St John's Church, Catford

After a sold-out lunchtime concert performance last year at Queen’s House in Greenwich, Opera Asteria have revived their production of Purcell's Dido & Aeneas, this time for two semi-staged evening performances at Queen’s House and one at St John’s Church in Catford, accompanied by harpsichord and string quartet.

Founded in 2021, Opera Asteria intends to present opera works with female storytelling and representation in mind with the belief that this will aid the continuing diversification of the stories on which we focus in the arts.


Director Eleanor Strutt
Musical Director & Harpsichordist Jack Stone


Dido Alicia Mallace-Goulbourne
Aeneas Davide Basso
Belinda Persha Darling
Second Woman/Soprano Chorus Harim Oh
Sorceress Rachel Garland
First Witch Marrianne Town Smith
Second Witch Ruby Bak
Spirit/Mezzo Chorus Holly Putt
Tenor Chorus Alexander White & Timothy Langston
First Sailor/Bass Chorus Niall Windass


Eleanor Strutt graduated with a first in Music from King’s College London in 2016 before studying for her Master’s Degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. At age 18, Eleanor made her professional operatic debut as Barbarina in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro with Heritage Opera. Eleanor has since become a young artist with the company, singing in every subsequent production including The Magic Flute, La bohème, Tosca and La traviata. Other roles have included Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for King’s Opera; Orfeo’s mother in Gluck’s Orfeo with the Yorke Trust and Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Conservatoire de Musique de Genève. Eleanor is also very active behind the scenes; directing, choreographing, translating and prop-making. In 2017, Eleanor created and directed a new jukebox opera Cinderella for PuzzlePiece Opera (PPO), the student-led opera company based at Trinity Laban. Eleanor also wrote an English adaptation of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, which she directed last year with PPO. Assistant Director credits include La traviata with Opera Brava (Chris Lane), Le nozze di Figaro with St Paul’s Opera (Tony Baker) and The Rape of Lucretia for Trinity Laban Opera (Laura Altridge). Choreographic work in London includes Legally Blonde (Quay Players), Thoroughly Modern Millie (KCL MMT), Anything Goes (Kings Musical Theatre) and Amahl and the Night Visitors (Trinity Laban).

Jack Stone was a student of Chethams School of Music; graduate of the Royal College of Music, receiving the 2016 Harold Darke Prize, and an associated member of the Royal College of Organists. Jack has held accompanist posts at Dean Close School, Cheltenham; Tewkesbury Abbey; Carlisle Cathedral; Chelsea Ballet School and Morley Opera School, London. As well as working as repetiteur for Regents Opera, Jack is also organist of Catford Parish Church and repetiteur for Lewisham Urban Opera.

British lyric soprano Alicia Mallace-Goulbourne has been praised as having a "sensitive legato" and "an outstanding sense of poise and command". Alicia made her role debut as Female Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia with Opera Asteria (2021). Other roles include cover Anna/La nonne sanglante for Gothic Opera (2021) Dido/Dido & Aeneas for Opera Asteria (2022), Naiad/Ariadne auf Naxos for Uncovered Opera Company (2022), Cis/Albert Herring for New Palace Opera (2022) and Dama/Macbeth for Uncovered Opera Company (2023). Ensemble roles include Fulham Opera’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Hampstead Garden Opera’s La bohème & Savitri, Gothic Opera's La nonne sanglante (won the 2021 Offie for Best Opera Production), Regent Opera's La forza del destino, Scherzo Ensemble's L'elisir d'amore at Longhope Opera and Saffron Opera Group's Tannhäuser. Alicia has received expert tutelage from established performers and coaches including Isobel Buchanan, Susan Bullock, Teresa Cahill, Lionel Friend, Della Jones, Rosa Mannion, Julia Mintzer, Diana Montague, David Rendall, Gidon Saks, Nicky Spence, Phillip Thomas, Alison Wells and maestro Ubaldo Fabbri. Alicia has performed a variety of roles in staged operatic scenes including First Lady/The Magic Flute, Naiad/Ariadne auf Naxos, Queen Elizabeth I/Gloriana, Fifth Maid/Elektra, Elettra/Idomeneo, Countess/The Marriage of Figaro and Euridice/Orfeo ed Euridice. Moreover, she was delighted to be selected for the role of Alice in a scene from Falstaff, performed with the Welsh National Opera. Up next, Alicia is very excited to commence a year of recitals across the UK, which has so far taken her to venues including Waltham Abbey, Christchurch Priory and Egham and District Music Club. Upcoming engagements this summer include Dido for Dido and Aeneas for Opera Asteria, Suor Osmina for Suor Angelica with Opera Greenwich and being the soprano soloist for Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise with the Fordingbridge Choral Society. Alicia is also Company Director for Opera Asteria which she set up during the pandemic and freelances in events management, assisting and producing. www.aliciamallacegoulbourne.com

