|| W O R K S ||


People sometimes call my works ‘operas’ as the operatic voice - especially the female operatic voice - is one of the elements that can be traced throughout my practice. My work, however, deviates from the traditional operatic form and my compositions and their live presentation largely take the form of an oratorio. Some of my works also include multimedia elements such as video-art taking inspiration from Steve Reich’s video-operas.


HHUMANN X (2018)

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  • I was never so moved by a piece of music, just divine. Loved it. Being moved is an understatement. From start to finish I was captivated by the beautiful music, the singing the ensemble and indeed it was and when the choir gathered it was just divine. I cried, I smiled and felt really connected to the different movements in the music and the involvement of such a range of instruments and voices. Humanity is indeed in a good place! Thanks for a special evening.
    — Sherry Rouhani
  • There can be no doubting the creative ambition of this multifaceted, hour-long Odyssey, which grabbed and held its large audience’s attention from first note to last. Hhumann X is immediately engaging, yet promises to reward repeated listening. It represents yet another triumph for its energetic and versatile creator.
    — Prof. Francis Pott
  • That as a triumph. Deeply moving.
    — Jane Clinton
  • A transformative experience. I’m attracted to composers who blend acoustic instruments with electronics but seldom have I heard this done with such exquisite subtlety. A very unique and moving musical journey.
    — Dr Tim Sayer
  • An intensely moving experience. The music evoked perfectly the desperation of loneliness and the human yearning for connectedness. Tears came to my eyes when the choir sang, perfectly demonstrating the redemptive power of belonging through music. Hhumann X is a potent tribute to the memory of my dear friend, Jo Cox.
    — Seema Kennedy MP
  • A beautiful musical ‘tour de force’. It was yet another triumph of the imagination which drew us all out of our various proverbial ‘boxes’ and took us on a journey into a different ‘soul-sphere’. A beautiful gift - thank you!
    — Diana Blakeney
  • Congratulations on such a fabulous concert, I admire your courage as you are one of the few artists that dare to expose what is hidden. Most artists do what sells and they never really nourish their souls. I find your music is a calling into the void and unknown, where few dare to tread. It is the Union of all things touched and untouched, seen and unseen, heard and unheard. Where we recognize ourselves in all our glory. It’s magical and genius and I salute you.
    — Lady Marina Cowdray
  • I just wanted to say how wonderful your concert was, beautiful beautiful music, a triumph. All the friends that went absolutely loved the recital and have been raving about your music.
    — Jose Fonseca
  • An hour long, and an hour too short. I, like the audience, was left wanting it not to end. Hhumann X extends traditional boundaries balancing beautiful female voices over and above exquisite violin, cello, and piano whilst supporting with such a strong sense of rhythm and beat. I had to fight the urge to dance in my seat.
    — Jamie Lonsdale
  • It’s hard to say logically or analytically what it was about the concert, but something touched me deeply. The lighting, the choreography, the singing, the instruments, yes, but it was more the sum of those parts which transported me through an experience which has still not left me, days later. I would say it connected me to what’s really important in life. It connected me to my soul. And to the collective soul of humanity.
    — Lady Louisa Compton
  • Hhumann X gently embraces you and pulls on your heart before you know it. Beautiful, uplifting, fascinating and intriguing! It will stay with me a very long time, in the very best way - with mind & heart engaged.
    — Angelique Mohring
  • A brilliant and extremely moving and inspiring new work, for which I congratulate and thank you!
    — Peter Adler
  • ...a true inspiration! Stunning performance and beautifully performed.
