Nicola Harrison (Margarita), Director, scriptwriter & voice, is a classically-trained singer, author and lecturer who has written extensively for Radio 4, national newspapers and The Singer and Classical Music Magazines. She has written two books and lectures at Pembroke College, University of Oxford and other universities. She has performed the Spanish repertoire at cathedrals, music festivals, and penas flamencas in both UK and Spain. A ‘beautifully pitched dramatic mezzo voice with expressive Spanish passion’ (Classical Music Magazine), Nicola trained on a vocal scholarship with Pamela Bowden at LCM, at RNCM with Pam Cook MBE, and in Madrid with the legendary Spanish mezzo, Teresa Berganza. ‘Every offering a triumph of vocal control and technique’ (Oxford Times).
Edward Brenton (Olivier), violin, studied at the Royal Academy of Music then received the International Artist Diploma from the RNCM. Edward has played at the Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, BBC Proms, Snape Maltings on BBC Radio 3, and international music festivals. He has recorded for several record labels including Virgin and Atlantic. Prize-winning violinist in the acclaimed Wu Quartet, Edward now finds himself in the magical courtyard of Casa Margarita.
Gerard Cousins (Gerardo) is an international guitar competition prize-winner who has toured Europe and South America as a solo guitarist and now joins the ensemble of Casa Margarita. A graduate of Leeds College of Music and Enschede Conservatorium, Gerard has four solo CDs to his name, has appeared many times on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 and performed, among many other venues at the Purcell Room, the Bolivar Hall and St David’s Hall, Cardiff. ‘Passionate, profound, with a great range of tone’ (Classical Guitar Magazine). ‘Cousins has reached a rarefied point where his stunning playing is matched by his artistic vision” (Acoustic Magazine).
Gerard masterfully steps into the role of Gerardo in this new production of The House of Love. Previous guitarists have featured the legendary Gerald Garcia and the multi award-winning young guitarist Manus Noble.
Guy Newbury (Guido), piano, is an acclaimed accompanist and composer. His works have been featured at the Cheltenham, Almedia, Edinburgh and Oxford Contemporary Festivals and been performed by the BBC singers, Chamber Group of Scotland and BBC Philharmonic Live and on Radio 3 as well as composed and played works for Magdalen College Choir and Oxford Sinfonietta. As a pianist he accompanies many well-known singers and instrumentalists and is the primary accompanist for the University of Oxford where he teaches Composition.
Benito Cousens (El Narrador) We are delighted to welcome Benito, a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School and the first of our specially trained Narrator-percussionists to take up the role of El Narrador. Benito manages to combine Spanish ancestry with the risk-taking character required of this dual role.
Praise for previous narrators:
Oliver Westlake: ‘A very lyrical narrator…and the spirit of the house.’ (On Stage, Wokingham Times).
Christopher Jamieson: ‘Jamieson’s excellent narrator is earnest when he needs to be, wonderfully droll when he does not; he establishes a brilliant rapport with the audience.’ (Time Out)
PERCUSSION: Nicola Harrison and Benito Cousens (castanets, drums, cajon)
Original Creative Team:
Nicola Harrison, Guy Newbury (as above) in collaboration with the mighty talents of Gerald Garcia (guitar and ensemble arrangements), Keith Fairbairn, original percussion & improvisation and Olivier Bonnici, violin improvisation and ensemble arrangements. The talents and achievements of these amazing musicians cannot be listed here, but if you want to know more please google their names.
Patron of Casa Margarita: visit Teresa Berganza