Jeremy Carpenter studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under the tutelage of Ellis Keeler, Rudolf Piernay and David Pollard. During the spring of 2013 he appeared as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Grand Théâtre de Genève and Sir Robert Cecil in Britten’s Gloriana at the ROH Covent Garden. During the current season he returns to Covent Garden for the role of Guglielmo Cecil in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.
Jeremy Carpenter began the 2010/2011 season singing the role of Gérard in Andrea Chénier at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm with tremendous critical acclaim, followed by Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with the Angers Nantes Opéra. The last seasons have included Escamillo in Carmen at the Royal Swedish Opera as well as the Malmö Opera and Talpa in concert performances of Puccini’s Il tabarro with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Harding.
Jeremy Carpenter’s repertoire includes Count and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Marcello in La Bohème, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sid in Albert Herring, Falke in Die Fledermaus, Dancairo and Morales in Carmen, and the title roles of Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi. He has appeared at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra de Lille, Grange Park Opera, Theater S:t Gallen, the Royal Swedish Opera and elsewhere. During the autumn of 2009 Jeremy Carpenter sang Zurga in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Folkoperan, Stockholm, followed by Marullo in Rigoletto in Dijon.
Equally at home on the concert platform, Jeremy Carpenter has appeared in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Liebesliederwaltzer and Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Charles Villiers Stanford’s Songs of the Sea and Maxwell-Davies The Martyrdom of St Magnus.
Sarah Castle’s recent engagements include the title role in Tan Dun’s Marco Polo for the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro for Seattle Opera; Mendelssohn Lobgesang with the Hallé Orchestra at the BBC Proms; Spaces of Blank by Michel van der AA in Amsterdam; Idamante in Idomeneo in Moscow; Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen for the Israeli Opera; Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos for the Royal Opera; Lola in Cavalleria rusticana for San Diego Opera; Page in Salome with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann for the Teatro Real, Madrid and the Gran Teatro de Cordoba; Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel and Ruggiero in Alcina for Opera Australia; Siegrune in Die Walküre, Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Sesto in Giulio Cesare and Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims for the Israeli Opera; Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus for the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Annio in La Clemenza di Tito for the National Theatre, Prague; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro for San Diego Opera; Siegrune in Florence; Flosshilde in Munich; and Elijah with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Notable concerts include Mendelssohn’s Paulus with La Chapelle Royale under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe on a tour of Spain, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, Mark Anthony Turnage Twice Through the Heart with Psappha and her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in Die Walküre with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, returning to sing (with the same conductor) a concert performance of Elektra. She has also made debuts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with Dutch Radio Philharmonic conducted by Lothar Zagrosek singing Debussy La Damoiselle Elue and at the Edinburgh International Festival singing Kurt Weill songs with the San Francisco Ballet.
She made her debut at the Staatsoper Stuttgart as Oberto in Alcina and as Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung and took part in a concert performance of Feuersnot and Anna Bolena (Smeaton) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. For Klagenfurt Opera, she has sung the title role of Teseo; for New Israeli Opera in Tel-Aviv, Nero in L’incoronazione Di Poppea, under the direction of Harry Bicket; and for the Spoleto Festival USA, Andronico in Tamerlano, also under Harry Bicket. She returned to the Spoleto Festival USA to sing Komponist in Ariadne Auf Naxos in 2004 under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume. She has taken part in a production of Parsifal under Jeffrey Tate in Adelaide; sung Cherubino for Opera New Zealand; Helen in King Priam and Teseo in Arianna In Creta, both for Nationale Reisopera; and Olga in Eugene Onegin at La Monnaie in Bruxelles conducted by Lothar Zagrosek. Other major debuts include Tisbe in La Cenerentola for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Oberto in Alcina for San Francisco Opera and the title role of Carmen in Switzerland. She sang the roles of Flosshilde and Grimgerde at the 2004 Bayreuther Festspiele.
