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Welcome to the website of stage director, singer and rhythm violinist Tom Guthrie

 


About

Thomas Guthrie is an innovative and award-winning director, musician, actor and writer working with theatre, music, text and movement to tell stories. He is the founding artistic director of GOTcompany, and founder of the charity Music and Theatre for All.

Equally at home devising new theatrical and musical work, working with actors and singers, performing, arranging, singing and writing, Tom also works with non-professionals of all ages and backgrounds. Some of his most thrilling projects have been in this field, including with Streetwise Opera and the Royal Opera House, through whom he has inspired hundreds to connect with their inner Caruso and raise the roof. His production of Ludd and Isis, an opera commissioned to launch the ROH’s new Production Park in Thurrock, involving a cast of hundreds, including professionals and amateurs of all ages, was acclaimed as ‘one of the Royal Opera House’s grandest achievements’.

“Thomas Guthrie is hot news. His imagination knows no bounds”
OPERA NOW

“Brilliant”
OPERA

Click here to see details of his recent work, and here for future collaborations

Click here for clips from his Winterreise in Princeton, USA (Oct 2017)

Click here to see the Guardian’s recent photo essay on Tom’s Barbiere revival at ROH, 2016

Click here to watch Tom perform with Bjarte Eike’s Alehouse Boys on the BBC in 2016

Click here to watch a video on the making of the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze conducted by Simon Rattle and directed by Tom from 2015

Click here for GOTcompany’s Death Actually trailer, here to watch a 1 minute trailer for their Die schöne Müllerin and here for 1 minute of the Bach Motets (all from 2014)

Click here to watch Tom’s appearance with puppet on Tom Service’s Schubertlab on Radio 3 from March 2012

Click here to read a full biography on the Percius website

Most recent

Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Brighton Early Music Festival, November 2017

***** ‘a delight… the setting, the 1960s’ Brighton of Quadrophenia complete with parkas and cigarettes, is inspired… a strange but subtle dislocation between stage and the accompanying 400-year-old music forces you to hear Monteverdi’s music as something fresh… exuberant and engaging’ (Brighton Argus)

’the 1960s Brighton setting was inspired, and it was the most moving announcement of Eurydice’s death I have seen’ (audience reaction)

Schubert’s Winterreise, Princeton Festival of the Arts, USA, October 2017 

‘amazing…extraordinary…wonderful…absolutely compelling’
(BBC Radio 3)

***** ‘audaciously expressive, chilling and thrilling’ (Sunday Times)

***** ’an extraordinary experience’ (Opera Now)

‘I feel like most performances of Winterreise succeed at making you really depressed but don’t really achieve the heart palpitations that are built into the music and the story (lots of low, not enough anxiety), and today I got both, in the best way. Frühlingstraum actually made me cry’ (audience reaction)

‘unbelievably gorgeous, best Winterreise I’ve heard/seen’ (audience reaction)

’I’ve been listening to this piece for 60 years, and I feel I’ve learnt more about it in one evening than in all that time’ (audience reaction)

Mozart’s Magic Flute (revival director), Royal Opera House, September 2017 

**** ‘The audience’s engagement throughout Thomas Guthrie’s razor-sharp revival was remarkable, a sure sign he’s got things right… his recreation is outstanding’ (What’s On Stage)

**** ‘It just gets better and better … with a few delightful tweaks by revival director Thomas Guthrie, it produces a perfect balance between humour, mysticism and drama’ (Express)

**** ‘A splendid revival of a great production of a wonderful opera’ (Sunday Express)

Bizet’s Carmen, Prison Choir Project, Dartmoor Prison, July 2017

***** ‘I’ve seen some gripping performances of Carmen, but not one like this’ (The Times)

Mozart’s Magic Flute, Longborough Festival Opera, July 2017

***** ‘Simply one of the most delightful, most dramatically and musically arresting performances of this opera imaginable… an ample, moving and at times profound staging using clear and minimalist means. Not once does anything seem wrong or out of place. I found myself reacting with breathtaking delight throughout, as well as considerable emotional engagement’ (Plays to See)

**** ‘Dreams and reality blur, puppets and people intermingle and a fairytale comes to life in this imaginative new production of Mozart’s singspiel… For their charming new production for Longborough Festival Opera, Thomas Guthrie and Ruth Paton take a leaf out of classic childrens’ books to send us tumbling into a fantastical world’ (The Times)

**** ‘Magic feels real here, thanks to the skilful use of puppetry throughout the evening, as well as a faithful, traditional approach to the work itself’ (Bachtrack)

**** ‘An evening that sparkles and moves, in every sense, looks stylish and works beautifully on the musical level’ (Arts Desk)

Bach’s St Matthew Passion, York Early Music Festival, July 2017

‘well judged, increasing dramatic expressiveness and drawing attention to Bach’s mastery in commenting on the action, without ever becoming inappropriately theatrical… a thoroughly enjoyable evening: an unusual take on a great masterpiece… performed with authority, discipline and integrity’ (York Press)

‘SAL:VEH’, National Youth Choir of Great Britain , Royal Festival Hall, London, April 2017

Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and Apollo et Hyacinthus, Classical Opera Company, London, March/June 2017

**** ‘The production was nimble and effective.. wonderful fun’ (Observer)

**** ‘an unmixed pleasure.. unfussily effective, Classical-era staging by Thomas Guthrie.. the real deal’ (Arts Desk)

**** ‘kept things simple.. allowing the vigour of Mozart’s score to speak out with vivid immediacy’ (Classical Source)

‘entirely ego-free.. a true love of the music placed in the forefront.. a compact, delightful time’ (Schmopera)