Davide Basso is a London based Italian tenor. Originally from Vicenza, he graduated from Middlesex University in London, and is currently under the guidance of Marcus Van Den Akker and Michael Pugh (Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama). He has performed regularly both in the UK (Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Hall, Cadogan Hall) and Italy (Teatro Verdi in Padova, Teatro Comunale in Vicenza, Teatro Cilea in Reggio Calabria, Teatro Malibran in Venice) with, among others, Regents Opera, Scherzo Ensemble, Random Opera, Opéra de Baugé, Dockland Sinfonia, Ormond Opera, Barts Academic Festival Choir & Orchestra, Silver Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Ritmico Sinfonica Italiana and Casanova Venice Ensemble.

Persha Darling is a recent masters graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She currently studies with Eamonn Mulhall and Kelvin Lim. Persha has performed a wide variety of opera roles throughout the UK and Europe including Giselda (I Lombardi, Verdi), Agnes Lee in the European premier of Glass’ Appomattox, Cinderella for Puzzlepiece Opera’s production of Cinderella and Eurydice (Orpheus in the Underworld, Offenbach) which gained her nominations for the Leeds Art Guild’s Best Performance Award. In 2019, she toured across the UK with Opera Brava for her role as Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) and re-joined the company for their 2022 tour as the Shepherd and Chorister in Tosca and as “Maria” in Carmen. Further engagements have included: The Brahms Festival at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, curated by Eugene Asti and The Venus Blazing concert, curated by Dylan Perez. Persha also has a strong interest in film and TV and can be seen in small roles for various television programmes and films.

Harim Oh is a British Soprano with Korean heritage. She studied both first study violin and singing at the Purcell School. She read music at the University of Bristol, and has graduated her Masters of Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), studying with Kathleen Mckellar Ferguson. Operatic performances include at RCS, ‘Sophie’ (Der Rosenkavalier), ‘Clorinda’ (Cenerentola), ‘Marzelline’ (Fidelio), ‘Susanna’ (Marriage of Figaro), the chorus of Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel with the Scottish Opera, with WNO Youth Opera ‘Wu’ (Peter Maxwell-Davies, Kommilitonen), and many opera and operetta productions with the Bristol University Theatre and Operatic Society. As a soloist on the concert platform Harim has sung with Scottish Voices, Bach’s St John Passion with the Glasgow Barons and Scottish Chamber Choir, Handel’s Messiah with Opera Dei Lumi, Bach’s Magnificat at the RCS and with RCS Voices has performed the Beethoven 9, Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin and Langaard’s Music of the Spheres in collaboration with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Harim is also an experienced recitalist.

Rachel Garland is a young mezzo-soprano based in London. Rachel started her musical education in youth choirs, before studying singing privately in London and Milan. Recent engagements include Prince Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus, J. Strauss) for Guildford Opera and mezzo-soprano soloist in both Elijah (Mendelssohn) and Petite Messe Solonelle (Rossini) for Barts Academic Festival Choir and Orchestra. In 2022/2023 Rachel will debut the roles of Dryade (Ariadne auf Naxos, R. Strauss), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck), Flora Bervoix (La Traviata, Verdi) and Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell). Roles performed in opera scenes at Morley College Opera School and Oxenfoord Summer School include Cornelia (Giulio Cesare, Handel), La Voix (Les Contes d’Hoffman, Offenbach), Hedwige (Guillaume Tell, Rossini), Mignon (Mignon, Thomas), Stewardess (Flight, Dove), and Flowermaiden (Parsifal, Wagner).

