The Cohere Arts Team

Amy Mallett – Artistic/Executive Director

Dr. Amy Mallett is a composer and theatre-maker creating work inspired by contemporary and historical stories. Her PhD thesis examined interdisciplinary collaboration in musical theatre.

As well as leading Cohere Arts, Amy applies her rich cross-sector knowledge and expertise as a creative health consultant, drawing on experiences working for a wide range of cultural organisations as well as the NHS. A skilled strategist, evaluator and facilitator, she also works with a wide variety of cultural organisations including Suffolk Libraries, University of the Arts London, and Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine.

Philippa Storey – Senior Producer

Philly has a varied background in roles including event organiser, estate agent, retail manager and personal assistant. She has also worked in production roles for TV and film. As Senior Producer across our programmes, she plays a vital role in operational and administrative aspects, as well as managing our volunteer team and looking after the access needs of the communities we work with.

Nicola Wydenbach – Project Director

Nicola is a graduate of the RCM where she was supported by a scholarship from Diva Opera. She has sung for ENO, Opera Rara, Scottish Opera, the Monteverdi Choir, Philharmonia Voices and London Voices. She has performed the roles of Russian Mother and Newspaper seller in Death in Venice at the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals, created the role of Nymph in Ludd and Isis for ROH Education as well as performing the soprano solos for Streetwise Opera Fables. Nicola is an experienced oratorio soloist having worked for societies throughout England.

A leading UK expert in singing for health, Nicola is Director of Training for SingToBeat and Musical Director of the Mind and Soul Choir, and leads numerous singing groups and practitioner training courses across the UK. Nicola is Programme Manager of our Creative Space programme and Project Director for our HerStory projects.

Susannah Gorgeous – Chair

Susannah is a producer, strategic thinker and financial consultant. Her passion for music, theatre, the arts and working in the community has been the focus of her career. Her experience combines leading creative charities, with her commitment to working with marginalised, diverse and excluded people, with a passion for business and enterprise. Having worked as Executive Director for the arts and homeless charity Streetwise Opera and then a short stint at The Poetry Society, we are grateful for her guidance as chair of our board of directors.

Creative Associates

Tom Appleton

Tom Appleton is the Director of Music at Aldeburgh Music Club, Music Director of King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, a ‘Friday Afternoons’ Ambassador, and the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Come and Sing Company. Tom’s musical development began as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral before joining the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. He read Music at the University of York and then spent 10 years performing with the Monteverdi Choir including as a soloist in the 2010 BBC Proms.

In 2019, Tom was Music Director of Giant – A Tree Climbing Concert in the Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture celebrations and also led 700 Norfolk schoolchildren who formed the Massed Ensemble at the Music for Youth Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. In 2020, Tom presented Rapunzel the Lockdown Pantomime to over 200,000 school children who sang, danced and signed along from schools and homes from Aberdeen to the Isle of White.

Emma Bernard

Emma Bernard directs performance for stage, screen, site-specific locations and concert platforms. She works across musical, verbal, visual, and physical performance disciplines, making complex, humane, playful and provocative work in collaboration with a diverse range of people including single artists and groups of hundreds, experienced professionals and absolute beginners.

Claire Bessent

Claire’s solo concert work includes Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers at St John’s, Smith Square; Christmas concerts with the City of London Choir at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields and Haydn’s Creation with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the late Sir Philip Ledger, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Work in opera includes roles with Garsington Opera, Grange Park Opera, Pimlico Opera, New Chamber Opera and British Youth Opera. In 2018, Claire sang with the Opera of Monte Carlo in their production of Britten’s Peter Grimes.

Claire is a deputy with the BBC Singers and has been a regular member of the Choir of the King’s Consort and London Voices. An experienced singing teacher and workshop leader, Claire has worked with various organisations including the Ulster Youth Choir and Streetwise Opera.

Claire Burman

Clare is a founder member of the visually impaired community theatre company Unscene Suffolk. She has performed in a number of stage and audio productions, including Fossils (2014), Through the Looking Glass (2015), A Zimmer of Hope (2015), Time Hackers (2016), & The Greatest Show (That Never Happened) (2018). More recently Clare played the role of Susan in audio drama The Mystery of Syleham Manor (2021), which forms part of the British Library’s Lockdown Upload digital archive. Clare made her professional debut in Witchfinder at Walpole in May 2022.

