The Cast

Louis Dupré / Mars – Romain Arreghini

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Born in Toulouse, Romain Arreghini trained at the ESDC Rosella Hightower dance school and the Rudra Béjart Lausanne. His first professional work was with the French choreographer Redha in 2009, followed by the baroque dance company L’Eventail. He worked as part of the cabaret La Coupole des Anges dance crew and the contemporary dance company Christine Hassid Project. He has also worked with Françoise Denieau and with Les Art Florissants on Rameau, maître à danser, as well as with the German contemporary dance company Tanzcompagnie Giessen. In France, he was in the baroque production of Les Amants Magnifiques. He is the founder of the contemporary dance company Dhyana Dance Lab.

Hester Santlow / Venus – Chiara Vinci

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French-Italian performer Chiara Vinci was born in London. She trained at the Arts Educational and Ballet Rambert schools. She works professionally as a dancer, actor and opera singer. She also trained and works closely with her singing teacher Jenny Miller, director of Barefoot Opera. Her recent roles for that company include Serpina in La Serva Padrona and Gianetta in L’Elisir d’Amore. Most recently, Chiara created the role of Sophie Kroll in Maxwell Davies’s opera Kommilitonen with Welsh National Youth Opera. Future work includes the role of Carolina in Il Matrimonio Segreto with Pop-up Opera and the lead role of Susan in the new musical Paris Snow written by Patrick Kealey.

John Weaver / Vulcan – Michael Spenceley

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Michael Spenceley trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. On graduating, he joined the Protein Dance Company, after which he went to Precarious Multy Media Physical Theatre Dance Company. He has also worked with the Rosie Kay Dance Company, Parlor Dance and made several UK tours with the Karla Shacklock Company. Michael’s choreography credits include Forbidden Love London tour, Sister with Born Mad at the Tete a Tete Opera festival and Xerxes, Alcina and Tannhauser for Loughborough Festival Opera. Michael was also Dance Captain and part of the creative team for the opening of the Paralympic Games 2012. Michael has performed in Barefoot opera productions of La Serva Padrona and The Marriage of Figaro.

Evelyn Nallen / Recorder

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Music director and producer Evelyn Nallen, creator of this project, made her BBC debut as a recorder player at the age of nine and since then has appeared on BBC TV and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4. Together with harpsichordist David Gordon, she formed the innovative early music/jazz group Respectable Groove. Their take on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas integrates improvisation with written compositions. Evelyn devised a programme with Respectable Groove and the French baroque dancer Gilles Poirier called Dido’s Got the Blues. In 2012, Evelyn worked with the baroque dancer and dance historian Moira Goff to create the score for The Loves of Mars and Venus which underpins the present entertainment. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Department.

Jamie Akers / Lute

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Jamie Akers was born in Scotland and studied lute and early guitars at the Royal College of Music, London. Following a Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music, London, he began a varied career as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral and session musician and teacher. He has performed or recorded with many leading UK based ensembles and soloists, including I Fagiolini, the Scottish, English and Irish Chamber Orchestras, the Dunedin Consort, the Ulster orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble, Alison Balsam and Damon Albarn. Jamie has worked with the opera companies English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Innsbruck Festival Opera. He has performed often in the theatre, including at Shakespeare’s Globe. Jamie has given recitals throughout Europe of lute and early guitar music. He is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Gareth Deats / Cello

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Gareth Deats gained a first-class honours degree in music from Southampton University, where he was also awarded the Peter Evans prize for outstanding performance. He completed a post-graduate course at the Guildhall School of Music. He has recorded for television, radio and on compact disc and has performed extensively throughout Europe. He has performed as principal cello for La Serenissima, New London Consort, Classical Opera Company, the Avison Ensemble, the Galeazzi Ensemble, Charivari Agreable, the Feinstein Ensemble and the Cambridge Baroque Camerata and has recorded concertos and chamber music with several of them.