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About Us

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Peter Crockford, Musical Director and Pianist

Peter studied at the Birmingham School of Music (now Conservatoire) and the Royal Northern College of Music. 

His early career was spent travelling widely as accompanist and vocal coach. He worked with Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Operas, New Sadlers Wells Opera, Wexford Festival Opera and Welsh National Opera. He conducted the very successful European Tour of Bernstein’s West Side Story and this led to an invitation to join the music staff at the Stadt Theater Freiburg, Germany as assistant to the General Music Director.Freiburg he toured all over the Middle and Far East conducting many operas and concerts. In the UK he has conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Wren Orchestra, London City Opera, Crystal Clear Opera, European Chamber Opera amongst many others. He has always had a great interest in working with young and amateur musicians and is equally at home in conducting Madame Butterfly as a Broadway Musical. His last big job before ‘lockdown’ was to conduct the Sri Lanka Symphony Orchestra in Colombo in their celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.


Simon Wilson, Baritone

Simon has studied with Margaret Hyde, Ellis Keeler, Mark Wildman and Phillip Guy Bromley and won a scholarship to study on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music. He has performed in many Concerts, Oratorios and Operas both in the UK and in Europe. His repertoire includes: Requiems by Verdi, Brahms, Mozart, Duruflé and Fauré, St John and St Matthew Passions,The Creation, Messiah, Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth, La Traviata, Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, The Magic Flute, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Zampa, Hansel and Gretel, Verbum Nobile, Don Pasquale, Si j'étais roi, Samson and Delilah, Faust, Carmen, Un ballo in maschera, Pagliacci, the title roles in Henry VIII, Nabucco, Rigoletto and Don Giovanni and many Gilbert and Sullivan Operas.

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Liezel Ruthven-Brink, Mezzo Soprano

Liezel qualified with a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Education at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She won prizes for recitals, song, oratorio and opera. Liezel toured internationally with the Philharmonia of Cape Town who performed with Luciano Pavarotti. She is the Director of Music at a local Private School and she also teaches Singing and Piano. Liezel regularly performs with a number of opera companies and she is the founder and Artistic Director of Opera Bel Canto London. Roles include: The High Priestess Aida for Riverside Opera, Olga The Merry Widow for West London Opera, Stephanie Tempest (cover) and Emilia Otello for Guildford Opera, Flora La Traviata for West London Opera, Hata Bartered Bride for Opera at Barewood. 


Rachel Jones, Mezzo Soprano

The founder member of KT Tenuto, Rachel came to singing later in life when she took lessons to help her with a surprise birthday performance as Shirley Bassey! Already a keen musician, it sparked a great joy for singing and she began her classical voice training journey, having since performed in opera choruses and solo roles as a mezzo-soprano with a number of companies including Riverside Opera, Guildford Opera, Opera Foundry and New London Opera Players. As a great supporter of the arts and as a singer, Rachel is dedicated to sharing her love for music with others.


Matthew Connolly, Tenor

Matthew came to singing in his 20s, having previously studied double bass and piano. He initially studied with Roger Durstewitz at the Mainz Konservatorium, which sounds a lot grander than it is. Back in England he made a name for himself singing tenor leads in the amateur and semi-pro opera circuit in London, though history does not record exactly what that name was, and he isn’t letting on.

Over the years he has taken on a sizeable variety of major roles ranging from Bel Canto through French Lyric to Verismo, and even dipped a toe in the Heldentenor repertoire. He has a particular fondness for Puccini.


Elaine Way, Soprano

Classically trained in London and the USA, Elaine studied bel canto technique with soprano Anne Heath-Welch, with intensive periods of study in Graz, Austria, AIMS International School of Music and the National Opera Studio in London. An award-winning soprano who has won accolades for opera, Lieder and oratorio performances, she has performed internationally with a number of opera and ensemble companies. Repertoire includes principal and soloist roles in Mozart's Coronation Mass, Mass In C Minor and Vesperae Solennes; Faure Requiem; Le Nozze Di Figaro; La Boheme; Otello; Tosca; Falstaff; Turandot; Die Walkure; Rheingold and Aida, amongst others. Elaine has been a resident of Surrey for over a decade and is delighted to be finally singing in her own neighbourhood. 

Elaine Way Hypnotherapy and Therapy Farnham, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire. Hypnotherapist at Solution Focused Studio

Richard Milnes, Tenor

Richard is experienced as a choral tenor, in particular with the Joyful Company of Singers, and as a soloist in the choral and oratorio repertoire. Richard moved into the world of opera as a founding member of KT Tenuto, and through his studies with Cathy Pope. In early 2022 Richard joined the Regents Opera company in their production of La Forza del Destino.

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Victoria Lord, Mezzo Soprano

A founding member of KT Tenuto, Victoria has a broad musical experience predominantly in Jazz music, playing and singing semi-professionally from later teens through her 20s and 30s, continuing for leisure since then. Qualifying as a Music Therapist from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she has worked mainly in neuro-rehabilitation and cancer care with children and adults, but has maintained her love for singing with performances with opera choruses and contemporary solos with Riverside Opera and KT Tenuto.

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Andrea Kirkwood, Soprano

Andrea completed a BMus (Hons) at City University, alongside studying advanced performance at Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Anita Morrison. Andrea then went onto completing a PGCE at the Institute of Education, and an MA Music Education. She currently works as a Head of Performing Arts. Andrea is a keen musician, and her favourite style of music to perform is Opera. She has enjoyed performing roles such as Monica (The Medium), Liu (Turandot), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Rusalka (Rusalka) and Aida (Aida).

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Anna Slavina, Soprano

Anna Slavina has studied voice and piano from a young age in addition to obtaining a degree in mathematics from Moscow State University. Previously studying with Brian Galloway and Helen Cannell, Anna joined Opera Integra in 2005. She had her debut with Opera Integra as Tatiana (Eugene Onegin).Since then rolles include Adina, Fiordiligi, Pamina, Gilda, Micaëla, Alice (Falstaff), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Lady M, Giulietta and Antonia (The Tales of Hoffmann). Anna is very happy to be joining the Tenuto project this year. Anna is also a Chairman of Hampstead Music Club, one of the oldest surviving music clubs in London. 

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Nick Marsden, Baritone

Nick began vocal training with John Upperton in 2020 and joined Opera Integra for his first operatic role in autumn 2021 (Alfio, Cavaleria Rusticana). Since then, he has performed with Midsummer Opera (Bitterolf, Act III of Tannhäuser) and is looking ahead to performing as soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Angel Orchestra in May 2022. Originally trained as a clarinettist Nick completed his undergraduate studies at Durham University studying with Dov Goldberg and then Joy Farrell. He has performed across the UK and internationally with orchestras including the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Tamesa and the Orchestra of Midsummer Opera.

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