Robert Gildon

Robert studied singing at Manhattan School of Music, New York, the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival and the Britten Pears School. Recent work includes La Belle Hélène (New Sussex Opera), La Fille du Regiment (Opera della luna at Buxton Festival), Moon Hares and The Fairy Queen Project (Orchestra Age of Enlightenment), Merry Widow (Iford Festival), Time Capsule Project (Grange Festival), Manz in Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet (New Sussex Opera), Beautiful World Opera and Water in the Desert Projects in Abu Dhabi, Ezra Pound’s Le Testament de Villon (London Contemporary Music Festival) Ariadne auk Naxos and  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Garsington Opera) He has also performed roles for Opera North, The Opera Group, London Symphony Orchestra, Grange Park Opera, Opera Project, Cambridge Handel Opera, Bampton Classical Opera and Pimlico OPrison Project. He lives in Suffolk with a menagerie of animals and was delighted to be part of the Witchfinder R&D.

Sandeep Gurrapadi

Sandeep is an American tenor, educator and composer of Indian origin working throughout the UK, Europe, China and America. Sandeep has premiered roles in new opera at the Téte a Téte, Grimeborn, Royal Opera House of Mumbai and London Festival of American Music – lead roles in the premiere of composers Odaline De La Martinez’s opera ‘Imoinda’ and UK premiere of Thea Musgrave’s opera ‘Christmas Carol’, amongst many others. In 2019, Sandeep was invited to perform as a soloist at the Beijing National Stadium in the Dialogue for Asian Civilisations Conference for the Chinese President and in 2020 was an opera mentoree with the Pegasus opera company. In 2021, he was featured on the BBC One Show and premiered roles in new works Meal One by Felix Cross [MBE] and Philip Hagemann’s Opera ‘Poison, Passion and Petrification’. Sandeep is currently a doctoral researcher on full scholarship with the Guildhall School of Music.

Imogen Hayward

After practising yoga for many years, Imogen recently qualified as a Hatha yoga teacher specialising in seated yoga, focusing on gentle movement and breathing. She is experienced in working with vulnerable and elderly communities in East Suffolk, having previously been recognised for her work running a community café project in Marlesford. She has also worked as a healthcare assistant at Ipswich Hospital. Imogen kindly offers her time as a volunteer supporting many Cohere projects, and also leads Gentle, our seated exercise to music sessions at Woodbridge Community Hall.

Charly Jolly

Charly Jolly is a clarinettist and singer who specialises in community music and creative musical play. After completing the trainee music leader scheme with Britten Pears Arts and Spitalfields Music in 2022 she has been working creatively with all ages in music workshops run by Britten Pears Arts. Charly creates non-verbal musical play performances for 0-5 year olds in her show Beekabop which adopts an inclusive child-led approach to making. 

For the past decade Charly has been a key member of the brass progressive rock group Perhaps Contraption performing in the UK, Europe and beyond. With an interest in contemporary and cross-genre chamber music she has worked as a freelance woodwind player in groups including Tafahum, Subatomic, Lontano Ensemble and the New Music Players.

Sarah Lewis

Sarah works with professional artists, students and community dancers, teaching and choreographing regionally and nationally, both as an independent choreographer and for international companies.

Over the last decade Sarah has taught for international companies Richard Alston Dance Company, English National Ballet, Rambert, and Gecko and has performed in rural and national touring productions with Verve, SMITH dancetheatre and Hocus Pocus.

Since 2013, Sarah co-founded and co-directs Glass House Dance with Laura McGill, making interactive dance performances for public spaces that tour to large and small scale festivals across the UK.

Lulu Horsfield

Lulu is a highly experienced and versatile visual artist, working across a variety of our programmes. Also co-director of CIC Rock Paper Scissors, Lulu teaches art and design to all ages and has worked as a designer and illustrator across fashion, textiles, editorial, music and film. In past ventures, Lulu has sold her illustrated fashion label through House of Fraser, and also showcased a film made with her husband at Tate Britain.

Rosy May

Rosy May is an enthusiastic and vibrant dance artist and choreographer living in beautiful Ipswich. She uses her creativity and energy to share different cultures, histories, music and stories through the medium of movement. Her most well known work is the film: The Islands- a Caribbean dance led film on youtube. Rosy is a proud autistic artist who currently works all over East Anglia, and spends her free time crocheting and reading romance stories.

Aga Serugo-Lugo

Aga Serugo-Lugo is a vocalist, clarinettist, pianist, composer and workshop leader. For 6 years he sang in the Funk band “Gefunkt”, touring the UK, Europe and Australia. He composes for and plays in the six- piece jazz-fusion group ‘Eclectiv’. As a music leader Aga has delivered educational and community workshops for many organisations from the Royal Opera House to RADA. He currently co-runs the Camberwell Community Choir.