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Following English National Opera’s season announcement for 2024/25…

Ailish Tynan and Gweneth Ann Rand perform Governess and Mrs Grose in Isabella Bywater’s new production of The Turn of the Screw, conducted by Duncan Ward and Charlotte Corderoy. This is the first time Ailish will have performed at ENO since her debut in David Alden’s production of Radamisto in 2010.

Timothy Nelson performs Belcore in the relaxed performance of Harry Fehr’s new production of The Elixir of Love

Trevor Eliot Bowes performs Antonio in this first revival of Joe Hill-Gibbins’ production of The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Ainārs Rubiķis.

Ronald Samm performs the Earl of Ruthven in the ENO premiere of Thea Musgrave’s Mary, Queen of Scots, in a new concert staging, conducted by Joana Carneiro.

Jeni Bern and Ronald Samm perform as Karolina and Ladislav in The Two Widows with the Birmingham Opera Company, as part of the Smetana 200 Festival in Litomyšl, Czech Republic. The new production is directed by Lorenzo Ponte, with Lada Valesova as musical director.

In summer 2023, Birmingham Opera Company hosted the 13th European Opera Directing Prize. The €25,000 prize was awarded by Camerata Nuova. That prize is enabling the winning team, headed by Lorenzo Ponte, to create their new production of the Birmingham Two Widows to mark the bicentenary of the Smetana’s birth. The Birmingham version of The Two Widows was created by Graham Vick and Christopher Willis, with sung text translated by David Pountney. 

Nazan Fikret will make her debut at Opera North next season as Queen of the Night in James Brining’s production of The Magic Flute, with performances in February (Leeds) and March (Hull).

She last performed the role at Glyndebourne in 2020, where she was lauded with praise by the critics.

“Nazan Fikret sparkled through the Queen of Night’s high-wire acrobatics…”
(The Telegraph)

“…this fast-rising soprano had all the notes and flexibility the part requires.”
(Opera Magazine)

 

Following hugely successful performances in 2021, the Scottish Opera production of The Gondoliers with Mark Nathan as Guiseppe will be available to watch worldwide on OperaVision for 3 months from 4 May 2024. This will be the first time the streaming platform has presented a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

“In particular, Mark Nathan with his ‘Rising early in the morning’ caught the pace and timing perfectly.”
(Bachtrack)

“A real patter-ish highlight, baritone Mark Nathan peerlessly stylish in Giuseppe’s long solo… works charismatic magic.”
(The Arts Desk)

Following The Royal Ballet & Opera’s season announcement for 2024/25…

Rhonda Browne and Alison Kettlewell make their their debuts at The Royal Opera House as Filipyevna and Madame Larina in Ted Huffman’s new production of Eugene Onegin, conducted by Henrik Nánasi.

They also perform Schwertleite and Rossweisse in Die Walküre, the second installment of Barrie Kosky’s new Ring Cycle, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano.

Alison will also understudy Karita Matilla as Kostelnička in the first revival of Claus Guth’s production of Jenůfa.

Simon Wilding understudies the roles of Luther and Crespel in Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Les contes d’Hoffmann.

Ailish Tynan performs Christine in Mark Anthony Turnage’s opera, Festen, based on the 1998 Danish film of the same name, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Edward Gardner. 

Wyn Pencarreg returns as Alcindoro in Richard Jones’ production of La bohème, conducted by Speranza Scappucci.

Niall Anderson returns tot he Opéra national de Paris next season for two productions. In the autumn he will perform First Priest/Second Armed Man in Robert Carsen’s staging of The Magic Flute, conducted by Oksana Lyniv.

In the spring he returns as a Flemish Deputy in Krzystof Warlikowski’s staging of Don Carlos, conducted by Simone Young.

Both productions take place at the Opéra de Bastille.

We are delighted that English bass Simon Wilding has joined our artist roster for general management. Born in Leigh, Lancashire he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. 

In the current season he performs Hunding Die Walküre (Pacific Opera Victoria, London Opera Company); Fafner Das Rheingold, Siegfried (Longborough Festival Opera); and Pistol Falstaff (West Green House Opera). Further ahead he returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Highlights in recent seasons include 2nd Soldier Salome (Royal Opera House); Sparafucile Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park); The Doctor/Clerk The Nose (Royal Danish Opera); Employee / Watchman / Servant / Policeman / Gentleman / Acquaintance of Kovalyov in Barrie Kosky’s production of The Nose (Royal Opera House, Komische Oper, Teatro Real); Russell The Exterminating Angel (Royal Danish Opera); Sacristan Tosca (Grange Park Opera); and Judge Turpin Sweeney Todd (West Green House Opera).

Gweneth Ann Rand returns to the Aldeburgh Festival next year for a series of concerts featuring all of Messiaen’s works for soprano. She is joined by pianists Simon Lepper and Allyson Devenish. 

Each concert will be enhanced by projections of the dazzling artwork by Rachel Jones, the British visual artist acclaimed for her “captivating, jitteringly electric” work.

Additionally, these concerts will showcase some of the outstanding Britten Pears Young Artists, who will perform more French songs.

“Rand’s sumptuous voice, technically brilliant, verbally agile and expressive… The concert turned out to be a contender for the fast-approaching best-of-year list.”
(The Guardian)

“Rand’s voice is plush and warm… beautifully sustained, sculpted with superb vocal control.”
(Opera Today)

Welsh National Opera’s Three Letters project started in 2021 and over 3 years, through music, chronicles Cardiff’s HIV past, present, and future, working with community groups and local artists to raise public awareness of the contemporary realities of HIV.

In this third and final installment, inspired by the landmark film Philadelphia, Camilla Roberts performs La mamma morta from the Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, alongside Nathaniel J Hall reciting new spoken-word text by Andrew Loretto. 

Philip Sheffield is a featured singer on the original soundtrack album on the Bradley Cooper film Maestro, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

The film chronicles the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.

Bernstein: Maestro
Label: Deutsche Grammaphon
Release date: 17 November 2023

It is with enormous sadness that we announce the sudden death of Keel Watson. It was a huge privilege to work with him and call him a friend.

Keel’s magnificent voice was admired by so many, as was his sharp wit and generosity as a performer. Only recently he completed acclaimed performances in genres as diverse as Wagner and Gilbert and Sullivan. We send our thoughts to his family and those who knew and loved him.

We are delighted that Scottish bass baritone Niall Anderson has joined our artist roster for general management. Niall was a member of the Académie at the Opéra National de Paris, having begun his vocal studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Glenville Hargreaves and Jonathan Papp. He was a soloist in the RAM/Kohn Bach Cantata Series, performing with the Song Circle on numerous occasions and won the 2019 Pavarotti Prize.

Among his recent highlights are Escamillo in Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen (Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing); Zweiter Preister and Zweiter Geharnischter Die Zauberflöte; Mourner Bernstein’s A Quiet Place conducted by Kent Nagano (Opéra national de Paris); Allazim Zaïde (Angers Nantes Opera, Opéra de Rennes); Sacristan Tosca (Northern Ireland Opera); and Ufficiale in Mercadante’s Il proscritto for a recording and concert (Opera Rara/Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Carlo Rizzi).

Future engagements include further performances as Allazim Zaïde (Opéra Grand Avignon, Tourcoing); Junius The Rape of Lucretia (Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari); and Haydn Nelson Mass (Angmering Chorale) and Mozart Requiem (Opus 48).