Poppy Smallwood - Founder
Poppy Smallwood, soprano, grew up with a love of music and language. For her undergraduate degree she pursued her love of languages, studying Russian and French at the University of Edinburgh. During this time she also worked and studied abroad in Russia and France, immersing herself in the linguistic and musical culture of both countries. After graduating, she moved to St Petersburg to further improve her Russian. It was here, while studying with Yelena Shabunio at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts that she decided to undergo further vocal training and to embark on a postgraduate degree in vocal studies at a UK conservatory. On returning to the UK she studied with Christine Cairns for 2 years, while also studying for an MA in Slavonic Studies from Oxford University. Since being accepted at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018, she was awarded the Yvonne and Peter Wilson Award to further her studies on the Post Graduate Diploma program, under Antonia Sotgiu. Poppy is now an active performer of both oratorio, and operatic repertoire. Orchard Opera is Poppy’s brainchild, and she is highly motivated to provide performance opportunities for her fellow artists, and uplifting music to audiences during strange times.
Emma Sheehy - Artistic Director
Emma Sheehy’s work has a comic voice. She imagines a cast of characters in drawings, objects and costumes. They are influenced by myths, medieval manuscripts and awkward public interactions. Emma lives and works in South East London. She has exhibited in Germany, Sweden, London and Leeds.
Guy Murgatroyd - Musical Director
Guy Murgatroyd, our musical director, enjoys an international reputation as one of a leading generation of musicians adaptable to many musical specialties including work as soloist, song pianist, répétiteur, coach and musical director. Initial studies were at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on a scholarship under Victor Sangiorgio and Pascal Nemirowski. During this time he won every major award for piano accompaniment as well as academic tributes. Further Postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of music in London under Michael Dussek resulted in numerous additional awards for performances as accompanist as well as a Master of Arts with distinction. Since completing his MA Guy has continued to study privately. Guy is the director of music for independent London company Opera Rogue who have recently celebrated five star reviews for their 2019 production of Don Giovanni. Guy has been a regular house pianist at the Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers for the past six years. Guy is a former Oxford Lieder young artist, Leeds Lieder young artist and a current Live Music Now artist and workshop leader. Last season Guy made his Oxford Lieder Festival debut with Soprano Claire Ward.
Flossie Roberts - Director
Florence trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She has since worked extensively in theatre, screen and radio. Her most notable theatre credits include critically-acclaimed BU21 at Trafalgar Studios, Losing Venice & French Without Tears at the Orange Tree Theatre, and Shakespeare In Love in the West End. She was nominated in the Off-West-End Awards for Best Female Performance for her role in Punts at Theatre 503. Last year, she travelled from Soho to St. Petersburg and Cologne with international theatre company HUNCHtheatre in their acclaimed production of A Hero Of Our Time. Recent radio credits include reading prose and poetry for BBC’s Free Thinking and Words & Music respectively. She is co-creator, performing artist and producer of Multiphonic Arts, a company that curates Arts Council funded performance evenings – ‘Sunday Nights at The Asylum’ – in Peckham, London. The evenings combine multiple genres, including classical and world music, dance, mime and poetry, and explore their shared resonances on a chosen theme. Accolades include commendations at the National Theatre's Michael Bryant Awards for verse-speaking, and the BBC's Carlton Hobbs Radio Awards.