The Advisory Panel for The Genesis Prizes for Opera is a diverse group of people that includes several arts professionals. Everyone on the panel shares a passion for the commissioning of new work and enthusiasm for nurturing emerging talent.
John J. Studzinski
Chairman of the Genesis Foundation
John J. Studzinski is Chief Executive and Co-Head of the Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets Business of HSBC Holdings Limited, a member of its Group Management Board, and a Group General Manager. He joined HSBC in June 2003. Prior to that John was Deputy Chairman of Morgan Stanley International in London, where he has lived for the last 20 years. He joined Morgan Stanley, New York in 1980. On a day to day basis, John manages and runs the global corporate lending and credit business, the global financial business, global investment banking, and transactional banking.
In 1978 John graduated from Bowdoin College with a double BA Degree Magna Cum Laude in Biology & Sociology and subsequently received his Masters in Business Administration in finance and marketing (MBA) from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1980. John was honoured by the University of Chicago as a distinguished alumnus in 2002.
John is involved in a broad range of projects and charitable initiatives dealing with the arts and the homeless in London. He was one of the founding members of the Passage Day Centre, in Westminster, which is one of the largest day care centres in London for the homeless. John is also serving as Chairman of Business Action on Homeless. In 2001 John was made a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II for his humanitarian work for the homeless, and was honoured to receive the Prince of Wales Ambassador's Award in recognition of his contribution to this homeless initiative in 2000.
In 2000 John founded the Genesis Foundation, which nurtures young artists at the beginning of their careers. John is a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, a Life Trustee of the Sir John Soane Museum and Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch. He is also a Trustee of Bowdoin College.
John holds both U.S. and U.K. passports.
This is an archived biography of John, to see an up-to-date biography, please see the John Studzinski section of the site.
Chief Executive, Aldeburgh Productions
Jonathan Reekie began his career, whilst still a student, working for Musica Nel Chiostro, Batignano, of which he is still a board director. He was then company co-ordinator at Glyndebourne from 1988-91. Following his move to be general manager of the Almeida Theatre, he founded Almeida Opera in 1992, an annual season of contemporary opera. As the director of Almeida Opera until 2002, he was responsible for producing nearly 30 new operatic works. In 1998, he was appointed chief executive of Aldeburgh Productions, responsible for a series of music festivals including the Aldeburgh Festival, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and management of Snape Maltings Concert Hall. He is a trustee of the Arts Foundation and devised the structure of the Genesis Opera Project with Patrick Dickie.
Giorgio Battistelli was born in Albano Laziale, Italy in 1953. He studied composition, music history and piano with Giancarlo Bizzi, Claudio Annibaldi and Antonello Neri at the A. Casella Conservatory of Aquila. In 1994, he founded the research and experimental group Edgard Varèse and the instrumental ensemble Beat 72 of Rome. From 1985-86, Battistelli was one of the guests of the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst in Berlin. In 1990, he won the Siae Prize for lyrics and, in 1993, the Cervo Prize for contemporary music. Among his most important works are Experimentum Mundi, Globe Theatre, Keplers Traum, Ascolto di Rembrandt and The Cenci.
The Cenci was premièred at Almeida Opera in 1997. Based upon an authentic Renaissance story, The Cenci recounts the bloody revenge exacted upon Count Cenci by his wife and daughter for having raped his daughter and numerous other crimes. This subject was initially covered by Antonin Artaud and his Theatre of Cruelty, a treatment from which Battistelli drew inspiration. Tempo Reale, the Italian electronic music group, collaborated to create an extraordinarily daring musical environment, using live signal processing to modify the orchestral and vocal performances in real time. Since 1996, he has been artistic director of the Orchestra della Toscana. In 2002, he presented a new music theatre piece entitled The Embalmer for the Almeida Opera season.
Genista (Jenny) McIntosh was educated at Hemel Hempstead Grammar School and the University of York. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972 as casting director, a post she held until 1977, when she became planning controller for the RSC.
In 1984, she left the RSC to become a director of Marmont Management Limited, a theatrical agency where she represented writers, directors and designers. In 1986, the RSC invited her to return as senior administrator and she was subsequently appointed associate producer before becoming executive director of the Royal National Theatre in October 1990.
Genista McIntosh was appointed to the position of chief executive of the Royal Opera House in January 1997. In May 1997, she resigned from the post and in the following October returned to the National Theatre where she served a further term as executive director until May 2002. She was principal of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama until July 2003.
She currently serves on the boards of the Roundhouse Trust, NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), the Southbank Sinfonia, the Theatres Trust, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and the Almeida Theatre. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Genista McIntosh holds honorary doctorates from the University of York (1998), the University of Middlesex (2002) and City University (2002). She was made an honorary member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2001 and received an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2003. In June 1999, she was created a life peer taking the title Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall.
