Skip to content

A month until the London première of Looking West

In the words of Julian Philips, composer of Looking West it’s


A month until the London premiere of #LookingWest created with librettist Rebecca Hurst, brought to life by Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Rebecca Bottone, Alex Knox and Maddie Purefoy with conductor George Vass, Nova Music Opera & director Sally Ripley Do come!” 


We are all looking forward immensely to putting this fantastic, dramatic cantata on in London at Milton Court, Silk Street, Barbican on 12th October 2022 which falls on Ralph Vaughan Williams 150th Birthday #RVW150 See you there!

Click here for link to ticket sales

World Première of Looking West

IMG-20220731-WA0014Saturday night at Ryedale Festival saw the world première performance of Looking West by composer Julian Philips and librettist Rebecca Hurst. This is a remarkably beautiful fusion of spoken word and music, interweaving the narratives of our three characters, spread across three periods of time, pre-mediaeval, early twentieth century and present day.

Here we are, fresh from our first performance of three, left to right, Maddie Purefoy [actor], Rebecca Hurst [librettist], Rebecca Afonwy-Jones [Saint Bega], Rebecca Bottone [Winifred Nicholson] Alex Knox [Pilgrim] and Julian Philips [composer].

The performance was conducted by George Vass, leading the Nova Music Opera players and directed by Sally Ripley.

We shall open the first evening of Presteigne Festival on Thursday 25th August and make our third appearance together at Milton Court, London on 12th October. This is a unique and beautiful piece not to be missed.


World Première Tuesday 7th June

We are in the swing of rehearsals for A Kind Man in which Rebecca will be playing Eve, opposite Gerrit Paul Groen as the titular character Tommy Carr, with the premiere fast approaching! Do follow the links below or read more at

June 7/8/10/12 Jonathan Finney | A KIND MAN | Hoxton Hall, London, N1 6SH Tickets can be purchased here together with further details of the project.
This world premiere performance of an opera based on the Susan Hill novella  “tells the story of a couple, already dealing with the grief of losing a child, who face the prospect of further tragedy. Through a mysterious transformation, the opera leaves us with a message of hope…”



Review in Gramophone for Joseph Phibbs’ Juliana

…The performance is as sharp as the updated libretto. Zoe Drummond is suitably flighty and capricious in the first half as Juliana, but more fragile later. Her love duet with Juan, strongly sung by Felix Kemp, is beautifully achieved and something of that glow remains ‘after the event’ in scene 9, while the lovers plan their escape. Rebecca Afonwy-Jones is convincing as the jilted Kerstin, even though robbed of the more critical part Strindberg had allotted her. The Nova Music Opera Ensemble – all eight players – accompany flawlessly, directed by his customary exemplary sensitivity by George Vass. Resonus’ sound is beautifully clear.

Guy Rickards for Gramophone, April


4* Review in March 2022 BBC Music Magazine


Review for Joseph Phibbs’ & Laurie Slade’s JULIANA written by Steph Power for March 2022 BBC Music Magazine:

“The score is brilliantly written, with a spaciousness and sure sense of timing that encourages Zoe Drummond (Juliana) and Felix Kemp (Juan) to fully vocally and dramatically inhabit their characters; at the same time allowing the equally excellent Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (Kerstin) to rise above the limitations of her witness role, and Nova Music Opera Ensemble to shine under conductor George Vass.”

Listen to an excerpt of A Kind Man before the June 2022 premiere

Ahead of the world premiere of Jonathan Finney’s A Kind Man in June 2022, you can listen to an excerpt here:
Check on Rebecca’s Diary page for the link to ticket sales and information

Juliana: New Release Today – Joseph Phibbs’ new opera

Released today!   RES10290-200x200

During lockdown in March 2021, Rebecca was delighted to join her esteemed colleagues at Nova Music Opera to record Juliana with Resonus Classics at SJE Arts, Oxford. Despite the many hurdles, the team had a wonderful time creating a great record of Joseph Phibbs’ and Laurie Slade’s amazing reinterpretation of  the much performed Miss Julie by August Strindberg. Since the project began in 2017, Rebecca has been on board and is delighted to appear in this release today, her third disc with Resonus Classics. Warmest thanks to everyone involved, but particularly to Conductor George Vass and Adam Binks at Resonus.

Details on how to purchase Juliana may be found here