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Contestants nominated by the UK’s leading conservatories, compete for a prize before a distinguished panel of judges. The audience collectively act as one judge. The audience’s vote is also revealed.

This event is perfect for anyone who is either interested in spotting emerging talent, and enjoys following singers’ careers, or for an opera novice, who would like to dip their toe in the operatic water, getting a taster from a wide range of operas, before committing to a whole one. Each item is introduced and set into context by the inimitable, concise and witty compère, Isobel Flinn, and accompanied by Robin Humphreys, recently described as a ‘world class repetiteur’ by Louise Flind in Opera Today.

This event includes the traditional 70 minute supper interval. Come and cast your vote!

Previous winners include – Alfie Boe (RCM) 1998, Camilla Tilling (RCM) 1999, Kate Royal (GSMD) 2003, Kathryn Rudge (RNCM) 2009, Natalya Romaniw (GSMD) 2010 & Anush Hovhannisyan (RCS) 2012, Kang Wang (RNCM) 2014, & Alexey Gusev (RCS) 2016 (Pictured above).

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Nominee – André Hendriques
Guildhall School of Music & Drama Nominee – Claire Lees
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Nominee – Emma Mockett
Royal Northern College of Music Nominee – Daniella Sicari
Royal Academy of Music Nominee – Carrie-Ann Williams
Royal College of Music Nominee – Nardus Williams

 

CONTESTANTS

André Henriques was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He studied at the Lisbon’s Music Conservatory with António Wagner Diniz. Currently, with a Gulbenkian Foundation’ scholarship, he is at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he studies with Donald Maxwell. The young baritone has sang roles like Guglielmo, Figaro (Nozze), Masetto, Fiorello or Polyphemus, as well as the bass/baritone solos in The Messiah, Johannes Passion or even in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Recently, he played the title of Gianni Schicchi, conducted by Carlo Rizzi and with the Welsh National Opera orchestra. André Henriques has sang in the main Portugal theatres such as Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Gulbenkian Foundation or Centro Cultural de Belém. Within the conductors and tutors with whom he worked with, highlight to Carlo Rizzi, Joana Carneiro, João Paulo Santos, Lucia Mazzaria, David Santos, Pedro Neves, Pedro Amaral, Domenico Longo, Antonio Pirolli, Claudio Desderi, Yin Chen Ling and Nuno Côrte-Real. Future engagements include Dandini (La Cenerentola) conducted by David Jones with the RWCMD orchestra.

 

Claire Lees, soprano, studies with Yvonne Kenny at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama on the Opera Course. She is a Samling Artist and is supported by The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Kathleen Trust and is a recipient of an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship. Operatic roles include Pamina, The Magic Flute, Iford Arts, Foreign Woman, The Consul,GSMD, Yum Yum, The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company,Papagena, Die Zauberflöte, Birmingham Conservatoire, Drusilla, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Birmingham Conservatoire. As part of scene performances, roles include Gretel, Hänsel und Gretel, Hero, Beatrice et Bénédict, Manon, Manon, Romilda, Serses, Sophie, Der Rosenkavalier, Zerlina, Don Giovanni, and Lisette, La Rondine. As a soloist Claire has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Peterborough Cathedral. Claire has worked with Iain Burnside on his Drums and Guns project in collaboration with the Juilliard School and Royal Irish Academy of Music, performing in Dublin, London and New York. Upcoming performances see Claire perform the role of Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites at the GSMD and Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicci at the Barbican Hall. She will also be joining the Glyndebourne Chorus for their 2018 festival.

