Saturday 4th February 2023 - 7:00 pm
“The standard was excellent… as always. A very enjoyable evening.”
“Exciting opportunity to hear some fine voices and possible national or international stars of the future.”
Audience Feedback from Previous Years
Contestants nominated by the UK’s leading conservatoires, 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 a compère and accompanied by Robin Humphreys, 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!
Sponsored by Ann Driver Trust
This year’s opera prize includes some all-time operatic classics, which include good old ‘Hai già vinta la causa’ from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, something from the much loved Pearl Fishers (One of Clonter’s founder’s favourites), ‘Caro Nome’ from Verdi’s Rigoletto, ‘Song to the Moon’ from Dvorak’s Rusalka, and putting the sopranos through their paces we have ‘Come scoglio’ from Mozart (again) Cosi fan tutte, and to get you in the Magic Flute mood for the summer, the bass will be treating you to ‘O Isis und Osiris’. We will also have another Clonter favourite, an aria from Eugene Onegin, and ‘Csardas’ from J Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. And to possibly extend some of your operatic education we have something from an opera you may well not have seen or even heard of ‘Written on Skin’ by George Benjamin. And we can’t forget good old Handel – ‘O ruddier than the cherry’!
Past Winners Include
Giselle Allen (GSMD) 1995, Alfie Boe (RCM) 1998 (pictured here), 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) 2017, Emma Webster-Mockett (RCS) 2018, Alexandra Lowe (GSMD) 2019, Lauren Young (RCS) 2020, Ossian Huskinson (RAM) 2021, and Liam Bonthrone (RAM) 2022 (pictured above)
Joan Rodgers CBE – Soprano
Joan Rodgers is equally established in opera, concert and as a recitalist. She has appeared in concert with conductors including Solti, Barenboim, Mehta, Harnoncourt, Mackerras, Ashkenazy, Salonen, Rattle, Elder and Bolton. She has appeared in recitals and concerts throughout Europe and the USA. Operatic engagements have included performances at all the major UK opera houses as well as in Paris, Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Her many recordings include albums of songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Wolf, Fauré and Mozart and the three Mozart Da Ponte operas with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic. Joan Rodgers received the Royal Philharmonic Society award as Singer of the Year for 1997, the 1997 Evening Standard Award for outstanding performance in opera for her performance as The Governess in the Royal Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Liverpool University in July 2005. Joan Rodgers was awarded the CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List.
David Gowland – Artistic Director, Jette Parker Young Artists Programme
David Gowland is Artistic Director of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. He has been associated with the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists Programme since its inception in 2000, initially as Director of Musical Preparation and from 2006 as Artistic Director. He regularly accompanies the Jette Parker Young Artists in recital. Gowland studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won several prizes for piano accompaniment, and at the National Opera Studio. He joined the Glyndebourne music staff in 1987, winning the 1988 Jani Strasser Award, and worked there for 20 years. He was Head of Music Staff at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 1989–96, assisting such conductors as Bruno Bartoletti, Bruno Campanella, Mark Elder, Philippe Jordan, Emmanuel Plasson, Jeffrey Tate, Christian Thielemann and Edo de Waart. He has worked as assistant conductor/senior coach with companies including Paris Opéra, Dutch National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Rome Opera, Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Teatro Real, Madrid, and the festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Chorégies de Orange, Salzburg and Wexford. He was senior coach on Der Ring des Nibelungen under Tate in Australia. Concert work has included the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals and the BBC Proms. Gowland is a visiting tutor with National Opera Studio, British Youth Opera, Scottish Opera Emerging Artists, New National Theatre Tokyo and all the major British conservatories. He is a regular jury member for national and international competitions and has given masterclasses in Holland, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
James Black – Director, James Black Management
James Black was a Chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge, later reading Music at Magdalen College, Oxford. Postgraduate studies took him to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and then to London’s Royal College of Music, where he trained not only as a singer, but also as a pianist. Highlights of his solo career as a countertenor (singing as James Huw Jeffries) included Nireno in Giulio Cesare at The Royal Danish Opera and creating The Caterpillar in Alexander Knaifel’s Alice in Wonderland at Dutch National Opera. He retired from singing in 2003, one of his final engagements being a recital in The Linbury Theatre of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Following eighteen months teaching English he set up James Black Management as a full time concern in 2006, working with opera companies and orchestras throughout the UK, Europe and North America. A Member of the International Artist Managers’ Association, he also sits on the Communications Committee of the Association Européenne des Artists Artistiques and the UK Committee of Opera Managers Association International. He has also written for Opera and Opera Now. Perhaps best known for his work nurturing and developing the careers of young singers, he has undertaken sessions for the Royal Northern College of Music, the North Wales Opera Studio, the Pelegian Opera Festival, the Vienna Opera Academy, the Meitar Opera Studio of The Israeli Opera and the Fabbrica of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
