Caroline Clegg

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Award winning stage director, Caroline Clegg, born in Lancashire moved to London aged 17 to study as an actor and dancer. She had a successful career in musicals, regional theatre, TV and film before completing a master's degree in music and drama at the University of Manchester and beginning a career in opera as a staff director at Welsh National Opera. Caroline is also an independent producer and CEO/Artistic Director of the award-winning company Feelgood Theatre Productions which she founded in 1994.

Her current and forthcoming operatic work includes The Threepenny Opera (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) Song of our Heartland – the Peoples Opera (Opera North) with composer Will Todd and librettist Emma Hunt Jenkins and a new commission for Welsh National Opera 2021.

Recent credits include director of the world premiere of Rhonnda Rips it Up (WNO), (nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award and an International Opera Award) Director of the UK premiere of Dead Man Walking (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - RCS); director and choreographer for Orfeo and Euridice (Scottish Opera Young Company); director of Romeo and Juliet (Feelgood), the double bill of Savitri and Emperor of Atlantis (RCS)and Rigoletto (Longborough Festival Opera). She was dramaturg for the world premiere of Armitage/Kaner’s Hansel and Gretel (Goldfield Productions). Previous engagements include the world premiere of Tokaido Road (Nicola Lefanu/ Cheltenham Festival) and stadium productions of Aida and Carmen (Companions Opera in Zurich and Hamburg).

Caroline has worked alongside Sir David Pountney; movement director and associate on Lulu for WNO (which she revived at Teatro Communale, Bolzano) and as revival director on Paradise Moscow (Opera North and Bregenz Festival) and Janacek's House of the Dead (WNO; the Janacek Festival in Brno, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Teatro Massimo, Sicily).

Caroline has a strong association with Opera North for whom past projects include directing Something Wonderful (Sally Burgess) and as movement director on Peter Mumford’s Das Rheingold.

Other music based work includes: Errollyn Waller's Look No Hands, Il Campanello (Buxton Festival), the musical From the Hart (New End Theatre, Hampstead), the world premiere of Gorb and Kaye’s opera Anya17(Liverpool Philharmonic/Ten Festival), and with Halle Orchestra, the award nominated staging of Seven Deadly Sins, the children’s opera Brundibar at the opening of Imperial War Museum North and the first British staging of the Shostakovich opera The Silly Little Mouse. With Manchester Camerata the world premiere of Aesop's Fables for the opening of The Bridgewater Hall.

As an independent producer and director, she has created major special international events in collaboration with city councils and broadcast TV including the world wide broadcast of The Millennium Bug (BBC) and the acclaimed music theatre a capella Romeo & Juliet – Thando & Ruvhengo created in Zimbabwe as a cultural collaboration and award winning documentary for the Commonwealth Games (Manchester).

Feelgood with its diverse repertoire tours nationally, West End and internationally specialising in innovative new commissions and classics at site-specific and traditional venues in the UK, Africa and Europe. Caroline is passionate about international cross cultural and multi-disciplinary relationships particularly stimulating explorations of vocal a capella, opera, harmony, drumming and language.

Feelgood's ground-breaking work has been presented to HRH The Queen, and in the House of Lords with the hard hitting play Slave – A Question of Freedom which won the inaugural Media Award presented in the house of commons; Best New Play Award at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, and Best Director, Caroline has also won the inaugural Pete Postlethwaite Award, Best Opera and Best Production; honoured with the Annie Horniman award for outstanding services to live theatre, the John Thaw Fellowship at the University of Manchester and last year a Queens High Sherriff Award. Feelgood is now the resident company in Europe's biggest municipal park - Heaton Park.

"As a director Caroline is an individualist with great flair and a fierce passion for telling a good story in a unique way. As head of Feelgood she has her finger on the pulse and is a razor-sharp strategic producer". Robert Robson, (former Artistic Director the Lowry Theatre)

Dead Man Walking, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland given a terrific performance by the students of the Alexander Gibson Opera School in this cleverly-designed production by Caroline Clegg and Adrian Linford. With terrific choral work, including a posse of youngsters from the Junior Conservatoire, and a large orchestra playing its socks off for conductor James Holmes (including some stellar wind soloists), this is a major piece of work which any fans of opera – or musical theatre for that matter – should move mountains to see. There is a very profound story told here, with a great deal to say about faith, the value of truth and human society and this staging – the first full production in the UK – is top quality.