Chorus Angelorum, comprising of some of the UK’s leading choral professionals, is an elite chamber choir founded by Gavin Carr in 2007 to perform the St Matthew Passion in Bath Abbey with the English Chamber Orchestra, Dame Emma Kirkby, Sarah Connolly and James Gilchrist. With the immense success of this concert, Gavin Carr was invited to tour with his choir in Carmina Burana for the Emilia-Romagna Fesitval in Naples, Bologna, Montepulciano and Llubjana. A concert of Verdi Opera Choruses was warmly received in Cesenatico, Italy, and a command performance for the Archbishop of Turin soon followed with Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la presence divine with Jan Latham-Koenig and the orchestra of the Teatro Regio, Turin. The choir’s Messiah tours with Bath Philhamronia in the West Country are eagerly anticipated, and 2009 saw it return to Bath Abbey for a sell-out programme shared with this orchestra including Tallis’ great 40-part motet Spem in alium. Recent performances have also included a sell-out appearance at the Frome Festival, Somerset, with Treasures from the Spanish Renaissance, featuring the Victoria Requiem. The recording of Paul Carr’s Requiem for an Angel and other choral works by this composer marks the choir’s cd debut.
Rodney has performed the baritone roles in all the Da Ponte/Mozart operas notably the title role in Don Giovanni. He particularly relishes the music of Benjamin Britten having performed the roles of the Ferryman, Elder Son and Azarias in a UK/Russia tour of Britten’s Church Parables under the direction of Frederic Wake-Walker and Roger Vignoles. Other highlights include his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and his role debut as Crown inthe same opera in a production by The Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen directed by John Doyle. Rodney performs regularly with major orchestras and conductors with repertoire including Bernstein’s Mass with London Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, title role in Porgy and Bess with the Orchestra of Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome under Wayne Marshall and Jake in Porgy & Bess with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Rodney demonstrates his versatility performing both contemporary music as well as early music. He premiered One Sun One World by Peter Rose and Anne Conlon at the Royal Albert Hall, featured as Polyphemus in Acis & Galatea in the BBC’s documentary of The Birth of British Music: Handel and Purcell series, made his Wigmore Hall debut with a recital of songs from Music To a Distant Drum by Kenneth Hesketh with Ensemble 10/10 and has performed Vaughan Williams Seranade to Music at Queen Elizabeth Hall under the baton of John Wilson, Bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah alongside Dame Emma Kirkby in Trondheim, Norway and appeared in Max Richter’s unique new chamber opera SUM at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden directed by Wayne McGregor. Rodney recently portrayed the role of Firefighter in Tansy Davies’ new opera Between Worlds for the English National Opera with librettist Nick Drake, director by Deborah Warner and conductor Gerry Cornelius at the Barbican Theatre.
Ronald Corp wrote his first major work, the cantata ‘And all the Trumpets Sounded’, as the result of a commission from the Highgate Choral Society in 1989. Other choral works include Laudamus (1994), A New Song (1999), Mary’s Song, (2000) Adonai Echad (2000) and Jubilate (2008). Smaller works include We Will Remember Them, Verbum Patris Umanatur, There is no Rose, Missa San Marco, Christmas Mass and Forever Child.
Sainsbury’s commissioned Four Elizabethan Lyrics for the Farnham Youth Choir, winners of their section of the Sainsbury Choir of the Year. Other compositions for children’s choir include Cornucopia (1997), a cycle of songs with orchestra, and its successor Kaleidoscope (2002). Of his numerous part songs and carols for children’s choir the most notable are For a Child and All Ye Works of the Lord both with instrumental accompaniment, Cradle Song, Flower Songs and Hardy Songs. In 2003 BBC Radio 3 commissioned a major work for the BBC Singers – a setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.
He has written many solo songs including the cycles Flower of Cities, Miscellanie, The Music of Whitman and The Music of Wordsworth – the latter with obbligato clarinet. His many instrumental compositions include Homage to Martinu for flute and piano (2003) and his String Quartet no 1 ‘The Bustard’ (2008). Orchestral works include and a Piano Concerto (1997), Guernsey Postcards, Concerto Grosso and a Symphony. A suite of Purcell arrangements for violin and strings (2003), and orchestrations of Satie’s Gnossiennes, featured in the film Chocolat.
