Learn more about the artists supported by the Opera Awards Foundation.
Current Bursary Recipients
Mark Austin has developed a reputation for brilliant musicianship and insightful conducting, complemented by accessible spoken introductions to music. He is founder and artistic director of Faust Chamber Orchestra. In 2016-17 he performs with the orchestra at Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s and West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge.
Mark studied at Cambridge and Royal Academy of Music and has worked as assistant for Marin Alsop, David Hill and the late Sir Colin Davis, with orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Proms) and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has participated in several masterclasses, including recently with Sian Edwards at Dartington. In opera, credits include Il barbiere di Siviglia (Musique Cordiale International Festival, France), Hansel and Gretel (Mercury Theatre, Colchester) and La traviata for Opera South, where he is music director.
“Mark Austin introduced the piece from the podium and his affection for it was evident in the eloquent intensity of his conducting” (The Guardian)
An award winning accompanist, Laïla Barnat has been increasingly in demand as a répétiteur, vocal coach and French coach, invited by the Royal Opera House in London, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Bayerische Staatsoper and Zurich Opera House amongst other places, working alongside the maestri Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Richard Bonynge, Alberto Zedda and Fabio Luisi.
She was trained in London at the National Opera Studio and Royal College of Music and at the Plácido Domingo Opera Studio in Valencia. She is a scholar of the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme, the Academy of the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Solti Academy and ENOA. She has acquired experience on stage in recitals in Europe, North America and Asia.
Bursary supported by Julia Smithies.
British baritone Peter Brathwaite trained at the Royal College of Music International Opera School
and Flanders Opera Studio, Ghent. His roles with English Touring Opera include Elviro Xerxes,
Silvano La Calisto, Kaidama Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, L’incognito L’assedio di Calais
and Schaunard La bohème. Elsewhere he has sung Yamadori Madama Butterfly, Luis Katibu di
Shon, Marcello La bohème (Nederlandse Reisopera), Billy Bone Captain Blood’s Revenge
(Glyndebourne on Tour), Sid La fanciulla del West (Opera Holland Park), Mimoun Zatopek!
(RLPO), Nelson Porgy & Bess (Opéra de Lyon/ Edinburgh Festival), Baritone What You Will
(Shakespeare’s Globe). Recent concerts include performances with the Estonian National
Symphony under Tõnu Kaljuste, and recitals for London Song Festival. Future plans include his
role début with La Monnaie, Brussels.
(Image: Minjas Zugik)
Canadian/British soprano Eve Daniell was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She moved to London, UK, in 2014 to pursue post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she receivied a Sainsbury Award, the Catherine Osborne Opera Award, and in 2015 won the prestigious Pavarotti Prize. She has performed the roles of Fiordiligi, Contessa, Konstanze, Tatyana, and Nerone (L’incoronazione di Poppea) among others. On the concert platform she has performed with the Victoria Symphony, Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series, Victoria Bach Ensemble, she sang the title role in Handel’s Athalia at St John’s, Smith Square, conducted by Paul Spicer, and most recently was a soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music for the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, conducted by Saraki Oramo.
Harry Ogg is a conductor and pianist based in London. Since graduating from Clare College, Cambridge in 2012, he has conducted operas at Opera Holland Park, British Youth Opera, the Julian Light Operatic Society and at LSO St Luke’s with his orchestra Sinfonia d’Amici. He has also conducted the London Mozart Players, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia d’Amici in concert, as well as the Hallé in recordings for NMC Recordings. He has recently assisted Lionel Friend at WNO and BYO, Sir Mark Elder with the Hallé, Stuart Stratford and Steuart Bedford at Opera Holland Park, Anthony Negus for David Poutney’s production of Lulu in Bolzano as well as Edward Gardner, Sir Richard Armstrong, Libor Pešek and Martin Yates in concerts in London and Cambridge.
Joseph Padfield graduated from the Opera Course of the Guildhall School of Music and
Drama in 2014. Operatic highlights since graduating include Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro, Diva Opera), Guglielmo (Così Fan Tutte, Diva Opera), understudy Dog/Death/Smith (Swanhunter Opera North), Lido Boatman/Gondolier (Death in Venice, Garsington Opera), understudy Guglielmo (Così Fan Tutte, Garsington Opera), understudy Zuniga (Carmen, Scottish Opera), understudy Eisenring (Biedermann and the Arsonists, Independent Opera), Barker (The Adventures of Pinocchio, Cambridge Philharmonic).
Upcoming performances include Ibn Hakia (Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta as a guest artist at
Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem in Southampton.
Bursary supported by Jeremy Scott
Isolde Roxby, soprano, graduated with a distinction in MMUS Vocal Studies from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2015 under the tutelage of Marilyn Rees. She was supported in her studies by the National Opera Studio and The Ruby and Will George Trust.
While studying at GSMD, Isolde performed in a number of concerts both inside and outside the school, including the City of London Festival and Song in the City. She has taken the following roles in opera scenes: Madame Herz in Mozart’s Schauspieldirektor, Clorinda in Rossini’s Cenerentola  Magda in Menotti’s The Consul, Vitellia in Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito, Rosmene in Handel’s Imeneo, The Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw , Elizabeth I in Britten’s Gloriana and Frau Fluth in Nikolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor .
In the last two years, she has performed with Clonter Opera, The Helios Collective and Buxton Opera Festival and has been heavily involved with the contemporary opera scene: being the first to sing roles in a number of new operatic works. Last year, she performed one of these roles for Formations Contemporary Opera Masterclasses working with Kasper Holten, Stephen Barlow, David Parry, Stephen Unwin and Robert Saxton. Isolde has upcoming contracts as Belinda in a reconstruction of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas [October 2016] and as Eorran in a new opera [March 2017] being written for her voice.
Isolde has a wide background in the performing arts having been a member of the National Youth Theatre and also a stage director for opera with young adults. She has appeared on TV on a number of occasions for the BBC and Northern Film and Media. Most recently, she was filmed by Channel 4, performing ‘Roxana’s Aria’, for a short opera video to be aired in autumn 2017.
