Academic Staff Directory

Olivia Maffett

Olivia Maffett

Vocal Tutor
Academic school:
Job title:
Vocal Tutor
Higher qualifications:

BA (City University)

Professional organisations:
Equity
Biography:

 

Olivia originally trained on the three year acting course at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Her theatre work includes the last season of weekly repertory at Ayr, Wendy Toye's production of The Sound of Music with Liz Robertson and Christopher Cazenove (number one tour), and Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink at the Aldwych Theatre. In music theatre, Olivia has enjoyed bringing new work to the stage such as the premiere of Eyam by Andrew Peggie and Stephen Clark at the Bridewell Theatre for director Clive Paget. She has championed lesser known works such as three short operas by Ned Rorem also at the Bridewell, and Darling of the Day by Yip Harburg and Jule Styne at the Union Theatre.

Olivia has sung for vocal groups Serenata Voices and Maida Vale Singers on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, and is especially proud to have sung with the Maida Vale Singers in the BBC promenade concerts: A Celebration of MGM Film Musicals, A Celebration of Rogers and Hammerstein and Hooray for Hollywood for the John Wilson Orchestra. Olivia has appeared twice in Bernstein’s rarely performed chamber piece, Trouble in Tahiti, along with concert performances of Wonderful Town at the Proms and On the Town, in which she played the little old lady, at the Royal Festival Hall. She has worked extensively as a session singer and recorded the soundtracks to numerous films including Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

She sang in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and the premiere of John Adams’ El Nino at the Châtelet Theatre in Paris, both directed by Peter Sellars, and appeared as Elektra in Oresteia by Xenakis at the Linbury Studio Theatre.  Many years of chorus work at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden includes World premieres of Sophie’s Choice and 1984. In 2012 she was to be found in a disused chemical warehouse in Birmingham for Stockhausen’s epic Mittwoch directed by Graham Vick for Birmingham Opera as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Whilst working in the chorus at the Royal Opera House Olivia got involved in several educational activities, the most memorable of which was the Turtle Opera Project. This was a 10 week project with children on the autistic spectrum during which an opera was created. It was led by Tim Yealland and Olivia participated alongside the children as a co-facilitator. It was a fascinating experience which prompted her to develop a teaching portfolio alongside her performing career.

Olivia trained with Music Leader London in Introduction to Kodaly, Kodaly Moving into the Primary Years, and Using Improvisation in Workshops.  She has also trained with Emma Hutchinson of the Music House for Children in Shepherd’s Bush and participated in a co-mentoring scheme facilitated by Vocal Force and funded by Sing Up. She is a vocal tutor for the education department of Ex Cathedra, a busy Birmingham based choir.