    — Florinna David
  • Heart opening.
    — Tamasea Lambis
  • It was transcending. The women’s’ voices, the orchestra, percussion and all aspects of your composition was completely uplifting. I sailed off into the night transported.
    — Tina Mackenzie
  • A truly extraordinary and exceptional oeuvre and performance. A complex masterpiece sophisticatedly combining a broad spectrum of genres into a truly unique and mesmerising experience that leaves you feeling ecstatic.
    — Robin Sturken
  • Spine-tingling. I was moved throughout the concert and a sense of reflection was felt amongst the audience. I was blown away.
    — Sophie Cahn
  • Hhumann X transported me to an incredibly happy place. I dreamt of myself flying my paraglider over the Highlands of Scotland as I listened to Toni’s exquisite composition. It was awesomeness.
    — Quentin Holland
  • Totally unique...unforgettable and very enjoyable experience.
    — Inga Pivena
  • Hhumann X lifted us to another dimension!
    — James Nichols
  • Emotional and fantastic!!
    — Andrea Alinovi
  • The soaring visionary euphoria of The Fifth Element with discordant reminders of a (very) possible dystopian future à la 28 Days later. Hhumann X was a journey into the futuristic heart of light and darkness.
    — Patrick Drake
  • From the beat of the heart to the voices of the angels through the simplicity of wood on wood and the technicality of computers and electronic beats. Toni has created what can only be described as a journey of darkness shown the light. A magical experience that left me smiling! Congratulations!
    — Lee Atkins
  • Transcendent.
    — Robert Shaw Cameron
  • What a spectacular event! I particularly enjoyed the improvisatory elements between piano and guitar, and the mixture of textures in sound. It was really moving to see the whole choir join at the end - no wonder there was a standing ovation!
    — Clare Menor
  • Hhumann X was truly an experience...immediately we were taken into a different world, from the atmospheric orchestration of string instruments, electric guitar and electro beats and synths to the siren-like sopranos and the incredibly moving and uplifting choral finale. Castells strikes just the right chords!
    — Robert Barbaro
  • Such a beautiful and deeply moving piece of music. The concert was utterly wonderful, I feel privileged to have been there.
    — Effie Hicks
  • Incredible music.
    — Katerina Hicks, 12
  • Thank you for an incredible evening...effortless in bringing in classical instruments and electronic music and sounds, it’s really rare that this happens so that it sounds like it always was intended this way.
    — Erik Holzinger
  • Hhumann X was a highly enjoying experience that glued us to the magic of musical interconnection between cultures! My friend and I will remember the event for times to come.
    — Shahram Javid
  • It was very interesting to see the mix between the registered music and the life musicians, a lot of technology but it worked!
    — Uta Brouet
  • A warming bath of light. Beautiful and uplifting.
    — Isabel Baron
  • I absolutely loved your concert, such a beautiful evening filled with such powerful emotions. What a privilege to be able to see it performed live.
    — Sara Evans-Lacko
  • I don’t know what it was, I can’t describe that feeling, it was as if the music was bringing me closer to God.
    — Johan Asadizadeh
  • Beautiful and moving music, combined with brilliant artistic performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A special moment in the performance was when the More Than Just A Choir group rose from among the audience and entered the stage. It underlined the humanity in the composition.
    — Behrang Noohi
  • I was so deeply impressed by it. The music was intense and emotional and not very easy to sit through all the time, despite its moments of sheer ecstatic beauty. The choir moment when they stood up from the audience was breathtaking! And the music itself had groove and coolness, I found myself “dancing” in my seat many times, then holding my breath, and being overwhelmed... It worked. It struck a personal chord. I don’t know how and why, but it worked.
