos and Alfred Die Fledermaus. He also toured Denmark singing Narciso Il Turco in Italia for Den Ny Opera.

Declan’s debut recital at the NCH Dublin of Schumann’s Dichterliebe was received with critical acclaim and won an award for the most promising classical artist. Oratorio engagements include Mozart's Requiem in Madrid with the Moscow Virtuosi under Vladimir Spivakov, Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra under Thierry Fischer and also with the London Mozart Players in Fairfield Halls, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast at the Brangwyn Hall and Petite Messe Solennelle, Carmina Burana, Die Schopfung, Saul, Elijah and Arvo Part's Passio and JS Bach's Magnificat at the NCH Dublin for Enchiriadis Treis, Culwick CS, Our Lady’s CS and Dunlaoire CS. To celebrate the Vatican New Millennium, Declan was invited to record Charpentier's Te Deum with L'Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under Myung-Whun Chung (Deutsche Grammophon). He also recorded the world premiere of Simon McEnery’s Resurrection and toured Ireland and the UK as one of the Three Tenors.


Graham Stone - baritone

Graham has enjoyed a well travelled and varied career in Opera, Oratorio, Operetta, Musicals and Corporate Cabaret, and has even portrayed ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ in a TV commercial.

Career highlights include: Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale) in The Philippines, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Turkey; Pistola (Falstaff) at Teatro Farnese, Parma; Alcindoro and Benoit (La Boheme) for the Macau International Festival and Orchestra of the Rome Opera; Kommisar (Der Rosenkavalier) and Bartolo (Le Nozze dio Figaro) for Scottish Opera; Wilfred Shadbolt (The Yeomen of the Guard) and the title role (The Mikado) for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre; Dick Deadeye (HMS Pinafore) for The Carl Rosa Opera Company in Australia and New Zealand; Dracula/Beckmesser (Horratorium/Let’s Fake an Opera) in the Gasteig Hall, Munich; Sacristan (Tosca) for the Holder’s Opera Season, Barbados; 2nd Cockney and Doolittle cover (My Fair Lady) at Theatre du Chatelet, Paris.

Graham has sung in a number of commercial and Radio Recordings, including: The Man of La Mancha (BBC Radio 3 and TER), The Good Companions (BBC Radio 3), Wonderful Town/The Dancing Years/ Fiddler on the Roof/Jesus Christ Superstar/Phantom (TER), and appeared in several Glyndebourne DVD recordings, including The Ships’ Waiter & Ships’ Steward in Britten’s Death in Venice. He also appeared naked in Opera Factory’s Channel 4 Production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, though he promises to keep his clothes on at the Gatehouse!

He has recently sung the role of Commendatore (Don Giovanni) for Midsummer Opera, and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Surrey Opera.


Úna McMahon - mezzo soprano

Úna studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Her operatic roles include Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Dorothee (Cendrillon), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Tessa (The Gondoliers) and Peep-Bo (The Mikado). Una has also covered the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Nancy (Albert Herring) and Stewardess (Flight). In 2014 she premiered Laura Bowler’s Women Conduct at the Tete a Tete Festival.

On the concert platform she has performed in such works as Bach’s Magnificat, Saint-Saens Oratorio de Noel, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater.

Úna is a regular soloist with the Auricle Ensemble and has performed Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder and Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera with them. In 2010 she was a semi-finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Kiri Prize.

Úna has worked with the chorus of Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and covered the role of Margarida for the Glyndebourne on Tour production of The Yellow Sofa.


Alex Collinson - piano

Stranger In Paradise - Kismet - Borodin / Wright / Forrest - PLAY

Alex was born in Somerset and studied piano and accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, where he won many awards including the Ricordi Prize, the Accompanist Prize and the John Ireland Prize. He was then awarded a place at the National Opera Studio to continue his studies as a repetiteur.

He has worked for many of the major opera companies including Scottish Opera, English National Opera, European Chamber Opera, Opera Box, Opera Holland Park, Opera Factory, Raymond Gubbay at the Royal Albert Hall, Regency Opera, Diva Opera, English Festival Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Opera South, Opera Box, Opera East, Court Opera and the D’Oyly Carte, on productions of Così fan Tutte, The Coronation of Poppea, Fidelio, Maria Stuarda, L’Assedio di Calais (Donizetti), Carmen, La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, Il Piccolo Marat (Mascagni) I Pagliacci, Zampa (Herold), Hansel and Gretel, Eugene Onegin, Das Liebes Verbot (Wagner), Albert Herring, Die Fledermaus, and The Mikado.