 

Emma Mockett is a soprano in her second year at Alexander Gibson Opera School under the tutelage of Stephen Robertson and Linda Ormiston. Emma is delighted to be supported in her studies by The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trust, and J.R.Gibb’s Charitable Trust. Operatic roles include: Fifth Maid Elektra (Edinburgh Opera Players); Agrippina Agrippina (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Aunt Norris Mansfield Park (Edinburgh Studio Opera); Marianna Il Signor Bruschinoand Clarina La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Raucous Rossini); The Witch Hänsel and Gretel (RCS); and Marguerite Faust (Fife Opera). Concert work includes: soprano soloist Mass in C Minor and Exultate Jubilate (Edinburgh Royal Choral Union); soprano soloist Serenade to Music (RCS); soprano soloist Elijah (Cupar Choral Society); and Coryphée Le Martyre de saint Sébastien (Edinburgh International Festival). Emma will be playing the part of Mother/Woman in The Day After (RCS) in March 2018 and Anne Maurant in Street Scene (RCS) in May 2018.

 

Daniella Sicari is an Australian/British soprano who completed her Masters at the Royal Northern College of Music, under the guidance of Mary Plazas, where she performed the roles of Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, Lady Ellington in La Vie Parisienne, La Fée in Cendrillon and was a featured soloist in the cross-school collaboration, Too Darn Hot. She’s currently preparing the role of Gretel for the RNCM production of Hansel & Gretel, while studying a Postgraduate Diploma. Daniella received a Bachelor of Music and Post-Graduate Diploma in Classical Voice from The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Under the tutelage of Patricia Price, Daniella performed the roles of Belinda in Dido & Aeneas and Sandman/Dewfairy in Hansel & Gretel. Daniella has received the Young People & The Arts International Scholarship Award, the Amanda Roocroft Prize, The Joyce & Michael Kennedy Strauss Prize and the John Cameron Award for Lieder by the RNCM.

 

Carrie-Ann Williams – Congleton born and bred – is currently studying with Royal Academy Opera under Elizabeth Ritchie and Ingrid Surgenor. Carrie-Ann is supported by Karaviotis Scholarship, Sainsbury Award, Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award and Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Operatic roles include The Fox: Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Anna Maurrant: Weill’s Street Scene, Dido: Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Suor Angelica: Puccini’s Suor Angelica, (with Birmingham Conservatoire) Sãvitri: Holst’s Sãvitri, Miss Wingrave: Britten’s Owen Wingrave (both BYO) Tebaldo: Verdi’s Don Carlo (Grange Park Opera) Alcina: Handel’s Alcina, Lucy, Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper, Donna Anna: Mozart’s Don Giovanni and she will be performing the role of The Controller: Dove’s Flight this year (all with RAO). This summer, Carrie-Ann will also be joining the Glyndebourne chorus for their 2018 season. Carrie-Ann made her soloist debut last June at The Royal Festival Hall performing the soprano solo for Mahler: Symphony No.2 conducted by Semyon Bychkov, and she was also a member of The Young Singer Project with Salzburg Festival last summer. Prizes include: The Mario Lanza Operatic Prize, the John Ireland Prize, the Ashleyan Opera Prize, the Stuart Cameron Smith American Song Prize and the St Clare Barfield Operatic Distinction Rose Bowl Award.

 

Nardus Williams is a soprano currently studying at the Royal College of Music International Opera School with Dinah Harris. As a Park Lane Group Artist, Nardus recently gave her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall. Other recent performances include Messiah with the OSJ under John Lubbock at King’s Place and St John’s Smith Square and Nitocris in Handel’s Belshazzar under Nicholas Kraemer. Last summer, Nardus performed the role of Donna Elvira at Opera Holland Park as a Christine Collins Young Artist. Upcoming performances include; a principal role in Lazarus with Birmingham Opera Group, directed by Graham Vick; and covering the role of Countess Almaviva at ENO. Nardus won both First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2016 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, at the Wigmore Hall. Nardus is a Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar, supported by a Victoria Robey Scholarship. She is also generously supported by Help Musicians UK, and the Winship Foundation.

 

Tickets £22, £27, £32. Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8, Group Disc (10%) available 10+

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 70 minute supper interval; pre-order supper, canapé baskets, or bring your own picnic (undercover)