    — Sabina Andron
  • Such an incredible concert...feels delicious to be flooded with all that sonic beauty, hugest hugest congratulations.
    — Georgie Gerrish
  • Such a wonderful concert! You are so talented in transforming emotions into music. It was a lovely evening!
    — Fi Prentice
  • I loved it, it was beautiful. I had tears at one point…
    — Aniko Michnya
  • What can I say, truly, Hhumann X affected me and moved me deeply. It was so so beautiful...tears rose and spilled. Thank you.
    — Annabel Gerbi
  • Mesmerising...From the start when the hypnotic drumming of a musical heart beat drew the audience in, we were taken on a musical journey, the whole composition came together to produce a very unified work. I felt very privileged to have been at the premiere of such an important musical work.
    — Jessie Atack
  • Thank you, it was such a wonderful performance. I feel very moved by your music, it was so special to see everything flowing live last night.
    — Milla Eastwood
  • It was beautiful! You have such a distinctive style, always so moving! Such a treat to see it live, wonderful performance!
    — Roberta Howett
  • That was awesome! Thanks and huge congratulations!
    — Georgia Ginsberg
  • Hypnotic and ethereal we felt relaxed, touched and nostalgic.
    — Helene Hansen
  • I loved it!!! The music is so beautiful and thought-provoking! It’s really special.
    — Charlie Evans
  • We were blown away!! It was pure magic! It made my heart sore! And I didn’t feel the loneliness was sad - I felt it was strong and powerful - as if it was a decision to be that way. And then a journey to come together and to connect. And when it finally did it felt harmonious and majestic! It was an honour and privilege to be there for the first public performance!
    — Helen Park-Weir
  • Everything about it was so extremely beautiful! Beyond captivating and well thought out.
    — Jess Segal
  • Amazing...Well deserved standing ovations!
    — Mirela Van Eijndhoven
  • Hauntingly beautiful music, ethereal and otherworldly, interspersed with the moments of great power and innovative musical genius. Toni’s work moves the audiences deeply with the undercurrent message of personal and societal significance. His finely attuned awareness of the human condition, translated through his exceptional musical sensibility, transports the listener into the unknown and unexplored realms. Well deserved standing ovation at the end. Thank you Toni, may you continue to enrich and enthrall us for many years to come.
    — Bianca Madison-Vuleta
  • Amazing! What a wonderful surprise of fresh and interesting music. Very thought provoking.
    — Katherine Webb
  • The best hour of epic music I’ve ever heard.
    — Thao Lee-Wo
  • Hhumann X is an extraordinary, emotive, immersive musical that took me on a thought provoking journey. Melancholy and wistful yet the songs expressed hope and sunshine appeared to peak through the dark clouds. I was captivated!
    — Laura Bridge
  • The music of Humann X was surreal and mesmerising, offering something quite unique and different to its audience. The soprano, in particular, had a beautiful voice which still haunts me until today.
    — Melissa Ng
  • Still thinking of Hhumann X...made me shiver more than once...invites you to think, reflect, feel. Feel so much that makes you want more! Congratulations!
    — Sara Rodes
  • Marvelous. How lucky I feel to have witnessed such a beautiful concert. Having around people able to write something like this it’s a privilege.
    — Begoña Álvarez
  • Absolutely stunning...captivating and soul touching performance.
    — Jo Lord
  • A great theme, very well and beautifully expressed!
    — Peter Rudnick
  • One of the best performances I ever witnessed. Hhumann X is one thing to be remembered.
    — Ruben Vera
  • Truly moving and really quite emotional.
    — Lisa Freeman
  • Inspiring and beautiful.
    — Barbara Reece
  • We were mesmerised by the whole thing! A very powerful and moving piece...it made me very emotional! We enthusiastically showed our appreciation at the end by joining in the standing ovation.
    — Nina Holland