Originally from Newcastle, Isolde performed regularly in her local area. When she moved to London in 2009, she enjoyed singing with various choirs and performing roles alongside her academic studies including Dido in 2009, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance in 2010 and Ida in Princess Ida in 2011. She graduated from King’s College London in 2011, where she was a choral scholar with the KCL Chapel Choir. Isolde was the soprano soloist for their performances of Bach’s St John Passion and Duruflé Requiem.
Isolde’s most recent engagement was with Buxton Opera Festival as chorus and cover for the role of Marzelline in Leonore. She is very proud to be a recipient of a 2016/17 International Opera Awards Bursary.
Nozuko Teto is a native of Bizana, on the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She trained at the University of KwaZulu-Natal under Colleen Philp, and undertook postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town, studying with Professor Kamal Khan. In 2011 she relocated to Italy to further develop her performance skills, at the CUBEC Center for Belcanto in Modena, where she studied with the legendary soprano Mirella Freni. Following her debut at the Wexford Festival Opera she was nominated for Best Young Female Singer at this year’s International Opera Awards.
Recent engagements include Fiordiligi COSI FAN TUTTE for the State Theatre of Pretoria, Mimì LA BOHEME with Cape Town Opera and the role of Palmyra in Frederick Delius’ KOANGA at the Wexford Festival. Nozuko sang the role of Winnie Mandela in Cape Town Opera’s MANDELA TRILOGY in South Africa as well as on tour to France and the United Kingdom.
In May of 2013 Ms. Teto won the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Toti dal Monte competition in Italy. As part of the competition, she sang Mimi LA BOHEME on tour throughout Italy at venues including the Teatro Comunale Mario Del Monaco di Treviso, Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, Teatro Pergolesi of Jesi and Teatro dell’Aquila of Fermo.
Concert appearances include performances at the Teatro Comunale Pavarotti di Modena with the Puccini Festival Orchestra, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Rotterdam Symphony and Handel MESSIAH with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic.
Past Bursary Recipients
Ed read History at Clare College, Cambridge before training at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Academy Opera in London. In 2015 he created the title role in Macbeth by Luke Styles for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House and appeared as the title role in Massenet’s Werther for English Touring Opera in venues across the country. Roles include Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Royal Academy Opera, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte and Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shadwell Opera, Truffaldino in Jonathan Dove’s The Little Green Swallow and cover Chao Lin in Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera for British Youth Opera and Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Dartington.
In concert, Ed has performed in venues across the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Kings Place and King’s College Chapel. A keen recitalist, he is the winner of the Marjorie Thomas Art Song Prize and the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize and made his Wigmore Hall debut with Academy Song Circle in February 2014. He was a Semi-Finalist in the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and a Finalist in the 2015 Royal Overseas League Singing Competition.
British soprano Grace Carter studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Trinity Laban Conservatoire London and the Dutch National Opera Academy. She is a recipient of awards from the Opera Awards Foundation, Help Musicians UK and the Oxford Lieder Festival. She was a member of the Dutch National Opera Young Talent programme 2015/2016 and is currently a Concordia Foundation Artist
Recent engagements include Ginevra/Ariodante– Handel (cover) and Therese/ Les Mamelles de Tirésias– Poulenc (cover) for Dutch National Opera, Susanna/ Le Nozze di Figaro– Mozart with Jonathan Cohen and the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, and a recording project with Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music France.
On the concert platform performance venues include London’s St-Martin-in-the-Field, St James’s Piccadilly and St John’s Smith Square, and the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Neal Cooper’s current and future engagements include his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2016 as MELOT / cover Tristan in a new production of Tristan und Isolde, TRISTAN and TANNHÄUSER Longborough Festival Opera, Le Villi Scottish Opera, TRISTAN Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, MARK in The Wreckers Bard Summerscape Music Festival in NYC with the American Symphony Orchestra, CALAF Turandot Opera Northern Ireland and ERIK Der fliegende Holländer Reisopera. He made his Royal Opera Covent Garden debut in 2013 as THIBAULT Les Vêpres siciliennes, returned in 2014 for MELOT Tristan und Isolde and will cover TANNHÄUSER there in 2016.
Other engagements have included GABRIELE ADORNO Simon Boccanegra English National Opera, RADAMES Aida Riverside Opera and CICCILLO I gioielli della Madonna and NICK La Fanciulla del West, among other roles, for Opera Holland Park. He has covered CAVARADOSSI Tosca, ERIK The Flying Dutchman and CALAF Turandot for ENO. Covers for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden have included JACOPO I due Foscari, LUIGI Il tabarro and the title roles in Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde. He also performed with Antonio Pappano in a Covent Garden Insights programme. Concert appearances include the title role in extracts from Siegfried in the Wagner 200 Celebrations at the Royal Festival Hall, and the title role in the Good Friday scene of Parsifal, with John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz.
Neal Cooper was born in South London and studied German literature at Durham University and singing at the Paris Conservatoire. After several years working in France he returned to Britain to train as a dramatic tenor, studying at the National Opera Studio. He is the nephew of the boxing heavyweight champion Sir Henry Cooper.
Learn more: Athole Still
Fearghal is a tenor from Dublin. He has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London. Opera credits include Orpheus/Mercury in Orpheus in the Underworld, Quint/Prologue in The Turn of the Screw, Pygmalion in Pygmalion, Prunier in La Rondine and Ruiz in Il trovatore. Most recently Fearghal has been part of Opera Theatre Company’s touring production of La bohème and looks forward to working on their incoming production of Don Giovanni, with a new translation by Roddy Doyle. Upcoming events also include Acis in Acis and Galatea and Marco in The Gondoliers.
British mezzo soprano Sophie Dicks is a recent alumni of the Royal Northern College of Music where she trained to Masters level. She now studies in London with mezzo soprano, Anne Mason.
