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Lorna Anderson was born in Glasgow and studied at the RSAMD with Patricia MacMahon before winning a postgraduate scholarship to the RCM. While still a student, she won a number of awards and competitions including the Peter Pears and Royal Overseas League competitions and the Purcell-Britten Prize for Concert Singers and has gone on to enjoy a busy and varied career, appearing in opera, concert and as a recitalist all over the world. In January 2023 Lorna will be performing in recital with Malcolm Martineau for the Oban Music Society.
Soprano Stephanie Corley studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. She has sung for leading opera companies and festivals across the UK, including a variety of contemporary repertoire, and has performed extensively on the concert platform. Recently she sang Sieglinde Die Walküre in concert for Leeds Sinfonia.
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. In 2022 she sang Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Company and also tours Patience with Charles Court Opera in the title role.
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 performed as a soloist in Charles Court Opera’s boutique pantomime Beowulf during their 2021/22 season.
Born in Lyon, French mezzo-soprano Margo Arsane was a 2020-21 Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera and a Young Artist at Opéra National de Lyon. In the 2021-22 season, and following a filmed production, 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. Future role engagements include Smeraldine and Linette L’amour des trois oranges at Opéra National de Lorraine, and the title-role in the world premiere of Raising Icarus by Michael Zev Gordon at the Barber Institute Birmingham.
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.
Mezzo-soprano Ann Taylor studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. She has sung leading mezzo-soprano roles for Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English Touring Opera, La Monnaie, Opera Zuid, the Bavarian State Opera, Angers-Nantes Opera and the New Zealand Festival. In 2022 she sang Suzuki Madama Butterfly at The Bridgewater Hall with the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.
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 and in 2022 covered Oronte Alcina for Opera North.
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. 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.
Irish-British baritone Dan D’Souza is developing a versatile career across the opera, oratorio and recital platforms. Last year he sang Silvio Pagliacci for Iford Arts Young Artists, recorded Crane Powder Down for Shadwell Opera (world premiere by Rylan Gleave) and covered Boatswain HMS Pinafore for English National Opera. In 2022 he sang Schaunard La bohème for Mid Wales Opera and Beast Beauty and the Seven Beasts for The Opera Story. This summer he will sing Sacristan Tosca for Diva Opera and will sing one of the Flemish Deputies Don Carlo for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in 2023.
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 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.
Scottish baritone Christopher Nairne is a Samling Artist and graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This summer he will perform the role of Marcello La bohème for Nevill Holt Opera and will reprise his role as Count Carl-Magnus A Little Night Music (co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Opera North). In Autumn 2022 he will perform as a soloist with the Scottish Opera Highlights tour.
Irish baritone Aaron O’Hare has sung with leading companies across the UK and Ireland. He is currently an Associate Artist with Welsh National Opera and sang March Hare/White Knight in Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland last season. In 2021 he sang Schaunard La bohème for Northern Ireland Opera and new commission Elsewhere, composed by Michael Gallen and produced in Ireland supported by the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. In 2022 Aaron will sing Stárek Jenůfa for Welsh National Opera.
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 toured England and France with Diva Opera as Masetto Don Giovanni and Dancaïre Carmen.