Herald Scotland (May 2019)

Director Caroline Clegg took us through the dynamic 18-scene journey simply and effectively on designer Adrian Linford's wide open fixed set making full use of mobile cell bars, all dramatically lit by Craig Stevenson. Clegg’s fluid movement of chorus and nuanced characterisation of the principals kept the momentum going.

Bachtrack (May 2019)

Under the stage direction of Caroline Clegg, and conducted by James Holmes, this student cast and orchestra give it every opportunity to shine.

The Scotsman (May 2019)

Caroline Clegg’s staging kept the narrative admirably fluent...

Opera Magazine (August 2019)

Orfeo & Euridice, Scottish Opera Youth Company

At 75 minutes running time, with a familiar subject matter (the myth of Orpheus), beautiful and undemanding music, inventive design and execution, this is an ideal introduction to opera. Not only is it an impeccably staged and delivered production, the Young Company shows hope for the future of opera in Scotland.

Glasgow Theatre Blog (April 2019)

This allusion, deliberate or otherwise, was only one of the impressive and inspired aspects in this production. If any theatre company wanted a lesson in how to make their work look spectacular, while making a little go a long way, then they need look no further...The inventive staging used this to full advantage, breaking the fourth wall by forcing the audience to become part of the performance, made aware of their own presence as blurred faces on the stage.
The other key to audience engagement was the pace that the story unfolds. There was little scene setting as wedding day quickly turns to tragedy before Orfeo begins his heroic journey to rescue Euridice. Although there were nominally three acts the storytelling felt seamless – told as concisely and precisely as possible...It was easy to forget, and indeed I didn’t give it a thought throughout, that this was the Scottish Opera Young Company on stage, and that tells you all you need to know. Suffice to say, it appears that the future of Scottish Opera is in safe hands

Scots Whay Hae (April 2019)

Caroline Clegg’s seductive, evocative staging was bathed in a mirage of blues ad purples (lighting was by Roy Herd) and brought into focus by Finlay McLay’s silhouetted set and modern-mythical costumes. For the ‘happy end’, Clegg decorated the stage with discreet snapshots of modern-day poster couples (JFK and Jackie, Richard and Judy etc.), driving home the chasm between our own realist and that of Gluck’s neo-Classical ideal.

Opera Magazine (June 2019)

Rhondda Rips It Up! Welsh National Opera

It’s a jolly affair, directed with imaginative gusto by Caroline Clegg...

The Telegraph (June 2018)

Smartly directed by Caroline Clegg on Lara Booth’s wood-panelled set, the burlesque never overwhelms the purpose...

The Stage (June 2018)

As befits the subject matter, WNO also ripped up the rulebook. The defiantly all-female cast and production team was directed by Caroline Clegg, with Nicola Rose conducting a 10-piece band whose lineup included accordion, tuba and drumkit, the latter recreating torpedoes hitting the Lusitania.

The Guardian (April 2019)

What japes! I grinned non-stop throughout Welsh National Opera’s inimitable Rhondda Rips it Up!... (David Poutney)commissioned an exploration of the life of the suffragette Margaret Haig Mackworth (née Thomas), the second Viscountess Rhondda. The librettist Emma Jenkins and the composer Elena Langer ran with the idea, and the result is a tremendous comic creation that deserves to be heard around the country...I defy anyone not to be swept away by this rule-breaking production. It’s bursting with irreverent joy.

The Times (June 2018)

Savitri/The Emporer of Atlantis. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Caroline Clegg’s superb production...

The Herald Scotland (January 2018)

The sets, although simple, were very effective and the staging was excellent and the music superb.

The wee review (January 2018)

Director Caroline Clegg chose to play out the action in a deserted theatre...The Emperor of Atlantis is supposed to be edgy and disturbing, and this production captured the unsettling parallels perfectly, allowing us to take our own conclusions away.

Bachtrack (January 2018)

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Feelgood Theatre (Heaton Park & Hall)

Ingenius ... A triumphant return for Feelgood and a tantalising promise of great things to come in the park!

Northern Soul (July 2017)

Dracula - The Blood Count, Feelgood Theatre

Clegg’s production excels in long shot - it’s pretty good in close-up as well!

The Guardian (August 2005) of the best productions I have seen in the last decade and I don’t make comments like that lightly… if you see nothing else this year, see this.

The Messenger (August 2005)