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Neil Balfour will make his US debut next season with Portland Opera as Father/Judge/Reporter/Mastoi in Kamala Sankaram’s Opera Thumbprint, in a production directed by Omer Ben Seadia.

Commissioned for the PROTOTYPE Festival, Thumbprint was inspired by the true story of Mukhtar Mai, a young illiterate peasant who was gang-raped as retribution for an alleged ‘honor’ crime by her little brother and who became the first woman in Pakistan to bring her rapists to justice.

English National Opera has today announced its 2022/23 season featuring our artists in new productions and revivals at the London Coliseum.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Gweneth Ann Rand
and Ronald Samm perform Mother Bailey and Uncle Billy Bailey in the UK premiere of Jake Heggie’s operatic adaptation of the genre-defining Frank Capra film of the same name – directed by Aletta Collins and conducted by Nicole Paiement.

Carmen
Keel Watson
performs Zuniga in Calixto Bieito’s classical production. This revival is directed by Jamie Manton and conducted by Kerem Hasan.

Akhnaten
Felicity Buckland and Keel Watson perform Daughter 4 and Aye in Phellim McDermott’s acclaimed production, conducted by Karen Kamensek.

Blue
Ronald Samm performs The Reverend in the UK premiere of Blue, by the acclaimed Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori – directed by Tinuke Craig and conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren.

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden has today announced its 2022/23 season featuring our artists.

La bohème
Wyn Pencarreg
performs Alcindoro in Richard Jones’ production, with performances conducted by Kevin John Edusei and Evelino Pidò.

Die Zauberflöte
Ailish Tynan
performs First Lady and Harry Nicoll performs First Priest in this revival of Sir David McVicar’s classic production, conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev.

Il barbiere di Siviglia
Ailish Tynan performs Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, a revival of the 2005 production by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, conducted by Rafael Payere.

We are delighted that South African tenor Monwabisi Lindi has joined our artist roster for general management. Monwabisi was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where he studied with Pierre du Toit at the Tshwane University of Technology.  He is currently studying at the National Opera Studio and is supported by donors to the NOS, the Drake Calleja Trust and the Hampstead Garden Opera singers bursary.

He made his UK debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème for Hampstead Garden Opera, in a fully staged new production by award winning director Daisy Evans. It was these acclaimed performances that brought him to the attention of to several UK opera companies, and his application to the National Opera Studio was supported by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. 

We are delighted that the soprano Susanna Fairbairn has joined our artist roster for general management. Susanna is a former Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient and Park Lane Group Young Artist, and prizewinner of the Handel Singing Competition and Emmy Destinn Young Singers Awards. At Trinity College of Music in London she won the English Song Competition, Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize and Paul Simm Opera Prize. She also studied voice at the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff, and flute at Magdalen College, Oxford – as the first female Instrumental Scholar in the college’s c.550-year history.

Future engagements include the role of Elvida in the world première of Handel’s Fernando, re di Castiglia with Opera Settecento at the London Handel Festival and Händel-Festspiele, Halle.

Anthony Flaum performs the Soldier in Stravinsky’s darkly witty The Solider’s Tale, in a live performance recording from the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival. The release is part of the EIF’s highlights series with Nicola Benedetti’s final performance as resident artist, also featuring Sir Thomas Allen as the Narrator and Siobhan Redmond as the Devil.

The recording, for Linn Records, is only available on Apple Music.

 

Welsh National Opera’s Rearrange is a series of short films, commissioned to place older, well-known operatic arias in today’s world and to show how the themes echoed in the stories are still relevant today – taking an extract from an opera and giving it a contemporary spin for the modern world.

In this film featuring Ronald Samm, director Rebecca Hemmings’ film, through Puccini’s Nessun Dorma follows a man as he navigates the daily realities of racial disparities as he travels to work.

We are delighted that the tenor Ronald Samm has joined our artist roster for general management. Ronald was born and grew up in Trinidad, West Indies. He studied singing and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, followed by postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He is also a graduate of the National Opera Studio in London.

