Artists

Andreas Wolf
conductor

Andreas Wolf

Andreas Wolf went through a classical theater career and today is what one calls a German Kapellmeister.

After his Abitur, he studied first electrical engineering, mathematics and physics before he decided to devote himself entirely to music. He studied conducting with Prof. Hermann Michael in Munich and finished his studies with the master class diploma. He also studied singing with Prof. Loibl. and received his pianist training with Prof. Gitti Pirner.

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Anthony Negus
Conductor

Anthony Negus

Anthony Negus studied clarinet and piano at the Royal College of Music London, and gained a music degree at Oxford University. He also joined the newly formed Else Mayer- Lismann Opera Workshop, where he was able to develop his passion for opera, both playing and conducting. He was for severa years a musical assistant in Wuppertal, and in Bayreuth working with Erich Leinsdorf, Heinrich Hollreiser (Tannhauser), Horst Stein (Ring), and Eugen Jochum (Parsifal).

Following a period with Hamburg State Opera, he joined the Welsh National Opera(WNO) music staff.  As a conductor there, he built up a wide repertoire of operas including Beethoven (both Leonore and Fidelio), Gluck, Mozart, Richard Strauss (Elektra, Ariadne, Die Frau ohne Schatten). It was his work with Music Director Sir Charles Mackerras in particular that led to his emergence as a vital and sensitive conductor of Mozart, all of whose major operas from Idomeneo to Tito and Die Zauberflote he has conducted.

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Benjamin Lewis
Baritone

Benjamin Lewis

Benjamin Lewis is a baritone who began singing as a founding member of the Halle Youth Choir and a student of Patrick McGuigan. Attending Oxford University, he played a principal role in nearly every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta and performed Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis & Galatea for Oxford Opera. Since leaving Oxford he has played various roles including Buonafede (Il Mondo della Luna), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Sacristan (Tosca), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Il Conte (Le Nozze di Figaro), and covered Count Harasova (The Jacobin) whilst part of the chorus for Buxton Opera Festival.

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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.

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Christopher Turner
Tenor

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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Dawid Kimberg
Baritone

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Dawid Kimberg

Dawid was born in Johannesburg and he moved to the UK in 2001 to further his studies at the Royal College of Music in London. Studying with Ryland Davies since he arrived in the UK, Dawid subsequently attended the National Opera Studio and received a coveted position on the Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artist Programme which commenced in 2009. He also represented South Africa in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2009.

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Eirlys Myfanwy Davies
Mezzo-Soprano

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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 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.

In 2015 Francesco made his debut at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice with La Scala di seta, and in the symphonic season of Orchestre d’Auvergne in France. In 2016 he will conduct Cosi Fan Tutte at Oper Koeln (DE), Le Nozzedi Figaro at Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, US) and Mefistofele in Pisa and Lucca.

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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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Gavin Sutherland

Gavin Sutherland

Gavin Sutherland has established a flourishing and varied career and is in international demand as a conductor,
composer/arranger and pianist. Born in County Durham, England, in 1972, he was active in music from a very early age.
He studied conducting, piano and orchestration at Huddersfield University and graduated with first-class honours, as well as
gaining the Kruczynski Prize for Piano and the Davidson Prize for Distinction Brought to the Institution.

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Gerard Quinn
Baritone

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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

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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Kristy Swift
Soprano

Kristy Swift

British-Australian soprano Kristy Swift has performed extensively in the UK and abroad. She recently sang the role of Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte for Mid Wales Opera, and Marzelline in Beethoven’s Leonore for the Buxton Festival. Prior to this, she was the featured soloist in the Strauss Gala UK and Turkey tour for two consecutive seasons with Raymond Gubbay.

Kristy has also sung the title role in Luigi Rossi’s Orpheus (cover), First Sprite/cover Noémie Cendrillon.

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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

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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Marius Vlad
Heldentenor

Marius Vlad

Highly regarded as the Romanian operatic tenor with the most complex repertoire covering top operatic roles and an impressive symphonic and concert repertoire (more than 120 titles!), Marius Vlad is one of the most appreciated Romanian tenors, an exquisite singer, a true actor delivering with each role an unforgettable interpretation.

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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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Melinda Hughes
Soprano

Melinda Hughes

Classical Biography

Melinda Hughes graduated with honours from the Maastricht Conservatory of Music, The Netherlands and returned to London to study as a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music. She completed her studies at The Brussels Opera Studio in Belgium then toured Europe for three years as the soloist with the André Rieu Strauss Orchestra, performing Operetta favourites with frequent appearances on Television and Radio.

Operatic roles performed include Aida (Dorset Opera) Tosca, The Countess, Madame Butterfly (Diva Opera, Longborough, London City Opera, Columbia Artists, USA,) Mimi  (Diva), Fiordiligi (London City Opera) Violetta (Central Festival Opera & ECO), Gilda and Frasquita, (ECO), Konstanze (BYO), Donna Anna, (Pavilion), Pamina (Chateau de La Hulpe, Brussels), Lisa (La Sonnambula), Euridice, Frau Fluth, Nedda (I Pagliacci touring Europe) Konstanze (BYO) Ninette (L’Amour pour trois oranges, Opera Studio La Monnaie, Brussels)

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Nadine Livingston
Soprano

Nadine Livingston

Nadine Livingston studied at the Royal Northern College of Music where she gained a First Class BMus Honours and a Postgraduate Diploma, with Distinction under the tuition of Barbara Robotham. She is a Samling Artist, and was from 2009-2011 an Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera.

On the concert platform Nadine has sung Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in China with the Macao Orchestra, with the National Youth String Orchestra of Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Festival, Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Goldberg Ensemble, Schoenberg’s 2nd String Quartet with the Vertavo String Quartet, and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No.3 and Neilson’s Symphony No.3 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder (broadcast on BBC Radio 3). Nadine has also appeared with the RSNO as part of their New Year Viennese concerts and at the Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

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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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