Lyric-dramatic soprano Marrianne Town Smith started to sing in 2007 as a hobby and distraction from a fast-paced marketing management role. In 2015 she successfully auditioned for a Postgraduate Vocal Studies Programme at Trinity Laban and graduated with distinction in 2017. Most recently Marrianne performed the role of Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco and was soprano soloist in Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem and Handel’s Messiah in Bart’s Great Hall London. Other roles performed and covered include Madeleine Lidoine, Les Dialogues des Carmélites; Maddalena, Andrea Chenier; Donna Anna, Don Giovanni; The Gingerbread Witch and Gertrude Hansel and Gretel, and on the concert stage has performed as soprano soloist in Verdi's Requiem. Marrianne's 2022 season includes concert performances as Abigaille Nabucco, her orchestral concert debut with St Paul’s Sinfonia singing Chausson’s La Poeme de l’amour et de la mer, a workshop with orchestra of Strauss Four Last Songs, First Witch in Dido and Aeneas and Ariadne Ariadne auf Naxos. Please visit marrianne.co.uk for more information.

British mezzo-soprano Ruby Bak is currently studying for a Bachelor of Music at King’s College London. As part of the King’s Opera Society, she has played the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas in an online showcase (2020) and Mrs Nolan in The Medium by Menotti (2021) and most recently Miss Jessel in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (2022). She holds a choral scholarship at King’s and has sang solos in their St John’s Passion concert alongside the Hanover Band and the alto solo in Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil at St John’s Smith Square. Also, she performed the alto solo in the lesser known choral work by Gustav Holst, The Cloud Messenger, at the English Music Festival with the English Chamber Orchestra. Her summer work for 2022 started with being a part of the soprano chorus for Longhope Opera’s, L’Elisir D’Amore, and as summer work carries on, she is delighted to be in Opera Asteria’s production of Dido and Aeneas.

Holly Putt is a London based mezzo-soprano who has recently graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she studied with singing teacher Lynton Atkinson, and vocal coach Alistair Young. Holly is known for her innovative programs of less-known works. She values the passion for drama, sensitivity and authenticity in delivering narratives. During her studies at Trinity Laban, Holly rehearsed and performed with Trinity’s Chamber Choir, participated in a masterclass with Robert Alderson and performed at numerous venues around London as a soloist alongside pianist Francesca Lauri. Holly and Francesca have also had the privilege of coming second in the Essex Young Musician of the year, hosted by Ongar Music Club in July 2021.

Tim Langston is a tenor with the Royal Opera Chorus, Covent Garden, where he was worked full-time since summer 2017. Before this, he read Music at the University of Manchester and latterly studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2015 he was invited into the Samling Artist Programme. Tim joined the Christine Collin's Young Artist Programme at Opera Holland Park after college when he sang the Fortune Teller in Lakme. He went on to sing multiple roles for the company including Gobin La Rondine, Il Cenciaiuolo Iris and Master of Ceremonies The Queen of Spades. He has covered roles during his tenure at the Royal Opera House, as well as having performed roles for small opera companies and during his time at college. Concert highlights include solo appearances with the Halle under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, European Opera Center with Richard Farnes, Psappha Ensemble, the Oxford Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau OBE, Sir Thomas Allen and Dame Ann Murray and performances of Israel in Eygpt with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Nicolas McGegan. Timothy founded the Manchester Opera Ensemble, one of the city's leading proponents for opera performance. He has directed several productions for the company and continues to run the company.

Alexander White was born and raised in the West Country to a musical family. He started singing at 19 and completed his Master's in Vocal Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2022 following on from his BMus, for which upon graduation, he was awarded the Trinity Laban Silver Medal. Alexander has recently performed Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with Cardiff Opera and Shepherd Boy an Spoletta in Puccini's Tosca for Carmina Priapea. He is currently preparing The Defendant in Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury for Cardiff Opera and Pastore 1 and Spirito 1 in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo for the Frome Festival.

Niall Windass is a baritone and has just completed undergraduate studies at Trinity Laban, under the tutelage of Eamonn Mulhall and Alistair Young. While at Trinity Laban, Niall was a Trinity College London Scholar, member of Chamber Choir under Stephen Jackson, and performed with Trinity Laban Opera in A Christmas Carol (Musgrave, 2018), Syllable (Jessen, 2022) and Strozzi! (Strozzi/Hamilton, 2022). Niall enjoys working with young composers on new works and has also worked with the British Youth Opera and Opera Holland Park. Niall is thrilled to be joining the Opera Asteria company for this performance of Dido and Aeneas.

St John's Church, Catford

Dates and times

This event finished on 05 July 2023.

box office powered by