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Lyric soprano Emily Garland has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune singing Liszt songs to promote a forthcoming Wigmore Hall recital. Winner of the Richard Lewis Award at the Royal Academy of Music, she returned to The Grange Festival in 2021 to cover the title role in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. In 2019 she covered Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, working with Ann Murray to prepare the role, and sang in Precipice, their 2020 outdoor promenade performance, as well as a recorded masterclass on the main stage with Dame Felicity Palmer.
Winner of the 2018 Ferrier Song Prize and graduate of the Royal College of Music’s International Opera School, Scottish soprano Catriona Hewitson has sung roles for Grange Festival, Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera. She is a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist and has performed Adina L’elisir d’amore and Despina Così fan tutte for the company (released for online distribution) and was the soprano for their Opera Highlights performances.
English-Japanese soprano Julia Mariko Smith studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and recently appeared as Gretel Hansel and Gretel with Waterperry Opera Festival, Fredrika A Little Night Music with Buxton Opera Festival and in recital with Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton as a Momentum Artist at the 2021 Leeds Lieder Festival. In 2020 she covered and performed Barbarina The Marriage of Figaro with Opera North and will perform as a soloist with Charles Court Opera in their annual boutique pantomime Beowulf this Christmas.
Originally from South Devon, Amy J Payne studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and and has worked with companies across the UK including; Opera North, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, Mid Wales Opera, Buxton Festival, Iford Arts, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and The National G&S Opera Company. Amy is currently covering the title role in a new production of Carmen for Opera North and is delighted to be returning to English Touring Opera in 2022 to sing Amelfa in The Golden Cockerel.
Originally from Northumberland, British tenor Alex Banfield has performed with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Sinfonia and Opera North. He was a young artist at Theater Basel’s OperAvenir 20/21 where he sang Tamino/Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Eumete Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi.
Matthew McKinney is a Scottish tenor and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2021 he sang Henrik A Little Night Music for Buxton Opera Festival and will be an ensemble member for English Touring Opera, undertaking chorus, roles and covers across their 2022 education projects and mainstage season.
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 by Robert Fokkens and Mkhululi Mabija in a filmed production for Opera Ddraig. In 2021 Themba sang in recital with Roderick Williams for the Brighton Festival and Hanezò L’amico Fritz for Opera Holland Park. In 2022 he will sing Schaunard La bohème for English Touring Opera and will make his role debut as Marullo Rigoletto for Opera North.
Bass-baritone Meilir Jones performed the roles of Sciarrone & Carceriere Tosca at the Abu Dhabi International Festival, Leporello Don Giovanni for Opra Cymru & Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra and Messenger in the first European staging of Handel’s Belshazzar for The Grange Festival while covering Figaro Le nozze di Figaro. Solo concert highlights include the first performance of Handel’s Messiah at Wales Millennium Centre and Bryn Terfel’s Brynfest at Royal Festival Hall. In 2021 he will tour England and France with Diva Opera as Masetto Don Giovanni and Dancaïre Carmen.