Robert Costin, described as a performer of ‘consummate control’ (MusicWeb) and ‘in total technical command’ (International Record Review), studied organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music before reading music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. His principal teachers were Nicholas Danby, David Sanger and John Toll. After graduation, Robert moved to New Zealand to take up the post of Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington. During this period he became a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, making numerous solo organ broadcasts, and he was a major prize winner at the Hamilton International Organ Competition. He has subsequently held posts at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, Blackburn Cathedral, Worksop College, Bedford School, Ardingly College, St Paul’s Cathedral School, Highgate School and is presently Head of Music at St Louis School, Milan.
Robert’s musical career has taken him all over the world, including North America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. He has performed in many of the major British venues, including King’s College, Cambridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. He made his concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2011, which was broadcast live on national radio. Recent highlights have included concerts and classes at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and major tours of New Zealand and Australia. Robert has made regular broadcasts on Radio New Zealand and the BBC, and his recordings have featured on the popular US radio programme Pipedreams.
David Crown has been singing and conducting choirs and orchestras since his teens. He won a Choral Scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge and was also a university instrumental award holder on the viola. Immediately after leaving university he embarked on a career as soloist in opera and oratorio winning several competitions. He also built a considerable reputation as singing teacher and now teaches at Oxford and Bristol Universities as well as privately. In more recent years he has left the world of solo singing and returned to his first love of conducting. He is Director of Music at Somerville College, Oxford, and Music Director of the Reading Phoenix Choir, The Oxford Singers and The Wychwood Chorale. His work with choirs and orchestras has attracted superb notices in the UK and abroad. He is also increasingly in demand for master-classes. Somerville have been invited to sing Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral twice in the coming year and will be taking part in the Britten in Oxford festival in 2013 as the only collegiate choir.
Sophie Daneman studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Johanna Peters and has established an international reputation in a wide ranging repertoire. An accomplished recitalist, Sophie Daneman has appeared at many of the world’s major recital venues, including the Wigmore Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Musikverein, Vienna, and Carnegie Hall.
Her opera engagements have included Rodelinda in the Netherlands, ‘Arianna’, Cleopatra (‘Giulio Cesare’) and Dalila (‘Samson’) for the Göttingen Handel Festival, and an acclaimed Mélisande for the Opéra Comique. She has sung Servilia (‘La Clemenza di Tito’) with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Euridice (Haydn’s ‘L’Anima del Filosofo’) for the Opéra de Lausanne, Euridice (Monteverdi’s ‘L’Orfeo’) and ‘Dido and Aeneas’ at the Bavarian State Opera, the title role in Handel’s ‘Theodora’ with William Christie in New York, Paris and Salzburg and Bernstein’s ‘Wonderful Town’ and her first Susanna (‘Le nozze di Figaro’) for Grange Park Opera. She appeared in the staged productions of Tod Machover’s ‘Skellig’ at The Sage, Gateshead and sang Phedre in Rameau’s ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ for the Nationale Reisopera.
She has toured extensively with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, as well as performing with Sir Neville Marriner, Gérard Lesne, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Phillipe Herreweghe, Ivor Bolton and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. She has sung Handel’s ‘Apollo e Dafne’ at the Maggio Musicale, ‘L’Allegro’ with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and appeared with the Halle Handel Festival, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Rias Kammerchor, the Beaune Festival, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wyn Davies was born in South Wales and graduated from Christ Church Oxford. He works with a wide range of opera companies, orchestras, theatre companies, in the West End and in cabaret. He has been Director of Music to New Zealand Opera since 2005. His most recent productions there are Don Giovanni and The Flying Dutchman.
Wyn Davies first worked with Welsh National Opera. He conducted a wide variety of repertoire there, including his own edition of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea as well as Janáček cycles and Krása’s children’s opera Brundibar (televised).
He later spent two years as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and undertook two seasons for the Banff Centre in Canada, which included the award-winning production of Weill’s Threepenny Opera in Toronto.
Wyn Davies has also conducted the Welsh and English National Operas, Scottish Opera and Opera North, where his collaborations have been frequent and successful from the co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company of Show Boat (also in the West End and on tour) to Madam Butterfly, The Merry Widow and two Gershwin musicals: Of Thee I Sing (also Bregenz) and Let ‘Em Eat Cake.