Humans face growing social isolation paradoxically during an era of technological hyper-connectedness. In the UK alone, more than 9 million people report feeling often or always lonely according to a 2017 report by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. Simultaneously, modernisation and progress have raised our living standards to the highest in human history, yet recent studies show that rates of anxiety and depression are reaching epidemic levels, especially in the Western world.

The shocking findings of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness were the inspiration behind the piece and Steve Bird from the Telegraph covered this story in September 2018. ‘Hhumann X’ is therefore an exploration of these paradoxes of our modern times, an exploration of isolation and mental illness in our world and in our time. The high soprano - using invented language and singing at the top of her register where she feels most uncomfortable - embodies this isolation from her immediate context of the ensemble. The Eastern sounds of the Persian soprano establish not only a bridge to a different culture but also a bridge through which the high soprano can reach the choir. The direct experience of the power of that community show her a way out of her isolation.

The piece is therefore a call to build bridges, bridges between us as a way to overcome social isolation but also bridges within ourselves, connecting with our true nature and purpose.  ‘Do you know what you are?’ is the key question the composer asks throughout this piece. The Eastern influences of the piece appear twice more examining this question. First in the form of the Hindu mantra ‘Soham’, which is sung by all voices at the climax of the piece. ‘Soham’ translates from Sanskrit to ‘I am That’, identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. And second with the words of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi that, despite coming from a distant time and place, remain timely.


The premiere of Hhumann X took place at LSO St Luke’s on the 20th of October 2018 to a sold out audience in collaboration with More Than Just a Choir, a community choir based in North London that works with people suffering from mental illness and social isolation. The choir helps its members build their confidence, whilst also connecting with the wider community. This collaboration is key to strengthen the meaning of the piece, bringing into the core of the performance these individuals who are overcoming social isolation through music and community.

They were be supported by a 10-strong ensemble including Grammy-Award nominated pianist José Menor, Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice violinist Harriet MacKenzie, sopranos Honey Rouhani and Vanessa Bowers, cellists James Barralet and Joe Zeitlin, technologists Laura Beck, Elliott Liu and Adam Peters and ‘Ball de Bastons’ members Jesus Baltà i Maria Pachón.

‘Ball de Bastons’ is a ritual weapon dance spread through Europe and the Mediterranean that dates back to the 12th century. Various different traditions are encompassed in the phrase, but normally the dancers will all carry one or two sticks (bastons) traditionally of holm oak elaborating some patterns of stick-clashing.

The piece was received with a standing ovation, receiving rave reviews from audience members. The piece and its premiere gained lots of media attention from media outlets such as the BBC, London Live and the Telegraph amongst others. Hhumann X's main theme featured on BBC Radio 4's new series The Anatomy of Loneliness that started broadcasting on the 2nd October 2018.

Bulgarian video artist Tereza Duchlevová created a series of YouTube Trailers in the run up to the premiere in collaboration with actor Boyan Feradjiev.


2045: The year man becomes immortal (2016)