Sophie Dicks completed five years at the RNCM, undergraduate and postgraduate, under the tuition of Ann Taylor. Whilst there, Sophie was a regular member of the College’s opera choruses, having performed in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene, Bizet’s Carmen, and Samuel Barber’s Vanessa. She has also sung the roles of Hansel, Lucretia,Cenerentola, Tisbe and Hermia in scenes. The first full role Sophie studied was the role of Varochka in Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki and in her final year she sang the title role in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Awards include the Freckleton and Doherty cup for singing in 2011, the Annie Ridyard Scholarship for Mezzo-Sopranos and she was an International Opera Awards bursary recipient in 2013. Sophie has been fortunate enough to participate in masterclasses with Rosalind Plowright OBE, Sarah Connolly CBE, Dame Felicity Palmer, Dame Ann Murray and Rebecca Evans.
Professionally, Sophie has worked with Buxton Festival Opera covering and in the chorus and Opera Holland Park where she was one of the 2015 Christine Collins Young Artists singing the role of Mallika in Delibes’ Lakmé.
Recent engagements include a return to Opera Holland Park to cover the role of Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus.
Mezzo-soprano Adriana Festeu is winner of the Song Prize at the Emmy Destinn Competition and a recipient of an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary.
Her operatic roles include Cenerentola, Calbo Maometto secondo, Megacle L’Olimpiade, Rustena La verita in cimento (all Garsington Opera, cover); Marianna Signor Bruschino, Lucilla Scala di Seta (British Youth Opera); Isolier Le comte Ory (Opera South); Endimione La Calisto, Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos (Royal Academy Opera); Fidalma Il matrimonio segretto, Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro, Madame Nolan The Medium (Romanian National Opera); Candida Emilia di Liverpool (European Opera Centre), Priestess King Arthur and Juno The Judgement of Paris (New London Consort) and most recently Xerxes (cover), Giovanna Rigoletto (Longborough Opera), and Orphée Orphée et Euridice (Opera Prelude).
Adriana has performed in Masterclasses with Ileana Cotrubas, Ann Murray, Barbara Bonney, Jose Cura, and is an alumna of the Georg Solti Academy, working with Frederica von Stade and Kiri Te Kanawa.
A recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, she studied in the Opera Course with Lillian Watson and has also completed a PhD: Exploring Zwischenfach: understanding vocal classification and its professional significance. Adriana is grateful to the Opera Awards Foundation, Opera Prelude, and the AHRC for supporting her studies.
2015 Opera Awards Bursary Recipient Nazan Fikret, trained at the GSMD and there, was winner of the English Song Prize and Susan Longfield Award. She is a 2015-17 Making Music Young Concert Artist, a Britten-Pears Scholar and Concordia Foundation Artist. Career highlights include Flora The Turn of the Screw for ENO, Teatro Real, Aix en Provence and Nationale Reisopera, Diane Disney The Perfect American for ENO/Teatro Real, Girl/Polar Bear How the Whale Became for the ROH Linbury, cover Wendy Peter Pan and Queen of the Night for WNO, and Fiordiligi Cosi Fan Tutte for the RPLO/European Opera Centre.
Highlights of the 2015-16 season included contemporary opera scenes for Aldeburgh Music Jerwood Opera Writing Scheme, becoming a Britten Pears Scholar (Bach with Mark Padmore and Brahms with Professor Thomas Quasthoff), a return to WNO covering Angelika Figaro Gets a Divorce and Karolka in Jenufa for Longborough Festival Opera. She is also proud to have performed as a soloist alongside fellow bursary recipients for the Opera Awards Gala in May, and a soloist for HM Queen’s Official 90th Birthday aboard HMS Havengore on the River Pageant.
Nazan will finish the season with a solo recital at St Martin in the Fields in conjunction with Making Music.
She begins the 2016-17 season with a recital for Asia House (with Talent Unlimited Charity), continues her series of recitals and oratorios as a Making Music YCA and performs as Königin der Nacht, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Lisbon’s Rota Das Artes Festival.
Polish countertenor Damian Ganclarski studied at the Academy of Music in Lodz, under the guidance of Professor Urszula Kryger. In July 2015 Damian graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he had been under the tutelage of world-renowned countertenor Michael Chance and coaches Ian Partridge and James Baillieu. He was selected as a winner of a bursary from the Opera Awards Foundation. As a result of a competitive audition Damian was also selected to participate in the Josephine Baker Trust scheme. He was also kindly supported by Nicholas Berwin Charitable Trust. He has been honoured to take masterclasses with professors such as Teresa Berganza, Ingrid Kremling, Maciej Pikulski, Ewa Podleś, Udo Reinemann and Teresa Żylis-Gara.
In 2009 Damian came first in the Polish Songs Competition in Warsaw. After winning the Warsaw Competition the young countertenor started to perform regularly in many prestigious concerts and festivals in Poland, such as Wrocław’s Academy of Music, Association of Polish Music Artists, Łódź Association of Old Music, International Bach Festival and Festival Carousel of Culture. He has performed on renowned stages with Polish orchestras. Furthermore, he had the honour to perform in Turkey with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara (Handel and Mozart’s arias and Orff’s Carmina Burana) and the Antalya Symphony Orchestra (Handel and Mozart arias). He took part in Polish premiere of Handel Orlando, singing the part of Medoro during the Festival of Baroque Operas in Warsaw.
In 2009 Damian made his debut in the Grand Theatre in Łódź in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto under the guidance of Paul Esswood. The young vocalist gained acclaim from audiences and critics. He is especially interested in oratorio and opera from the Baroque to the contemporary period and songs from the Romantic era to 21st century.
Toby Girling’s current and future engagements include NICOMEDES Der König Kandaules and PALLANTE Agrippina De Vlaamse Opera, BELCORE L’elisir d’amore Scottish Opera, MORALES Carmen The Grange Festival, ANGELO Das Liebesverbot Chelsea Opera Group at Cadogan Hall, and SAM Trouble in Tahiti with Oper Leipzig on tour in Bolzano, a role which he also sang with the Wexford Festival.
