Christopher Newell's principal interest is the performing voice (both human and machine) in particular synthesised speech. He was a professional opera and theatre director for 25 years mentored by Sir Peter Hall at Glyndebourne and the National Theatre before changing direction and focusing on computer generated voices.
Dr Newell has a PhD in Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) from the University of York and his research encompasses art, design, technology and performance.
Dr Newell has contributed to the fields of computer-generated voices for speech-related disabilities. He has also worked as a professional stage and multimedia designer.
Most recently Dr Newell has concentrated on creating multimedia artworks using computer generated voices, in particular a version of his own voice. More information on this can be found on his personal website at https://gravityisahat.com. Dr Newell co-led the Creative Speech Technology Network (funded by EPSRC and Arts Council England) and inspired by the comedian Lee Ridley, winner of 'Britains Got Talent.'
Dr Newell was Artistic Director of Modern Music Theatre Troupe, producing innovative, exciting music theatre, and pioneering education and community work. Productions included 15 new commissions, community operas, and education projects. The company played venues and festivals across the UK, abroad, and major London venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Place Theatre. Compositions included premieres by William Craft and John Adams. It was funded by the Arts Council and numerous other charitable trusts.
- Dr Newell received a Wingate Scholarship to pursue his work with computer generated voices.
- MMTT was nominated for an Olivier Award (1994) and won the Prudential Opera Award (1995). Mid Wales Opera, for whom Dr Newell directed The Barber of Seville (Rossini), Die Fledermaus (Strauss), The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach), Rigoletto (Verdi), The Magic Flute (Mozart) and La Cenerentola (Rossini), won the Prudential Opera Award twice.