The arts are facing the most challenging time in a generation. If you love music, if you love Clonter, and if you are able to, please donate to protect Clonter’s future. Every little bit helps.



Marriage of Figaro – 2017

We hope you will enjoy this, and the Where Are They now?

We have really appreciated the feedback we have received from these posts. If you have enjoyed them, please do send us your feedback as well.

Opera Novice Night’s Director’s Talk


Photo Album




“… Director Stephen Medcalf – who has created imaginative and telling productions for Opera North and Buxton Festival, among others – sets it in Spain (where else?), but in the 20th century: the fascist period, actually. That gives him and designer Nate Gibson the chance to pay homage to Dali and Gaudi in the setting (though in a minimalist way) and to put Count Almaviva into army uniform and make him a seriously sinister character, while Figaro is apparently his chauffeur as well as factotum. If I hadn’t read the programme note, I might have thought it was a variation on the later episodes of Downton Abbey, but then I suppose the charmless aristocracy and their households were much the same all over Europe in the thirties. Clive Timms urges the music along with impeccable timing and precision, ever attentive but with a team of principals who clearly know their stuff and hardly need his prompting. The ensembles were very fine indeed, in balance and impact. Margo Arsane (Susanna) and Henry Neill (Figaro) stood out from the opening scene. She’s just graduated from the Guildhall (and before that Lyon and Munich) and is a most accomplished performer, acting and reacting to the story all the time, and her soprano is pure and clear, with power available but never over-used. He is a product of the Royal Academy opera school and a gifted actor-singer with a well-developed tone and bags of energy and charm. “Se vuol ballare” set the pace, and he never looked back. The others have much to offer, too: Josep-Ramon Olivé as Almaviva, another Guildhall product, has confidence and stage presence, Andrew Irwin (Chetham’s and the Royal Welsh College) brings a burnished tone and a fine comic gift as both Basilio and Curzio, while Angharad Lyddon (Royal Academy) as Cherubino sings “Voi che sapete” delightfully and has mastered the art, and walk, of being a girl playing a boy who at times is pretending to be a girl.  Elizabeth Skinner (Guildhall) is the Countess – she brings a lovely mature sound to her role; Eugene Dillon-Hooper (RNCM) is an imperious but believable Dr Bartolo, with Jade Moffat (Guidhall) a finely sung Marcellina. There were good contributions from Edward Robinson (RNCM) as Antonio and Corinne Cowling (Guildhall) as Barbarina, completing an impressive cast list…” Robert Beale Manchester Theatre Awards July 2017

Full Review


“So many top-notch talents have graced Clonter’s stage since 1974 that the thrill of the game is spotting hot prospects before they become household names. Several of this year’s crop had voices that sounded ready to take the next leap.   Stephen Medcalf’s production kept everyone hopping and there was equally bubbly momentum from the 12 piece Clonter Sinfonia under Clive Timms. Henry Neill brought a warm, lusty baritone to his Figaro, his performance also benefiting from supple movement and firm diction… He was partnered by a particularly lively Susanna in Margo Arsane, with just the right flightiness to her soprano.  Elizabeth Skinner sustained her legato vibrantly in the Countess’s arias…Everyone pulled their weight … set designs featured an enormous wardrobe in which Cherubino was able to hide, a large window giving access to the garden and , his best inspiration, luminous trees for Act 4, entwining like human figures … the evening again underlined how vital this kind of small-scale operation is to the future of opera.   These are the true grass roots and they need constant nourishing.” Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine


Where Are They Now?

Henry Neill – Figaro

Since performing the role of Figaro in Clonter’s 2017 production of the Marriage of Figaro, in the 2018-2019 season, he was a member of the Deutsches Nationaltheater und StaatskapelleWeimar ensemble last season, where roles included Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Figaro and Count Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte, Masetto Don Giovanni, Silvano Un Ballo in Maschera, Angelotti Tosca and Freddy My Fair Lady. Recent guest engagements were Edmund Bertram in Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park (new commission) The Grange Festival, Noah in Russell Hepplewhite’s Silver Electra (new commission) English Touring Opera, Spontini’s Agnes Von Hohenstaufen Theater Erfurt, Count Le Nozze di Figaro at Hackney Empireconducted by Jane Glover, La Traviata at West Green House Opera, Friquet in Offenbach’s Vert-Vert Garsington Opera conducted by David Parry and recitals with pianist Somi Kim Wigmore Hall and International Holland Music Festival.Notable concert performances include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, appearances on BBC Radio 3‘s In Tune, at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Leeds Lieder Festival and on Dutch Radio 4. Whilst at the Academy, he performed Butterworth’s Six songs from A Shropshire Lad with Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder).