Recent engagements include EVANGELIST/WATCHFUL/FIRST SHEPHERD Pilgrim’s Progress English National Opera, MASETTO Don Giovanni, RUGGERO La Juive (Peter Konwitschny), Mozart’s Mass in C minor, a staged version of Winterreise and JUNKMAN/HERMANN AUGUSTUS Candide Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, TOP in Copeland’s The Tenderland Opéra de Lyon, GUGLIELMO Così fan tutte English Touring Opera, and IL CHIRURGO/ALCADE La Forza del Destino Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.
As a member of the Frankfurt Opera Studio Toby’s appearances included roles in Don Carlos, Tristan und Isolde, La Vida Breve and Daphne, as well as Young Artists concerts. Other previous engagements have included GUGLIELMO Così fan tutte and the SORCERESS Dido and Aeneas Verbier Festival, CEPRANO Rigoletto Iford Festival, and the NARRATOR in Conor Mitchell’s The Musician Belfast Festival. Toby has taken part in recitals on BBC Radio 3 and in venues throughout the UK.
Learn more: Athole Still
Alex started his musical education in Hull University reading Music and Drama. During his three years, He performed, composed and conducted many shows and operas at the Gulbenkian Theatre.
During his education, he has studied with Sarah Leonard, Christopher Wilson and Henry Herford. He has sung at master classes from Robert Tear, Sarah Conolley, Simon Keenlyside and Dame Felicity Lott in their respective specialities. He graduated from Trinity Laban conservatoire with a Masters in Vocal performance. During his time at Trinity, Alex has performed as a soloist with the BBC Symphony Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall, worked with ENO in a workshop production of Two Boys by Nico Muhly and performed in staged Operatic productions of Rinaldo (Handel), Albert Herring (Britten), Gianni Schicci (Puccini) and Marriage of Figaro scenes (Mozart). Alex went on to study with ENO’s ‘Opera Works’ course for young and emerging artists, leading him on to working with Grange Park Opera chorus for 2 seasons.
Following this that Alex was asked to join the a cappella quintet Apollo5. Created by the charity that founded VOCES8, Apollo5 is a world renowned performance ensemble as well as maintaining a far reaching education programme. Apollo5 works with over 20,000 students annually, as well as performing in world class venues in the UK, Europe and the USA. During his time with Apollo5, Alex has become a known and admired vocal workshop leader, overseeing projects in Nottingham, Henley on Thames, Hackney and Surrey.
Alex also sings with the Philharmonia Chorus on their professionals scheme, with Barber-shop-o-gram and is a Lecturer with Opera Prelude. He is also a beneficiary of The Opera Awards Foundation Bursary.
Mezzo Soprano Phoebe Haines studied at the University of Cambridge, the RCM, and the Guildhall School. She has apprenticed at the Salzburg Festival, Aldeburgh Music, and the ENO. Phoebe is a two-time bursary winner of the Opera Awards Foundation.
Phoebe made her mainstage debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2014 as Zweite adelige Waise in Der Rosenkavalier, and as Tisbe in La Cenerentola für Kinder, a co-production with Teatro Alla Scala. She was a finalist in the 2015 Graz Meistersinger Competition.
In summer 2016 Phoebe represents the UK at the iSING! International Young Artists Festival, China. She will sing roles including Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Mercedes (Carmen), Meg Page (Falstaff) with the Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra at the Suzhou Grand Theatre, and a number of traditional Chinese pieces in concert at Beijing’s Tianqiao Performing Arts Center.
A passionate song-singer, Phoebe was awarded a full scholarship to Songfest Los Angeles, where she worked this summer with a world-class faculty including Jake Heggie, Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Sanford Sylvan, Suzanne Mentzer, and Peter Sellars. She also performed a fully-staged rendering of the Brecht/ Eisler Hollywood Songbook, at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles.
Phoebe is continually grateful to her sponsors at Help Musicians UK, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, Opera Prelude, Dr. Michael Shipley & Mr. Phillip Rudge, the John Wates Charitable Trust, along with the Opera Awards Foundation.
Sky Ingram is an Australian soprano who trained at the National Opera Studio and the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Sky performed the role of Lea in the world premiere of Glare for her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 2014. During 2015 she sang Musetta in La Bohème for ETO and Avis in The Wreckers for the Bard SummerScape in New York, USA. Returning to the Royal Opera House, Sky sang the role of Venus in Rossi’s Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and in 2016 she sang the title role of Rusalka in Valladolid, Spain.
Other roles include Fiordiligi Cosi fan Tutte, Musetta/La Bohème, Helena/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frau Fluth/Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Madame Lidoine/Dialogues des Carmelites (GSMD), Female Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia, Micaëla/Carmen, Pamina/The Magic Flute.
Sky has won several music Scholarships and Competitions in both Australia and the UK; most recently an International Opera Awards Foundation bursary, GSMD Harold Rosenthal Prize, Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Bursary, Australian Music Foundation Scholarship, Wingate Scholarship, 5MBS Young Performer of the Year and a ROSL Overseas Trophy for ‘the most outstanding musician from overseas’.
Future engagements include La Contessa Le Nozze di Figaro in Norway, Clorinda/Cenerentola (Opera North), the Last Night of the Autumn Proms tour with Raymond Gubbay, and her St Martin-in-the-Fields recital debut.
Welsh born mezzo soprano Anna Jeffers began her studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire where she played many operatic roles and was a major prize winner. Anna continued her studies on the prestigious ENO Opera Works course 13/14 and was chosen as one of eighteen Opera Awards Foundation bursary winners which supported her studies at ENO. Anna is currently learning with Louise Crane and Janet Haney.
Since graduating Anna has played many operatic roles and chorus in various productions working with Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, Opera Holland Park and Opera Project at Longborough Festival Opera. Highlights have included covering the roles of Eduige in Rodelinda and Second Witch/Lady in Waiting in Macbeth for Scottish Opera, playing Claire Morgan in the community opera Nine Stories High with Welsh National Opera and singing the roles of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Third Spirit in The Magic Flute for Wexford Festival Opera.
Highlights of 2016 include joining the extra chorus at Opera North and Welsh National Opera and returning to Buxton Festival Opera to cover the role of Andronico in Handel’s Tamerlano.