Director of Cultural Industry and Co-director of Artangel
Michael Morris was born in London in 1958. He studied English at Oxford University and arts administration at City University, London, graduating in 1980. In 1981, he began working in the theatre department of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and was appointed the ICA's director of performing arts in 1984. In the late 1980s, Morris expanded the ICA's policy to embrace one-off presentations at other venues in London (notably Laurie Anderson's epic United States at the Dominion Theatre and Jan Fabre's The Power of Theatrical Madness at the Royal Albert Hall), showing that innovation can flourish in mainstream settings as well as 'black box' studio theatres. This led naturally to the setting up of Cultural Industry in 1988 as an independent, international production company, presenting and producing new work across a complete spectrum of the performing arts.
Whether in theatre, music, dance or opera, Cultural Industry works with outstanding artists who break boundaries, blur form and often defy categorisation, attracting the genuine fascination of press and public alike. Longterm relationships have been forged with Robert Lepage, Pina Bausch, La La La Human Steps, Brian Eno, Robert Wilson and Laurie Anderson, amongst many others, in ongoing partnerships with leading venues and festivals throughout Britain and beyond.
One area of active interest is the development of opera and music theatre. In co-production with the American Music Theatre Festival, Cultural Industry toured Michael Nyman's The Man Who Mistook his Wife For a Hat in both the US and Europe in 1988, and commissioned and produced Mike Westbrook's Coming Through Slaughter in 1994, adapted from books by Oliver Sacks and Michael Ondaatje respectively. The former has been screened as a film on Channel 4 and the latter recorded for radio broadcast by the BBC. The latest addition to Cultural Industry's work in this field is the highly successful 'junk opera' Shockheaded Peter, directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch to the songs of cult London band, The Tiger Lillies. Alongside James Lingwood, Michael Morris is co-director of Artangel which commissions unusual work by exceptional artists for particular places - both natural and architectural - throughout the UK.
Conductor and Translator
David Parry studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, London. He went on to study conducting with Sergiu Celibidache and began his career as a repetiteur at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, later becoming chorus master for the Touring Opera and assisting John Pritchard both at Glyndebourne and at Belgian National Opera. He made his operatic debut with Rossini's La Cenerentola for the English Music Theatre. He was on the conducting staff of the Dortmund City Opera, and then joined the newly-founded Opera North as a resident conductor. In 1983, he was appointed music director of Opera 80, a post he held until 1987, when he left to develop a freelance career.
He has regularly appeared as guest conductor for leading British companies such as Glyndebourne Festival Opera (where he gave the world premiere of Jonathan Dove's Flight), English National Opera, and Opera North. His foreign opera productions include the Spanish premiere of Peter Grimes, The Rake's Progress and Jenufa (Teatro Lirico Nacional La Zarzuela Madrid), La Fille du Régiment, La Traviata and Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Orviedo Festival and Carmen in San Sebastian. His numerous opera recordings for Opera Rara and the series of classic repertoire in English for Chandos Records have been hailed by the critics, notably Rosamunda d'Inghilterra, L'Assedio di Calais and Il Crociato in Egitto for Opera Rara, and L'Elisir d'Amore, Der Rosenkavalier, La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Faust and Carmen for Chandos, to name a few.
In 1992, he became music director of Almeida Opera, for which he has given the world premieres of Nigel Osborne's Terrible Mouth, Kevin Volans' The Man who Strides the Wind, Elena Firsova's The Nightingale and the Rose and Ion by Param Vir. Other premieres he has given include Stephen Oliver's Mario and the Magician at the Batignano Festival (Italy) and the UK premiere of Bruno Maderna's Satiricon with Opera Factory. David Parry regularly conducts leading orchestras in the UK and in Europe including the London Philharmonic, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Philharmonia, Netherlands Radio and Madrid symphony orchestras. Future plans include the ongoing series of recordings both for Opera Rara and Chandos, productions for English National Opera, Staatsoper Hannover, Reisopera Holland, and concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. David Parry has recently become the music director for Savoy Opera, a new opera company created by the producer Raymond Gubbay with its home at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End.
Director, Translator and Librettist
David Pountney was born in Oxford and attended Radley College and Cambridge University, where he was director of productions for the Cambridge University Opera Society. He became internationally known through his production of Katya Kabanova at the 1972 Wexford Festival.
He has worked extensively with opera companies all over the world. While director of productions at Scottish Opera (1975 - 80), his productions included Die Meistersinger, Eugene Onegin and a Janaek cycle in collaboration with Welsh National Opera. As director of English National Opera (1982 - 93), he created over 20 productions including the world premieres of Robin Holloway's Clarissa and Jonathan Harvey's Inquest of Love. He has also worked extensively with the Netherlands Opera where he has produced The Gambler, The Rake's Progress, the world premiere of Philip Glass's Salyagraha, The Queen of Spades and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
Recent productions have included a joint production between the Bregenz Festival and Covent Garden of Martinu's Greek Passion Le Coq d'Or at the Bregenz Festival, Nabucco at ENO, La Clemenza di Tito in Strasbourg, Cheryomushku for Opera North, Macbeth in Zurich and Street Scene in Chicago. Other engagements have included productions of Jenufa in Vienna, Anything Goes at Grange Park and Turandot at the Salzburg Festival. David Pountney was the mentor of a one-act opera commissioned via the Genesis Opera Project process - Zora D - by the young Serbian composer, Isidora Žebeljan. This was presented in Amsterdam and Vienna in several performances in 2003. David Pountney was awarded a CBE and made a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts & Letters in 1993.
