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In 2024 Northern Irish soprano Giselle Allen makes her debut at Sydney Opera House to reprise the role of Tosca with Opera Australia and returns to Opera North to sing Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana. In 2023 she performed Praskov’ya Osipovna Nos (The Nose) at La Monnaie, Brussels, and 3rd Norn Götterdämmerung for Opernhaus Zürich. Celebrated for her strong character portrayals, highlights include Elektra for Irish National Opera, Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw for La Monnaie (live-streamed) and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes in Aldeburgh Music’s Grimes on the Beach (broadcast on BBC4 and released on DVD).
Judith Howarth recently sang Lady Macbeth for Grange Festival to critical acclaim and first came to public attention when she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a Principal aged twenty one. She has since performed leading roles world-wide and has sung with many distinguished conductors on the concert platform, with a discography of more than 30 recordings. In 2024 Judith will sing Lady Billows Albert Herring for Opera North.
English-Japanese soprano Julia Mariko is currently recording Musetta in a new filmed version of Robin Norton-Hale’s Olivier award-winning production of La bohème. In 2023, she also performed Virtue and covered Poppea/Drusilla, The Coronation of Poppea for English Touring Opera and Shirley and Stella (covering Vera) The Land of Might Have Been for Buxton International Festival. In 2024 she will cover Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress and perform Lamplighter Manon Lescaut for ETO alongside their next Learning and Participation opera The Great Stink.
French mezzo-soprano Margo Arsane sang Sesto Giulio Cesare for English Touring Opera in 2023. She was a 2020-21 Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera and a Young Artist at Opéra National de Lyon. In the 2021-22 season she returned as Dorabella Così fan tutte for Scottish Opera and made her house and role debut as L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at Landestheater Coburg, Germany. Recently she sang the title-role in the world premiere of Raising Icarus by Michael Zev Gordon at the Barber Institute, Birmingham, and Smeraldine and Linette L’amour des trois oranges at Opéra National de Lorraine.
In 2023 Ann Taylor sang the mezzo solo in Opera North/Phoenix Dance Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s Requiem and Teresa La Sonnambula for Buxton International Festival. Last year she sang Suzuki Madama Butterfly at The Bridgewater Hall with the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, and in 2021 performed the Gamekeeper’s wife/Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen for Opera Holland Park.
This season Belgian countertenor Logan Lopez Gonzalez created the role of Wolf in Vasco Mendoça’s new opera The Girl, the Hunter and the Wolf. He also performed the title role in SOLAR, Icarus burning by Howard Moody and covered Smeton Bastarda (Donizetti) at La Monnaie/De Munt, Brussels. In 2022 Logan covered Tamerlano and Andronico Tamerlano for Grange Festival. Future engagements include the role of Freddie in Ian Wilson’s new opera The Collector for Spark Opera and performing as dancer/singer in MALUS for La Monnaie in 2024.
A BBC Proms artist, tenor Ben Johnson has performed & recorded with Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau & James Baillieu. Well-known among Europe’s concert halls, he has also performed a variety of roles with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bergen National Opera & Opéra de Lyon.
Matthew McKinney is a Scottish tenor and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has recently recorded Gastone La traviata for OperaGlass Works’ forthcoming film and Rodolfo La bohème on Robin Norton-Hale’s feature produced by Finite Films. In 2022 he sang Damon Acis & Galatea for Ryedale Festival and covered Henrik A Little Night Music for Opera North, having sung the role for Buxton International Festival in 2021. In 2023 he sang Luigino Il viaggio a Reims and Rustighello Lucrezia Borgia in new productions for ETO and will sing with the Glyndebourne Festival in 2024.
Irish tenor Aaron O’Hare transitioned from baritone in 2021. This year he sang Spoletta Tosca for Northern Ireland Opera and will perform Fourth Jew Salome for Irish National Opera in 2024. As an Associate Artist with Welsh National Opera, he sang the title role in Don Giovanni on tour, Stárek Jenůfa and March Hare/White Knight in Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 2021 he also sang Schaunard La bohème for Northern Ireland Opera and new commission Elsewhere, composed by Michael Gallen and produced in Ireland with support from the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.
In 2023 Irish-British baritone Dan D’Souza sang Flemish Deputy Don Carlo (Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Mohammed Nobody/Somebody (Northern Ireland Opera), Father Hansel and Gretel (Lyric Opera Productions, Dublin) and Cirillo/Boroff Fedora, Rabbit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ebn-Hakia Iolanta (If Opera). In 2024 he sings Angelotti Tosca for The Grange Festival.
Zambian-born baritone Themba Mvula has sung for WNO, ENO, Opera North and Birmingham Opera Company. In 2020 he sang Frazier in Theater an der Wien’s production of Porgy and Bess and the title role in Bhekizizwe in a filmed production for Opera Ddraig. In 2023 he sang Anthony Blaze of Glory! for WNO and opened The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions at the Manchester International Festival, which transferred to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Bregenzer Festspiele with further tours planned in Austria and New York in 2024/25.
In 2022 Scottish baritone Christopher Nairne sang Marcello La bohème for Nevill Holt Opera, Count Carl-Magnus A Little Night Music (co-production with Leeds Playhouse/Opera North), Albert Werther with Lyric Opera Productions (Dublin) and as a soloist with the Scottish Opera Highlights tour. In 2023 he covered Morales Carmen, Horemhab Akhnaten, Marchese d’Obigny La traviata and Earl Mountararat Iolanthe for English National Opera.
Harry Thatcher is a British baritone based in London. Recent engagements include Schaunard La bohème for Opera Holland Park, Escamillo Carmen for Scottish Opera (access performances) and jump-ins to sing the same role for Waterperry Opera Festival. On the concert platform Harry has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of Opera North at the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. In 2024 he will sing Riff West Side Story for the Gobierno de Aragon Lyric and Dance Festival and Silvio Pagliacci for OHP.