Wyn Davies has worked with the Hallé Orchestra (and returned for concerts each year since 2007), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Millennium Concert) and other British ensembles, and with orchestras from Serbia to New Zealand.
Recent projects include A Child of our Time for the National Youth Orchestra and Choir in New Zealand, Don Pasquale in Japan, a double bill of Dido and Aeneas and La Voix Humaine for Opera North, La Cenerentola for Queensland Opera and Under Milk Wood on tour in Wales.
William Dazeley was born in Warwickshire and is a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. He studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he won several prizes including the prestigious Gold Medal, the Decca Kathleen Ferrier Prize, the Royal Overseas League Singing Competition, the Richard Tauber Prize and the Walther Gruner International Lieder Competition.
William is now established as one of the leading baritones of his generation, and has already appeared with many of the world’s important opera houses. Roles include Count in Cherubin, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Anthony in Sweeney Todd, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and title role in Owen Wingrave for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Figaro in Barbiere at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Count in Figaro and title role in Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dr Faust at the Salzburg Festival and Châtelet conducted by Kent Nagano and Scherasmin in Oberon at the Theatre du Châtelet conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, which was also presented in concert at the Barbican, the Count in Figaro at the Pittsburgh Opera, Zurga in The Pearl Fishers at the San Francisco Opera, the Ferryman in Curlew River at the Edinburgh Festival, Papageno in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Maximilian in Candide with the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Marcello in La Boheme and Yeletsky in Pique Dame with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Concert appearances have included title role in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust for a European tour conducted with Philippe Herreweghe and concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Schumann’s Requiem for Mignon conducted by John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Orchesta; Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Royal Flanders Philharmonic conducted by Herreweghe and at the Casa da Musica, Porto; Corigliano’s Dylan Thomas Trilogy with the BBC Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Christmas Oratorio with the Berlin Philharmonic; the world premiere of songs by Harrison Birtwistle for the BBC Proms conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, Mahmoud in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Das Paradies und die Peri with the San Francisco Symphony, Das Klagende Lied with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Orchestre du Capitole Toulouse, Britten’s War Requiem at the Aspen Festival, L’Enfance du Christ with London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis, the Brahms Requiem with the Monteverdi Choir conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Orquestra Nacional do Porto, and concerts of L’Enfance du Christ with Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg conducted by Ivor Bolton.
World premieres include the lead role of Jesus in Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim, which was then repeated at the Glyndebourne Festival; and Hosokawa’s Hanjo, which was presented at the Aix en Provence Festival and Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels.
William has given recital performances at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St George’s Bristol, and Chatelet, and is regularly invited to sing at Cheltenham, Aix en Provence and Saintes Festivals with such noted accompanists as Graham Johnson and Iain Burnside.
pursueing his vocal studies at la Civica Scuola di Musica of Milan and the prestigious Curtis Institute, Philadelphia where his early opera performances led to highly successful European debuts including a prizewinning Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Ton Koopman.
Since his 2007 UK debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos for Garsington Opera, he has quickly made a name for himself here, with roles such as Robinson-Secret Marriage (Scottish Opera), Dandini-La Cenerentola (Garsington), Pete-Lost Highway (ENO), the Count-Capriccio (Grange Park), Guglielmo-Così fan tutte, and Schaunard-La Boheme (Opera North).
His operatic repertoire spans from Monteverdi to the present day, with over 50 roles performed, including several world premieres such as the title role of Achilleus (Flemish Opera), but if asked to choose, his preferences would lie with Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Strauss and Britten. Similarly indecisive is he with Song repertoire, as the music he most enjoys performing is that of Wolf, Schuman, Fauré, Tchaikovsky, Barber and Rorem.
Recent highlights include Don Giovanni in Rimini, Christus in Bach’s Johannes Passion for De Nationale Reisopera, Selim in Il Turco in Italia for Garsington Opera, and future engagements include roles at La Monnaie, The Netherlands Opera and Grange Park Opera.
