Sophie Rashbrook is a freelance writer, opera dramaturg, poet, translator and presenter. She holds an MA (Distinction) from the Guildhall Operamakers MA (2018-2019), an MPhil in Russian Studies and a first-class BA (Hons) in French and Russian from Cambridge University, and spent a year at the St Petersburg Conservatoire studying the cello.
As a writer she is currently commissioned by the Royal Opera House (Don Giovanni Opera Dots workshop, 30 September 2019), and her Don Giovanni script was performed by the Alvarez Young Artists of Garsington Opera. Her opera libretto, Grace, with music by Maeve McCarthy, premiered at Milton Court Studio Theatre in July 2019, and her song texts (set by composers Jonathan Woolgar and Curtis Day) were performed at Wigmore Hall in May 2019. She is the author of a play about the late set designer Ralph Koltai CBE, from which an excerpt was performed at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, in September 2019. In collaboration with Director Polly Graham, the play received work-in-progress showcases in Cardiff and London (funded by Arts Council of Wales and private donations), and is now undergoing further development. She has been awarded a Fellowship at the Guildhall School from 2019-20.
As Dramaturg she has worked with Jo Davies on the new dialogue for Carmen (Welsh National Opera, Autumn 2019), and for Dr Rob Fokkens on his operatic monodrama, Bhekizizwe (R&D, Cardiff University, November 2018). She was Dramaturg at Welsh National Opera from 2013-2016, delivering 60+ pre-performance talks annually to audiences across Wales and England, producing English subtitles for all productions, and as WNO Programme Editor from 2015-16, introduced audiences to new operas Figaro Gets a Divorce by Elena Langer and In Parenthesis by Iain Bell. She is the recipient of an Arts Council of Wales Research and Development grant (Seven Deadly Sins lecture-recital at Cardiff University).
From 2016-17, she worked as Chamber Music Manager at the Royal College of Music, London, where she forged partnerships with venues including the Tate Modern, Austrian Cultural Forum, and RADA, programmed a series of Russian chamber concerts for the Philharmonia’s Voices of Revolution series, and ran a composition project, Vienna Calling!, culminating in live performances across two time-zones, with the use of live-streaming technology.
As an opera director, her productions include Orpheus and Eurydice (Clare College Opera), The Sandman (Size Zero Opera at Tete a Tete Opera Festival), and The Fairy Queen Re-Imagined (West Road Concert Hall). She has worked as Assistant Director/Russian Interpreter at the Royal Opera House, Opera Comique Paris, and Theatre du Capitole Toulouse.
She is a director on the board of Polly Graham’s opera company, LOUD CROWD, and is currently collaborating on new projects with mezzo-soprano Sian Cameron and composer Daniel Elms.
Other artistic interests and inspirations include: art song, cabaret, Angela Carter, Kurt Schwitters, fairy tales, Chagall, Kandinsky…