Henry’s recent and future engagements include Schaunard La bohème Opera North (2019), Bernstein double bill (tba) Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Linbury Theatre, SOLOIST Shlomowitz’s Electric Dreams Grand Théâtre de Genève, Papageno Die Zauberflöte Opera på Skäret in Sweden and Fiorello Il barbiere di Siviglia Opéra National de Lorraine.

Full Biog – &

Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (Die Zauberflöte) 2019

Reviews “His singing had a grandeur and class of it’s own” Bach Track “Fabulously charismatic” Royal Overseas League


Margo Arsane – Susanna

Since performing the role of Susanna, Margo’s voice has evolved towards the lyric mezzo-soprano repertoire. She is currently a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio in London for 2018/19. In June 2019, Margo debuted in the role of Rosina Barber of Seville with Scherzo Ensemble in Longhope and London. In 2018, Margo made her debut in the role of Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro at Dartington Festival. She also toured French opera house with Le Concert Spirituel – Hervé Niquet as Climene / Premier Amour in Lully-Moliere’s Les Amants Magnifiquesat the Opéra d’Avignon, Opéra de Rennes, Opéra de Massy… The tour will continue at Opera de Limoges in 2019. Past roles include, in addition to  Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro for Clonter Opera, Polissena in Handel’s Radamisto at GSMD, cover Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande for Garsington Opera, Concepcion L’Heure EspagnoleRavel for Festival Pentecote en Berry, Bettina Don Procopio Bizet with Opera South, among others. She also made her debut under the baton of renowned French baroque conductor Hervé Niquet (Le Concert Spirituel) in the role of Climène Les Amants Magnifiques by Molière/Lully, touring at the Opéra d’Avignon, Opéra de Rennes, Opéra de Massy…Margo has sung in public masterclasses for world-renowned singers like Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley, Teresa Berganza, Stuart Skelton, Leontina Vaduva, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Janet Williams, … among others. Margo is proud to be a 2018 Sybil Tutton Award recipient from Help Musicians UK and a 2017 Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient, and is grateful to the OAF for renewing their support in 2018. She is also currently supported by the Kathleen Trust, Two-Temple Place, and the National Opera Studio. She is also grateful to the Kathleen Trust, William Barry Trust, Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust, Mercers Company, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and Guildhall School for their generous support in the past. Margo has also been a Young Artist for the Peace and Prosperity Trust since 2016, a charity which works towards building bridges between the Middle East and the West and promoting peace through the universal language of music.

Full Biog –

Voi che sapete, Le nozze di Figaro Mozart 2019

Svegliatevi nel core Giulio Cesare – Handel 2019

Nobles Seigneurs, salut! Les Huguenots  Meyerbeer 2019


Elizabeth Skinner – Countess Almaviva

Since performing the role of Fiordiligi at Clonter in 2015, taking part in the Opera Gala in 2016, and returning to perform the role of the Countess in Clonter’s 2017 production of the Marriage of Figaro, Elizabeth then went on to perform the role of Iolanta Tchkiovsky and to create the role of Prosperpina in the world première of The Tale of Januarie by Julian Phillips and Stephen Plaice based on Chaucer’s A Merchant’s Tale.  Recent engagements have included Amadeus at the National Theatre, and Glyndebourne over the last year.


Josep-Ramon Olivé – Count Almaviva

Ramon was selected as an ECHO Rising Stars artist for 2018/19 season. Recent highlights include a tour with Le Jardin des Voix, directed by William Christie, Mercutio Romeo et Juliette at Teatro Calderón de Valladolid and his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in which he performed in two productions concurrently, both as Maximilian-Captain Candide and Kuligin Káťa Kabanová. Josep-Ramon returns the Liceu in forthcoming seasons as Zaretsky Eugene Onegin and Schaunard La bohème. Josep is represented by CLB Management.

Full Biog &

Elbphilharmonie | »Rising Stars« Interview 2018 –

Le manoir de Rosemonde – Duparc 2017 –

Heimliche Aufforderung – Strauss 2017

Reviews  “Olivé’s sense of phrasing in the recitative was very fine, whilst his light and fluid account of the aria had a nice trenchant quality too” Robert Hugill