Rebecca de Pont Davies is establishing herself as one of the leading singer actors of her generation. Recent engagements include Geneviève Pelléas et Mélisande at the Aalto Musiktheater in Essen, conducted by Stefan Soltesz, her first Klytemnestra (opposite Susan Bullock) for Opera North, Auntie in David Alden’s award-winning production of Peter Grimes at ENO, Vlaamse Opera, and Opera de Oviedo, her debut in Germany as Mrs Sedley in a new production of Peter Grimes for Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf, her first Herodias and Die Hexe for Theater Bielefeld, Beggar Woman Sweeney Todd, in a new production for Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Aunt Kaye in the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Bronka Steinberg’s The Passenger for ENO.
Future engagements include Auntie Peter Grimes for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Old Lady/Elaine in a new production of Sunday in the Park with George for Theatre du Chatelet Paris and Mother Wagner Dream for Welsh National Opera.
Rebecca has gained international recognition through roles such Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes at the Liceu Bercelona and in Valencia, Zweite Magd Elektra, Mother in Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream for De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Beroe Henze’s The Bassarids in Luxembourg and Paris, Albine Thais and 3rd SecretaryNixon in China for Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, and Mother Goose The Rake’s Progress for Opera de Oviedo. On the concert platform, Rebecca’s appearances have included performances in a wide variety of works with many of Britain’s leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Further international performances include da Falla El Amor Brujo and Seven Popular Spanish Songs with Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada and Alma Mahler’s Four Early Songs with Sinfonica del Valle in Cali, Colombia. An enthusiastic exponent of contemporary music, Rebecca has appeared with Lontano and the Endymion Ensemble in works such as Henze’s El re del Harlem, Berio’s Folksongs, Judith Weir’s Consolations of Scholarship and with the London Sinfonietta she sang Wife/Doreen/Waitress 1/Sphynx 2 in Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek as part of the BBC’s Momentum series at the Barbican.
Rebecca was born in London and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She made her debut at Glyndebourne in Death in Venice and went on to create the role of Ismene in Luc Braeways Antigone with Belgian based Walpurgis, touring throughout Europe. Having made her ENO debut as Emilia in Verdi’sOtello, Rebecca went on to become a Company Artist. Her many roles during this time include Ulrica Un Ballo in Maschera, Mistress Quickly Falstaff, Mrs SedleyPeter Grimes, Ottavia Poppea, Genevieve Pelleas et Melisande, Theatre Dresser/Schoolboy/Groom Lulu, Albine Thais, Annina Der Rosenkavalier, Flosshilde Das Rheingold, Siegrune Die Walkure, Page Salome (also recorded for Chandos), Mother Goose The Rake’s Progress and 3rd Secretary Nixon in China.
She also created the role of Suzanne in the world premiere of Martin Butler’s A Better Place. For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden she has sung Schwertleite Die Walkure, and 2nd Esquire Parsifal, and for Scottish Opera Moksada Parem Vir’s Snatched by the Gods, Orlofsky Die Fledermaus, and Mezzo Actor Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera. She appeared as Maddalena in Opera North’s new production of Rigoletto and at Garsington Opera she has sung Gaea DAPHNE, Die Muschel Die Agyptische Helene and Die Haushalterin Die Schweigsame Frau.
Julius Drake lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc. He appears regularly at all the major music centres: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Philarmonie Berlin; the Châtalet and Musée de Louvre Paris; La Scala Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London.
Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 – 2003, Julius Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he was been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales. Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for the Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. A series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White.
Magid El-Bushra was a recipient of a 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Susan Chilcott Scholarship. A countertenor, who was born in Khartoum, Sudan and studied Music at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he also held a Choral Scholarship, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music, where he was a winner of the Century Prize for Early Music, and at the Flanders Opera Studio in Ghent. He currently studies with Paul Farrington and Della Jones, and is a grateful recipient of scholarships from Sir Vernon Ellis and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.
In opera, Magid has performed the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Opera Fuoco/David Stern at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, as well as the role of David in a staged production of Handel’s oratorio Saul at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (conducted by Andreas Spering). He made his debut with Glyndebourne on Tour as Nutrice in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (2010), and has covered the roles of Mago Christiano (Rinaldo) and Nireno (Giulio Cesare) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2011/2009). In 2010, he created the role of Little Ceasar in the pastiche opera Nachtwache at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater to great reviews (the production was revived in 2012), and performed the role of Primo Uomo in another pastiche opera, Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali, at the Opéra de Rouen. He has also performed the role of Tolomeo in a version of Handel’s Giulio Cesare for young people at the Théâtre Saint Quentin, Paris, with Opera Fuoco/David Stern, Tragedia/Dafne in Caccini’s Euridice with Scherzi Musicali/Nicolas Achten (recorded for Ricercar and awarded 5 Diapasons), and appeared in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Les Arts Florissants/William Christie at the Teatro Real, Madrid.
As a soloist in the oratorio repertoire, Magid has performed Handel’s Chapel Royal Anthems with the Basel Kammerorchester directed by Paul Goodwin; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Casa Da Musica, Porto under the direction of Laurence Cummings and in Auxerre with Ensemble La Fenice/Jean Tubéry; Buxtehude’s Das Jüngste Gericht with Masaaki Suzuki in Japan; Bach’s Mass in G and Mass in A with Ensemble Pygmalion at the Festival de la Chaise Dieu (recorded for Alpha and awarded Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2008), and the premiere of Klaus Huber’s Miserere Hominibus at the Opéra Bastille, Paris with Les Jeunes Solistes. He has also recorded the Pie Jesu in the Requiem by Duruflé for Harmonia Mundi.
Magid has given several recitals at the Bijloke concert hall in Ghent, most recently of Byrd consort songs with the viol consort Phantasm (following on from the recital of English lute songs he gave there in 2010). He has also given a recital of English folksongs at the Snape Maltings concert hall in Aldeburgh, as well as the premiere of Robert Platz’ song cycle Boutaden for the Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne.
He participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, performing the role of David in Handel’s Saul at the Aldeburgh Festival under the direction of Richard Egarr in 2010. He has also participated in Malcolm Martineau’s song masterclasses at Crear, and in masterclasses with Ann Murray, Graham Johnson and Emma Kirkby. In November 2008, Magid won first prize at the Concorso Musica Sacra in Rome, and, with his baroque ensemble La Sfera Musicale, was a prizewinner at the international early music competitions in Brugges and Yamanashi.
This season sees the revival of Handel’s Saul in Oldenburg and Heilbronn, concerts in De Bijloke, Ghent, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, and Magid’s first concert in North America, at the Montréal Bach Festival.
Samuel Evans is a former choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and recently completed the opera course at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Upon graduation, he was awarded the prestigous Tagore Gold Medal, which was presented to him by HRH The Prince of Wales. He is a Samling Scholar, and was a finalist in the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. As a winner of the Maisie Lewis Prize he made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall. He also won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Welsh Young Singer of the Year, and was a finalist in the Welsh Singer of the Year Competition at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff.
His operatic roles include Garibaldo Rodelinda in the London Handel Festival, Don Alfonso Cosi fan Tutte at the Royal College of Music, Kilian Der Freischütz at the Opéra Comique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and The Forester The Cunning Little Vixen at the Ryedale Festival. He has also sung Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte for Vignette Productions in London and France, Chelsias Susanna for Iford, Giacchino Leonora for Bampton Classical Opera, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas for the Armonico Consort, Leporello Don Giovanni for Opera-by-Definition, Pallante Agrippina for Barber Opera, and Judas Pilgrim’s Progress at Sadler’s Wells under Richard Hickox, as well as performing on tour with Essential Scottish Opera. In concert, he has performed the role of Le Grand Prêtre in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux at the Salle Pleyel in Paris under Gardiner.
Concert engagements have included Bach Christmas Oratorio at the Spitalfields Festival, Bach B Minor Mass in the Bachfest Leipzig with the English Baroque Soloists/ Gardiner, Mozart Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore in Salzburg Cathedral, Bach St Matthew Passion at the Fairfield Halls, Haydn Theresienmesse at St. John’s Smith Square, Rutter Mass of the Children at Cadogan Hall, Monteverdi Vespers in Southwark Cathedral and Beethoven Symphony No.9 for Highgate Choral Society. He has given recitals at St John’s Smith Square and The Peak Festival.
Samuel’s recent and forthcoming engagements include his BBC Proms debut in Der Freischütz with Gardiner, Mozart C Minor Mass with The Northern Sinfonia / Thomas Zehetmair, Handel Messiah with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway, and Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney Opera House. In the summer of 2013 he will sing roles in the Britten Church Parables with Mahogany Opera in St Petersburg and the Aldeburgh Festival.
Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Forthcoming recitals include debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and La Monnaie, Brussels with Mark Padmore and Julius Drake and a return to the Wigmore Hall to sing Tit for Tat with Malcolm Martineau and Canticles with Julius Drake as part of their 2012 Britten Festival. Marcus will also give
four concerts for the Australian Chamber Music Festival, with music by Barber, Britten, Poulenc and Brahms; a recital for the Lammermuir Festival and BBC Radio 3; a recital of Hugo Wolf for the Oxford Lieder Festival, to be recorded and concerts with the Carducci Quartet including Finzi Footpath and Stile and Barber Dover Beach. Recent highlights have included a Wigmore Hall recital with James Baillieu and further recitals with Simon Lepper, Iain Burnside, and Graham Johnson. Marcus has also taken part in a Schubertiade with The Prince Consort in Perth and will appear with the Myrthen Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall in 2013.
Opera plans this season and beyond include Eddy in Mark-Anthony Turnage Greek for Music Theatre Wales; Gugliemo in a new production by Katie Mitchell of Mozart Così fan tutte and English Clerk in Britten Death in Venice for English National Opera and in concert, Sid in Britten Albert Herring with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Steuart Bedford.
Concert plans include Britten War Requiem with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and at Truro Cathedral; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ with the BBC SO; Dvorak Te Deum with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Monteverdi Vespers, on tour, including Lille and Essen with Emmanuelle Haïm; Haydn Paukenmesse with the BBC Scottish SO and Bernard Labardie; St Matthew Passion (Christus and bass arias) in Poland with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King on a UK tour with the Hebrides Ensemble. In 2013, Marcus will sing Son in a new work by David Sawer Flesh and Blood with the BBCSO and Ilan Volkov and take part in a European tour and recording of Thomas Larcher’s Die Nacht der Verlorenen for baritone and ensemble.
Recent opera highlights include Novice’s Friend in Britten Billy Budd for ENO; the title role in Britten Owen Wingrave for the International Chamber Music Festival in Nuremberg and in concert, Kilian Der Freischütz with the LSO and Sir Colin Davis and Aeneas in Purcell Dido and Aeneas for the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn at Wigmore Hall.
Marcus has also recently sung Nielsen Symphony No 3 with the LSO and Colin Davis; Bach Ich habe Genug and St John Passion (arias) with the Academy of Ancient Music; Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Wermlands Opera Orchestra, Karlstad, Sweden and Bach St John and St Matthew Passions (Christus and bass arias) with the Gabrieli Consort.
Marcus was a chorister at Southwell Minster and read music at the University of Manchester, graduating with a first class honours degree. He completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in July 2011, where roles included Guglielmo Così fan tutte; Sid Albert Herring; Oreste in Cavalli Giasone and Meredith in Peter Maxwell Davies Kommilitonen!