British mezzo soprano Hanna-Liisa Kirchin is a recent alumnus of the National Opera Studio and studies with soprano Nelly Miricioiu. She is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and ENO’s Opera Works.
The 2016 season includes an international debut as Fidalma Il Matrimonio Segreto – in a coproduction between Dutch National Opera, De Nederlandse Reis Opera and Opera Zuid – , and UK debuts as Wowkle La Fanciulla Del West with Grange Park Opera, and Ruggiero Alcina with Longborough Festival Opera. She will return to De Nederlandse Reis Opera as Alto Soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
2015 included the World Premiere of Nigel Osborne’s “Bosnian Voices” with the critically acclaimed Liverpool Philharmonic 10/10 ensemble, and an appearance at the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Awards have included the Miriam Licette Scholarship (Help Musicians UK), the RNCM Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Prize and an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary. She was a finalist in the Jette Parker Young Artist auditions at Covent Garden in 2014 and 2015, and a 2015 Les Azuriales Young Artist.
Roles at NOS include Cenerentola La Cenerentola, Prince Charmant Cendrillon, Despina Cosi fan Tutte, Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia, 3rd Lady Die Zauberflöte, Judy Punch and Judy and Fanny Price Mansfield Park. At RNCM roles included Sesto La Clemenza di Tito, Mercedes Carmen, Mrs Herring Albert Herring, Xerxes Xerxes, Penelope Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, and Masha Paradise Moscow. Externally roles include Old Nog Tarka the Otter Buxton Festival Opera, 3rd Wild Goose/Poppet Paul Bunyan British Youth Opera and Ensemble Orfeo Bayerische Staatsoper.
Young British soprano Lucy Knight is winner of the Making Music Award for Young
Concert Artists and an Opera Awards Foundation bursary. Her roles this season
have included Ninfa Monteverdi L’Orfeo (Bayerisches Staatsoper), Barbarina Le nozze di
Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera), and cover Daughter 2 & 3 Philip Glass Akhnaten
(English National Opera).
Lucy’s recent and forthcoming engagements include Bridesmaid Weber Freischütz
(Opéra Comique, Paris & BBC Proms/John Eliot Gardiner); Ensemble Gluck Orphée
(ROH/Gardiner); her début with the Philharmonia Orchestra as the soprano soloist in
Nielsen’s Third Symphony (RFH/Paavo Järvi); Mendelssohn Ein Sommernachtstraum
(LSO/Gardiner); and Karl Jenkins Stabat Mater (RAH/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
and The Healer (Carnegie Hall, RFH, Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall).
Born in London, Lucy studied Music at Cambridge University and began her career as a
member of the Monteverdi Choir, before training at the Guildhall School of Music &
Drama, Franz-Schubert-Institute in Vienna, and English National Opera. She is grateful
for the generous support she has received for her studies.
Piran Legg graduated as a baritone from the Guildhall Opera School in the summer of 2014. Since then he has continued his studies on the Artist’s Diploma with Kate Paterson. He made his operatic debut at the Wexford Festival singing chorus and small roles and has previously performed at Clonter Opera as Falke in Die Fledermaus and at Garsington as The Guide, Boy on boat and Polish Father in Britten’s Death in Venice in the summer of 2015. Recent highlights include a debut at the Cadogan Hall singing Schaunard in La Boheme as well taking a young artist position at Iford in Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses with Christian Curnyn. Recent concert projects include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at Canterbury Cathedral and a return to Cadogan Hall singing the role of Danieli in Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot with Chelsea Opera Group. In July 2016 Piran debuted as Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata at Clonter Opera. Piran was an Opera Awards Foundation bursary winner 2014 – 2015.
A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Royal College of Music and National Opera Studio, now currently a Harewood artist with English National Opera, exciting Welsh soprano Rhian Lois has performed to great acclaim on the English National Opera stage in roles such as Frasquita Carmen, Papagena The Magic Flute and Yvette The Passenger, Adele Die Fledermaus, Nerine in Charpentier’s Medea and Atalanta Xerxes.
Recent engagements include her debut as Papagena at the Royal Opera House, Barbarina and Susanna at Welsh National Opera in Le nozze di Figaro and the world premiere of the sequel Figaro gets a Divorce and her US debut as Zerlina Don Giovanni at Santa Fe Opera. Concert appearances include a performance of Mendelssohn’s Incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Edward Gardner and CBSO recorded by Chandos.
On demand on the concert platform, she has performed Mozart Requiem with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey, CBSO’s Stravinsky retrospective ‘Igor Fest’, Brahms Requiem at Milton Court, Barbican, Handel’s Messiah in Cambridge and Carmina Burana at the Brangwyn Hall.
Next season Rhian will return to WNO to sing Adele Die Fledermaus and reprise her role as Angelica Figaro gets Divorce at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Learn more: Intermusica
Ella Marchment – artistic director of Helios Collective and Constella OperaBallet – has worked on over 80 opera and theatre productions throughout Europe and produced over 100 events that span opera, ballet, musicals, concerts, theatre, comedy, workshops, club nights, art instillations, and development programmes. Her many directing credits include Alexander Goehr’s Tryptich at Mariinsky II, an opera–ballet production of Stravinsky’s Renard, an acclaimed international tour of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs For A Mad King, Verdi’s Macbeth and A Masked Ball, Puccini’s Il Tabarro at LSO St Luke’s, Hathaway, Verdi’s Otello and Charpentier’s Louise at Buxton Festival, and a sell-out West End production of An Evening with Lucian Freud starring Cressida Bonas. Ella is also co-founder of Theatre N16, which promotes new plays and opera adaptations.
Ella has been employed by companies including the Royal Opera House, International Opera, Buxton Festival, Melos Sinfonia, and Opera Integra. She is committed to solving problems regarding opera’s accessibility and creating professional development opportunities for young artists. Ella especially enjoys presenting opera with a twist: in 2015 she wrote and directed a play–opera adaptation of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, a rock opera interpretation of Puccini’s Tosca, and set up a series of Opera Club Nights in Peckham. Ella became the first director to receive an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary in 2015. Her work is currently supported by Arts Council England and The British Council Artists International Development grant with Den Jyske Opera (Danish National Opera).