Anna Patalong – Soprano and CEO, British Youth Opera
Anna Patalong became CEO of British Youth Opera in April 2022. As a soprano her international awards include the Francisco Vinas Competition, Liceu, and the Moniuszko Competition, Warsaw. Her recording in the title role of Alwyn’s Miss Julie with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was nominated for Operatic Recording of the year for both Forum Opera (France) and Limelight Magazine (Australia). Anna made her Royal Opera debut in 2013 under the baton of Antonio Pappano and her recent performances in the title role of Manon Lescaut were met with unanimous critical acclaim. Other notable highlights include Woglinde Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale with Teodor Currentzis, Brigitta Iolanta at the Opera de Paris, Violetta La Traviata in New Zealand, her debut at the Festival dei due Monde in the Ricordi premier Proserpine. She has performed Mimi to critical acclaim across Europe, most recently at the Opera de Rouen.
After training at the Guildhall School of Music and the London Opera Centre, Anna joined the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus. She was then a member of the BBC singers, broadcasting live as well as doing tours, recordings and Proms, and performed as a soloist with the Monteverdi Choir, in London and all over Europe. She sang with Opera North, and understudied the role of “Jennifer” in Tippett’s “The Midsummer Marriage”, at ENO. Anna was also principal soprano in Gilbert and Sullivan concerts, touring Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, beginning at the Sydney Opera House, and later the Lincoln Center, New York, and Queen Elizabeth Center, Vancouver. Her solo work with the English Bach Festival included recordings of Vivaldi for EMI and staged productions at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Opera House. One of the highlights was singing in a Rameau opera in the historic theatre within the Palace of Versailles. After moving to Cheshire, Anna was soprano soloist in BBC performances of the Verdi Requiem and Haydn’s Creation. She gave a Manchester Mid-Day Concert recital, accompanied by Robin Humphreys, and further recitals at Jodrell Bank Planetarium and Tabley House. She sang Mozart and Ravel with the Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra and the Strauss “Four Last Songs” with the Stockport Symphony Orchestra. For Wilmslow Opera she took the principal soprano roles in La Traviata, La Sonnambula and Faust, and appeared for two years in Phantom of the Opera, in Manchester, as the opera singer “Carlotta”. As presenter, compère and adjudicator Anna has worked at concerts in the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and compered a Millennium Prom in Leeds Town Hall. On another new career path, Anna now works as a speaker on cruises.
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 productions from the late 1990s until 2013. He has appeared with the Manchester Camerata in the world premiere 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.
Vitor Bispo (Baritone) RAM
The Brazilian baritone Vitor Bispo was born on the 28th of August 1996, and began his musical education at the age of 10 by playing the violin. At 17 started taking singing lessons from the brazilian soprano Edna de Oliveira at Cantareira University and at São Paulo’s Municipal School of Music. Vitor made his opera debut by singing the role of Gianni Schicchi in the opera Gianni Schicchi – G. Puccini, as part of the Opera Academy of São Pedro Theater. He also studied at the The Municipal Theater of São Paulo’s Opera Studio where he sang in productions of L’elisir d’amore, Hänsel und Gretel, Orfeo ed Euridice, Così fan tutte and La Scala di seta, and Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. At the age of 20, he debuted as soloist at The Municipal Theater of São Paulo in big productions of La traviata, Der Rosenkavalier, Turandot and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He was awarded the First Place at the 19o edition of the Maria Callas Singing Competition, the Revelation Singer Prize at the Linus Lerner International Singing Competition, and the First Place at the Blyth-Buesst Operatic Prize at the Royal Academy of Music. In July 2022, he was part of the Georg Solti Accademia, where he had coachings and masterclasses with Richard Bonynge, Barbara Frittoli, Roberto Frontali, Stefano Baldasseroni and Jonathan Papp. Vitor is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, where he recently performed in the Royal Academy Opera productions of Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, the commissioned opera, Witch and the role of Imeneo in Handel’s opera of same name. He studies under the tutelage of Mark Wildman and Jonathan Papp, and is supported by the Bicentenary Scholarship.
