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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 will cover the title role in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Grange Festival in 2021.
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 and is a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist during the 2020/21 season.
English-Japanese soprano Julia Mariko Smith studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and sang Barbarina in performance for Opera North’s 2019/20 The Marriage of Figaro. She also toured Gianetta The Gondoliers with the National G&S Opera Company and sang Soeur Constance for RNCM’s Dialogues des Carmélites. In 2021 Julia performs the role of Belinda Dido and Aeneas for Waterperry Opera.
A versatile singing actress, Mezzo-soprano Amy J Payne studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the prestigious English Song Prize. For Opera North she sang Olga Olsen Street Scene and Cornelia Giulio Cesare (one performance) following previous appearances as Third Lady The Magic Flute and Tisbe La Cenerentola for the Company.
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 is currently a young artist at Theater Basel’s OperAvenir 20/21 where he will sing Tamino/Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Eumete Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi.
In 2021 Scottish tenor Matthew McKinney completes his Masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he was awarded the John Mather Rising Star scholarship and Help Musicians (Ian Fleming) award. In 2021 he will sing in the chorus of La Cenerentola at the Palazzo Corsini in Florence with the New Generation Festival.
Zambian-born baritone Themba Mvula was awarded second prize in the Bologna International Vocal Competition and a finalist in the inaugural By Voice Alone competition. He has sung for WNO, ENO, Opera North and Birmingham Opera Company and was due to make his Opera Holland Park debut in 2020 as Marullo Rigoletto before cancellation due to COVID-19. In Autumn 2020 Themba will sing the role of Frazier in Theater an der Wien’s production of Porgy and Bess.
Scottish baritone Christopher Nairne is a Samling Artist and performed Schaunard La bohème for Opera North, William Dale in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night (UK Premiere) and The Novice’s Friend Billy Budd at Snape Maltings. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera Studio, he also sang Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad at Glasgow City Halls for BBC Radio.
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.
Dominic Barberi attended the Berlin Staatsoper Opera Studio from 2015-18 before joining the ensemble of National Theatre Mannheim. He represented England in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 and reached the semi finals of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition. Future roles include Giorgio I Puritani in Oviedo, Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia in Toulouse and Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Lille.