Upcoming directing engagements include Hathaway at Copenhagen Opera Festival, Helios Formations Masterclasses 2016, Dido & Aeneas as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival at King’s College London, Mad King Sweeney at Bury Court Opera, Canary Boys with Constella OperaBallet, and Operatic Mass Actions in the streets of Aarhus as part of the International Living Theatre Festival and City of Culture 2017.
Eva Meitner is a German conductor of French-German origin. Since January 2015 she is chief conductor of the Sinfonisches Orchester Hoyerswerda. Furthermore since 2016 she is chief conductor of the SommerOrchester Leipzig and the Leipziger Philharmonikerinnen. Since summer semester 2015 she is a conducting teacher at Erfurt University.
In March 2015 she participated in a conducting workshop with Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic in Luslawice, Poland. In September 2015 she participated in a conducting masterclass with Kurt Masur at Gewandhaus Leipzig and a conducting masterclass with Hamburger Symphoniker with Prof. Ulrich Windfuhr and Prof. David de Villiers in Hamburg.
During the season 13/14 she was artistic and musical director of the Werkstattorchester Dresden. In 2014 she obtained a bursary from the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation and conducted Mozart’s “Entführung aus dem Serail” at Pforzheim theatre. Furthermore she was one of the Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipients 2014.
Previously she was a masters student in conducting at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar and assisted Anthony Bramall in many productions at Leipzig Opera.
Hungarian baritone Gyula Nagy is an alumnus of the National Opera Studio, where he was supported by the Royal Opera House and the Opera Awards Foundation. Previously, he studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Gyula is also an alumnus of Opera Theatre Company’s Young Associate Artists’ Programme in Dublin.
In 2016, Gyula was a WNO Associate Artist, where his engagements included the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and the covers of Count Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and in Elena Langer’s Figaro Gets a Divorce. Previously, he worked with Scottish Opera, covering Escamillo in Carmen (2015). His operatic roles also include Mozart’s Don Giovanni (National Opera Studio, 2015) and Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (Irish Youth Opera, 2014).
From September 2016, Gyula will be joining the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where his roles will include Fiorello in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Filotete in Handel’s Oreste, Paul in Philip Glass’s Les Enfants terribles, Nachtigall in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, the Imperial Commissioner in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Flemish Deputy in Verdi’s Don Carlos and Baron Douphol in Verdi’s La Traviata. He will be also covering Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
Gyula is grateful for the support provided by Chris Ball (2016), Tudás a Jövőnkért Foundation (2014), Hungary, the Opera Awards Foundation, London (2013, 2014), the John McCormack Society, Dublin (2013), and the Gaiety Bursary, Dublin (2011).
Watch: Gyula Nagy on what the support of the Opera Awards Foundation has meant to him.
Rachel Nicholls is now widely recognised as one of the most exciting dramatic sopranos of her generation.
Following her debut at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden/ Parsifal, she sang a wide repertoire of baroque, classical and contemporary repertorie in opera and concert throughout the UK and Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival and BBC Proms, and forged a close relationship with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, with whom she made several recordings. Other conductors with whom she has worked include Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington, Richard Hickox and Valery Gergiev and Daniele Gatti.
She first came to notice as a dramatic soprano with her highly acclaimed performances as Brünnhilde for Longborough Festival Opera, culminating in complete Ring Cycles in 2013, followed by Isolde in 2014. In 2013 she sang Senta for Scottish Opera and in 2014 Leonore in Fidelio for the Bergen National Opera.
Recent and future engagements include Isolde, Tristan und Isolde for the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Oper Stuttgart, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Grange Park Opera, Fidelio for Lithuanian National Opera, Guinevere Gawain for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and NI Opera, Eva, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and ENO, Isolde’s Liebestod and Elgar’s Spirit of England with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé, the Wesendonck Lieder at the 2013 St Endellion Festival, and Verdi Requiem at Cadogan Hall.
Rachel Nicholls was born in Bedford and in 2013 was awarded an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary to study with Dame Anne Evans.
British baritone Alex Otterburn is a 2014 winner of the International Opera Awards bursary and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. He has performed with many companies at home and abroad, including Grange Park Opera, Lyric Opera Dublin, The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Opera Ireland. Recent highlights include his debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw singing Curio Giulio Cesare with Lawrence Zazzo in the title role, Schaunard La bohème at the National Concert Hall Dublin with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, arias of Mozart with the Chamber Orchestra of Geneva at Victoria Hall and Yevgény Onégin under Sian Edwards for Dartington Festival.
Born in Aveiro, Portugal, Ricardo has distinguished himself for his interpretation of the florid baritone Bel Canto roles, deemed beguilingly sonorous, a technical tour-de-force and mesmerising by different music publications.
Career highlights have included the London premieres of Saverio Mercadante’s Don Chisciotte at Leighton House Museum and of Federico Ruiz’s Los Martirios de Colón at the Southbank Centre.
Ricardo studied singing in Portugal at the University of Aveiro with António Salgado, and at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, with Laura Sarti, respectively. He also worked with singers such as Della Jones, Monserrat Caballé, Teresa Berganza and Nelly Miricioiu.
He currently studies with Dennis O’Neill at the Wales International Academy of Voice, supported by the Opera Awards Foundation.
His operatic roles include, amongst others, Marcello in La Bohème (Regents Opera, Clapham Opera Festival), Dandini in La Cenerentola (Clapham Opera Festival), Silvio in I Pagliacci (Woodhouse Festival), Count Almaviva in Le Nozze Di Figaro (Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme); Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Brava); Malatesta in Don Pasquale (Clapham Opera Festival); Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory (Opera South); Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore (Pop-Up Opera).
Ricardo is also a regular lecturer for Opera Prelude.
Future projects include a return to Wexford Festival Opera to perform in the 2016 productions of Donizetti’s Maria di Rudenz and David’s Herculanum.