Angharad Lyddon – Cherubino

Since performing the role of Cherubino for Clonter Opera in their 2017 production of Marriage of Figaro, following her professional debut for English National Opera in 2015 as Kate in Pirates of Penzance, she returned to perform the role again in their 2017 revival. She also sang the role of Daughter of Aknaten in their 2019 revival of Phellm McDermott’s Olivier Award-Winning production, Akhnaten. She also understudied Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale and Schoolboy, Dresser and Walter in Lulu for the company.  Other operatic roles include Olga in Eugene Onegin at the 2019 Buxton International Festival, and Flosshilde in Das Rheingold for Grimeborn Festival in 2019, Hansel in Iford Arts’ 2018 Education Project, entitled ‘Gingerbread’, based on Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel, Suzuki in Madam Butterfly for Salon Opera, Julia Bertram in Mansfield Park for the Grange Festival and Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte at Abo Svenska Theater in Finland. Other covered roles include Polinesso in Ariodante and Alto in Trauernacht, a staging of Bach Cantatas, for Festival d’Aix en Provence. Angharad is a Samling Artist and among her concert highlights are performances at the Wigmore Hall, Stravinsky’s The Faun and the Shepherdess and Requiem Canticles with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philarmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Bach Cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. Angharad represented Wales in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and was a Finalist in the Song Prize competition. She is due to perform a recital with Llyr Williams at the Wigmore Hall in the Autumn as part of her prize. Angharad is represented by the Harlequin Agency.

Full Biog –

Silent Noon – Vaughan Williams | BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019


Jade Moffat – Marcellina

Since performing the role of Marcellina in Clonter’s 2017 production of the Marriage of Figaro, Jade went on to make her her Wigmore Hall recital debut with Independent Opera in 2018. She was also a Samling Artist, and a Tait Memorial Trust Scholar. She covered the role of Cornelia in Giulio Cesare for Bury Court Opera, and later joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera Chorus for their summer season. In September 2018 Jade travelled to Roquecor, France to undertake a residency at Le Brel, culminating in a recital with Gamal Khamis (piano) and Jonathan Radford (saxophone). She then travelled home to Australia in November as a soloist in Mahler’s 8th Symphony for Griffith University. In 2019 Jade joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera chorus for their summer and touring seasons. For the Glyndebourne Festival she sang Servant, and cover Spirit 4 in Cendrillon, as well as chorus in Damnation de Faust, Die Zauberflöte, and Rusalka. She made her Glyndebourne Opera Tour debut as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, as well as chorus for L’elisir d’amore. Jade is the proud recipient of the Wessex Glyndebourne Award for 2019/2020. In January 2020 Jade joined Scottish Opera as the mezzo-soprano Soloist for their Opera Highlights Tour, performing in 17 rural destinations across Scotland. Before covid-19 restrictions were put in place Jade was looking forward to joining Garsington Opera for their 2020 season as an Alverez Young Artist, where she would cover the role of Ježibaba in Rusalka, as well as chorus for Rusalka and Fidelio. Jade’s recent operatic roles include Zenobia Radamisto, Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro, Marta Iolanta, Mother Mavra, Carmen Carmen, Judith Bluebeard’s Castle, Diane The Perfect American, Fenena Nabucco, Mrs Nolan The Medium Fatima and Puck Oberon, and cover for Bianca The Rape of Lucretia, Cornelia Giulio Cesare, Tisbe La Cenerentola, Columbina Le donne curiose and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly.

Full Biog –


Andrew Irwin – Basilio & Curzio

Since performing the role of Basilio and Curzio for Clonter Opera in 2017, Andrew won the 2017 Forde Taylor prize for Gilbert & Sullivan at the Feis Ceoil (Dublin) and the E.A. Redman prize for German Lieder performance at the RWCMD. Andrew’s opera engagements have included Conte Almaviva in Paisiello Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Junge Mitteldeutsche Kammeroper, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni and Die Knusperhexe Hänsel und Gretel with the Leipzig Sommerorchester. On the concert platform Andrew has performed Evangelist in Schütz Historia Der Geburt Jesu Christi in the Altes Rathaus, Leipzig and Stainer Crucifixion in Cardiff and Dublin. His recital repertoire includes Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann Dichterliebe, Britten Winter Words, Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel and Finzi Oh Fair to See. Andrew made his Welsh National Opera in February 2019 singing Amelia’s Servant Un Ballo in Maschera and covered Cecil Alberto Devereux for the company. His plans include Mozart Great Mass in C Minor with Llandaff Cathedral Choral Society/Alexander Thacker, Jan in HMT Leipzig’s production of Millöcker Der Bettelstudent.  He is represented by Caroline Phillips Artist Management.

