• Director and Artistic Director, Ella Marchment
  • National Portrait Gallery, London, England
  • Helios Collective, UK
  • Bury Court Opera, UK
  • 2016

With every seat occupied thirty minutes before the performance started, it was standing room only for many people attending the Helios Collective and Bury Court Opera co-production held at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, on Friday, 24 June 2016.

The audience had gathered for Salon Russe, an evening of operatic entertainment inspired by portraits featured in the NPG’s Russia & The Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky exhibition.

Classic works by Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff were paired with four contemporary pieces that had been commissioned for the event by Helios Collective and Bury Court Opera.

Each classic work related to a portrait in the exhibition, with the portrait sitter being brought back to life to give a contemporary response to the performance of their work in Salon Russe.

In act one, for example, Ilona Domnich sang Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘The Field Marshal’, with Ricardo Panela as the reincarnated Modest Mussorgsky giving a contemporary response in ‘MUSS-org-ski’ (music by Lewis Murphy; libretto by Christopher Hogg).

The evening’s time-travelling exploits were guided by the narrator Khronos – the personification of Time – played by Saul Boyer.

Helios Collective and Bury Court Opera would like to thank the cast and creatives whose talent, artistry, and dedication made Salon Russe such a great success.

New Compositions

  • ‘MUSS-org-ski’
    by Lewis Murphy & Christopher Hogg
  • ‘She Sings It Differently’
    by Stephen Barlow & Laura-Jane Foley
  • ‘Again, As Before’
    by Melis Peykoglu & Kiran Milwood Hargrave
  • ‘We Planned An Opera’
    by Griffin Candey & Katherine Marwick


  • Griffin Candey
  • Lewis Murphy
  • Melis Peykoglu
  • Stephen Barlow


  • Christopher Hogg
  • Katherine Marwick
  • Kiran Milwood Hargrave
  • Laura-Jane Foley


  • Ella Marchment
    Artistic Director
  • Noah Mosley
    Music Director & pianist
  • Briar Kit Esme
  • Saul Boyer
    Narrator, Khronos
  • Emma Walshe
  • Ilona Domnich
    Salon singer
  • Kieran White
  • Nick Morris
  • Ricardo Panela
  • Özlem Çelik
  • Will Dutta
    Creative Programmer, National Portrait Gallery