  • I just loved this work – its ability to combine music, word and experience into something that is beyond cinema, stage and traditional concerts. It’s a truly consuming 3-D experience with music that is moving, expressive and utterly compelling. Can’t wait to hear it again. Utterly absorbing.
    — Michael Haas
  • Wonderful compositional skills! It's rare these days with contemporary classical composition.
    — Alexandre Tannous
  • It’s been a long time since I connected so much & was moved by a piece of music since Rachmaninov n3. Your music is pouring directly from above.
    — Sasha Tueva
  • It was sensational and loved every moment…
    — Marina Cowdray
  • Touched my senses and filled my soul...beautiful music!
    — Francesca Bristol
  • Such a memorable evening, the music was remarkably enjoyable and have been telling so many friends how super it was.
    — Derek Bell MBE
  • Oh my!!! It is so beautiful. Listening to this piece brought a sense of peace and fulfilment within my very being, I have never experienced this before. It is very beautiful…
    — Anne Dale
  • I felt like his music was transporting me to a place where the answers that couldn’t be expressed in words lived and breathed. I loved it...so moving...a truly wonderfully haunting experience.
    — Megg Nicol
  • Superb, magnificent, moving, beautifully composed and performed.
    — Miel de Botton
  • 2045 is incredible...I imagined it being the soundtrack to the next sci-fi blockbuster. Loved the pieces of narrative you’d placed over the top and just how varied it was with vocals, electric and acoustic instruments.
    — Patrick Drake
  • Special...I literally have never heard anything like it before, both powerful and mesmerising.
    — Tracy Portman
  • The whole experience was so stunningly uplifting. A night I will remember for a long time.
    — Tamara Gray
  • It’s beautiful, other-worldly and uplifting...I particularly liked the soaring voices above the spoken word.
    — William Thuillier
  • Within the first seconds of the music starting, I was captivated. For a full hour, my mind was blown away by the eerie, deep and intense performance. The whole piece perfectly balanced lightness and strength. It carried a spirituality that moved me to the core. Magnificent. I had not heard something so powerful in a long, long, long time.
    — Virginie Bonfils-Bedos
  • The concert was really quite extraordinary and very moving.
    — Sandy Norman
  • What a wonderful, wonderful evening, so completely 'wow'. The lyrics were so beautiful. I have kept the programme and dip in it every now and then to remind myself of something very special.
    — Joanna von Shenk
  • Toni took us all on an incredible journey.
    — Annabel Bosher
  • What a joy it was to be lifted by such exquisite songs and music. To reach such heights of imagination and pleasure is a rare thing.
    — Carol Lawrence
  • It was a night we will never forget...just amazing.
    — Nick & Catherine English
  • My husband Paul and I came to your amazing performance of “2045” at St James’s Piccadilly and were absolutely blown away. It was beautiful, stirring, haunting and uplifting...intoxicating. Such an interesting theory behind the composition too…and I love the spirituality of the lyrics.
    — Emma Ohea
  • I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music, so moving and inspirational.
    — Sophie Warre
  • It was quite unforgettable and very beautiful experience. Afterwards, even the countryside looked quite luminously altered. Thank you again.
    — Penelope Tree
  • It was really a high experience and so uplifting...the lease is running out so wonderful to be reminded by such wise men as Watts that we should not fear death.
    — Peter Meadows
  • Magnificent and I am keen to relive it!  It was moving and profound.
    — David Hopkin
  • Still floating in the magnitude of the music. I reread the lyrics last night and am even keener to somehow find and relive the music. Exquisite.
    — Rebecca Miskin
  • It was wonderful from start to finish, I was so inspired by Toni's work.
    — Guy Burgs
  • Angelic music...amazing. Truly incredible.
    — Tina Tsang
  • It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! Deeply moving, extraordinary & stirring...took everyone to a special realm. Daniele & I loved it.
    — James Nicholls
  • What a superb evening we had - such a moving and wonderfully profound and thought provoking creation. Absolutely beautiful and transporting.
    — Didi
  • Congratulations again on a fantastic evening - hope you feel proud of results. As I mentioned, the audience members I spoke to (and our ushers) were bowled over by it - so it was a very impressive feat for you to pull all aspects of it together so successfully.
    — David McCleery
  • Amazing...goosebumps…
    — LC
  • Beautiful music, it has touched my soul again and again. I felt transported to a world where only love exists.
    — Paola Bay
  • Dearest Toni just to tell you how spellbound I was by your celestial music...this particular opera will travel far and wide, touching the heart of many around the world…
    — Claudia Navone
  • Absolutely magical, brilliant, deeply moving musical feast!! Florina and I absolutely loved it and it was a wonderful and uplifting evening. Everyone I spoke felt the same. Bravissimo!!!
