Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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9 February 2009 - PR 09/13

From La Scala to Loughborough – Tenor Ian Storey to perform at University

Tenor Ian Storey is to make a flying visit to Loughborough University to sing at the opening of the Sir Robert Martin Theatre on 10 February, before hurrying back to La Scala in Milan where he is performing to rave reviews in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.

The Loughborough graduate was invited to perform at the event by Professor Elaine Hobby, Head of the Department of English and Drama. “I met Ian when he visited the University last year to accept his Honorary Doctorate and he talked about his fond memories of being a student here,” says Professor Hobby.

“He was studying Furniture Design but he was already beginning to recognise that he had a talent as a singer. In fact it was the University’s then Director of Music, the late Vic Crowther, who first persuaded Ian to sing in public. In his final year at Loughborough Ian joined the University’s Drama students to sing in their major production, and also built the set for them!”

Mr Storey’s choice of music for the evening has so far been kept secret. “Only his accompanist Nest Harris, who also teaches music at the University and sometimes accompanies music scholars at their concerts, knows what Ian will perform. I’m sure it will be an evening to remember though,” says Professor Hobby.

The opening of the Sir Robert Martin Theatre marks the culmination of an 18-month, £3 million refurbishment of the performance spaces in the Department of English and Drama.

Work began in the summer of 2007, when the sound studio, rehearsal room and Leonard Dixon studio were refurbished and their lighting, sound and other technical resources updated. The costume design and storage areas were also moved into newly equipped rooms.

The final phase of the works included the installation of updated technical resources into the Sir Robert Martin Theatre and the visual transformation of the theatre with a contemporary appearance. The dressing rooms, theatre workshop and facilities for visiting companies have also been radically revamped.

Professor Hobby is delighted by the refurbishment. “The result is both highly practical and visually beautiful. The changes will be welcomed by everyone who uses or visits the facilities, including our growing numbers of Drama students. The redevelopment will ensure that Loughborough’s Drama programme continues to attract the highest calibre of students.”

The theatre will be officially opened by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce. Other guests at the event will include Colonel Robert Martin, grandson of Sir Robert Martin, after whom the venue is named, the University Chancellor Sir John Jennings, local Councillors Richard Shepherd and Peter Lewis, Margaret Tomlinson who is a member of the University’s Arts Committee, representatives from B3 Achitects who carried out the refurbishment, and Loughborough Drama graduate and TV presenter Lisa Rogers.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Members of the media are welcome at the event which will begin at 4pm in the Sir Robert Martin Theatre. Ian Storey will perform at 5pm. Please contact Hannah Baldwin in the PR Office, in advance, on 01509 222239 if you would like to attend.


Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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