Meet WNO

Christopher Vale

Sub-Principal Bassoon

Christopher studied at the Royal College of Music under Kerry Camden and won the Arthur Somerville Bassoon Prize. He gained his ARCM in Bassoon and ARCM (Teachers Dip) in Piano.

Prior to joining WNO over 30 years ago, Christopher freelanced in London working at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet as well as being an extra for many London orchestras. He has also been Principal Bassoon for Orchestral Services involving work with the Cuban, Australian and Houston Ballet Companies.

Christopher is at present Sub-Principal Bassoon doubling Contra with WNO Orchestra where his Contrabassoon work has included Wozzeck, the Ring Cycle, Salome and Elektra.

His personal highlights with WNO have been Pelléas et Mélisande with Pierre Boulez and the WNO recordings with Sir Charles Mackerras.

Christopher teaches bassoon and piano at the Cathedral School Llandaff, as well as working at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama as Bassoon and Contrabassoon tutor. He has also been Acting Head of the Junior Music and Access Studies and now works on outreach projects at the College.

Christopher is also a Youth & Community project coordinator for WNO, working particularly on the orchestra’s placement and side-by-schemes with RWCMD, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity Laban. He has also been involved as a coach and conductor with WNO Youth Opera, performing The Mikado, Sweeney Todd and most recently Kommilitonen! by Peter Maxwell-Davies.

Away from WNO, Christopher enjoys canal boats, gardening and supporting the restoration of the Cotswold Canal.