    — Peter Adler
  • What a wonderful concert, truly awesome and inspiring. Very moving. Everyone I spoke to loved every minute of your beautiful music. Can’t wait to hear it again!
    — Jose Fonseca
  • Fabulous music…
    — Dick Kries
  • Stunning and incredibly moving concert. I was BLOWN away with how powerful it was. Words can not describe your talent.
    — Bethany Russell
  • I was absolutely blown away by the performance. I found it deeply, deeply moving as well as sublime, beautiful and inspiring. *PLEASE* can there be another performance soon?!? There are so many more people I would like to bring!!
    — Venetia Appelbe
  • I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was magical.
    — Pierre Decote
  • Captivating performance.
    — Maxine Hamilton Stubber
  • Spellbinding! I absolutely loved it! I was moved and it was UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL! The whole composition and combination of artists playing was MAGIC!! Congratulations.
    — Helen Park-Weir
  • Thank you for a splendid evening. The music was blissful. It's an emotive and thought provoking work, I'm so glad I came.
    — Vardatta Singh-Khalsa
  • A wonderful concert - it was so profound and a great pleasure to hear.
    — Fi Prentice
  • I was blown away!
    — Alanna FitzGerald
  • It was incredible, really brilliant.
    — Roberta Howett
  • The most incredible music creation I have ever heard. I would love to hear it again soon!
    — Inga Pivena
  • Your work is MAGNIFICENT! SUBLIME!
    — Virginie Bonfils-Bedos
  • A Triumph!
    — Peter Rudnick
  • Insanely beautiful, everything about the performance blew my mind.
    — Jess Segal
  • Loved it, such a beautiful piece.
    — Annabel Thrower
  • What a beautiful beautiful concert. I thought it was unbelievably amazing and powerful. I really loved it!
    — Georgie Gerrish
  • It was magic, really so so beautiful. Giant goosebumps...loved it.
    — Katie Stone
  • Such an impressive piece of music!!! Well done.
    — Tamara Palamakumbura
  • An electro-oratorio smorgasbord of futuristic musical concepts and artistic patterns as old as nature itself. New music to be excited about. I think you've done a beautiful job of capturing the zeitgeist in terms of the balance between new horizons from technology and perpetual human quandaries, through a medium that is both classical and pop. Just genius. I'm deeply impressed and moved.
    — Peter Lewin
  • Wonderfully moving show. Congratulations Toni Castells, my friends were really inspired by it.
    — Marie Angel
  • Beautiful, provocative, haunting, poignant. I want to see/hear it again! Thank you.
    — Laura Bridge
  • Was such an amazing show and performance, it was truly perfect. Touched my soul.
    — Claudia Bergman
  • What an amazing night of music! Thanks for reminding me to take some time out of my busy life to listen, open my heart and reflect on our existence. Really love your work.
    — Maria-Chiara di Bernardo
  • It was truly moving.
    — Quentin Holland
  • R. and I loved 2045. We were really moved. Congratulations.
    — Emma Passmore
  • It was an overwhelming experience to listen to your music in St. James’s. I felt it left everyone deeply touched, hard to escape the depth of the lyrics and samples.
    — Erik Holzinger
  • It was incredible; so intricately woven. Thank you!!!
    — Melissa Eisdell
  • Hauntingly beautiful & thought provoking, thank you for a wonderful evening
    — Kate Pardoe
  • Our warmest congratulations on an absolutely fantastic and amazing performance. I cannot begin to comprehend how you put the whole thing together, it is truly impressive. Well done and we hope your opera goes from strength to strength.
    — Edward Heaton
  • It was absolutely beautiful. Congratulations.
    — Agi La
  • Thank you for a marvellous masterpiece, it was wonderful bravo!
    — Anika Valentina Maric
  • It was absolutely fantastic!!! Incredible piece. Blessed to have been there.
    — Lee Atkins
  • So spine tingling-ly wonderful, exceeded all my already very high expectations.
    — Wink Bankes
  • Amazing event and happening you created and executed stunningly well. You should be really proud of yourself for your integrity, vision and profound sincere spirit.
    — Alex Goulding
  • Thank you for such a wonderful evening. It really was a spectacular concert that deeply resonated with me on so many different levels, a very moving and thought provoking performance. Well done! Look forward to the next one!
    — Catherine Crawley
  • The best concert ticket I have purchased this year! Took form and it was eloquent.
    — Jean-Herve Nedelec
  • I absolutely loved the event, such a beautiful and thought provoking event, congratulations!
    — Holly Presdee
  • Enjoyed it immensely!
    — Dhivya Venkat
  • I loved it. It is genre transcending and therefore difficult to describe or compare to anything else, so I can only talk about how it made me feel. I was transported away to another world, reminded of my own mortality, and of the fact that that there is hope and purpose in death and new life. A really magical piece of music. Well done!
    — Sam Coffield