Full Biog –


Corinne Cowling – Barbarina

Since performing the role of Barbarina and covering the role of Susanna, for Clonter Opera in 2017, Corinne has returned to take part in Clonter’s Outreach programme to the Elderly – Tea with…Songs from the Shows, whilst performing as understudy to the leading role of Christine Daaé on London’s West End in the original production of Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Corinne has performed in major concert halls across the UK as soprano soloist for Raymond Gubbay’s Johann Strauss Gala National UK Tour 2017, 2018, and 2019. Recent performance engagements include the role of Arthebuze in Charpentier’s Actéon with Lost&Found Opera; Movement Director/Assistant Director/Ensemble in J. Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, Bernstein’s Candide and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with West Green House Opera; Assistant Movement Director for Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Peep-Bo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado with Charles Court Opera at the King’s Head Theatre; Barbarina/Cover Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Clonter Opera; Cosette in Schönberg’s Les Misérables with Pimlico Opera. Previous orchestral and recital engagements include Romance on the Green with Perth Symphony Orchestra; ‘Home’ with Freeze Frame Opera featuring Alexander Lewis and Mark Coughlan; soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the University of Plymouth Choral Society and Sinfonia; The Magic of Opera Gala at Woburn Abbey; Semi-Chorus for Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder; LSO’s Guildhall Artist Platform Recital Series (Barbican Centre, LSO St Luke’s); Stephen Hough’s Other Love Songs alongside The Prince Consort (Wigmore Hall); UK Premiere of Juliana Hall’s Night Dances and When the South Wind Sings (Song in the City, Re-Sung). Winning first place in the Franz Schubert Prize at the GSMD, Corinne was awarded a place on the Franz Schubert Institute Master Course in Austria, working closely with industry professionals including Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles and Helmut Deutsch.  She also won third prize in the AESS Dame Patricia Routledge Competition 2017 and was a finalist in Bampton Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017. Corinne is represented by Michelle Blair Management.

Full Biog –

Venere bella, from Guilio Cesare – Handel2018 –


Edward Robinson – Antonio

Midlands born baritone, Edward Robinson studied at the Royal Northern College of Music as the Oglesby Trust and Drapers de Turckheim Scholar, under the tutorship of the internationally acclaimed baritone, Quentin Hayes. Edward’s passion for opera has lead him to perform in a number of innovative productions during his career. Edward’s operatic achievements include the role of Pilgrim The Pilgrim’s Progress, Marco Gianni Schicchi, Don Pedro Much Ado About Nothing, Silas The Orphans of Koombu, Valens Theodora, Bobinet La Vie Parisienne, Le Surintendant des plaisirs Cendrillon, Sicario Macbeth, Antonio Le Nozze di Figaro and Boy 2 Trouble in Tahiti; performing with Dorset Opera Festival, Clonter Opera, Northern Opera Group and as a young artist at The Buxton International Festival, 2018 and 2019.  As a baritone soloist, Edward has performed at venues such as the Opéra Comique, Paris, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Sage, Gateshead. Recent concerts as guest soloist, include Bramhs’ Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah and Alexander’s Feast, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and a staged performance of his Songs of Travel with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra. Edward also premiered a solo work at the Leeds Lieder Festival, 2017 and gives recitals as a musician for the organisation Live Music Now. Edward ensemble experience on the concert and oratorio platform most notable include a performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and Berlioz Requiem at the Grieghallen, Norway and at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Upon graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music Edward was awarded the Robin Kay Memorial Prize for Opera Singing. The award is given annually to the singer the college deems to have the most promising career in opera. Edward joins an esteemed list of winners that includes Sir Simon Keenleyside, Amanda Roocroft, Kang Wang and Kathryn Rudge. Edward has also won awards such as The Brigitte Fassbaender Award for Lieder, The Dean and Chadlington Singing Competition Audience Prize, the Harriet Cohen Memorial Award and Staffordshire Young Singer of the Year. When not performing Edward is a facilitator for educational and outreach opera. Leading vocal workshops and assisting choirs, Edward has worked with Chango Music, Clonter Opera Outreach, Stagecoach and Chant Productions.

Full Biog –


Eugene Dillon-Hooper – Doctor Bartolo

Since performing the role of Doctor Bartolo for Clonter Opera in 2017, he went on to perform the roles of Colline for RNCM Opera in 2017, tool part in Garsington Opera’s production of Capriccio nad Die Zauberflöte in 2018, and in 2019 Doctor Grenvil La traviata for Grange Park Opera/Al Bustan Festival in 2019, and Bertrand Iolanta for Les Azuriales.




Edward Robinson“I particularly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to be coached on the role of Figaro whilst at Clonter. To be given the opportunity to sing in the role with orchestra for the tech rehearsal is testament to the development ethos of Clonter and was a real highlight of the experience. Also to perform my first professional role alongside an incredibly talented group of emerging singers is something I’ll always remember.”


Until next week, take care!