Opera: Three failed romances

Aria: Flat warming



Synopsis of the Imagined Opera

A one act comic opera featuring the romantic disasters and misadventures of three linked characters, gay, bi, and straight, seen from multiple points of view: the wife, her husband, and his boyfriend.  Our aria is taken from the boyfriend’s perspective, on the climactic night of his ill-fated romance, when the husband shows up at the boyfriend’s flat-warming, with unintended consequences.



Frederick Jones - Tenor

British born New Zealand tenor Frederick Jones is a 2019 Jerwood Young Artist with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and a current student on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He graduated from Te Kōkī, The New Zealand School of Music in 2013 with a Postgraduate Diploma in operatic performance (Distinction), having previously completed a BMus in Performance Voice there in 2012. In June 2016, he completed a Master of Arts in Advanced Vocal Studies (distinction) at the Wales International Academy of Voice, studying with internationally renowned tenor Dennis O’Neill. Frederick attended the 2017 Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, and the 2016 Lisa Gasteen National Opera School with a full scholarship. He came first in both the Wellington Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria Competition and the coveted New Zealand Aria Competition in 2016, and was selected as a Semi Finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition the same year. His operatic roles include Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ferrando Così fan tutte, Charles The Long Christmas Dinner (GSMD); Ensemble Soloist Candide (LSO); Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress (BYO); Torero in Golijov’s Ainadamar (a New Zealand Festival production with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra); various roles in Der Rosenkavalier and Oronte (cover) Alcina (Day’s Bay Opera); Pasha Seid Il corsaro, Starvelling A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bill A Hand of Bridge (The New Zealand School of Music); Raimondado Carmen (The New Zealand Choral Foundation); Thomas Brown The Zoo and Counsel for the Plaintiff Trial by Jury (The Garden Opera Company). 


Juliane Gallant - Repetiteur

Juliane Gallant is accomplished in both operatic and song repertoire, working as musical director, répétiteur, accompanist, coach and conductor. She studied Piano accompaniment with Pamela Lidiard at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In September 2018, Juliane was one of only 12 conductors selected for the Women Conductors Course: Conducting for Opera, run by the Royal Opera House, the National Opera Studio and the Royal Philharmonic Society. During lockdown, she participated in a Royal Opera House online women conductors course, led by Sian Edwards and Jessica Cottis. She is a bursary recipient from the Opera Awards Foundation.

Juliane worked as musical director for Hampstead Garden Opera (La bohème), King’s Head Theatre (Carmen), Opera on Location (La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Carmen), St Paul’s Opera (Così fan tutte, Orphée aux enfers), Opera Up Close (Carmen, Music oft hath such a charm, Ulla’s Odyssey), Opera Mio (A Fantastic Bohemian: The Tales of Hoffmann revisited), and the Clapham Opera Festival (La Bohème). As a song recitalist, Juliane has appeared at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, the Purcell Room and on West End stages.


Creative Team 

Gavin Higgins - Composer

Gavin Higgins was born in Gloucester and began his musical training in the local brass band. He went on to receive scholarships to study French horn and composition at Chethams School of Music, the RNCM and the RCM, where he was taught by Gary Carpenter and Ken Hesketh.

His oeuvre includes orchestral pieces, chamber music, ballet, music theatre pieces and works for brass band. He has worked with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the LPO, the RSNO, and was appointed Rambert Dance Company’s Inaugural Music Fellow in 2010. Recent selected commissions include Tänze for the LPO and London Music Masters; Gursky Landscapes for the Carducci Quartet and David Cohen; The Ruins of Detroit for the Fidelio Trio); the award winningDark Arteries and What Wild Ecstasy for Rambert; Velocity for the 2014 Last Night of the BBC Proms (performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Der Aufstand for the 2012 BBC Proms (given its premiere by the National Youth Wind Orchestra) and The Book of Miracles for Helen Vollam and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

He has been nominated for the RPS and BASCA awards and in 2019 won an Ivor Novello Award for his trombone concerto, The Book of Miracles. In 2019 his debut opera the Monstrous Child opened at the Royal Opera House to a sold out run and critical acclaim: Culture whisper called it ‘a spectacular new opera’ whilst the Guardian called it ‘a triumph’.  


Francesca Simon - Librettist

Francesca Simon is the American author of the hugely popular Horrid Henry series, which has sold over 22 million copies and is published in 29 countries.  She has written more than 60 books and won the Children’s Book of the Year in 2008 at the British Book Awards for Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman. 

Her books for older children include The Sleeping Army and The Lost Gods.  Francesca’s first book for teens, The Monstrous Child, about Hel, the Norse Goddess of the dead, was shortlisted for both the 2017 Costa Book Awards and the YA Book Prize.  She wrote the libretto for an opera based on The Monstrous Child with the composer Gavin Higgins, which premiered at the Royal Opera House in February 2019.  She is currently writing a cantata with Gavin Higgins which will premiere in 2021.

Francesca went to Yale and Oxford Universities, where she studied medieval literature, art history, and Anglo-Saxon.  She lives in London with her family.