OUR PEOPLE

CEO/Co-Founder
Sophie Gilpin

Social Media Manager

Rebecca Bottone

Music Director

Jessica Cottis

Project Manager (Instrumentalists)

Beth Higham-Edwards

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Ella Marchment

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Anna Patalong

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Madeleine Pierard

 

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Kitty Whately

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sophie Gilpin

Chief Executive Officer

Sophie Gilpin is a stage director working in both opera and theatre. She is Artistic Director of HeadFirst Productions and has directed productions for companies including Hampstead Garden Opera, Riverside Opera/Rose Theatre Kingston, Celebrate Voice, and Re:Sound Music Theatre/Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as working for Opera North, Opera up Close and Iford Arts.  

Sophie is passionate about engendering more inclusive working practices where women in senior leadership positions are no longer the exception to the rule.

Beth Higham-Edwards

Project Manager (Instrumentalists)

Beth is a percussionist who works extensively in theatre and contemporary music. Her recent projects include Inala and Amadeus at The National Theatre, Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe and Common at The National Theatre.  She is a founding member of the all-female percussion group Beaten Track Ensemble.

As a workshop facilitator and educator, Beth has recently worked with the Wigmore Hall, LSO, ROH Bridge, LCO, Snape Maltings, BBC Proms Learning, London Music Masters and Creative Futures. 

Madeleine pierard

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Madeleine Pierard (soprano) was a Jette Parker Young Artist with The Royal Opera, where she has sung numerous roles and recitals. A native New Zealander, she studied at the RCM and the National Opera Studio, garnering numerous awards and now performs worldwide in a huge variety of roles. Recent Highlights include Lady Macbeth for ETO, Rufus Wainwright's 'Prima Donna' and performances of Britten's Rape of Lucretia with Muhai Tang in Tianjin. Madeleine has always been passionate about championing accessibility for women and parents in this beloved industry.

REBECCA BOTTONE

Social Media Manager

Soprano, Rebecca Bottone studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has performed internationally on opera and concert platforms. Highlights include Queen Tye in Akhnaten at ENO, Pelléas et Mélisande at the Hong Kong Arts Festival with WNO, the title role in Patience in the BBC proms conducted by Charles Mackerras, Joanna in Sweeney Todd at La Monnaie and the maid in Thomas Ades’ Powder her Face at

The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Becky is a mother of two and had been a passionate member of SWAP'ra since early 2019.

Ella Marchment

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Ella Marchment is an award-winning director who has worked across Europe on over 120 productions with companies and houses including The Mariinsky, Wexford Festival, Buxton International Festival, Bury Court Opera, ROH, The International Opera Awards and Copenhagen Opera Festival. She has also founded and led four International opera and theatre organisations (Helios Collective, Constella OperaBallet, Theatre N16, and the Danish Arts Fest). Her recent directing credits include The Magic Flute in Copenhagen, and Madigan at The Danish Arts Fest.

Kitty Whately

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Kitty Whately (mezzo soprano) trained at the RCM and GSMD. She was winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Royal Overseas League, and a BBC New Generation Artist. She performs regularly for the main opera companies and recital festivals in the UK and abroad. She has been a mother for her entire professional career, and feels that there are a great many opportunities for positive change within the opera industry. She is keen to explore ways in which the opera world could be more inclusive of women, and accessible to people with dependants.

Jessica Cottis

Music Director

Jessica Cottis works with orchestras including the RPO, LPO, Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, and at the BBC Proms. This season she made debuts with the LA Philharmonic, LSO and collaborated with Na'ama Zisser for ROH. 

 

She has conducted projects with organisations such as the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Sistema Scotland, and led courses for aspiring female conductors with the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Anna Patalong

Core Team Member/Co-Founder

Anna Patalong (soprano) studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is laureate of the Francisco Vinas and Stanislaw Moniuszko competitions. She performs regularly in opera houses across the UK and Europe and is fast gaining a reputation across Europe for her "warm and smooth-toned soprano" (Telegraph). 

 

Anna initiated SWAP’ra in order to celebrate the achievements of women in our industry in 2018 and to discover creative ways in which areas may be improved for the future.

Board of trustees

Sarah Holford (Chair)

Catherine Carby

Annie Lydford

Sarah Noble

Katie Wright

Patrons

Katie Mitchell OBE

Sarah Tynan

Fiona Maddocks

Christine Rice

Lucy Crowe

©2019 BY SWAP'ra - Supporting Women and Parents in Opera
Registered Charity in England and Wales, UK: Charity No. 1185454

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter