Artists

Anthony Negus
Conductor

Anthony Negus

Anthony Negus studied clarinet and piano at the Royal College of Music London, and after gaining a music degree at Oxford University, trained as repetiteur and conductor at the London Opera Centre. He took part in conducting courses with Franco Ferrara (Siena) and George Hurst. He derived much inspiration from the recordings of Toscanini, Furtwängler, Walter and Erich Kleiber, as well as the live experience of Klemperer, Boulez (with whom he later worked on Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande) and Rudolf Kempe (particularly in the orchestra pit at Bayreuth).

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Arta Arnicane
Pianist

Arta Arnicane

“Her totally secure, innate authority is matched by her deeply considered and often profound approach during her performances, far removed from much of the more shallow and superficial playing that abounds nowadays. She totally lacks any form of affectation and has an innate but rarely found sense of structure. Needless to say, these qualities are matched by a formidable technique.” – John Lill CBE

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Carlos Bonell
Guitarist

Carlos Bonell

Carlos Bonell is one of today’s most celebrated guitarists. He was born in London of Spanish parents and studied at the Royal College of Music with John Williams, where he was appointed the youngest ever professor in 1972. He gained prominence in 1981 through his recording for Decca of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

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Carolyn Dobbin
Mezzo Soprano

Carolyn Dobbin

Carrickfergus-born, Northern Irish mezzo-soprano and Samling Foundation Scholar, Carolyn Dobbin, trained on the Opera Theatre Company Young Artist Programme in Dublin and at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

In opera, Carolyn Dobbin has worked with numerous companies including Dorset Opera, English National Opera, Grange Park Opera, English Touring Opera, Castleward Opera, Stadttheater Bern (Switzerland), Mid Wales Opera, Opera Della Luna, Opera Holland Park, Opera Theatre Company, The Opera Group, Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Welsh National Opera. Her repertoire includes Chloe / All That Money Can Buy, the title role in Carmen, Alisa / Lucia di Lammermoor, Miss Catchall / Vera of Las VegasBradamante AlcinaTeodata FlavioLisetta Il mondo della lunaDorabella Così fan tutteZweite Dame / Die ZauberflöteIdamante Idomeneo, Nicklaus Les contes d’Hoffmann, Dido and First Witch Dido and AeneasOttavia L’incorazione di PoppeaCherubino Le nozze di FigaroIrene TheodoraConcepcion L’heure espagnoleOrlofsky Die Fledermaus, Meg Page / FalstaffMaddalena Rigoletto, and Flora Bervoix / La traviata.

In 2010, Carolyn Dobbin was a WNO Associate Artist and the recipient of the WNO Chris Ball Bursary and Sir John Moores Award. She sang the roles of Mercedes / Carmen and Zweite Dame / Die Zauberflöte, as well as covering the title role in Bizet’s Carmen and Maddalena / Rigoletto.

Other stage performances include Janet / The Doctor’s Tale for ROH2 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Scipio / Caligula and Hannah / The Passenger, both for English National Opera; Andronico / Tamerlano for Capella Cracoviensis; Meg Page / Falstaff for Opera Holland Park; Emilia / Otello for Dorset Opera; and Maddalena / Rigoletto for Grange Park Opera.

In concert Carolyn Dobbin has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Mozart Requiem at London’s Royal Festival Hall and for RTVE Madrid; Beethoven 9th Symphony at the Barbican Hall, London; Classical Spectacular for Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Messiah, under the baton of Sir David Willcocks, both at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Further appearances include Janacek’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at the Bath International Festival 2009 with Paul Nilon and Joanna MacGregor.

Carolyn Dobbin has collaborated in concert and opera performances with conductors including Stephen Barlow, Nicholas Cleobury, Christian Curnyn, Richard Egarr, Jane Glover, Paul Hillier, Simon Ible, Stephen Kovacevich, Sir Charles Mackerras, Takuo Yuasa and Thomas Zehetmair, and appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ten Tors Chamber Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra.

Carolyn Dobbin was a member of the Solo Ensemble of Luzerner Theater, Switzerland, (2012-2014) where her roles included Penelope / Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Annio / La clemenza di Tito (a co-production with the Lucerne Festival), Tisbe / La cenerentola, Lidwina / Fraulein Bixel und Herr Glück, Flora Bervoix / La traviata, Bradamante / Alcina, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.

During the period of her Swiss residency Carolyn Dobbin also débuted as Annina and Flora Bervoix / La Traviata at Stadttheater Bern.