Neil Fisenden was born in Perth and joined the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as Second Flute in 1974, before being appointed principal piccolo four years later. He was a founding member of the Perth Woodwind Quintet, performing often in concerts and recordings for the ABC, and has appeared regularly as soloist with the WASO. In 1979 he was made Principal Flute of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and in the same year awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study in London. During his four-year stay in Adelaide, he frequently performed as a soloist with both the Adelaide Symphony and Adelaide Chamber Orchestras. He returned to Perth in 1983 as Principal Flute of the West Australian Symphony and continued to appear regularly as a soloist, notably as soloist for the 1983 tour to Singapore and as a Master Series soloist in the 1993 season. He is in great demand as a teacher, and is chief flute examiner and woodwind specialist advisor to the Australian Music Examinations Board. He is keenly involved in chamber music, featuring in performances in the past two years’ Perth International Arts Festivals. In 2004, he was elected as a Director of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Mark Ford was born in Bromley and educated at St Dunstan’s College, Catford, where he studied the organ with the international recitalist David Sanger. He continued his academic and musical studies at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he held an Organ Scholarship and read law. Whilst at Cambridge, Mark directed the Chapel Choir (whom he accompanied on tours to Bavaria and Ireland), as well as the college Choir and Orchestra, and sang in the University Chamber Choir under Timothy Brown. More recently, he studied piano with Elena Kiseleva, whose insights and coaching were invaluable in the preparations for recording this CD.
In 1994, Mark founded The Purcell Singers, a choir which he has directed in concerts of wide-ranging music from the fifteenth century to the present day. His passion for Georg Schumann’s music began with a chance discovery of Schumann’s Opus 52 motets for double choir and eventually led to him recording the composer’s complete choral works with The Purcell Singers. The first of these discs was Gramophone Magazine’s Critics’ Choice in January 2002, and the second also described as a “hugely impressive disc” (Gramophone). He has also made numerous commercial recordings with the choir and has conducted sessions at all the major London recording studios.
By profession, Mark is a solicitor. He is a leading authority on legal process outsourcing and previously built a team of 60 lawyers in a pioneering business unit in his firm’s Delhi office. Mark is currently Chief Knowledge Officer at a major US law firm and leads a team of more than 300 knowledge management professionals across the world.
Jens Franke, born to an eminent German musical family, trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and King’s College, London. An artist of eclectic taste, equally at home in the concert room or theatre, he has worked with English National Ballet and was formerly orchestral guitarist of the European Union Youth Orchestra, in which capacity he appeared in concert with Bernard Haitink, playing such venues as the Concertgebouw, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and Sadler’s Wells. He has commissioned a number of new works for guitar including a theatre cycle by Oscar Colomina i Bosch, setting Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies (an eighteenth-century listing of London prostitutes), premièred at the Barbican Centre, London in December 2011. Recording credits include two EPs, eight CDs for Schott London, associated with a series of Romantic and Baroque anthologies, an album of music by Johann Kaspar Mertz (Stone Records), a collection of Schubert songs with Anna Huntley, recorded at the Wigmore Hall (Quartz) and, alongside his long-standing guitar duet partner Jørgen Skogmo, the complete ensemble works of Antoine de Lhoyer (Naxos).
Megumi Fujita, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, studied around the world including the United States, Japan, Iraq and Israel. She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School (UK), Rubin Academy of Music (Tel-Aviv University) and the Royal College of Music (UK), with Simon Nicholls, Louis Kentner, Vlado Perlemuter, Irina Zaritskaya and Alexandra Andrievsky. Prizewinner of numerous competitions including Bösendorfer International Competition (Belgium), Montreal International Competition, PTNA Piano Competition (Japan) and Commemorative Medal from the F.Chopin Scholarship Fund Committee (Poland). Megumi has performed numerous concertos and recitals throughout the world including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and USA, at prestigious venues including the Barbican Hall, Conway Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Atheneum Hall (Romania), Place des Arts (Montreal, Canada), Cemal Resit Rey Hall (Istanbul, Turkey), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), Hyogo Performing Arts Center (Hyogo, Japan) and Oji Hall (Tokyo). The conductors Megumi has collaborated with include Sergiu Comissiona, Issac Karabchevsky, Sung Kwak, Louis Lane, Robert Shaw, Christian Mandeal, I.Ionescu–Galati, David Josefowitz, and Yukio Kitahara. Megumi is also an active chamber musician as a member of the Fujita Piano Trio, having performed at over 150 venues in the UK. They have been awarded the prestigious Aoyama Barocksaal Prize (Japan) in 2007. Megumi has recorded eight CDs, six of which are as Fujita Piano Trio, and two solo discs including the Rachmaninov 24 Preludes, with ASV label and the Swedish label Intim Musik.