Hai già vinta la causa… Vedrò mentr’io sospiro – Le nozze di Figaro – Mozart
Questo amor – Edgar – Puccini
L’orage s’est calmé… O Nadir – Les pêcheurs de perles – Bizet
Rosalind Dobson (Soprano) RCS
Originally from Oxford, Rosalind studied English Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge, before completing her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music. She is now in her final year of Opera School at the RCS under the tutelage of Wilma MacDougall. In her first year she performed the roles of Norina, Marzelline and King Harald’s Saga in Opera Scenes, as well as performing in masterclasses with Dame Josephine Barstow and Ann Murray. Rosalind is the 2022 winner of the Ye Cronies Opera Award. Recent performances include Dew Fairy/Gretel, Hansel and Gretel (BYO/Silent Opera), Controller in Flight (RCS), Miss Wordsworth, Albert Herring (Clonter Opera), as well as creating the role of Arianna in The Burning Question (Ed Lambert/Norman Welch) for the Tête-à-Tête Festival. This year she looks forward to performing roles in Chabrier’s L’Etoile, as well as Cui’s A Feast in Time of Plague and Langer’s Three Sisters. Award.
Non, monsieur mon mari – Les mamelles de Tirésias – Poulenc
Nothing I ever Eat – Written on Skin – George Benjamin
Caro nome – Rigoletto – Verdi
Inguna Morozova (Soprano) GSMD
Inguna Morozova, 26, is a Latvian/Russia soprano in her final year of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying under the tuition of Sarah Pring. Inguna is a Josephine Baker Trust artist and recipient of The Gita de la Fuente Prize scholarship. Her recent operatic roles include Euridice Orfeo Ed Euridice (The Yorke Trust), Giulietta I Capuletti e I Montecchi, Helena Midsummer Night’s Dream, Clorinda Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Juliette Romeo et Juliette, Poppea Il Coronazione di Poppea, Melisande Pelleas et Melisande, Zerlina (cover) Don Giovanni, Colombine Fete Galante, Aurore Le Portrait de Manon, Sifare Mitridate, Juliette Die Tote Stadt and others. Inguna is on a professional scheme with the Philharmonia Chorus and enjoys regular involvement with BBC Radio 3, Mezzo TV and BBC Proms. She has made an appearance as a soloist on the Outlander premiere red carpet event at the Royal Festival hall earlier this year. She has sung under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, John Nelson, Edward Gardner, Aleksandre Bloch, Tadaaki Otaka, Karl-Heinz Steffens and Eduardo Strausser. Future engagements include Kitty and Sister Catherine in The Dead Man Walking (Guildhall Spring Opera), Carmelite Dialogues des Carmelites (Glyndebourne), and Chorus L’Elisir d’Amore (BBC Proms 2023).
Ah, je ris de me voir – Faust – Gounod
I Want Magic! – A Streetcar named Desire – Previn
Song to the Moon – Rusalka – Dvořák
Erin Spence (Soprano) RWCMD
Scottish Soprano Erin Spence joined the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2015 where she began her studies under the tutelage of Judith Howarth and then in 2016 with Linda Ormiston OBE. In 2019 she graduated with a First Class BMus(Hons) degree in Vocal Studies and then again in 2021 she graduated with an MMus Vocal Studies Performance degree and was awarded the RCS Performance Prize for Voice. Erin is currently in her final year of the David Seligman Opera School at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying under the tutelage of Suzanne Murphy. Erin is the winner of the 2022 Janet Price Opera Prize and the 2022 winner of the Adelina Patti Bel Canto prize(RWCMD). Her recent performances include La Contessa, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosalinda, Die Fledermaus, Cendrillon Cendrillon. Erin’s studies are gratuitously supported by Help Musicians UK.
