Bampton Classical Opera has worked with a number of conductors, some of whom are described below. We do not have a permanent music director.
Gilly French is artistic director of Bampton Classical Opera, founder and conductor of the acclaimed chamber choir Cantandum and conductor of Imperial Winds. She studies singing under Jennifer Caron and conducting with Richard Dickins, Neil Ferris and Peter Broadbent. Her repertory ranges from unaccompanied consort music through opera to modern classics for concert band. Recent highlights include a Marian concert of music by Victoria, Vivaldi and Steffani and Handel’s Funeral Music for Queen Caroline as well as an outdoor performance of Haydn’s Theresienmesse. She conducts regularly at St Johns Smith Square and has translated a number of operas for Bampton. Future plans include Gordon Jacob’s Concertino for Trombone and a choral programme for St Cecilia’s day.
Andrew Griffiths trained at the National Opera Studio, Scottish Opera and as a Jette Parker Young Artist at The Royal Opera. He has conducted productions for The Royal Opera, Opera North, Early Opera Company, Bampton Classical Opera, Iford and Paragon Ensemble Scotland, and appeared in concert with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, the Orchestra of Opera North, Southbank Sinfonia, Thames Sinfonia and Orpheus Sinfonia. As an assistant conductor he has worked at The Royal Opera, Glyndebourne, ENO, WNO, Chicago Opera Theatre, Batignano and with the BBC SO, BBC SSO and Britten Sinfonia, under conductors including Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Andrew Davis, Semyon Bychkov and Jiří Bělohlávek. A sought-after choral conductor, he is Music Director of Londinium and Kingston Choral Society and is regularly heard on BBC Radio 3 directing the BBC Singers; he has also appeared with New London Chamber Choir and the choirs at Dartington Summer School. Recent highlights include Così fan tutte for Opera Theatre Company, Don Giovanni for Mid Wales Opera, Idomeneo for Forestbird Productions, and live broadcasts of Scarlatti, Vaughan Williams and MacMillan with the BBC Singers. Future engagements include assistant conductor, Tristan und Isolde, at the BBC Proms.
Toby Purser is widely regarded as an intelligent and passionate conductor. He began his formative conducting studies with George Hurst, later spending two years at the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire studying with Ilya Musin, and then a further three years at the Royal Academy of Music with Colin Metters. Toby first came to prominence when he won second prize at the Leeds Conducting Competition in 2002, and was appointed Assistant Conductor of L'Ensemble Orchestral de Paris for 2007 following his participation in the Vendome Academy with Janos Furst and John Nelson. He is a regular guest at Grange Park Opera where he has conducted Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly Eugene Onegin, and Fortunio. Other operatic performances include Hänsel und Gretel , Il Seraglio Sciarrino’s Infinito), Britten Curlew River, and Puccini Gianni Schicchi, as well as many opera gala programmes. In 2005 he founded the Orion Orchestra, building it into one of London’s leading orchestras for young musicians. From 2002 until 2011 he was principal conductor of the London International Orchestra, while other orchestras he has conducted include the English Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of Opera North, St. Petersburg Camerata, Orpheus Sinfonia, among many others.
David Owen Norris