He has also worked extensively in London’s West End and for the Royal National Theatre on shows such as Oklahoma!, Lady In The Dark, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Miss Saigon, Oliver, Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Carousel, Romance Romance, and Passion. For the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, he worked on Salad Days and The Sound of Music. Alex also took part in the cast recordings of Lady In The Dark, Passion and Oklahoma!.

He has appeared on several cruise lines including Swan Hellenic and Cunard, and was repetiteur and chorus master for London City Opera’s coast to coast tour of the USA of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Alex has played in galas at Buckingham Palace, the Argentine Embassy and at the El Escorial Palace in Madrid. He worked on the BBC show Lesley Garret - Tonight, and has appeared on Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Radio Scotland, Radio London, The Gloria Hunniford Show, GMTV, and RTE in Ireland. Alex played on the hit West End show Mary Poppins, for the nationwide tour of Matthew Bourne’s production of Edward Scissorhands and the West End productions of Marguerite and The Sound of Music.


Peter Crockford - piano

Peter Studied at the Birmingham School of Music and The Royal Northern College of Music. On graduating he worked as vocal coach and repetiteur for several opera companies including Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Operas, Wexford Festival, Opera 80 and Welsh National Opera.

He has conducted Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte for the Commonwealth Institute, and Britten’s Church Parables, in both Paris and London, followed by the European tour of Bernstein’s West Side Story. He joined the staff at the Stadt Theater, Freiburg in Germany, where he conducted L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), Anna Bolena (Donizetti), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart) and the stage rehearsals for Billy Budd (Britten), Die Fledermaus (Strauss) and Carmen (Bizet).

On returning to the UK Peter worked for the Black Swan Theatre Company, conducting Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) and Opera Exclusive’s Carmen (Bizet). He became the Musical Director of Blackheath Opera and Chorus, conducting Madama Butterfly (Puccini), Die Zauberflöte and La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart), Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), Il Campanello (Donizetti), Trial by Jury (Gilbert and Sullivan), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti), and Merrie England (German).

Peter conducted a series of orchestral concerts in Barbados with the Wren Orchestra for the Holders Season, as well as Tosca (Puccini) and The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan). He has travelled to the Middle and Far East, giving performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Don Pasquale (Donizetti), La Traviata (Verdi), Tosca and Madama Butterfly (Puccini), and many lighter concerts including a Broadway gala with the radio and youth orchestras of Kuala Lumpur, for the President of Malaysia, and an opera gala for the crown princess of Thailand in Bangkok. 

For Crystal Clear Opera, European Chamber Opera and London City Opera he has conducted Tosca, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly (Puccini), La Traviata (Verdi), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), and Massenet’s neglected masterpiece Herodiade for Dorset Opera. He has also conducted Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Roberto Devereux (Donizetti), Trouble in Tahiti (Berstein) and The Telephone (Menotti).

Peter worked for the National Youth Music Theatre as a Musical Director for Noyes Fludde (Britten), conducted Sirens, the world premiere of Joanna Ive’s oratorio for young performers at the Canterbury Festival, and Our Town Story with the Trinity Junior College Orchestra in a project at the Millennium Dome. 

For Morley College Choir, Peter conducted Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and Elijah (Mendelssohn), and the world premiere of Philip Munger’s controversial work, The Skies are Weeping, with the London Percussion Ensemble at the Hackney Empire for Coro Cervantes. He has performed many times with the Blackheath String Orchestra and conducted two Proms in the Park at Crystal Palace with the National Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted works such as The Planets (Holst), Enigma Variations and 1st Symphony (Elgar), 1st and 4th Symphonies (Mahler), The Firebird (Stravinsky), Duruflé's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Serenade to Music (Vaughan Williams), Stabat Mater (Pergolesi) and Cantata 155 (Bach) with the LGSO.

On the lighter side, Peter has conducted Salad Days (Julian Slade), No No Nanette (Youmans), Tomfoolery (Tom Lehrer) and Carousel (Rogers and Hammerstein), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Rupert Holmes) for the 2009 Canterbury Festival.

His television credits include the choral music for the BBC drama production The Passion, and Channel 4’s The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous with soprano Rosalind Plowright. He regularly accompanies her in recital and has conducted her in Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and in concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. They have broadcast together on BBC Radio 3, and in Japan for a celebrity recital for Japanese television.

He is currently Director of the Opera Course at the City Literary Institute in London.



Copyright © Classical Encounters • Site by