Australian tenor Adam Player completed a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before graduating with a Masters of Music from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Adam has had a busy performance schedule since completing his studies, performing in the UK, Australia and Ireland. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Lake District International Summer Music Festival, Ryedale Festival, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and has performed roles with companies including Opera Australia, OzOpera, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, British Youth Opera, and the Hallé orchestra.
Some performance highlights include singing the role of Ulrich Eisslinger in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner), in a concert performanc, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, and singing in the European premiere of Kevin Puts’ opera, Silent Night, based on the Christmas truce between a group of Scottish, French and German soldiers in WWI.
Adam was awarded the William McLeod Johnstone Prize for male singers from the Royal Northern College of Music and is a 2015 awardee of an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary.
He appears as an Apostle on the Hallé’s Gramophone award-winning recording of The Apostles (Elgar), under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, and as Registrar in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s DVD of Madama Butterfly.
Adam’s recent roles include: Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Mozart), Edmondo, L’assedio di Calais (Donizetti), Ulrich Eisslinger, Der Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner), Benoit, La Boheme (Puccini), Dancaïre, Carmen (Bizet), Sergei, Moscow, Cheryomushki (Shostakovich), Western Union Boy, Paul Bunyan (Britten), Iro, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi), Francis Flute, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), Vasek, The Bartered Bride (Smetana), Bellecour, Vert Vert (Offenbach) and Hervey, Anna Bolena (Donizetti).
Upcoming engagements for Adam include:
– Iro in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi) and covering the roles of Mercurio and Pane in La Calisto (Cavalli) for English Touring Opera in Oct-Nov 2016
– Soldato I/ Famigliari II/ Lucano in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) for Pinchgut Opera in Dec 2017.
John is from Donegal, Ireland he completed his Bachelor of Music with Hons in 2008 at the University of Ulster and his Master of Music in 2010. This year John completes his studies on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Ryland Davies and Audrey Hyland. During his time at the Royal Academy of Music he held the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Trust Scholarship and the Porter (Selleck) Foundation Award. John is a graduate of the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto and Les Azuriales. He is a member of the Royal Academy Song Circle and is a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme Artist.
Operatic roles include; Basilio LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Nadir THE PEARL FISHERS, Rinuccio GIANNI SCHICCHI, Rodolfo LA BOHEME, Beppe RITA, Don Jose CARMEN, Spoletta TOSCA and Ulysses ULYSSES A MUSICAL ODYSSEY (created the role of Ulysses in the opera by Laurence Roman) and opera scenes including; Bill FLIGHT, Graf Albert DIE TOTE STADT, Pylade IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE, Il Duca RIGOLETTO and Alfred DIE FLEDERMAUS.
On the concert platform he has performed works including Bach’s ST. JOHN PASSION, MAGNIFICAT, Beethoven’s CHRISTUS AM ÖLBERGE, MASS IN C, SYMPHONY NO. 9, Berlioz TE DEUM, Handel’s MESSIAH, Haydn’s THE CREATION, THE SEASONS, Puccini’s MESA DI GLORIA, Rossini’s PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE, Saint-Saëns CHRISTMAS ORATORIO and Schumann REQUIEM.
In 2016 John will join the Alvarez Young Artists Programme at Garsington Opera and sings recitals for Stowmarket Concert Society, performing Schubert’s Schwanengesang and at the Great Comp Music Festival.
Welsh soprano Elin Pritchard studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National opera Studio.
A Samling Artist and Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient, her operatic roles have included Micaela Carmen for Mid Wales Opera, Female Chorus The Rape of Lucretia for British Youth Opera, Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw, Nella Gianni Schicchi, Giorgetta Il Tabarro and Musetta La Boheme for Opera Holland Park, Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor at Buxton Festival, Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte for Den Jyske Opera, Donna Elvira Don GIovanni for Finnish National Opera, First Dryad Rusalka, Donna Elvira , Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress and Violetta La Traviata for Scottish Opera.
Current engagements include Hathaway at Copenhagen Opera Festival and Buxton Festival, Donna Elvira Winslow Hall Opera and Opera Project, Kupava The Snow Maiden for Opera North, Poulenc Gloria with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2016 – 17 Gyula joins the Opernstudio of Opernhaus Zurich, where his roles will include Vogelsang in Der Schauspieldirektor, Le petit vieillard and La rainette in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Torquemada in L’heure espagnole, Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Second Workman in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Second Brabantischer Edler in Lohengrin. Outside of his engagements in Zurich he will sing the Mozart’s Requiem in the Great Amber hall in Liepaja and St.Peter’s Church in Riga, with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra.
Last season he sang Messiah with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi and with the Danubia Symphony, Handel Brockes Passion at the Palace of Arts Budapest, Kodaly’s Psalmus Hungaricus with the Hungarian Radio Symphony, Alidoro in Orontea at the Budapest Spring Festival, the lover in Fairy Queen at the Hungarian State Opera, a highly acclaimed concert version of Adriano in Siria conducted by Leo Duarte at London’s Cadogan Hall and, Carmina Burana in Somerset. He has also attended Edith Wiens Internationale Meistersinger Akademie.
Gyula made his professional operatic debut in October 2014 with Wrocław Opera ISCM World Music Days as Louis in Angels in America by Péter Eötvös. That same year he also sang the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at the Sir Georg Solti Hall in Budapest.
He was a Jerwood Young Artist at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera singing the role of A Christian and understudied Nearco in Poliuto.
He graduated from the Royal College of Music International Opera School under Dinah Harris in 2015 as a Sir Roger & Lady Carr Soirée d’Or Scholar. Gyula is proud to be a recipient of the Independent Opera Postgraduate Voice Fellowship and the International Opera Awards Foundation Bursary. He is also a Samling Artist.
Current and future engagements of Anglo-French baritone Charles Rice include Eugene Onegin (title role) Angers Nantes Opéra, DEMETRIUS A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan, ALBERT La Juive and ARTHUR KOESTLER Benjamin, dernière nuit (world premiere) and PROCOLO Viva la Mamma Opéra de Lyon, MARCELLO La bohème Opera Theatre Company Dublin, HERMANN Les Contes d’Hoffmann Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and SILVIO I Pagliacci Opéra de Toulon.
