Music for a Summer Evening


in the gardens of Limekiln Farm, Chalvington


or buy at Ripe Village Stores

Catharine Woodward and friends, with piano trio, perform opera arias and songs from the musicals, including works by R Strauss, Puccini, Gershwin and Weill.

6pm Saturday 25th June

Gardens open from 4pm
Cash Bar; Coffee, Tea and Canapes (available from 4pm).
You are welcome to bring your own picnic.

Tickets £20 plus booking fee

Buy online or from Ripe Village Stores.

Please bring a rug if chilly.

If the weather is very inclement the event will be moved to Ripe church, but hopefully this will not be necessary!

Catharine Woodward

Catharine is a British dramatic soprano resident in Germany. Since moving into the dramatic repertoire she has been twice in the live finals of the Lauritz Melchior (Wagner) Competition in Denmark, and has been selected as one of the top singers in NYIOPs ANON:DE audition project. In January 2022 she will debut as Elektra in a collaborative performance in Berlin, and in February 2022 she will sing Leonora la Forza del Destino in London.

Catharine studied Music at the University of Durham, Vocal Performance at Trinity Laban & at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has worked at English National Opera, Scottish Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and many other prestigious companies and festivals. Career highlights include a documentary for the Open University - Future Diva, and performing at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Coronation Festival in 2014. In 2017 she appeared in comedy series “Taskmaster” on Dave & also demonstrated the function of the vocal tract by singing Puccini in an MRI scanner for the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. In January 2018 she performed excerpts of Madama Butterfly as a featured artist in ITV drama “Next Of Kin”.

Catharine Woodward
Catharine Woodward

Photograph by Tom Medwell

Her opera roles include Eva Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Elisabetta Don Carlo, Mimi La Boheme (Regent’s Opera), Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Diva Opera UK), Alice Ford Falstaff (Fulham Opera), Edna Tobias & The Angel and Sarah Clemency (both Highbury Opera Theatre). 


Pippa Dames-Longworth

Pippa has sung roles for Paris Opera (Palais Garnier), Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera Holland Park, Opera North, Teatro Real, Madrid, for Frankfurt, Maggie Musicale, Edinburgh, Bath Festivals, the BBC Proms and The Royal Albert Hall, Festival Hall, Snape Maltings. An experienced and versatile singer, her roles in opera range from Monteverdi to Verdi, Britten and contemporary works.  She has worked with Sir Georg Solti, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Roger Norrington and Jiří Bělohlávek, and with Complicité, Brodsky Quartet, Schubert Ensemble.  She has broadcast for Radio 3 and 4, for Channel 4, SkyArts and BBC 2 and recorded Stravinsky’s ‘Rossignol’ with Robert Craft and Birtwistle’s ‘Mask of Orpheus’ with the BBC SO.International Festival and the BBC Proms.

Pippa Dames-Longworth
Pippa Dames-Longworth

With baritone colleague, Karl Daymond, she devised and performed  programmes in Spain, Africa and the Caribbean, and was the subject of a BBC documentary. She also directs her own group of soloists, ‘Singing Salon’ who regularly perform at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.

Pippa lives in Barcombe with her husband, John Berry, and two extraordinarily vocal cats!  

Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks

Andrew Wicks was a chorister at Chichester Cathedral and a choral scholar at Durham. He graduated in music from Durham University and then studied singing and performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning the Johnston award. The Countess of Munster Musical Trust assisted his studies.

His international concert career began with such groups as the King’s consort, Gabrieli consort and Monteverdi choir singing Bach, Handel, Mozart and Purcell. He toured Europe and America and performed at the BBC Proms.

Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks
Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks

His extensive Oratorio repertoire now ranges from the baroque, through the classical to romantic works such as Gerontius, The Kingdom, The Apostles, Verdi Requiem and Beethoven Missa Solemnis as well as more contemporary works such as Britten Spring Symphony, War Requiem and St Nicolas.  He has performed all over the UK and in Beijing, Mexico, Singapore, and St Petersburg.


Thomas Isherwood

Thomas Isherwood is a 25-year-old baritone from London. Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, Thomas has completed his postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Prof Susan McCulloch, achieving a distinction on the Master of Music programme.

Thomas Isherwood

Possessing a naturally powerful and versatile instrument, Thomas enjoys performing a diverse repertoire of music from Schubert through to Sondheim. Thomas has appeared in public master-classes with eminent musicians such as Amanda Roocroft, Julius Drake, Sir John Tomlinson, Graham Johnson & Elly Ameling as part of the Wigmore Hall 2015 season.

