OPERA GALA – LONDON
Wednesday 14 November 2018 - 7:30 pm| £85
“Classy young singers, a world-class repetiteur and slickly staged set of pieces… Whenever Clonter is unearthed from its Northern roots, it rightly receives huge commendation for its work…” Louise Christie, Opera Today 2017.
For those based in the south, Clonter’s Gala will be transferring to the “breath-takingly beautiful ballroom”, originally designed by Robert Adam, at the Lansdowne Club on Wednesday 14th November – Now bookable online.
The Clonter opera gala consists of a variety of well loved opera arias, duets, and ensembles, followed by some musical theatre classics, in a well established operative prelude to Christmas, and is ideal for anyone who has not been to an opera before, but would like to dip their toe in the water, before committing to a full blown one. Each item is set into context by the director, so no prior knowledge necessary.
For this year’s Opera Gala, Clonter is delighted to welcome back Marlena Devoe (Soprano), who starred in Clonter’s production of La traviata in 2016, Richard Shaffrey (Tenor), who performed in the same opera, in the role of Gastone, Kamilla Dunstan (Mezzo Soprano), who performed the role of Dorabella in Clonter’s production of Così fan tutte. They will be joined by Daniella Sicari (Soprano) from the Royal Northern College of Music, and Fabian Langguth (Baritone) from the Guildhall School of Music. This year the Opera Gala will be directed by Roxana Haines.
Winner of the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award, New Zealand born Samoan soprano Marlena Devoe graduated from the Wales International Academy of Voice with Distinction. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian and German from the University of Auckland, attended the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto and the Mediterranean Opera School and Festival in Sicily. Operatic engagements include debuts in the UK with Clonter Opera (Violetta La traviata) and Opera Project (Gilda Rigoletto) in 2016, Lyric Opera Productions Dublin (Mimi La bohème) and Singapore Lyric Opera (Lauretta Gianni Schicchi) in 2015, and the Verbier Festival (Adina L’elisir d’amore) in 2014. Marlena is a recurring artist with the Auckland Opera Studio and has performed several roles with the company, including Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor(2014), Amina La Sonnambula (2011) and Servilia La Clemenza di Tito (2010). Marlena is currently an Alvarez Young Artist with Garsington Opera and is covering the role of Alice in their production of Falstaff. She will be making her New Zealand Opera debut in September, performing the role of Mimi in their production of La bohème.
Daniella Sicari is a young Australian/British soprano who completed her Masters and Advanced Graduate Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music, under the guidance of Mary Plazas, where she performed the roles of Despina (Mozart), Lady Ellington (Offenbach), La Fée (Massenet) and Gretel (Humperdink). 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 and Gretel. Daniella has received the Young People & The Arts International Scholarship Award, Amanda Roocroft Prize, The Joyce & Michael Kennedy Strauss Prize, John Cameron Award for Lieder and most recently received the Elizabeth Harwood Prize by the RNCM.
Born in Yorkshire, later immigrated to New Zealand to return to the UK. Kamilla Dunstan graduated in 2017 from the International Opera School at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Russell Smythe. Previous studies include Guildhall School of Music & Drama (Bachelor of Music with Honours) and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Master in Music Performance). Kamilla has recently finished her first season with Glyndebourne Festival Opera and in 2017 was a Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera. Kamilla will be competing in the International Singing Competition in Graz, Austria (September) and in February 2019 sings the title role, Fanny Price in Opera South’s production of Mansfield Park (Jonathan Dove). Roles include Naomi (Pegasus Opera), Zaida (*cover*)- Garsington Opera, Faramondo (London Handel Festival), Ramiro, Hänsel, Ariodante (LHF), Orlofsky, Dorabella (Clonter Opera) and Ninetta (Cover, BYO). Kamilla joined the Aspen Music Festival & School’s Opera Centre (USA, 2016), a Samling Artist & Wagner Stipendien (Bayreuth, 2016). Kamilla performed Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with the CBSO (BBC Radio 3). Previous awards include an ABRSM Scholar, Help Musicians UK Tutton Award and the Josephine Baker Trust.
Baritone, Fabian Langguth, born in 1992 in Munich, Germany is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Prof. Rudolf Piernay on a scholarship programme. 2015, Fabian took part in the International Bach Academy and sang the baritone solo on the IBAS Italy Tour, won the Mozart Competition in Prague and had his opera debut at the Augsburg opera house. As part of a Pre-LSO concert he performed a song recital at Barbican Hall and took part in the LSO production „Le grand macabre“, working with Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars. Fabian has recently been working with Julius Drake, Malcom Martineau, Edith Wiens and Thomas Quastoff and was awarded 1. Prize in Lied, French Song and Oratorio at the 2018 David Clover singing competition. He performed in the Prince Consort Side-by-Side Project as well as Schubert songs with Graham Johnson in Wigmore Hall. In 2019 he will collaborate with Gerold Huber debuting together in a solo-recital.
