Battles Within and Without

Featuring madrigals by Renaissance composer Monteverdi and Missa del Cid by Judith Weir, performed by ten actor musicians and combining vocal performance, original staging and film.

The Mask Behind the Face

An emcee, singer and pianist perform a newly devised script bringing together cabaret songs by Schoenberg, Poulenc, Weill and Britten.

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim

An actor musician production featuring performers from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

The Wedding by Stravinsky - SOAP (Salford Opera Action Performance)

A new staging devised in collaboration with volunteers from Salford and performed at Contact Theatre, Manchester.

After Party

A new play with music by Katharine Armitage featuring lieder by Franz Schubert.

Thousand Furs

A new opera for six singer-instrumentalists with words by Katharine Armitage and music by Michael Betteridge.


A new play about the tumultuous relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann, with words by Katharine Armitage and music by Robert Schumann.


Sophie Gilpin

Sophie is founder and ArtisSophie Gilpin b&wtic Director of HeadFirst Productions.

Opera directing credits include the premiere of The Peasants’ Opera; Strauss’ Die Fledermaus for Celebrate Voice; Puccini’s La Bohème for Headfirst Productions; Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet for Riverside Opera at the Rose Theatre Kingston; Puccini’s Tosca; Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (scenes); and the premiere of a new composition, Quays & Laila, for the Grimeborne Festival at the Arcola Theatre. From 2012 – 2013 Sophie was Director in Residence for the New London Opera Players.

Sophie has also directed numerous pieces of new writing at venues including the Park Theatre, Theatre 503 and The Fire Station Arts Centre in Windsor; highlights include Solitude, the winner ofthe Kenneth Branagh Drama Award; And Then He Came Back and Him, Her & Us both at the Park Theatre (Park200). Other theatre productions include Macbeth (RSC Open Stages), Double Falsehood,Hal V, A Dickensian Christmas and Narnia on the Pantiles.

Work as an Associate or Assistant Director includes Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte for Metta Theatre at the Oxford Playhouse, Verdi’s La Traviata for Iford Arts, Verdi’s Otello for Dorset Opera, Bizet’s Carmen for Riverside Opera, Louis Nowra’s Cosi at the Kings Head Theatre, Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci for Opera up Close, The Women of Troy, and Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Sophie studied at the University of Warwick, was involved with the Research and Development for Sasha Wares’ production of Wild Swans at the Young Vic Theatre, and was Trainee Resident Director at the Kings Head Theatre in 2011. She directed scenes from Don Pasquale for the Morley College Opera course and was the Associate Director for scenes from Idomeneo, The Consul, The Bartered Bride, Peter Grimes and Ariane et Barbe Bleue.

Sophie also facilitates educational theatre workshops that often culminate in performance. She is currently running weekly workshops in schools for Youth Music Theatre. Other engagements include workshops with service users at drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity, Addaction; students from Sevenoaks School in preparation for HeadFirst Productions’ gala concert, Tonight at the Opera, and approximately twenty workshops for English Pocket Opera Company’s Ring Round the World before performances at the Rose Theatre Kingston, Pleasance Islington and the Broadway Theatre in Barking. Sophie led Opera by Definition’s 10th Anniversary Gala Workshop and a series of sessions exploring Hamlet at the King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, (final showcase at the Shakespeare Centre).

Upcoming projects include The Beggar’s Opera for the Orchestra Nacoste Festival in Sicily and Don Giovanni for HeadFirst Productions.