Recent performances include the role of Happy in La Fanciulla del West by Puccini for Grange Park Opera and an evening with Alexandra Lowe & Thomas Isherwood at Chatsworth House for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Thomas was a member of the chorus for Fiddler on the Roof with Grange Park Opera, performing alongside Bryn Terfel for 10 performances in Hampshire and at the 2015 BBC Proms.

Prizes and awards include the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers, the Oncken & Alexander Young prizes at the RNCM and the 2016 London Song Festival British Art Song Prize.

Elspeth Wilkes

Born in Leigh-on-sea, Essex, Elspeth studied at King’s College, London, Trinity College of Music and Royal Academy of Music. She has performed at the Royal Opera House; the Royal Albert Hall; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Savoy theatre, West End as well as performing recitals in Spain, Portugal, France and South Africa. Elspeth has performed at the Ravenna festival, Italy, the Edinburgh Festival and the Dublin  Theatre Festival winning the ‘Oscar’ award for performance. She has worked with BBC Wales, Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company and Southbank Sinfonia and has worked as repetiteur/musical director with Opera up Close, Opera Brava, Kings Head Opera, HGO, Merry Opera Company and Opera de Bauge. Elspeth is the conductor of Thurrock Choral Society and assistant conductor of Barnes Choir and Putney Choral Society. She is also a member of the Bridgetower Ensemble. In her spare time, Elspeth is a keen quizzer and has appeared on TV on Mastermind, The Chase, Countdown and The Weakest Link!

Elspeth Wilkes

James Widden

James Widden studied Music and English at Newcastle and Sussex universities, and undertook a postgraduate Advanced Diploma at Trinity College of Music, studying violin with Nona Liddell and viola with Nic Pendlebury. While at Trinity he led all the orchestras and the Contemporary Music Group, including memorable performances with Evelyn Glennie at the Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, and of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder at the Royal Festival Hall.

James Widden

His string quartet, the Arcadian Quartet, won the Barbirolli Prize for outstanding performance of a Beethoven quartet, and he performed the solo violin part in Berg’s Chamber Concerto, both at Trinity and at Blackheath Concert Halls.

Since graduating, James has pursued a busy freelance career in London and the south-east, including working with the London Sinfonietta, the Endymion Ensemble, and performances at the BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic. In addition to his work as leader (and string fixer) of St Paul’s Sinfonia, James is also leader and administrator of the Bergamo Ensemble, a contemporary music group that has been bringing exciting and challenging programmes to London and the South-east for the last eight years. He has performed the Kurt Weill Violin concerto with the Bergamo Ensemble and with Southern Winds, at the Canterbury and Brighton Festivals, and at the Royal Northern College of Music. With St Paul’s Sinfonia he has played the violin solo in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (with Sam Burstin, viola), and Autumn as part of a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Alison Holden

Alison Holford was born and brought up in Birmingham. She read music at Huddersfield University and Trinity College of Music, studying with Sue Lowe, Anna Shuttleworth and David Kenedy. At Trinity College of Music she was principal cello in the college Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Group. Since graduating she has pursued a busy freelance career, both playing and teaching in London and the south-east of England. Her performing work includes: principal cello ofSt Paul's Sinfonia; solo cello in Splinter Cell, a contemporary music group based in Canterbury that aims to mix the most challenging and virtuosic pre-composed music with free improvisation, and collaborate with other art forms including film, visual art and dance; cellist in Bridgetower Music, a flexible chamber ensemble performing anything from piano trios to Pierrot Lunaire; and in France, principal and continuo cello of Opera de Baugé.

Alison Holford

Recently she has been the solo cello in OperaUpClose’s production of Tosca in the West End and on tour ('Outstanding' The Independent; ‘Cellist Alison Holford’s playing is so sweet that I am called again and again to listen with great attention’ - With OperaUpClose she has also been the solo cello in La Traviata; solo/continuo in Dido and Aeneas; and solo in Carmen. With King's Head Opera, Alison was the solo cello in new productions of La Boheme and Madame Butterfly. Alison has performed with the Manchester Camerata and Lancashire Sinfonietta. With St Paul’s Sinfonia, Alison has performed the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos (with Helen Neilson), the Brahms Double Concerto (with James Widden, violin), the Shostakovich 1st cello concerto, and the Barber cello concerto. Alison is also a long-suffering supporter of Aston Villa F.C.