Carolyn Dobbin’s radio broadcasts include Così fan tutte (Samling Foundation) and Glanert’s Caligula at ENO for BBC Radio 3. Additionally, Carolyn Dobbin’s discography includes recordings of Lynne Plowman’s Cries Like Silence with the London Mozart Players, conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu, on Avie CD, and the Luzerner Theater Swiss-German Kinderoper Fraulein Bixel und Herr Glück.

In 2015 Carolyn Dobbin returned to the UK where she has subsequently performed the role of Polina in Tchaikowsky’s Pique Dame for Grange Park Opera, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Portsmouth, and Emilia in a concert version of Rossini’s Othello at the Buxton Festival. Carolyn Dobbin also performed the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for the newly-established IYO, under the musical direction of Stephen Barlow, at the Wexford Opera House, Fatima in Weber’s Oberon and The Page in Strauss’ Salome for Northern Ireland Opera, The Verdi Requiem, Angelina in La cenerentola in Ireland, Ditte Dame in the Magic flute in Switzerland, made her debut with Opera North in The Devils Juke-box, Proms Concert under the baton of Stuart Stratford and the role of Charlotte in Werther for ETO.

In 2016 Carolyn Dobbin performed the role of Amastre in Xerxes, Penelope in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, performed Susuki in Madama Butterfly in Italy and performed recitals ‘ A tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’ in London with Christopher Glynn. Carolyn has a keen interest in composers from N Ireland and has been researching and collecting songs for many years and feels strongly that these songs should be preserved and recorded and as a result a collaboration with Delphian Records and Iain Burnside  was created to produce a series of three CDs based on N Irish composers. She has also commissioned current N irishcomposers to write pieces for her using N Irish poetry past and present. The first CD will be launched in 2017. Carolyn will give a recital on the 1st march at the Ulster Museum with Joseph Middleton showcasing  the first of these newly written song cycles and will also exhibit her paintings of the composers involved. For further information contact info@carolyndobbin.com

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Christopher Turner
Tenor

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Christopher Turner

Born in Birmingham, Christopher Turner read Music at the University of Hull, furthering his studies with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio, where he was sponsored by the Scottish Endowment Trust and The Friends of Covent Garden. He has received many prizes, including The Michael and Joyce Kennedy Prize for Singing Strauss, The Frederic Cox Prize, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize, and, most recently, a Countess of Munster ‘Young Star’ Award and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund. He was also a major scholar of the Sir Peter Moores Foundation.

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Cristian Mandeal
Conductor

Cristian Mandeal

A student of Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and Sergiu Celibidache in Munich, Cristian Mandeal is considered to be the most important Romanian conductor nowadays, his activity extending without interruption over a period of four decades.

Between 1987 and 2009 Cristian Mandeal acted as Principal Conductor and General Music Director of the Bucharest Philharmonic and oversaw its rise as an orchestra on the international scene and leaving behind him a benchmark institution. Alongside the positions he has occupied in Romania, Cristian Mandeal has been Artistic Director of the Northern Israeli Orchestra, Haifa (1999–2002) and the Euskadi Symphony – Basque National Orchestra, San Sebastian (2001–2008), Permanent Conductor of the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento (2000–2003), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester (2005–2010—the first to hold this title in the 150-year history of the orchestra), the Belgrade Philharmonic (the 2006–2007 season), and the Copenhagen Philharmonic (2006–2013).

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Daniel Szeili
Tenor

Daniel Szeili

Tenor Daniel Szeili was born in Rosenheim, Germany, and studied Theater and Music Sciences at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. From 1999 to 2002, he studied at the Internationales Studienzentrum für Oper (international study centre for opera) in Kirchbach, Austria, where he trained extensively in German and Italian Opera. He completed further vocal studies in Vienna and Berlin. Since summer 2011, he has studied with Inci Paige-Bashar in Kansas City, USA.

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Erika Mädi Jones
Soprano

Erika Mädi Jones

British Jugendlich-dramatischer soprano Erika Mädi Jones debuted to critical acclaim as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at Longborough Festival Opera in summer 2016. She looks forward to singing her debut of Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes this summer with the Dartington International Summer School orchestra under the baton of Sian Edwards.

