Friends Evening 2021
Sat 11 September, 7pm
Greetings from everyone at Clonter. We very much hope you are keeping well.
What an extraordinary 17 months we have all had.
Every year we normally have what we call generically the ‘Friends’ evening to thank all our Friends, Donors and Patrons for their continued support. Last year we didn’t even attempt it, but we are determined to see if we can have one this year. Normally we would not advertise this to the rest of our supporters, but we very much want to offer the opportunity to as many people as possible to attend this rather special event, which will also be taking a slightly different form to usual. Normally a show devised by singers taking part in the Clonter Education Programme would be presented on the Clonter stage, but the education programme being run at Clonter this year is being done remotely, and therefore we have planned an evening of music cabaret style!
We also didn’t think it fair not to share the news that we have managed to secure the services of two of Clonter’s most illustrious alumni – Elin Pritchard, who covered the role of Lucia at Clonter in 2011, returning to rapturous applause in an Opera Gala in 2015. Since then Elin has gone on to perform with most of the UK’s major opera companies, in both principal and leading roles, most recently at the Grange Festival.
Elin will be joined by Henry Neill, who has only just left us after having dazzled a Clonter audience with his performance of Figaro in the Barber of Seville, having performed the role of Figaro in the Marriage of Figaro here at Clonter in 2017. Elin and Henry will be accompanied by Clonter’s accompanist extraordinaire, Robin Humphreys.
Elin Pritchard – Soprano
Welsh Soprano Elin Pritchard is a graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, London’s National Opera Studio and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Operatic roles include Alice Falstaff for The Grange Festival, Tatyana, Fiordigligi & Violetta for Den Jyske Opera, Kupava, The Snow Maiden, & Nedda I Pagliacci for Opera North, Adalgisa Norma for Chelsea Opera Group,Tosca for English Touring Opera & Mid Wales Opera, Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw for English National Opera. Marie The Daughter of the Regiment at the Buxton Festival Opera / Opera della Luna, Lucia, Lucia di Lammermoor for Buxton Festival Opera, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Finnish National Opera, Musetta La bohème, Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw, Nella Gianni Schicchi, Giorgetta Il Tabarro and Stella I Gioielli della Madonna for Opera Holland Park. For Scottish Opera, she has sung Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress and Violetta La traviata and First Dryad Rusalka.
Elin sings regularly in concert, her repertoire including Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruckner Mass in F Minor, Brahms Requiem, Dvorak Te Deum, Fauré Requiem, Gounod Messe Solennelle, Haydn St Nicholas with English Chamber Orchestra, Mahler Symphony No4, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Coronation Mass, Mass in C Minor and Requiem, Poulenc Gloria with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Verdi Requiem. Recent and future engagements include her debut with Welsh National Opera as Micaela Manon Lescaut The Grange Festival, Musetta La bohème and Ofglen The Handmaids Tale English National Opera and a return to Opera North for the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen.
Henry Neill – Baritone
British Baritone Henry Neill performed at Clonter Opera in 2017 as Figaro La nozze di Figaro, returning to Clonter this summer to perform the role of Figaro in Beaumarchais’ preceding ‘Figaro’ play, The Barber of Seville, to high acclaim.
From 2017 – 2019 he held a position in the ensemble of the Deutsches Nationaltheater, Weimar, where he played roles such as Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Conte Le Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo Così fan tutte, Silvano Un ballo in maschera and Angelotti Tosca. Other appearances include Schaunard La Bohème with Opera North, Papageno Die Zauberflöte with Opera Pä Skäret and guest appearances with Grange Festival Opera, English Touring Opera and Theater Erfurt.
Henry was nominated as best newcomer for Opera Magazine´s Critic´s award (Germany) and was the winner of the 2016 Royal Overseas League Singing Competition. He has appeared performing song at Wigmore Hall, on BBC Radio 3´s In tune and at the International Holland Music Festival. Future engagements include opera projects with the Vienna Boys Choir, Théâtre Fribourg and Grand Théâtre Genève.
Robin Humphreys – Accompanist
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.
We hope you may join us for this very special evening.