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’ was selected as one of the 'Five of the Best Classical Concerts' by The Guardian.

The piece started as a homage to this concept called Technological Singularity, this new era that the techno-scientific community have predicted to be possible by 2045 in which technology will finally allow for man and machine to merge, enabling us the possibility to prolong life indefinitely, making us immortal effectively. Through this paradigm of the future I explore the efforts of our technocratic society to overcome death, wondering essentially whether there's a purpose to being mortal, whether there's a purpose to dying. When our days are numbered, life becomes more precious and we cherish more the things we love. The piece wonders whether we should be tampering with nature's cycle of life, where from death there's always new life.

The piece is structured in 5 sections mirroring the five stages of a fruit tree, a metaphor for the cyclic nature of life. The first three sections constitute a first block representing the process from life to death. The last two sections constitute a second block where, after what we understand as death, I wonder about the immortal nature of the human soul. In the timeline of the piece, these two blocks are separated exactly at the Golden Ratio and all the individual pieces that constitute the piece follow the timings of the Fibonacci Sequence.

The piece was premiered at St. James's Church in Piccadilly, London, on the 6th of July 2016 in collaboration with Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival. It was further performed at Buck Hall in Cowdray House on the 9th of July 2016. It was received with standing ovations and unanimous praise. Read all the audience reactions here. 

I just loved this work – its ability to combine music, word and experience into something that is beyond cinema, stage and traditional concerts. It’s a truly consuming 3-D experience with music that is moving, expressive and utterly compelling. Can’t wait to hear it again. Utterly absorbing.
— Michael Haas / multi Grammy Award winning classical music producer

Life from Light (2012)

  • It was fabulous Toni...well done!
    — Jim Mellon
  • Thank you for a beautiful night. Music an visuals was stunning. The hair on my back stood up 6-7 times and I smiled many more times. So many dimensions. Congratulations.
    — LC Kvaal
  • Amazing show Toni. You are the expression of that light of this big, wide and surprising world.
    — Carolina Busina
  • Congratulations!!! What a wonderful show!!! Wow...We really enjoyed it!
    — Teresa Costa Alfares
  • Just want to congratulate on the fantastic event last night, such an inspiration! My body, mind and spirit are buzzing today. Keep up the great work and please also let us know how things develop!
    — Christiana Soderberg
  • It was absolutely incredible, beautiful venue, stunning photos and the most spine tingling music - thank you very much for a wonderful evening. Please show it again so I can invite all my friends to go!
    — Cecilia Desmond
  • I feel honoured to have been part of this. Every piece was so beautiful, and everything came together so wonderfully.
    — Adam John Williams
  • Toni, it was just amazing! Love your music! I believed in you that show will be wonderful - and I have no doubts that more successful shows will follow! You are superstar!!!!
    — Natasha Faeh
  • I was mesmerised and inspired by Toni’s opera "Life from Light" - I have not had such a perfect night of beauty for a long time. Traviata is beautiful, Tosca is very sad - “Life from Light” makes every breath we take, every blink we make ...every heart beat count. I have not been taken by the power of music so much for a long time. Conventions are there to be broken.
    — Stasya Free
  • Congratulations Toni! Great night, it was a success! Ambitious project and very well accomplished, the score was absolutely beautiful and the visuals too!! Amazing performers too. Bravo!!!
    — Maria Chiara di Bernardo
  • What a gig! It all came together to give an awesome show in a fantastic venue - looking forward to visiting union chapel again - some fantastic music played brilliantly - congratulations on a great show.
    — Andrew Bourbon
  • "Life From Light" was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Congratulations Toni and the rest of the team for an excellent concert!
    — Martin Stephens
  • It was an amazing show Toni, well done! An astounding achievement.
    — Sophie Edmonds
  • Congratulations for the show. It was amazing!! I can't wait to see the next show! Great music and great atmosphere…breathless!
    — Stefania Pileri
  • OMG your opera was just sensational, I absolutely loved it. Congratulations it was truly incredible, the music, the video, the singers, the musicians, the venue, the lighting, the acoustics, the visuals, the actors…everything! I hope it is a huge success for you. You must be very proud, it was truly wonderful.
    — Nadia Brydon
  • Amazing production, I loved it! Music is genius and together with the images they take you to a completely different place and make you feel all sort of emotions. Congratulations!
    — Olga Rabasso
  • I loved it, it was very moving and a night I will remember forever - well done!
    — Krystal Nash
  • Beautiful, just beautiful, and inspirational. Thank you.
    — Martin Jefferies
  • I was really impressed and really enjoyed the show, it all held together really well and your music is beautiful.
    — Carleen Ebbs
  • Magnificent.
    — Sydney Levinson
  • Amazing, it made me tearful, it was beautiful...
    — Charlie Evans
  • It was beautiful…
    — Minako Kano
  • I absolutely loved it!! The music coupled together with the images were mesmerising. The people you brought together - it all worked beautifully. Congratulations!
    — Jacinta Kelly
  • It was so incredible, just sensational. I want people to see it…so so impressed!
    — Hayley Kennedy
  • It is staggering the power imbued in a live performance.
    — Josephine Sundt
  • I enjoyed it immensely. Great tunes, but also the depth of complex harmonies, performed very well indeed. Would love to hear it again.
    — Alex Brown
  • It was amazing, I really enjoyed it!
    — Annette Abendanon
  • Wonderful night, such a success, the work was brilliant.
    — Henry Conway
  • Pretty savage…I have been a DJ/Producer for the past decade and I have seen quite a lot of gigs. That was one of my favourite in London. I was lost in it at one stage, always a good sign!
    — Eoin Long

