The Performers

February 2013

Here are some brief biographies of some of our most frequent contributors to Vocal Score concerts. We thank them for their talent, dedication, fun and friendship.

Cassie Tillett Cassie Tillett's experience in local theatrical and musical societies, in London and now in Norfolk, includes Magnolia in Showboat, Velma in Chicago and Countess Charlotte Malcolm in A Little Night Music, Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Rosalind in As You Like It, Belinda in Noises Off, Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Maria Helliwell in When We Are Married, together with countless performances in concerts and revue. She has also directed two separate productions of The Shakespeare Revue, and with Selwyn she is delighted to be responsible for Cowardy Custard at the Sewell Barn Theatre in May 2015.
Selwyn Tillett Selwyn Tillett was for many years Chairman of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society and has an extensive interest in all aspects of the nineteenth century British musical theatre. He has written widely on the pre-production and early performing history of the operas of Sullivan and his contemporaries, and has made a special study of 1890s operas. He has extensive experience as an accompanist and choral director, and in 1990 was one of co-discoverers of Sullivan's ballet music for the first G&S opera Thespis. Selwyn trained as an ancient historian and in his spare time is Rector of The Wensum Group of Churches in Norfolk. He is the regular accompanist for Vocal Score.


Steve Askew Steve Askew is a farmer who discovered his love for theatre through the YFC movement. His club entered the National Drama Competition and from then on he has had many roles with local groups and latterly with the Theatre Royal Studio Company and The Sewell Barn in Norwich. He started singing lessons in his late 30's so he could attempt musical theatre and last year played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. Steve is delighted to be invited to appear with Vocal Score.
Rachel Duffield Rachel Duffield is a classically trained mezzo-soprano with broad experience on the local amateur and semi-professional circuit. On stage over the last twenty years she has had a go at everything from panto to opera and comedy to tragedy. In musical theatre, Rachel has played many varied roles including Babe in Pajama Game, Jackie in Me and My Girl, Laurie in Oklahoma, Anita in West Side Story, Eva Peron in Evita, and, more recently, Fantine in a concert performance of songs from Les Misérables. Rachel’s diverse vocal styles include close harmony and choral work, soul, jazz, G&S and opera. A very accomplished performer, Rachel has a voice once described as 'smooth as melted chocolate'.
John Griffin John Griffin has been involved in amateur theatre and musical productions for the past twenty years, principally as a member of the Sewell Barn Theatre and Great Hall Theatre companies in Norwich. Among many others he has had leading roles in productions such as Noises Off, Terra Nova (The story of Scott and Amundsen), The Importance of Being Earnest, and My Boy Jack. His musical production experience includes Godspell, Annie Get Your Gun, Half A Sixpence, Hans Christian Andersen, and principal roles in Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe and The Gondoliers. More recently he has joined fellow Vocal Score members Rachel & Martyn in performing with renowned local group The Upper Octave.
Angela Rowe Angela Rowe started performing after moving to Norfolk in 1995. Finding herself with 'nothing better to do' she joined her cousin for some circus skills and singing workshops. Six months later she was on stage at Norwich's Theatre Royal in a production of Barnum. Since then Angela has been working solidly with theatre companies in and around Norwich as a performer, set designer/builder, artist, stage manager and, more recently, directing. She has been involved with over 40 productions in the last sixteen years though only recently returned to singing after being successful in auditions for The Shakespeare Revue at The Sewell Barn Theatre. Performances include Guys and Dolls (ensemble); Abigail's Party (Angie); Sweet Charity (ensemble); Blithe Spirit (Ruth); Cymbeline (the Queen); Habeus Corpus (Connie); Time of my life (Stephanie), A Servant for Two Masters (Smeraldina).
Martyn Shults Martyn Shults 'has a voice that is capable of impressing any West End producer' (The Stage). Perfectly suited to musical theatre, he is a true tenor, but has a 3-octave vocal range and perfect pitch. This means he happily sings any style from baritone upwards! Musical Theatre is Martyn's first love, and he especially enjoys performing the big ballads. He is also a competent opera singer and popular cabaret artist. Martyn has performed at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue for Cameron Mackintosh and Trevor Nunn, as a guest performer at Norwich's Theatre Royal, and as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Attaining ALCM and enjoying teacher training from Judy Reid, Martyn now teaches singing and performance privately and as a peripatetic teacher for the county schools. [Photo: Steve Wright Photography]
Gill Tichborne Gill Tichborne has spent thirty years treading the boards (if they are strong enough to hold her) in local Dramatic and Operatic Societies in the area. She has been involved in productions from Shakespeare to Sondheim, Opera to Oscar Wilde, Lehar to local public house and village hall. Too many shows and plays to mention, but favourites roles include Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Lady Bracknell (The Importance of Being Ernest), Lucy (both Threepenny and Beggars Opera), Martha (Faust) and Juno (Orpheus in the Underworld.) Gill describes herself as "a Martini kind of performer (anytime, anyplace, anywhere)".

Guest performers

Leon Berger Leon Berger has taken major guest roles with ENO, the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, New Sadler's Wells and many touring companies. Recordings include cast albums of The Merry Widow, Pacific Overtures, Joe Carpenter & Son, Cox & Box, a solo album of George Grossmith's comic songs, and Sullivan's The Masque At Kenilworth. He is a featured soloist on the BBC series Lives Of Jesus (for which he wrote the lyrics), and has recorded Gilbert's His Excellency in the new version by Terry Hawes. Leon has played lyric and patter roles in all G&S operas for many companies including G&S For All, The Magic of D'Oyly Carte, New Savoyards of London, Gawsworth Summer Opera and G&S Unlimited. Leon is an Hon Life Member of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society for whom he sang Ludwig in the Centenary Grand Duke and Lucifer in The Golden Legend. He is archivist to the late Donald Swann and is writing the authorised biography of Michael Flanders.
Robert Osborne Robert Osborne began playing the clarinet on starting grammar school. He graduated from Cambridge in 1974 and stayed a further 3 years to complete a PhD before moving to Scotland. Here the clarinet case remained firmly closed and was not opened again until he moved to the Chepstow area in 1984. Robert currently has lessons from Eileen Newington in Cardiff and is co-principal clarinettist with the Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra as well as playing occasional recitals and a few freelance engagements. He very much hopes that his current employers will continue to feel that his efforts in the field of chemical process research remain worthy of a salary without increasing his workload to the detriment of his clarinet playing.