About Zara

Zara trained at the University of Glamorgan, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and London College of Music.

Professional engagements include: Oxford Playhouse; The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath; Watford Palace Theatre; London Theatre Workshop; Rose Theatre, Kingston; Royal Theatre (Royal & Derngate), Northampton; Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham; Birmingham Stage Company; Arts Educational Schools; Royal Central School of Speech & Drama; Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts; The MTA; Trinity College of Music; Oldham Theatre Workshop, English Pocket Opera Company, National Youth Music Theatre and the International Schools Theatre Association.

In addition to her professional composing and musical direction engagements, Zara has worked extensively in music and theatre education and specialised in major large-scale devising and performance projects both in the UK and overseas.

She is a writer member of Mercury Musical Developments, and a member of the Musical Theatre Collective run by the new writing department at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

In 2015 she reached the final four for the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme.

2017

2017

LATEST

The new year started with the very exciting news that the first draft and development of Zara’s new piece In Versions was to receive generous funding and support from Arts Council England and the PRS for Music Foundation via their Open Fund for Music Creators.

In Versions is a complex, witty, moving, contemporary one-act musical written through the lens of a unique perspective on social, cultural & philosophical aspects of personal identity and self. With six characters whose stories compellingly lead us towards the final revelation and a surprising twist, it takes an abstract look at personal identity by focusing on the ways in which we make assumptions about everyone we interact with based on how they look, what they choose to say to us, how they say it, and how we interpret that information in relation to our own experiences.

If you would like to receive details further details about In Versions, please add your details to the mailing list:

After an initial five-week writing and orchestration period, In Versions went into its first rehearsal period in late March 2017. With three days of additional rehearsal space at the Old Vic Workrooms awarded by the Old Vic Lab, it rehearsed for seven days in total and received it’s first public performance for an invited audience at The Umbrella Rooms, Covent Garden on Thursday 30th March, 2017. After an overwhelmingly positive response, development work on the next draft will begin soon, which will hopefully culminate in a short run on the London Fringe this coming Autumn. There will shortly be a new page on this site dedicated to In Versions and the journey of the process so far, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of one of the songs from the show, or if you’d like to view the rehearsal and production shots, you can do so here.  

2016

2016

AUTUMN

In the early Autumn, Zara finished composing music for a piece commissioned for R&D by The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath. Written & directed by Jesse Briton & Leona Allen of Bear Trap Theatre, it is an inventive telling of the story of Josephine Baker. Having been excellently received when it was performed at a potential producing partners showcase at The Egg at the end of September, the piece is scheduled for further development in 2017.

Then she headed off at the start of November to start rehearsals as MD of Cinderella for Oxford Playhouse, which completed it’s epic Christmas run on January 8th 2017. After which, she went for a long lie down!

NEW THINGS

In 2016, Zara was working hard on three new music theatre pieces. Having previewed a draft of one of the new songs at MMD’s Open Mic Night early in the summer, she is hard at work on the new material and hopes to be showcasing some of the results early in 2017. She is also currently developing new ideas in separate collaborations with other playwrights and directors, so watch this space for more news!

BEAM

Zara presented some of her new writing at BEAM, which was the hotly anticipated and unprecedented musical theatre industry event co-produced by Mercury Musical Developments and the Musical Theatre Network, hosted by the Park Theatre, Finsbury park.

Her ‘Lights Up’ Composer Platform formed part of an exciting line-up that showcased 40 new British musicals and new musical theatre writing talent over the two days.

 

2015

2015

CHRISTMAS

After having returned from some large-scale education work in Switzerland and Thailand on October & November, Zara subsequently completed work on a festive songwriting commission for the pantomime dame in Compass Theatre’s production of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

YARICO

Zara was MD & Orchestrator for Yarico, a new musical which received it’s world premiere at London Theatre Workshop, and was, during it’s six-week run in February & March, listed in WhatsonStage’s Critics’ Choice top 5 alongside Miss Saigon and Memphis.

RADIO 1 ACADEMY

In the run up to May’s Big Weekend in Norwich, Zara was invited to run a songwriting Masterclass for the BBC Radio 1 Academy.

30 participants and guest artist Ella Eyre – what was not to love? Afterwards, Norwich-based singer-songwriter Lisa Redford wrote an article about the experience.

To read an extract from the article, please expand the box below by clicking the + icon

Masterclass in Songwriting was highlight of Academy's visit - ARTICLE

I had a great time being part of BBC Radio 1’s Academy who were in Norwich last month in the run up to Radio 1’s Big weekend. There was a fun atmosphere around the excellent venue OPEN Norwich and it was lovely to see the various Radio 1 DJs and team sharing their passion for music to those wanting to work in the creative industries.