Playwright, Librettist and Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre Company
David Lan was born in Cape Town where he trained as an actor before moving to London in 1972. His early plays include Painting a Wall (Almost Free Theatre, 1974), Bird Child (Theatre Upstairs, 1974), The Winter Dancers (Theatre Upstairs, 1977), Red Earth (ICA, 1978) and Sergeant Ola (Royal Court, 1979). He subsequently trained as a social anthropologist at the LSE and was awarded a PhD for a thesis on religion and politics in 1984. In 1985, he published what is regarded as a classic of modern social anthropology: Guns and Rain: Guerillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe. It continues to be taught widely at universities throughout the world.
He has written a number of prize-winning films and drama documentaries for BBC television set in various African countries including The Sunday Judge - Mozambique (1985), Dark City - South Africa (1990) and Welcome Home Comrades - Namibia (1990). His later plays include Flight (RSC, 1986), A Mouthful of Birds (with Caryl Churchill, Joint Stock / Royal Court, 1986), Desire (Almeida, 1990), Charley Tango (BBC radio, 1995) and The Ends of the Earth (Royal National Theatre, 1996). In 1995 and 1996, he was writer-in-residence at the Royal Court theatre where he worked closely with a number of younger writers and directors. According to the then artistic director, Stephen Daldry, David Lan's contributions included the gift for working with young writers in developing their plays.
He has written two opera libretti - Tobias and the Angel (music by Jonathan Dove, 1999) and Ion (after Euripides; music by Param Vir, 2000) - which were first performed at successive Almeida Opera Festivals, as well as English versions of plays by Euripides and Verga for the RSC and Joshua Sobol's Ghetto for the RNT. His version of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya was directed by Katie Mitchell at the Young Vic, while his version of The Cherry Orchard was directed by Trevor Nunn at the RNT. Plays he has directed include Pericles (RNT Studio), The Glass Menagerie (Watford) and Tis Pity She's A Whore starring Jude Law and Eve Best (Young Vic). He was appointed artistic director of the Young Vic in 2000 where he has directed Julius Caesar (2000), A Raisin in the Sun (2001), Doctor Faustus (2002), The Daughter-in-Law (2002) and The Skin of Our Teeth (2004). Plans include the libretto for an opera based on The Little Prince (music by Rachel Portman) for English National Opera.
David Sawer studied music at the University of York. In 1984, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship to study with Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. In 1993, he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award and, in 1995, the Arts Foundation's Composer Fellowship.
In the early 1980s, several of his compositions received high-profile performances by the London Sinfonietta and Music Projects London. These resulted in commissions from MusICA and the Almeida Festival. His radio composition, Swansong, a commentary in words and music on a short story by Hector Berlioz, was the BBC's radio entry for the 1989 Prix Italia and won a Sony Award. Other notable works by Sawer include Cat's-Eye, choreographed by Richard Alston for Ballet Rambert, and Hollywood Extra, written for the Matrix Ensemble to accompany a silent film.
From 1995-96, Sawer was composer-in-association with the Bournemouth Orchestras. The Memory of Water was taken on tour in a reworked version by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in 1995. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performed his 1992 BBC Proms commission, Byrnan Wood, at the 1996 Cheltenham Festival.
Sawer has continued to produce regular, high-profile compositions. In 1995, Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiered his trumpet concerto with Graham Ashton and recorded Byrnan Wood. In 1997, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales gave the premiere of the greatest happiness principle in Cardiff and at the BBC Proms. Tiroirs has been performed extensively in Europe and the USA. From Morning to Midnight, a full-length opera written for English National Opera, received its world premiere at the London Coliseum in April 2001. Recent works include one for the New London Chamber Choir and a piano concerto for Rolf Hind and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He is also working on another opera.
Advisors to Panel
Producer, New Opera, Aldeburgh Productions
Patrick Dickie read English and Drama at the University of Leeds, where he founded a theatre company, Open Stage, with whom he directed La Gioconda, a devised theatre piece (Richard Demarco/Battersea Arts Centre) and film (1993 IETA Premiere Award). He trained under the Arts Council Trainee Director's bursary at English National Opera and subsequently worked as staff director at English Touring Opera and English National Opera (1992-95).
He has been involved as director and producer in many new opera and music theatre projects, including Paul Gladstone Reid's Miracles project (London Musici/Royal Albert Hall), Damien Hirst's Agongo and evenings of Weill and Birtwistle at Battersea Arts Centre and the Almeida respectively. Since 1998, he has worked as associate director (producer since 2000) at the Almeida Theatre, producing for Almeida Opera over 20 operas and music theatre events, with composers including Thomas Ades, Jonathan Dove, Param Vir, John Casken, Alexander Goehr, Guo Wenjing, Gerald Barry and Heiner Goebbels.
He serves on the advisory board of Contemporary Theatre Review and is a visiting lecturer in theatre design at Wimbledon School of Art.
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