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Tim read English at Trinity College Cambridge, then studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.  


As a singer and actor he performed for English Touring Opera, Opera 80, English National Opera, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, and the Chichester Festival.


He has directed participatory projects for most of the leading opera companies and orchestras, including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne as well as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras.


He devised and led the outreach work of English Touring Opera for 16 years, for whom he wrote the libretti for and directed many operas for young people, including Laika the Spacedog (winner Best Production, Armel Opera Festival, Hungary), In the Belly of the HorseShackleton’s Cat, BorkaDifferent and This Is My Bed, working with composers Russell Hepplewhite, Rachel Leach, Llywelyn ap Myrddin and Pete Letanka, and designers Jude and Alan Munden, Ruth Paton, Babis Alexiadis and Catherine Ryan. With Woo Music (Clive and Mark Ives) he made Waxwings, one of many such operas for audiences with autistic spectrum disorders, which is revived in 2019. Also for ETO he directed Fantastic Mr Fox, by Tobias Picker and Donald Sturrock.


For many years he has collaborated with Turtle Key Arts, delivering projects for people living with dementia and young people with ASD. He led Share Music residential projects for disabled adults for many years, and was a founder member (along with Stephen Langridge, Daryl Runswick and Mary King) of Green Light Music Theatre.


He has devised and written, together with composer Rachel Leach, a number of large-scale community operas, including One Day, Two Dawns in Cornwall (winner Royal Philharmonic Society Award), Under the Hammerbeam Roof for the 500th anniversary of Hampton Court, One Breath in Sheffield and Doncaster, and Zeppelin Dreams for the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. With Helen Chadwick and Kate Pearson, he created A House on the Moon for the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. All these pieces featured mixed casts of over 200 performers. 


With young people he has devised a large number of operas such as Bessie's Wings and Edenbridge (Lambeth), Sand Surf SnowSem'ye, Rhinopera (Camden), and The Almondsbury Bells (Gloucestershire). For the MFY Proms at the Royal Albert Hall he wrote the words for and directed 800 Miles as the Albatross Flies (composer Russell Hepplewhite), performed 500 young people. He directed Forever Young  for W11 Opera in 2019, and also for W11 wrote the lyrics for It's Your Move in 2021. For the last three years he has devised work for the Primary Shakespeare Company (with composer Rachel Leach), most recently in 2022 Fly, Fleance, Fly, an opera based on Macbeth with 240 young people in Harrow and Islington.


For the Casa da Musica in Porto he has devised many ambitious new pieces, including Border Control, Icarus, Spirit LevelCuradoGulag, and in 2018 Montanha, working with composer Jorge Prendas and designer Cristiana Felgueiras. Each of these productions featured large mixed ability casts of professional and non-professional musicians, actors and dancers. In 2022 he wrote and devised a new piece for Porto called Love, working with composer Jorge Queijo and designer Patricia Costa.

2022 saw the premiere of Under the Little Red Moon, an animated film for ETO, for very young children. Laika the Spacedog received its Swiss premiere at Nouvel Opera Fribourg in 2019, and was revived by ETO in the same year. A new production by Forum Neue Kunst is premiered in Oldenburg, Germany, in August 2022. In Summer 2023 Ignite Music revives Borka, in a new production directed by Susan Moore, and travelling to literary festivals across the UK.

He was appointed MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

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