Tom is an acclaimed collaborative theatre and music maker. He began his musical life as a chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge under George Guest before returning to complete a degree in Classics at Trinity College. Specialising in violin and voice, he then went on a scholarship to do a Performing Masters at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he won the Fassbaender Award for Lieder, the Schubert Prize and a scholarship for further study with Sir Thomas Allen in Chicago.
Directing credits include Aida (Liceu), Semele (La Scala, Rome, Paris, London, Barcelona), Flying Dutchman, Marriage of Figaro and Magic Flute (Longborough Festival), Dido and Aeneas (Barbican, Bodø, Vache Baroque Festival), Donizetti’s Rita and Walton’s The Bear (ROH), Julian Grant’s Hot House (ROH), David Lang’s Shout Out and Public Domain (LSO/Barbican/Spitalfields), Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze (LSO/Barbican, Grange Festival), Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville (ETO), King Arthur (touring), Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Princeton, USA, London, Brighton), Caccini’s Ruggiero, Gagliano’s Dafne and The Bootmaker’s Daughter (Brighton), Orlando (Barber Institute), Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinth and Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (Classical Opera Company), Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passions (York Early Music Festival, Oxford Bach Soloists). He has revived Andrea Chenier (Beijing), Barber of Seville, Magic Flute (winner of What’s On Stage Best Revival) and Marriage of Figaro for the Royal Opera House.
He champions grassroots work. Highlights include directing Carmen for the Prison Choir Project at Dartmoor Prison, and his own arrangement and production of ‘SAL:VEH’ for the National Youth Choir at the Royal Festival Hall, which mixed South American renaissance polyphony with Arturo Marquez’ Danson 2 arranged for 5 choirs. Tom’s recent arrangements and videos include Where Have All the Flowers Gone made with friends, neighbours and colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic which raised over £10,000 for Help Musicians, featured on US and Finnish TV and radio, and has been archived in the BFI’s Lockdown Collection.
As a singer, commercial recording highlights include Biber with Sonnerie (winner of a Gramophone Award 2002), Bach Cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner (2000), and Denisov in Prokofiev’s War and Peace (1999, live from Spoleto) with Sir Richard Hickox. He has sung at venues across the world, including regularly at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank in London, and was for over 25 years a choirman at Temple Church in London, where his two sons were choristers (they also sang as two of the Three Boys in his production of Magic Flute at Longborough Festival). More recently he has performed all over the world with Barokksolistene’s Alehouse and Playhouse projects, appearing on BBC4 and regularly on the radio both in the UK and elsewhere, as well as on recordings with the band for Rubicon Classics.
In 2014 he founded his own charity, Music and Theatre for All, to allow him to explore and develop his interest in physicality, music and text, and mix his passion for locally based and generated creative work with his international career as a performer and director. Inspired by the idea that storytelling is inherently connected to place and community, MTFA received critical acclaim for its inaugural Death Actually show, which premiered at the Spitalfields Festival and included the world’s first full staging of three Bach motets. Current projects include the Lewisham Creative Chorus, which has grown out of a new Gwyneth Herbert/participant-created Urban Opera for Lewisham as part of the London Borough of Culture celebrations 2022; The Hive, a national network of recycled intimate performance spaces; and Schubert 200 (of which this is the first part), for which he is arranging and dramatising each of Schubert’s song cycles with long-term collaborators and fellow-performers Barokksolistene/The Alehouse Boys in time for the 200th anniversary of each cycle’s composition. Tom’s latest work, Stories We Tell Ourselves, which premiered in Spring 2023, was co-devised with Lewisham Creative Chorus in response to Schubert’s Die schöne Mullerin, and featuring Laura Rickard and friends from the Outcry Ensemble.