Susannah Wapshott is from Shropshire and read Music at Manchester University followed by scholarships to the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she won prizes for piano accompaniment and repetiteurs. Susannah started working at Scottish Opera as a junior repetiteur in 2008 and is now on the permanent Music Staff, having worked on over forty productions. She made her conducting debut with Carmina Burana at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009 and has since been Assistant Conductor at Scottish Opera for Katya Kabanova, Greek, The Trial, Orfeo ed Euridice and Macbeth, and Music Director/Pianist for the critically acclaimed small-scale tours of Carmen, La Traviata, Rodelinda and Macbeth. She is also Scottish Opera’s Associate Chorus Master and has prepared the chorus for Rigoletto, Edgar, Le nozze di Figaro, L’amico Fritz, Il Trovatore and Orfeo ed Euridice, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Beyond Scottish Opera, Susannah has recently been appointed Music Director for the Helensburgh Oratorio Choir and invited to conduct the Grampian Youth Orchestra. Susannah was Music Director for Edinburgh Grand Opera 2014-2017, conducting productions of L’elisir d’amore and La Bohéme and conducted La Traviata for Haddo House Opera in 2017. She has repetiteured for other companies, including Opera North and Polish National Opera. Susannah has gratefully received awards from MBF and the GEMMA Classical Music Trust.
Musical Director - Jonathon Swinard
In August 2016 we welcomed Jonathon Swinard as our new Music Director, the sixth in the choir's long history.
Conductor and pianist Jonathon Swinard studied at St. Catherine's College Oxford where he held the New Chamber Opera Repetiteur Scholarship, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. From 2014-2016 he was engaged as Solorepetitor at the Staatstheater Nurnberg, where he conducted and played a vast range of operatic repertoire in rehearsal and concert.
Before moving to Germany he spent two years on the music staff at Scottish Opera as the company's first Emerging Artist Repetiteur.
During this time he worked regularly at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, first as a visiting vocal coach then later as Head of Music Preparation for the Opera Department. As repetiteur he has also worked for Clonter Opera, Haddo House Opera, British Youth Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and New Chamber Opera.
Jonathon is much in demand as chorus master. From 2013-2014 he held the Alexander Gibson Choral Conducting Fellowship with the RSNO Chorus, having previously worked for Edinburgh Grand Opera, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Guildhall School and the Oxford University Student Chorus. In Germany, he was assistant conductor of the Nurnberg Hans Sachs Chor.
In 2016 he returns to Glasgow to rejoin the Music Staff of Scottish Opera as Musical Director for Opera Highlights, and Chorus Master for L'amico Fritz, Le villi and La boheme. He is also the Musical Director elect of the Hutchesons Choral Society.