Thanks to Access to Music, who partnered with Radio 1 for the Academy, it was particularly inspiring to get to be part of a songwriting masterclass. I love, and am fascinated by songwriting and have written extensively about it; about renowned and favourite songwriters, and my own creative process in the column I write for Songwriting Magazine.

The masterclass was run by London-based musical director Zara Nunn and it was really inspiring seeing young aspiring songwriters, many who’ve never written before, come up with original lyrics and then perform some impressive compositions to the group.

Zara encouraged everyone in their small groups to write down lyrics which were then passed to another group to edit, an important part of songwriting is making lyrics more succinct. Then the short songs were written with melodies and instruments added.

A fun group singalong at the end showcased the songs they’d written. It was lovely witnessing the songs blending together and there were certainly some strong melodies that resulted from the workshop. Musicians from Access to Music also provided a great house band.

Ella Eyre was also part of the masterclass and during a Q&A talked about her writing and what inspires her. She’s responsible for many cool collaborations and has written hits including co-writing Sigma’s number one hit ‘Changing’ featuring Paloma Faith.

Link to full article available on request.

CHRISTMAS

After having returned from some large-scale education work in Switzerland and Thailand on October & November, Zara subsequently completed work on a festive songwriting commission for the pantomime dame in Compass Theatre’s production of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

RADIO 1 ACADEMY

In the run up to May’s Big Weekend in Norwich, Zara was invited to run a songwriting Masterclass for the BBC Radio 1 Academy.

30 participants and guest artist Ella Eyre – what was not to love? Afterwards, Norwich-based singer-songwriter Lisa Redford wrote an article about the experience.

To read an extract from the article, please expand the box below by clicking the + icon

Masterclass in Songwriting was highlight of Academy's visit - ARTICLE

I had a great time being part of BBC Radio 1’s Academy who were in Norwich last month in the run up to Radio 1’s Big weekend. There was a fun atmosphere around the excellent venue OPEN Norwich and it was lovely to see the various Radio 1 DJs and team sharing their passion for music to those wanting to work in the creative industries.

Thanks to Access to Music, who partnered with Radio 1 for the Academy, it was particularly inspiring to get to be part of a songwriting masterclass. I love, and am fascinated by songwriting and have written extensively about it; about renowned and favourite songwriters, and my own creative process in the column I write for Songwriting Magazine.

The masterclass was run by London-based musical director Zara Nunn and it was really inspiring seeing young aspiring songwriters, many who’ve never written before, come up with original lyrics and then perform some impressive compositions to the group.

Zara encouraged everyone in their small groups to write down lyrics which were then passed to another group to edit, an important part of songwriting is making lyrics more succinct. Then the short songs were written with melodies and instruments added.

A fun group singalong at the end showcased the songs they’d written. It was lovely witnessing the songs blending together and there were certainly some strong melodies that resulted from the workshop. Musicians from Access to Music also provided a great house band.

Ella Eyre was also part of the masterclass and during a Q&A talked about her writing and what inspires her. She’s responsible for many cool collaborations and has written hits including co-writing Sigma’s number one hit ‘Changing’ featuring Paloma Faith.

Link to full article available on request.

YARICO

Zara was MD & Orchestrator for Yarico, a new musical which received it’s world premiere at London Theatre Workshop, and was, during it’s six-week run in February & March, listed in WhatsonStage’s Critics’ Choice top 5 alongside Miss Saigon and Memphis.

Training

 

London College of Music

MMus in Composing for the theatre

 

University of Glamorgan & Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

BA Theatre & Media Drama

(First-Class Honours)

Theatre & Performance Skills

 

Composition (theatre, broadcast, production, choral/classical)

Lyric writing

Musical Direction (Keyboards), Violinist

Devised theatre & devised music for theatre

Community, applied, site-specific or site-responsive theatre

Working with actor-musicians (devised music and/or scored)

Vocal coaching

Singing for non-actors, non-performers

Production Skills

 

Arranging

Orchestration

Backing track and/or recorded music production

Music to picture

Editing  (sound, video)

Transcription

Training

 

London College of Music

MMus in Composing for the theatre

 

University of Glamorgan & Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

BA Theatre & Media Drama

(First-Class Honours)

Theatre & Performance Skills

 

Composition (theatre, broadcast, production, choral/classical)

Lyric writing

Musical Direction (Keyboards), Violinist

Devised theatre & devised music for theatre

Community, applied, site-specific or site-responsive theatre

Working with actor-musicians (devised music and/or scored)

Vocal coaching

Singing for non-actors, non-performers

Production Skills

 

Arranging

Orchestration

Backing track and/or recorded music production

Music to picture

Editing  (sound, video)

Transcription

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