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Francesco Pasqualetti
Conductor

Francesco Pasqualetti

Francesco Pasqualetti studied Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Sir Colin Davis and Colin Metters, at the Accademia Chigiana with Gianluigi Gelmetti and at the Accademia Musicale di Stresa with Gianandrea Noseda.
Maestro Gianandrea Noseda invited Francesco to conduct Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, and in 2009 Francesco was invited to attend the LSO Discovery Scheme and had the chance to conduct Brahms Symphony No. 3 with the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Gardar Thor Cortes
Tenor

Gardar Thor Cortes

Gardar Thór Cortes was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, into a family of musicians. His Icelandic father was a world-class tenor who founded the Icelandic Opera, the Reykjavík School of Singing and the Reykjavík Symphony Orchestra. His English mother, Krystyna, was a concert pianist who studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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Gerard Quinn
Baritone

Gerard Quinn Read More »

Helena Dix
Soprano

Helena Dix

Having sung the title role in Cristina Regina di Svezia for Wexford Festival Opera to five star reviews and being previously nominated as Best Young Singer in The International Opera awards, all eyes are currently on Helena Dix.

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Hrólfur Sæmundsson
Baritone

Hrólfur Sæmundsson

Hrolfur Saemundsson initially studied singing at the Reykjavik Vocal Academy before completing his MA in Music at the New England Conservatory in Boston, 2002.

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Ian Fountain
Pianist

Ian Fountain

In 1989 Ian became the youngest winner of the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition in Tel Aviv at the age of nineteen. He was educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford and later at Winchester College. He studied piano under Sulamita Aronovsky at the Royal Northern College of Music.

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John Gibbons
Conductor

John Gibbons

John Gibbons studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music winning numerous awards as a conductor, pianist and accompanist. He has conducted across the world, including the Spier Festival, Cape Town, the Crested Butte Festival in Colorado and the Romanian premiere of Walton’s First Symphony with the Georges Enescu Philharmonic. He has also given many world premieres including the Third Orchestral Set by Charles Ives, William Alwyn’s Violin Concerto, Martyr by Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik’s Christmas Kompot and Malcolm Arnold’s opera The Dancing Master.

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Julian Clayton
Conductor

Julian Clayton

“Under Julian Clayton’s direction the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was in full flow ….. a programme that hit the spot – slick, tuneful, bright and breezy, and well played to boot.” The Scotsman

Julian Clayton is one of the most dynamic and exciting British conductors on the concert platform today. His extensive repertoire of classical, opera, choral and ballet scores is complemented by his skills as a pops conductor and as a presenter and by his enviable reputation as a music educator.

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Kim Sheehan
Soprano

Kim Sheehan

Soprano Kim Sheehan, described by Opera Now as “sporting a super voice and blissfully funny acting skills” has sung many of the roles in the coloratura repertoire in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and her home country of Ireland. She has worked with such established companies as the Royal Opera House, Zürich Opera House, Opera North, Grange Park Opera, Garsington Festival Opera, NI Opera and Wexford Festival.

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Kirstin Sharpin
Soprano

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Kirstin Sharpin

The winner of the triennial International WagnerStimmen Wettbewerb in 2015, Kirstin read English & Italian at the University of Auckland before returning to her ancestral roots, graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as Master of Opera with Distinction.  Further study followed at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill, as an Independent Opera Postgraduate Fellow and Samling Artist.

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Linda Finnie
Mezzo Soprano

Linda Finnie

International Mezzo-soprano Linda Finnie was born and educated in Scotland, graduating from the RSAMD in Glasgow with two DRSAMD diplomas in singing, performer and teacher. Whilst a student she was awarded all the major singing prizes of the academy, which included the Lieder Prize and Governors’ Recital Prize. She was also the recipient of a Countess of Munster Scholarship, two Sir James Caird Scholarships, the John Noble Bursary from Scottish Opera and the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Award London, culminating in gaining full international recognition as the winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Prize at the International Vocalisten Concour ‘s-Hertogenbosch Netherlands.

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Lukas Kargl
Baritone

Lukas Kargl

Austrian baritone Lukas Kargl is in high demand in opera and concert throughout the UK and Europe. After initial training at Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts, he studied with Rudolf Piernay at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, gaining his MMus with Distinction in 2006 and continuing on the School’s renowned Opera Course. Lukas has been a Britten-Pears Young Artist and a Samling Foundation Scholar, was the winner of GSMD’s Patrick Libby Prize and the recipient of the coveted Youngster of Arts Prize from the city of St. Pölten, Austria.

