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Joe Davies 

Founder and Artistic Director

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Recently praised for his 'musical brilliance' (Seen and Heard International), Joe Davies is a Conductor working across the UK. He is Musical Director of the UK Proms in the Park Orchestra, Canterbury Symphony Orchestra, Leamington Sinfonia, and Midland Concert Orchestra, an Assistant Conductor for the English Symphony Orchestra, and Artistic Director and Founder of the Cumbria Opera Group. Upcoming and previous engagements include the National Schools' Symphony Orchestra, Oxford University Orchestra, Winchester Symphony Orchestra, and the City of Southampton Orchestra. MD credits include Candide at the Oxford Playhouse and Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Trouble in Tahiti, A Hand of Bridge, Acis and Galatea, Venus and Adonis and Dido and Aeneas with the Cumbria Opera Group.

Joan Rodgers CBE

Artistic Patron


Joan Rodgers is equally established in opera, concert and as a recitalist. She has appeared in concert with conductors including Solti, Barenboim, Mehta, Harnoncourt, Mackerras, Ashkenazy, Salonen, Rattle, Elder and Bolton. She has appeared in recitals and concerts throughout Europe and the USA. Operatic engagements have included performances at all the major UK opera houses as well as in Paris, Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Joan Rodgers received the Royal Philharmonic Society award as Singer of the Year for 1997, the 1997 Evening Standard Award for outstanding performance in opera for her performance as The Governess in the Royal Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Liverpool University in July 2005. Joan Rodgers was awarded the CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List.

Lucy Britton 

Managing Director


Lucy's love of music began when she joined her parish church choir aged eight, and she first became involved with opera when singing the titular role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas while at school. At university, she sang with Schola Cantorum of Oxford and held choral scholarships at Keble College and Wolfson College Oxford. Lucy graduated with a degree in Biochemistry in 2019, and has since enjoyed learning the ropes of running an opera company.

Jonny Danciger 

Theatrical Director

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Jonny read Music at St Peter’s College, Oxford. He has worked with the Royal Opera House (Faust) and British Youth Opera (Scoring a Century), assisting Keith Warner. Direction credits include large-scale productions of Don Giovanni, The Cave, Candide, and world-premieres of works by Toby Young and Joel Baldwin. He is the artistic director of international theatre company Barricade Arts, and has acted professionally under directors Polly Findlay (Twisted Tales, Lyric Theatre) and Steven Daldry (Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace Theatre). Jonny works as a freelance director, composer and designer in London, recently staging his own score of The Tempest for chamber ensemble and live electronics.

Persia Babayan-Taylor 

Theatrical Director

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Persia trained as an Actor Musician at Guildford School of Acting. Since graduating, she has begun a varied career in the performance industry, including performing in London’s West End, composing music for theatre with collective Jupiter Creatives and co-directing and producing Swallows and Armenians at Theatre by the Lake.


Persia began working with the Cumbria Opera Group in 2017, co-producing Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, then directing John Blow’s Venus and Adonis in 2018. Persia directed Così fan tutte in the inaugural Cumbria Opera Festival and Don Giovanni at the 2023 Festival.

Jen Hartley 

Associate Composer


Jen Hartley grew up near London and had piano lessons with Graeme Humphrey. She studied Music at Cambridge University where she also did her PGCE, and completed a research MA at York University. She is a secondary school Music teacher, an active composer, an amateur conductor and a teacher of piano, composition and theory. Jen has written music for choir, chamber ensemble, orchestra, musical theatre and ballet, and recently had a piece recorded by Ora Singers as part of their 2019 Christmas Gift collection. She is currently a PhD student at the RNCM, looking at critical creativity through the lens of improvisation.

Board of Trustees

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