Recent engagements include ESCAMILLO Carmen Stadttheater Klagenfurt and Vorarlberger Landestheater, MUSIKLEHRER/HARLEKIN Ariadne auf Naxos Opéra de Toulon, SID Albert Herring English Touring Opera, SOLOIST HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pigtale Mahogany Opera Group tour (Linbury Studio, Bregenz Festival, Norfolk, and Norwich Festival), ALCHEMIST/INQUISITOR/SENOR/SULTAN ACHMET Candide Opéra National de Lorraine, NED KEENE Peter Grimes Aldeburgh Festival, BELLO La Fanciulla del West English National Opera, CONTE ROBINSON Il Matrimonio Segreto Festival de Sédières, MORALES Carmen Royal Albert Hall, and ANGELOTTI Tosca Grange Park Opera.He also sang the CAT in Stravinsky’s Renard Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artist Programme and JAMES Pirates of Penzance Buxton Festival. Charles appeared in concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Cadogan Hall.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio.
The winner of the 8th International WagnerStimmen Wettbewerb in Karlsruhe, New Zealand-born soprano Kirstin Sharpin returned to her ancestral roots in 2001, graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, where she studied with Dennis O’Neill as an Independent Opera Postgraduate Fellow and Samling Artist.
Now living in Germany, recent operatic engagements include the title role in Beethoven’s Leonore for the Buxton Festival, Euryanthe, Ada Die Feen and Mariana Das Liebesverbot for Chelsea Opera Group, and a critically acclaimed Elettra in Idomeneo for Blackheath Halls Opera, as well as performances with Garsington Opera, Opera Holland Park, and the St Endellion Festival.
Kirstin has made several appearances with the RSNO, and her concert repertoire ranges from Handel to Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Verdi, Strauss, Berlioz and Poulenc.
Kirstin has been a semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell and Kathleen Ferrier Prizes and the Montserrat Caballé Competition, and is a past recipient of Countess of Munster Trust, Miriam Licette and Sybil Tutton Scholarships, and a Goodall Scholarship from the Wagner Society of Great Britain.
Confirmed plans for 2016/17 include Gerhilde Die Walküre in concert for Saffron Opera Group and a recital series focusing on settings of the ‘Big Five’ Soviet poets.
Ukranian-born Oksana Sliubyk graduated with distinction from The Lviv National Academy of Music and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She continues her studies under the guidance of Susan Waters.
In 2011 she made her debut as Adina in L’elisir D’amore (Donizetti) with Lviv National Academy Opera Studio. Since then she has often performed with Lviv Philharmonic Society and the Lviv National Opera Theatre.
In 2013 she became a bursary recipient from The University of Ottawa and was accepted to study at one of the world’s leading schools, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Since then she has been a two-time winner of the Opera Awards Foundation bursary and the Guildhall School of Drama scholarship. In 2016 she made her TV debut in the Made in Chelsea series. Oksana appears in many recitals, master classes and productions of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The Opera Awards Foundation.
Oksana is grateful for the generous support of her studies from The Opera Awards Foundation, Serena Fenwick and Talent Unlimited.
Alexander Sprague’s most recent and future engagements include The Fairy Queen Staatstheater Stuttgart, ELECTRICIAN Powder Her Face Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen and Teatro Arriaga Bilbao, DON OTTAVIO Don Giovanni Opera Theatre Company Dublin, SCARAMUCCIO Ariadne auf Naxos Opéra de Nancy, JONATHAN DALE Kevin Put’s Silent Night Atlanta Opera, and GONZALVEZ L’heure espagnole Angers Nantes Opera.
Career highlights have included SHEPHERD/APOLLO L’Orfeo Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at the Roundhouse, YWAIN Birtwistle’s Gawain Salzburger Festspiele, ALBERT HERRING (title role) Opera North, ELECTRICIAN Powder Her Face English National Opera, and appearances at Wexford Festival, Welsh National Opera, Gothenburg Opera, Scottish Opera, Edinburgh Festival and Stadttheater Klagenfurt and with Les Talens Lyriques at the Salle Pleyel, Paris.
Alexander has sung in concert with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, London Festival Orchestra and London Handel Players in venues such as Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, and St Martin in the Fields. He sang recitals for Leeds Lieder Festival, London Handel Festival and Ludlow English Song Festival.
He studied at the National Opera Studio and the Royal Academy of Music and is the winner of the Michael Oliver Prize at the London Handel Singing Competition.
British Mezzo-Soprano Laura Woods is delighted to be a 2015 Opera Awards Foundation Bursary recipient, which has recently seen her engaged in a series of recitals and galas for The International Opera Awards. Laura will make her Russian role debut in August 2016 singing the role of ‘Polina’ in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades for Opera Holland Park under Peter Robinson and directed by Rodula Gaitanou. In July 2016 Laura was interviewed and featured on Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ with Opera Holland Park singing ‘Da! Vspomnila’ from The Queen of Spades. 2017 will see Laura create the role of ‘The Witch’ in Mad King Suibhne by Noah Mosley, directed by fellow Opera Awards Bursary recipient Ella Marchment: a new commission for Bury Court Opera, celebrating their tenth year anniversary.
Born in Johannesburg, bass-baritone Simon Shibambu completed his Diploma and Degree in Vocal arts at Tshwane University of Technology under Hans Van Heerden, before moving to London to study for a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music where he studies with Professor Graeme Broadbent. Supported by an ABRSM scholarship.
Simon won several singing competitions and sang in numerous Opera Productions and concerts. He sang before the First Lady of China on her visit to London and sang for Prince Charles when he visited the RCM. Led him to sing to Her Majesty the Queen to whom he was introduced at the Westminster Abbey on the Commonwealth day service and the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration.
He is in the Young Singers Project for the Salzburg Festival 2016 in Austria and will be featured in the two Opera productions of Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini and Thaïs by Jules Massenet and he will be involved also in the Concerts and master classes as well. Simon is starting with the Jette Parker Young Artist Program at the Royal Opera House in September for two years.