Anna Pool is a British composer, performer and theatre director.
"Something ingenious," - The Stage, 2019
Inspired by folklore, history and an almost unhealthy obession with patterned dungarees, she creates musicals, operas and songs that connect people to where they live and why they matter. Her work has been heard as far and wide as Radio 3's In Tune, Barbican's Sound Unbound festival, Iggy Pop's Radio 6 Confidential show, and Scotland's legendary folk fest, Celtic Connections.
Projects for 2024 include a new theatrical score for Ghost Stories Volume II (Hightide/Shakespeare's Globe), Mother Trucker, a song cycle inspired by the stories of female-identifying truckers (Spitalfields Festival commission), a UK Tour with "startling and shimmering," (Folk Wales) band, Wise Woman, and a contemporary adaptation of Chabrier's The Relunctant King for family audiences (Opera North).
She is also the Associate Director for the cult classic musical, Little Shop of Horrors (New Wolsey/ UK Tour) and New York Times' bestseller, The Book Thief (DEM Productions/ Bolton Octagon).
Interested in finding out more specifics about Anna's work including past credits, producing, music and cultural leadership practice? Anna’s composing and performance work stands firmly at the cross-roads of theatre-making, songwriting and heritage curation, delighting in where these worlds can overlap and how that affects the stories we tell. She is endlessly interested in the idea of the composer as dramaturg and using music in theatrical settings to unlock character, story and place. Projects as a composer (and often Musical Director) include We Are But Shadows (Spitalfields Festival), Medieval Miracles (Eastern Angles), Little Red (Eastern Angles/Theatre Porto) and 350-strong community chorus led music theatre work inside Dover Marine Station, Return of the Unknown (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury). She is a founding member of power-folk ensemble Wise Woman, exploring the stories of hidden and forgotten women, with appearances ranging from Radio 3 to Folk East to opening for BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners, The Young Uns. Their crowdfunded new single, Home Safe, arrives in April 2024. Between 2017 and 2021, Anna was a member of the classical chart-topping vocal ensemble, Mediaeval Baebes, singing in a myriad of ancient languages and collaborating on projects ranging from Orbital to ITV. This musical underpinning allows Anna to thrive when directing theatre work with music at its core, be it musical theatre, opera, or anything in between. Her directing work includes the Dutch premiere of Lady in the Dark (Opera Zuid - winner of Place de l’Opera’s Opera of the Year 2022), Acis and Galatea** (Opera North), These Wondering Stones (Barbican), Dust Child (English Touring Opera), headphone opera adventure SCRAWW (Trebah Gardens/Hall for Cornwall), puppet mystery Apart/Mental (winner of the Bury Court Opera Prize and a Rolf Lieberman Fund award), Boys of Paradise (workshOPERA/Tete a Tete), Trident Moon (Finborough Theatre) and a Wes Anderson inspired Mozart Double-Bill (Pop Up Opera UK- 2019 Off West End Award finalist). Anna is a highly experienced producer, especially for theatre and immersive music projects with found and heritage spaces including the Museum of London, London Transport Museum, Trebah Gardens and EGG nightclub, successfully attaining over £100,000 from Arts Council England and other sources to create this work. As a producer for Creative Colchester, she programmes and curates events for the city’s 5000 culture/creative sector workers including inter-disciplinary arts festival, First Thursdays. Anna is a trustee of Music Theatre Wales as it develops New Directions, a pioneering music theatre creation programme aiming to address barriers to classical music making.