artistic director / anna pool

Anna is a director, writer, composer and performer, founding workshopera with james garner and sarah sweet back in 2014.  

as artistic director of workshopera, her work includes critically acclaimed boys of paradise (co-produced with egg ldn and tete a tete), trident moon (finborough theatre), Seven Velvet Suits  (Basicspace festival) and east o' the sun, west o' the moon (Tete a tete festival).  She will spearhead workshopera's innovative education programme, forge, beginning at the london transport museum in 2017.  as a freelance director, anna's work includes dust child (english touring opera), Il parnaso confuso (Wilton's music hall) and snappy operas (mahogany opera group).

as an assistant and staff director, anna has worked for many of the uk's top opera and theatre companies including scottish opera, welsh national opera, opera north, st james theatre (now the other palace) and the finborough theatre.

She has also developed and assisted on a number of projects for barbican creative learning, english touring opera and only connect.  anna is a founding member and associate artist of international children's theatre company wind up penguin, developing and directing work in romania, bulgaria and berlin.


music director/ james garner

James Garner (b.1992) is a British composer, performer and educator whose music has been performed across the UK and in Vienna. Since workshOPERA’s inception, James has held the post of Music Director which encompasses his expertise as a composer, repetiteur, and in casting and pre-production. He has composed a number of music theatre works for the company, including East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon, which receives its North American premiere in 2017 by Opera McGill.

At the age of 21, he was the youngest ever composer to be commissioned by the Olivier Award-winning English Touring Opera, composing Dust Child for ETO's 2016 season and more recently One Step Forwards (Old Vic Workrooms). Other works include the score for Three Sisters (dir. Wyn Jones) in Milton Court’s inaugural season, songs for Creative Madness (Song in the City) and UnconGENIE-al for Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival.

in 2016, James was invited to assist conductor Richard Baker on the Royal Opera House’s critically-acclaimed world première of Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis. This year, he will begin a new collaboration with McGill University (Montreal), composing a new operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

James is an alumnus of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied composition with Paul Whitmarsh and voice with Andrew Watts. He received the 2013 Mary Ryan RCS Award, the 2011 Sydney Vale Award and The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths Scholarship.


company stage manager/ sarah sweet

since graduating from the guildhall school of music and drama in 2014, sarah has worked in multiple roles as a  Stage Manager and Prop maker/runner for theatre, opera and live events.  this includes numerous productions for workshopera, opera Holland park, wexford festival opera, the old red lion theatre, Edinburgh festival and mountview academy of theatre arts.  she is also a founding member of the wind up penguin theatre company, managing productions in Romania and bulgaria.