The Ivor Novello Story James Dinsmore, Ivor Elizabeth McCormack Daisy Henderson James Dinsmore, Ivor Daisy Henderson The Ivor Novello Story, Edinburgh Fringe 2014 The Ivor Novello Story, St Conan's Kirk
  • The Ivor Novello Story
  • James Dinsmore, Ivor
  • Elizabeth McCormack
  • Daisy Henderson
  • James Dinsmore, Ivor
  • Daisy Henderson
  • The Ivor Novello Story, Edinburgh Fringe 2014
  • The Ivor Novello Story, St Conan's Kirk

"...wonderful singing, carefully balanced placement of voices and, although Novello himself isn't a singer, the addition of a male voice gives more variety….. excellent articulation and every lyric is heard… An informative ... detailed narration by John Cairney, enlightens the audience with facts about Novello's life, and ... is carefully interwoven with songs.
The female vocals are undertaken by Daisy Henderson, and a sparkly Elizabeth McCormack, who both have an operetta style that fit the Novello style perfectly. The main narration, spoken by James Dinsmore, is elegantly executed in a stylish manner. Piano accompaniment by Bill Kean is assured and underpinned the piece excellently.
This piece is a wonderful opportunity to hear Novello's songs sung extremely well in a live setting. It’s a thoroughly entertaining afternoon."

Gordon Noele, 19/8/14, Broadway Baby 3*

"as glittering and immaculate as a crystal chandelier - five stars!"

Thos Ribbits, Musical Talk, Edinburgh Fringe 2014

"With period chic and atmosphere, The Ivor Novello Story is a delight for ear and eye. (They) captivated and charmed us with a warm and witty account of Ivor Novello’s glamorous life, into which they wove his songs, like threads of gold. "

Dunblane Cathedral Arts Guild

The Ivor Novello Story / actor, soprano, mezzo, pianist, musical theatre

Ivor Novello was a man of the theatre above all else, and a musician of real worth, brilliantly capturing the ease and diffident charm of the world between the wars. The songs he wrote are certainly not forgotten…. Waltz of My Heart, Some Day My Heart Will Awake, Keep The Home Fires Burning, We’ll Gather Lilacs…….

Not only was he a composer of lavish musical plays, he was a film star appearing in two Hitchcock films, and a Hollywood screenwriter, recognised as coming up with the immortal phrase, “Me Tarzan, you Jane.”

In this wonderful script by John Cairney, Scottish writer, actor, painter and raconteur, Ivor Novello’s story and songs are brought to life by an actor, two singers and a pianist. Prepare yourself for nostalgia, romance and showbiz glamour, and a homeward journey humming tunes you thought you’d forgotten!

James Dinsmore, Ivor
Born and educated in Glasgow, James has toured extensively in the UK as well as the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Theatre credits include: Tony Blair in Corbyn the Musical; President Roosevelt/Lt Ward in Annie; Mr Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors; Priam Farll in Darling of the Day; Franz/cover Captain in The Sound of Music; Mr Sowerberry/Dr Grimwig in Oliver!; Molokov in Chess; Bobo’s Father in The Emperor’s Quest; Lead Vocalist in Fingask Follies; Nanjac/cover Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband; Young Walsingham in Half A Sixpence; Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore; Mozart in Whom the Gods Love; Frosch in Die Fledermaus; Pooh-Bah in The Mikado and Annibale in The Gondoliers. Pantomime roles include Captain Hooks in Peter Pan, Ugly Sisters in Cinderella and various Dames.

Operas include Götterdämmerung, Aida, La Bohème and Fidelio with Scottish Opera and Tosca and Fidelio for Opera Holland Park.

TV and radio credits include: Kim Philby in BBC’s Days that shook the World, the entertainer in the Radio 4 play Notes to Self and commercials for McDonalds and Norwegian Railways.

As a writer, James has written scripts and narration for Back to Broadway, Magic of the Musicals, Gilbert & Sullivan go Wilde, Forbidden Fringe and Coward’s Choice as well as corporate training DVDs.

Phil Gault, Ivor

From Wales, Phil has performed internationally in rôles ranging from the Count (Il Nozze di Figaro), Dandini (La Cenerentola), and Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), to the eponymous Don Giovanni, King Roger, and even Carmen (in the critically acclaimed all-male CarMen).

He has performed in major venues throughout the UK, with a repertoire including Dichterliebe, Chansons Gaillardes, Songs of Travel, Carmina Burana, A Sea Symphony, and the Bach Passions and cantatas.

TV includes live broadcast recordings of the title rôles in the award-nominated Macbeth and Barbwr Sefil with Opra Cymru, and CDs include Breathe Freely (Wagstaff), A Brontë Mass (Wilby), and Breathless Alleluia (Wilby), the latter two with the Black Dyke Band.

Daisy Henderson, soprano
Daisy was a member of the Chorus of Scottish Opera and still performs regularly with them as a freelance chorister.   At Scottish Opera she covered and performed many roles including the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, Ida in Die Fledermaus, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Marianne in Der Rosenkavalier, Freya in Das Rheingold, Gianetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Chief Hen in Cunning Little Vixen, Cousin in Madam Butterfly and First Apparition in Macbeth.

In addition to appearing as the soprano in The Ivor Novello Story, she also manages and sings regularly throughout Scotland as part of  Opera Alba and Coro Alba.

As a soloist and recitalist, she sings at corporate events, Burns suppers, weddings and funerals, and her solo concert performances have  included Handel’s Messiah, Handel’s German arias, Haydn’s The Seasons, Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, Cedric Thorpe Davies’ The Jolly Beggars, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and the Verdi Requiem.