Come scoglio – Così fan tutte – Mozart
I Want Magic! – A Streetcar Named Desire – Previn
Enfin, je suis ici – Cendrillon – Massenet
Olivia Rose Tringham (Soprano) RNCM
Originally from Merseyside, Olivia is a Soprano currently studying with Linda Richardson. At the RNCM, Olivia played Mère Marie/Dialogues des Carmélites, La Suora Infermiera/Suor Angelica, Fanny Price/Mansfield Park, Prima Donna/Ariadne auf Naxos and most recently, Rosalinde/Die Fledermaus. Olivia is a Frederick Cox Competition finalist and has performed in many concerts, such as the premier of Wrigglesworth/Magnificat with Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, and Soprano Soloist for Rossini/Petite Messe Solennelle with Issigeac International Music Academy. Olivia joined Grange Park Opera Chorus 2022, and will return this summer for Tosca/Puccini as well as performing Prima Sorella Ceratrice in their recording of Suor Angelica/Puccini. Olivia was a 2021 Buxton International Festival Young Artist, performing Mrs Segstrom Little Night Music and in a range of concerts. Professionally, Olivia has also played Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (2021) and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus (2022). Olivia is proudly supported by the Drake Calleja Trust, the Eva Turner Award and the George Henry Peters Scholarship.
Come scoglio – Cosí fan tutte – Mozart
Tatíčku, vodníčku… Ó marno to Je – Rusalka – Dvořák
Csardas – Die Fledermaus – J Strauss II
Jamie Woollard (Bass) RCM
British Bass Jamie Woollard is studying at the Royal College of Music Opera Studio, where he is taught by Graeme Broadbent, and will graduate in July 2023. At the RCM Jamie has performed roles including Sarastro, Jupiter in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and the Immigration Officer in Dove’s Flight, and he will perform Il Re in Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco in March 2023. In Summer 2023, Jamie will join Glyndebourne Festival Opera to cover Snug in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and to play Thierry in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. In concert Jamie has recently performed Mozart’s Requiem (St Martin in the Fields), Bach’s Cantata 215 (Wigmore Hall), and Verdi’s Requiem (Leith Hill Music Festival), as well as the title role in Handel’s Saul (Exeter Bach Choir), and in the premiere of Teresa Barlow’s Requiem (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra). For the Royal Opera House, Jamie has performed in the premiere of three opera scenes including bass aria ‘Detritus’ (by Laura Reid) for the Jette Parker Programme (Lost and Found, March 2022), and will be covering Segeste and Tullio in Handel’s Arminio at the Linbury Theatre in April 2023. Jamie is a Samling Artist, and is the Stephen Catto Memorial Scholar at the RCM, supported by the Fishmongers’ Company Scholarship, and has also been supported by the Josephine Baker Trust and Sussex Opera and Ballet Society.
O Isis und Osiris – Die Zauberflöte – Mozart
O Ruddier Than The Cherry – Acis and Galatea – Handel
Gremin’s aria – Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky
Stephen Reynolds has been heard as a pianist and composer in concerts and broadcasts across Europe and the UK. His compositions feature in Stephen Hough’s English Piano Album (Hyperion). He was a prize winner at the Gian Baptista International Piano competition in Vercelli, Italy in 1972. His association as a pianist/accompanist for Clonter Opera began in 1974, as a consequence of his association with Mezzo-Soprano Betty Bannerman (Jeffery Lockett’s mother) at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Ticket Pricing & Booking Information
Tickets £20, £26, £32, £38, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required)
Early Bird Ticket (10% Discount) available until 21st December
Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+
U3A Discount (10% Discount)
Doors Open 6pm
Performance Starts 7pm
Performance Finished Approx. 11pm
Interval 70 minute supper interval; pre-order supper, or bring your own picnic
Dress Code Optional black tie
Priority Booking for Patrons Wed 30 November
Priority Booking for Friends Wed 7 December
General Sale Wed 14 December
Drink Arrangements – All drink consumed inside the premises must be purchased from the bar. These may be ordered in advance.
N.B. Table and catering booking facilities close a week before the performance date. Pre-order drinks facilities close at 4pm the day before a performance.