"Life from Light" (2012) is a video-opera that was premiered at Union Chapel in London on the 15th of November of 2012. The piece was inspired by an eponymous chapter of the 2012 BBC nature documentary series ‘How To Grow A Planet’, in which Professor Iain Stewart describes the mechanisms and evolutionary forces that allowed life to appear on planet Earth and finally paving the way for human civilisation. These, in fact, are nothing short of miraculous and are testament of how special, unique and also fragile our Planet and the Life it sustents are. These evolutionary forces are analysed under the prism of one of their most notable fathers, Charles Darwin, and his famous quote on "the impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity for looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity." This quote became the kernel of the composition, the question about our ultimate origin and purpose, a question that has always baffled me and that I wanted to extend to the audience. Through this question I explore what it means to be human and I use this exploration as a vehicle to reflect on our relationship with our Planet, the natural world, and most importantly on how our actions are creating irreversible damage to both.

There is a strong need and desire by many to define pathways to a more sustainable, more equitable, cleaner, safer greener and more prosperous world for all. Whereas many people are working on this direction through direct action, policy making and lobbying, "Life from Light" aims to modestly support these efforts though the power of music.

For this occasion Toni joined forces with old-time collaborators Roberta Howett and Oliver Gerrish who were joined on stage by soprano Susan Jiwey. A backdrop of video-art - created by visual artist Thomas Yeomans - engulfed the stage and the performers.

By invitation of the Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival and funded by the Arts Council England, "Life from Light" was further performed on the 7th and 8th of August 2014 at London’s Kings Place Hall One. Roberta Howett and Oliver Gerrish were joined this time by soprano Meeta Raval, Classical Brit nominee Camilla Kerslake and Cuban jazz trumpeter Yelfris Valdes. They were accompanied by a 8-strong ensemble featuring award-winning disruptive technologist and hacker Adam John Williams, harpist Cristina de Bernardo (HNK Opera and Ballet Theatre), violinist and Erhu player Amy Yuan, cellist David Kadumukasa, guitarist Igor Fejzula, drummer Elias Gargallo, bass guitarist Martin J Stephens and arranger and pianist Geoff Lawson.

‘Life from Light’ is a unique live experience that combines operatic performance with multiple musical genres and video art. Based upon tracks from Toni’s ‘Creation’ album of 2011, the production explores the increasingly complex relationship 
between humans and Earth, the challenges of climate change, the development of ‘playing God’ science and the fluidity of spirituality and sexuality.
— Chris Lockie at The Londonist