The Travelling Companion

“An accomplished revival of a little-known gem, greatly to the credit of the ever-enterprising New Sussex Opera. The music has wonderful vigour and charm. The soloists are all admirable, and Paul Higgins has done a sensibly unfussy job of staging the piece”.”  **** Rupert Christiansen – The Telegraph

““Fine performances… Narrative values are good and the substantial chorus works hard and to impressive effect”  George Hall –  Stage

“The conductor Toby Purser, the orchestra and the leads – notably Kate Valentine as a princess with a Turandot complex and Julien Van Mellaerts as the (possibly angelic) Travelling Companion – went at it with absolute sincerity and a real sense of Stanford’s lyrical idiom.” 
Richard Bratby – Spectator


Charles Villiers Stanford

Opera in Four Acts
after a story by Hans Christian Andersen
Libretto by Henry Newbolt

November/ December 2018
Lewes Town Hall
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
Cadogan Hall, London SW1
Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
(recorded live for release by SOMM
in October 2019)

Production supported by The Stanford Society

 John David Horton
The Travelling Companion Julien Van Mellaerts 
The Princess Kate Valentine
The King Pauls Putnins
The Wizard Ian Beadle
The Herald Felix Kemp
Two Ruffians Ian Beadle, Felix Kemp
Two Girls Tamzin Barnett, Lucy Urquhart

NSO Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor Toby Purser
Director Paul Higgins
Designer Isabella Van Braeckel
Lighting Designer Tom Turner

 Roseanna Anderson
Assistant Conductor Ben Knowles

Photographs – Robert Knights


A mysterious stranger, a princess, a wizard’s riddle, with haunting, romantic music: the exciting re-discovery of Charles Villiers Stanford’s last and arguably finest opera. This was the first professional production of the work for over eighty years, culminating with a live recording of the final performance by SOMM, NSO’s first recording to mark the fortieth anniversary year, and also the first recording of any of Stanford’s nine operas – a key event in the current renaissance of interest in his music.