Robert runs the highly regarded classical music blog, Planet Hugill, reviews for OperaToday.comand has contributed articles to magazines Classical Music and Opera Magazine. Robert gave his course An Introduction to Opera at The Course in Mayfair in 2016, and lectures regularly to organisations such as the U3A, and he gives pre-concert talks at Conway Hall, where he also writes the programme notes.
Robert Hugill writes attractive, accessible contemporary classical music in a variety of genres, a disc of his songs Quickening: songs to texts by English and Welsh Poets was issued on the Navona Records label in 2018, and his opera The Gardeners premiered at Conway Hall on 18 June 2019, and repeated at the Garden Museum on 9 September 2019
Robert’s fourth opera The Gardeners with a libretto by Joanna Wyld, premiered on 18 June 2019 at Conway Hall, conducted by William Vann, and featured Georgia Mae Bishop (mezzo-soprano) as the Mother, Flora McIntosh (mezzo-soprano) as the Grandmother, Magid El-Bushra (counter-tenor) as the Angry Young Man, Peter Brathwaite (baritone) as the Old Gardener and Julian Debreuil (bass-baritone) as the Gardener.
Writing in Opera Magazine of the work’s premiere, Claire Seymour said
‘Hugill’s music has a moving serenity’.
‘Quite a feat! … It lingers in the memory’.
Seen & Heard International:
‘A beautiful piece, beautifully performed’
The CD Quickening: songs to texts by English and Welsh poets features Anna Huntley (mezzo-soprano), Johnny Wilkinson (baritone), Rosalind Ventris (viola) and William Vann (piano) performing Robert’s settings of poetry by Rowan Williams (the former Archbishop of Canterbury), A.E. Housman, Christina Rosetti and Ivor Gurney.
Robert’s setting of the Advent Prose was premiered by Alistair Dixon and Chapelle du Roi at St John’s Smith Square in December 2014, and they premiered Robert’s setting of Ruth Padel’s Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth in 2015. London Concord Singers, conductor Jessica Norton, premiered a piece specially written for them in December 2016 as part of the choir’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Robert’s cantata The Testament of Dr. Cranmer was issued on the Divine Art label in 2008. His opera When a man knows was staged in 2011 at the Bridewell Theatre, London and his opera The Genesis of Frankenstein was premiered by the Helios Collective in London in 2016. Robert has recently completed Tempus per Annum, a cycle of 70 motets for the church’s year with over 45 hours of music, and has released all of the motets for free download on the CPDL website. Robert’s songs were placed in the English Poetry and Song Society’s A E Housman Competition, Ivor Gurney Competition and Diamond Songs Competition.