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Mari Wyn Williams
Soprano

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Mari Wyn Williams

Hailing from Llanberis North Wales and residing in Cardiff, Mari Wyn Williams completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Vocal Studies whilst attending the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Suzanne Murphy between 2000 and 2005.
Shortly after this Mari accepted a position with Radio Cymru within the BBC as a production assistant, whilst continuing to master vocal technique under the tuition of Gail Pearson. Mari continued her studies in 2011-2012 completing a Masters Degree at the Welsh International Academy of Voice, achieving distinction, under the tuition of Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile.

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Maria Jones
Mezzo-Soprano

Maria Jones

Maria Jones began her training at the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts and went on to study opera at the Royal Northern College of Music. She made her professional début as a Principal Artist with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre, singing Pitti Sing (The Mikado), title role (Iolanthe) and Phoebe (The Yeomen of the Guard). She later performed Pitti Sing in Rome, on a tour of the USA with D’Oyly Carte and for the Carl Rosa and Buxton G&S Festival companies.

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Matthew Willis
Conductor

Matthew Willis

Matthew Willis works with some of the world’s finest musicians, orchestras and choirs, and has built a reputation for passionate performances through an inspiring, scholarly approach. He has conducted the State Symphony Orchestra Novaya Rossiya, the Hamburg Simfoniker, Opera Holland Park, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Musica Viva Moscow, the Orquestra Simfonica del Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Academia Orquestra de Gran Teatre del Liceu.

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Natasha Jouhl
Soprano

Natasha Jouhl

London-born soprano Natasha Jouhl studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won the prestigious Gold Medal, and at the National Opera Studio.

The recipient of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera John Christie Award, and Glyndebourne on Tour Promise Award, Natasha has forged a close relationship with the company having performed many roles in recent seasons including the title role in Rusalka and First Wood Nymph, Donna Anna Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte, Musetta La bohème, Micaëla Carmen, and has covered Cleopatra Giulio Cesare, Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande, Alice Ford Falstaff, and the title roles in Rusalka and Rodelinda (GFO/GOT). 

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Paul Austin Kelly
Tenor

Paul Austin Kelly

Paul Austin Kelly has performed leading tenor roles with the NY Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and Milan’s La Scala opera houses, to name but a few. Originally a specialist in the Rossini repertoire, he sang numerous times at the Pesaro Festival, and recorded several Rossini operas with the Opera Rara label.

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Sanja Radišić
Mezzo Soprano

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Sanja Radišić

Serbian mezzo-soprano Sanja Radišić (1980) was born to a prominent artistic family in Belgrade. Among her early studies are classical ballet and piano. While graduating as graphic designer, her vocal talent was suddenly discovered by world renowned mezzo-soprano Biserka Cvejić.

She began her studies at the Music Academy of Belgrade where she received the prestigious “Danica Mastilovic” prize for best student of the year.

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Sebastien Obrecht
Tenor

Sebastien Obrecht

Sébastien Obrecht’s original musical career was as a cellist with leading ensembles, but he then decided to pursue a career in singing.

Conductor Paul McCreesh offered him his debut as Mathan in Handel’s Athalia. The production by the Academy of Ambronay was broadcast on the French TV programme Musiques au coeur with Eve Ruggeri, and Sébastien’s performance received critical acclaim : “…among which the tenor Sébastien Obrecht is distinguishable by his elegance” (Le Monde de la Musique); “Sébastien Obrecht, the evening’s revelation…”

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Simon Lobelson
Baritone

Simon Lobelson

Simon Lobelson was born in Sydney of Egyptian parents and brought up in Brussels. He gained his Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney and completed his Opera Diploma with distinction at the Royal College of Music in London on a scholarship under Roderick Earle. He currently studies with Sir Donald McIntyre and has since worked as a soloist in Australia, the Middle East, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.

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Steinunn Soffia Skjenstad
Soprano

Steinunn Soffia Skjenstad

The Icelandic/Norwegian soprano, Steinunn Soffía Skjenstad, started her musical studies in Reykjavík, Iceland and graduated from the Icelandic Academy of Arts before studying at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. From 2008 – 2012, Steinunn studied at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre where she specialised in singing German lieder in addition to being a member of the opera class. Since 2012, Steinunn has been a singer with the Opera Studio of Theater in Lübeck in Northern Germany, where she has worked with directors such as Dieter Kaegi, Anthony Pilavachi and Reto Nickler.

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Stephen Higgins
Conductor

Stephen Higgins

Stephen Higgins is a conductor who has worked extensively in major opera houses and festivals both in the UK and abroad.

He spent his early professional career on the music staff of ROH, Glyndebourne and ENO and has worked on a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Mozart, Puccini, John Adams and Stephen Sondheim.

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