Richard Shaffrey recently completed his studies with Stephen Robertson on the RCS MMus Opera Course, where he was very grateful to be generously supported by the RCS Trust, the Irish Arts Council and the South Square Trust. At the RCS he performed the roles of ‘Ferrando’ in Così fan tutte, ‘Lechmere’ in Owen Wingrave, ‘Tristan’ in Le Vin Herbé, and ‘Alfred’ in Die Fledermaus. In the Royal Irish Academy of Music Richard played the role of ‘Albert’ in Albert Herring, and ‘Schoolmaster’ in The Cunning Little Vixen. He played ‘Tenor’ in Ulysses-Opera’s Flatpack, and sang in the Wexford Festival Opera Chorus (2013/14/16), Grange Park Opera chorus (2015) and the Wide Open Opera Chorus, performing in Tristan und Isolde, Alma Fetish – ‘Male-Student1’ and Nixon in China, understudying ‘Mao’. He also sang the role of ‘Nemorino’ in L’Elisir d’Amore in an Understudy concert with Opera Theatre Company.After completing a DipMus Performance at the RIAM, he was accepted onto the Northern Ireland Opera Young Artists’ Programme, where he understudied ‘Macduff’ in Macbeth and ‘Tamino’ in The Magic Flute. In 2016, he played the role of ‘Gastone’ in Clonter Opera’s La Traviata, while understudying ‘Alfredo’ and also performed the role of ‘Il Cancelliere’ in Wexford Festival Opera’s production of Maria de Rudenz in the same year. This season he performed the role of ‘Rodolfo’ in La Bohême at the Rye Arts Festival and is delighted to be making his début with Scottish Opera as ‘The Officer’ in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Musical Director/Coach – Clive Timms
Clive Timms studied at Birmingham University and the London Opera Centre. He joined the music staff of ENO after a season with WNO and was subsequently appointed Assistant Music Director of Opera North on the company’s inception in 1978. For these companies he conducted a large number of performances of a varied operatic repertoire. He retired from the Guidhall School of Music & Drama in 2012 after 22 years as Head of Opera Studies, where in 2007 he was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for his work in the Opera Department. He was responsible for many notable productions, often of unusual and stimulating repertoire, the majority of which he conducted, latterly Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor and the European première of Ned Rorem’s Our Town – and he continues to coach aspiring singers at the Guildhall School. His association with Clonter dates back to 1989 but more recently he has conducted the productions of La cenerentola, Lucia di Lammermoor, Hansel and Gretel, Die Fledermaus, Faust, Così fan tutte, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro and La bohème.
Director – Roxana Haines
Roxana Haines is a theatre and opera director working throughout Europe. As well as with Clonter in the 2018/2019 season Roxana is contracted to work with companies including The Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Garsington and Aix-en-Provence Festival. Roxana trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where she gained an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice, and before that studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths in London. She also has experience and training in a wide range of art forms including puppetry, physical theatre, movement and circus. She leads and coordinates learning and participation sessions in music and drama and considers this as important and fulfilling as her directing work. Roxana is very pleased to be a current recipient of the Opera Awards Foundation 2017/2018.
Accompanist – Robin Humphreys
Robin Humphreys is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and a holder of the prestigious Diploma in Professional Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied piano accompaniment with David Lloyd. Appearing in concert both as a soloist and an accompanist for over 35 years, he now pursues a successful career as an accompanist and répétiteur, the breadth of his repertoire being reflected in television and radio broadcasts ranging from BBC Radio 3 to Emmerdale! At the RNCM, Robin is a senior music coach within the School of Vocal Studies, for whom he was also chief répétiteur on the majority of college opera productions from the late 1990s until 2013. He has appeared with the Manchester Camerata in the world première of “A Feast of Fables” by Paul Reade, has been Musical Director for Feelgood Theatre Productions and, from 1990-2000, Opera & Concert Productions (Worldwide) Ltd with whom he toured throughout the Gulf, the Indian sub-continent and the Far East. Robin has a particularly close association with Clonter Opera Theatre in Cheshire, where he regularly works as Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist. He is also an accompanist member of the British & International Federation of Festivals.
Opera Gala London – The Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD
Sponsored by Smith & Williamson