In the current season engagements include a Mendelssohn concert and Mozart Requiem with Crouch End Festival Chorus; a concert version of Porgy and Bess at the Theater St. Gallen; and an open-air production of The Morrigan, a new opera by John O’Brien.

Gweneth Ann Rand performs Judith (sharing the role with Susan Bullock) alongside Gerald Finley and Michael Mayes as Bluebeard in a radical retelling of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, through the lense of a family living with dementia.

Under the direction of Daisy Evans and Stephen Higgins, this new immersive production for Theatre of Sound is accompanied in a new chamber orchestration with players from the London Sinfonietta.

Performances: 4 – 14 November 2021 at the Stone Nest

We are delighted that the mezzo soprano Joanna Harries has joined our artist roster for general management. Joanna was a choral scholar at the University of Cambridge and went on to train at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In the current season she is a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio.

In the current season engagements include Diana in Scott Stroman’s The Weekend at the Bloomsbury Theatre; The Moon Hares a schools project performance for the OAE; Karolka Jenůfa for Fulham Opera; a series of performances with Opera Prelude; a Britten Pears masterclass and recital with Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton; and SongPath at the Oxford Botanic Gardens as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival.

Gweneth Ann Rand performs Mrs Grose OperaGlass Works production of The Turn of the Screw. It was filmed on location at Wilton’s Music Hall and was streamed on Marquee TV and broadcast on BBC Four.

The film was directed by Dominic Best, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson, with John Wilson conducting the Sinfonia of London.

Benjamin Britten: The Turn of the Screw
Label: Chandos
Code: CHDVD 5290
Release date: 29 October 2021

 

 

Welsh National Opera’s Rearrange is a series of short films, commissioned to place older, well-known operatic arias in today’s world and to show how the themes echoed in the stories are still relevant today – taking an extract from an opera and giving it a contemporary spin for the modern world.

In this film featuring Linda Richardson, director Daisy Evans places Rossini’s Trio from Le Comte Ory at an office party where three colleagues slink off at the end of the night and get up to all sorts of shenanigans.

We are delighted that Ailish Tynan, Gweneth Ann Rand and Neil Balfour all feature in the 20th Anniversary Oxford Lieder Festival, Nature’s Songbook.

16 October
Neil Balfour joins Kitty Whately, Nicky Spence and Anna Tilbrook for a recital celebrating the works of Stephen Sondheim.

19 October
Ailish Tynan and Libby Burgess perform a programme based on birdsong, including works by Schubert, Grieg, Handel, Judith Weir – indispersed with birdsong quotes by renowned recorder player Ian Wilson.

20 October
Gweneth Ann Rand and Simon Lepper perform a programme including Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder and works by Schoenberg, George Crumb and Florence Price.

In the Footsteps of… is the title of a ground-breaking recital programme from Wigmore Hall Associate Artist Gweneth Ann Rand. Realised with violinist Sarah Daramy-Williams, pianist Allyson Devenish and with actor Adjoa Andoh as narrator, the programme ranges from traditional spirituals through standard recital favourites to world premières by Errollyn Wallen and Clement Ishmael.

The concert on 14 October 2021 will trace the footsteps of pioneering black artists who performed at Wigmore Hall during the twentieth century, including Marian Anderson, Grace Bumbry and Jessye Norman.

We are delighted that the mezzo soprano Felicity Buckland has joined our artist roster for worldwide representation. Felicity is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the ENO Opera Works programme and studies with Mary Plazas. She most recently performed the role of Lily Porgy and Bess at the Theater an der Wien and has covered roles in The Mask of Orpheus, Orpheus in the Underworld and Carmen for English National Opera.

Future highlights include Wellgunde RhineGold for Birmingham Opera and in the autumn she returns to ENO for her mainstage debut as Kasturbai in Phelim McDermott’s acclaimed production of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha, she covers Siegrune in  Richard Jones’ new produciton of The Valkyrie.