Alehouse Boys, Barokksolistene dir Bjarte Eike, 2010-present

‘the latter tune is carried magnificently by singer Thomas Guthrie, whose approach to lyric is informed by his own love of theater, and makes its presence felt in a smattering of standalone ditties, elegies, and sea shanties… whether turning down the lights in his inflection of the Anglo-Scottish border ballad “Lord Randall” or sharing a gender-bending duet with Per T Buhre as Corydon and Mopsa from Purcell’s “The Fairy-Queen,” he brought out the vocal qualities of the other players, just as they coaxed instrumental qualities from within himself… these “Alehouse Sessions,” in both recorded and live form, are exemplary in their ability to melt the cages of censorship into tenderer weapons of humanity… here is music that asserts itself as a commodity only of the heart, fermented with just the right amount of personal expression it until it goes down smoothly like a pint ripe for the palate’ (Tyran Grillo in Rootsworld on the New York City sessions in Subculture Oct 11 2017)

***** ‘…sung by Thomas Guthrie with a rhapsodic freedom, the other players following his every twist and turn like a row of trees bending in unison to the same breeze… completely inauthentic, and completely convincing… such effortless casualness doesn’t come easy: Barroksolistene have been working on this project for almost 10 years, and the performances had a wonderful sense of being thoroughly lived in… the variety of tone and texture was astonishing, ranging from very naughty folk-songs (puritans hate sex too, so it had to feature at some point), to delicate dance tunes with a modal tang, from as far afield as Shetland and Norway… the whole joyous evening was a liberation, carrying us back to a time when the terms “classical” and “folk” hadn’t yet been invented, and music was simply music’ (Daily Telegraph)

Murmartinstein, Bergen Opera, ‘Mimi Goes Glamping’ and Ulvsnesøy Prison, August and December 2016

See here for Mary Miller’s blog

Mrs Mozart, Bergen Opera, August and October 2016

 

Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera House, September 2016 (revival director)

**** ‘Thomas Guthrie’s reworking of Leiser and Caurier’s 2005 production is tremendous fun’, Guardian

**** ‘Now, as revived by Thomas Guthrie, the show fizzes because of its wonderfully assured performers’, Times

ROH Thurrock Community Chorus 5th Anniversary Gala, July 2016

‘I LOVE you guys’ (Tom Guthrie)

Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, Longborough Festival Opera, July 2016

 

***** ‘highly evocative… strong, cogent production’ (Plays to See)

**** ‘economy of means… very likeable’ (Classical Source)

**** ‘simple, warm production’ (Bachtrack)

‘intelligent… convincing… many flashes of humour… thought-provoking… Mozart speaking to the world of today’ (Seen and Heard International)

‘thoughtful, dynamic’ (MusicOMH)

‘canny choice of setting, elegantly rendered’ (Spectator)

‘fizzes with joyous interaction’ (Musical Opinion)

GOTcompany’s Real Life Actually installation, Brighton Festival, May 2016

‘more meaning to my present life than I could ever describe in words here’

‘bold/radical in its simplicity, intimacy and informality’

‘creative, moving, a beautiful expression of death’ (audience feedback)

Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Sestina, Northern Ireland, April 2016

‘truly excellent’, Belfast Telegraph

‘compelling, alluring, and gently devastating, a triumph for the power of the collective in an almost full house worthy of its presence’, The Big List

Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, RNCM, March 2016

 

‘director Thomas Guthrie has created a fascinating take on Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte… highly effective, true to its original and up-to-date at the same time’, Manchester Theatre Awards

‘seriously effective… one might easily imagine it gracing Glyndebourne’, Seen and Heard International

 

Upcoming

2017

May
18 Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (stage director), I Fagiolini, St John Smith’s Square, LONDON

20 Monteverdi’s Vespers (performer), Greg MorrisSt James’ Piccadilly, LONDON

June

10 Alehouse (performer), Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene, Salisbury Arts CentreSalisbury Festival, SALISBURY

12 and 13 Mozart’s Grabmusik and Apollo et Hyancinthus (stage director), Classical Opera Company, St John’s Smith Square, LONDON

12 Alehouse CD launch concert (performer), Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene, Bush Hall, LONDON

July
12 St Matthew Passion (performer and stage director), York Early Music Festival, YORK

13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22 Mozart’s Magic Flute, Longborough Festival Opera cond Anthony Negus, (stage director), LONGBOROUGH

28 Bizet’s Carmen, cond Adam Green, (stage director), Prison Choir Project, DARTMOOR PRISON

September/October
12 Sept – 14 Oct Mozart’s Magic Flute (revival stage director), Royal Opera House, LONDON

September to January ’18
Belnap Fellow in the Council of Humanities, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

October
6-12 Alehouse Sessions (performer), Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene, US tour: PRINCETON, WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, MINNEAPOLIS

7 Winterreise (performer, arranger, director), Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

28, 29 Alehouse Session (performer), Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene, St Andrew’s SCOTLAND and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Globe Theatre, LONDON

November
8, 11 and 12 Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (stage director), Brighton Early Music Festival, BRIGHTON

2018

January
12, 13 Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (stage director), Princeton University, USA

February
13 Blow’s Venus and Adonis (stage director), Dunedin Consort, Krakow, POLAND

March
19-24 Gounod’s Polyeucte (stage director), UCL Opera, LONDON

April
Alehouse Sessions (performer), Barokksolistene, dir Bjarte Eike, NORWAY/GERMANY

June
6 Wagner’s Flying Dutchman (stage director), Longborough Festival Opera, cond Anthony Negus, LONGBOROUGH

July
tbc Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte (stage director), UK tour

August
26 Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (stage director), I Fagiolini, dir Robert Hollingworth, ANTWERP

October
16 Mein Freund ist Mein (stage director, performer), Sestina, dir Mark Chambers, Cork, IRELAND

2019

November to January 2020
Aida, Liceu, BARCELONA