In addition to teaching singing privately, she fixes professional choirs (8-20 singers known as Coro Alba) for private engagements and for visiting celebrities, e.g. John Innes’ sellout concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Priests at the Clyde Auditorium, for Josh Groban and for Raymond Gubbay productions.  In 2014 she launched Scozzesi, a classically trained quartet of young male singers.

Daisy is the Director of Classical Musicians Scotland which aims to provide professional singers and instrumentalists, based in Scotland, for any type of event looking for quality entertainment.

Elizabeth McCormack, mezzo

Elizabeth was born in Fife and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and at the National Opera Studio in London. She is a past winner of the Scottish Opera John Noble Bursary, the Decca-Kathleen Ferrier Prize, the Royal Overseas League Music Competition and the Isobel Baillie Performance Award, was Scotland’s representative at Cardiff Singer of the World in 1993 and is a recipient of the Countess of Munster and Caird Scholarships. For Scottish Opera she created the role of the Daughter in The Vanishing Bridegroom (also at the Royal Opera House) and sang Varvara Kátya Kabanová, Dorabella Così fan tutte, Suzuki Madama Butterfly and Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro. Other operatic engagements include: Pitti Sing The Mikado, Cherubino and Garcia Don Quixotte (English National Opera), Nancy Albert Herring (Banff Festival, Canada), Melanto The Return of Ulysses (Buxton Festival), Pippo The Thieving Magpie and Zerlina Don Giovanni (Opera North), Flora La traviata and Karolka Jenufa (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) and Second Flowermaiden Parsifal and Annio La clemenza di Tito (Opéra Bastille, Paris).

Bill Kean, pianist
Bill has been involved in a wide variety of music, from Scottish music to conducting large works with the Kilmarnock and District Choral Union (“Elijah”, Verdi Requiem, “Chichester Psalms”, Mozart Requiem, Carmina Burana etc). He has also been involved with the City of Glasgow Chorus (Mahler’s 8th, Bach B Minor Mass, “Elijah”) and with the RSNOC (Fauré, Verdi “Come and Sing”, Vivaldi Gloria). He has extensive orchestral experience both at amateur and professional levels. He completed a three year tenure conducting the Clydebank District Choir (until April 2004) before an invitation to return to Kilmarnock in 2007 was accepted after an eight year gap.

Although now semi-retired, he spent 30 years as a Principal Teacher of Music and has a Master of Arts Degree from Glasgow University with a Secondary Music Teaching Qualification from Jordanhill College. He has been an SQA assessor for more than 20 years at all secondary levels. In 2010 he was asked to supply singers for the BBC drama series “Single Father” with David Tennant and also for the watchnight service for BBC Scotland.

He is a piano accompanist with experience of a wide range of styles and works regularly with singers. He’s studied with Malcolm Martineau and Paul Hamburger and has also worked with Christopher Bell of the RSNO. He plays for the Glasgow Lieder Club and other bodies as an ad hoc accompanist.

Bill has been musical director for “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Oh What a Lovely War!”, “Iolanthe”, “The Pirates of Penzance”, “Princess Ida” and “Patience.”

He is regularly called to play as an organist in many churches (mainly Church of Scotland) and has deputised at Iona Abbey, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow Cathedral and the Cathedral of St. Magnus in Orkney and performed for the Moderator of the General Assembly. Bill now plays at Abbotsford Church in Clydebank and has led two television broadcasts from there (STV). He plays the violin and has been involved in concerts as part of a professional orchestra as well as working with various instrumental groups, arranging music for all of these ensembles.

Bill is a multi-linguist, speaking French, Italian and a little German, Spanish and Dutch with some knowledge of Scots Gaelic and Finnish. In addition to all of his work with music, Bill still finds time to enjoy his interests in languages, gardening and photography.

Performances 2016:

7.30pm, Saturday 17th September 2016, Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow

7.30pm, Friday 19th August 2016, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

7.30pm, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May 2016, Byre Theatre, St Andrews

2.30pm, Monday 9th May 2016, Ross Priory, Gartocharn

7.30pm, Saturday 20th February 2016, Orkney Arts Society

11am, Sunday 21st February 2016, St Peter’s House, Stromness (selected repertoire from the show)

Performances 2015:

2.30pm, Sunday 21st June 2015, St Columba’s Church, Largs

7.30pm, Saturday 29th August 2015, St Conan’s Kirk, Loch Awe

7.45pm, Friday 11th September 2015, Glasgow Art Club

Performances 2014:

12th – 16th August, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, artSpace@St Mark’s; 17th August, Culross Festival; 21st September, Pitlochry Festival Theatre; 24th September, Crear: Space to Create; 9th October, Ayr Gaiety Theatre; 10th October, Scottish Cinema Organ Trust, sold out; 11th October, Balerno Festival sold out

Performances 2012/13:

22nd January 2012, Melrose Music Society, sold out; 11th March 2012, Beith Arts Guild, sold out; 21st April 2012, Dunblane Cathedral Arts Guild; 13th June, 2012, Ross Priory, Gartocharn, sold out; 12th, 13th , 14th August 2013, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, St Cuthbert’s Church (all over-sold); 15th August 2013, Glasgow Western Club (private event, sold out); 27th August 2013, Mull Theatre; 28th August 2013, Aros Centre, Skye; 3rd September 2013, Ross Priory, Gartocharn (back by popular demand, sold out)

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