SIR SIMON KEENLYSIDE – Baritone – 1984 & 1987

Sir Simon Keenlyside made his operatic debut, as a British Baritone, here at Clonter in 1984. He first appeared in the Royal Opera House just 6 years later as Ping from Turandot. From 1994 onwards, Simon has performed with The Royal Opera almost every season, and opera houses throughout the world. He was appointed a CBE in 2003 and awarded a knighthood in 2018.

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AMANDA ROOCROFT – Soprano – 1984

Amanda Roocroft’s first appearance Clonter, was as a student of the Royal Northern College of Music, in 1984. Whilst studying, in 1988, she won the Kathleen Ferrier Award, and in 1989 she was praised by the British Critic, Michael Kennedy, for her performances in the college production of Cosi fan tutte. In the years between 1989 and 2010, Amanda has succeeded in performing at well-established events and venues including the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Welsh National Opera, the Royal Opera House, The English National Opera, and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In 1994, she was also the subject of a Granada Television documentary, Amanda Roocroft: Opera’s Rising Star. As well as breaking into the British Opera circuit, Amanda succeeded in the North America, appearing in Don Giovanni as Donna Elvira at the Metropolitan Opera, and sang at Houston Grand Opera. In 2003, the University of Manchester awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Music. For her performance in Jenufa in the English National Opera in 2007, Amanda received the Laurence Oliver Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Throughout her career, Amanda has also had the great pleasure of performing with the likes of Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, and has made regular appearances at the London BBC Proms and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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JONATHAN LEMALU – Bass-Baritone – 2000 & 2001

Jonathan’s association with Clonter began in 2000. He was cast for Clonter’s production of The Marriage of Figaro and returned to Clonter in 2001 to perform in The Barber of Seville. Along with the rehearsal and training of stagecraft, vocal and physical stamina, Jonathan was awarded the 2000 Clonter Opera Prize. Also, as a 2001 Singers Academy Member, Jonathan received invaluable coaching from John Tomlinson at the Royal Opera House. Jonathan was the joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier award and the recipient of the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Young Artist of the Year. Since then he has performed at the Munich, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Ravinia and Tanglewood Festivals and at the BBC Proms. He is in great demand from the major opera houses, orchestras and recital venues of the world. Recordings include his debut recital disc on EMI with Roger Vignoles (Gramophone Debut Disc of the Year), an operatic arias disc with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a disc of English and American songs with Malcolm Martineau. In 2010, Jonathan was awarded with a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

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GRANT DOYLE – Baritone – 2001

Since performing the role of Figaro in Clonter’s 2001 production of the Barber of Seville, Grant Doyle has gone on to have a illustrious career. For the Royal Opera he has performed over a dozen roles including Ping Turandot, Dancaire & Morales Carmen, Harlequin Ariadne auf Naxos, Schaunard La bohème,  and Billy Wayne Smith in the world premiere of Anna Nicole. He has appeared regularly in the Linbury Studio Theatre as Tarquinius Rape of Lucretia, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Abraham Clemency and White Rabbit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Major opera credits include Yeletsky Pikyava Dama, Zurga Les pêcheurs de perles, Marcello La bohème, for Opera Holland Park; Forester Cunning Little Vixen, the title role in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera;  Sir Thomas Mansfield Park for The Grange Festival; Figaro Barber of Seville, Papageno The Magic Flute, Marcello and Figaro Le nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera; Demetrius A Midsummers Night’s Dreamat the Teatro Real in Madrid and Komische Oper Berlin. He has appeared with Opera North, starring as Robin Oakapple in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore and sang Marcello La bohème at the Royal Albert Hall and also Schaunard La bohème for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. As a regular with English Touring Opera, his roles have included, the title role in The Barber of Seville, Marcello La boheme, Paolo Simon Boccanegra, Emireno Ottone, and Nello in Pia de’ Tolomei, a UK stage premiere.

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LEE BISSET – Soprano – 2000 & 2006

Scottish soprano Lee Bisset studied at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Her first operatic role was Tatyana in Eugene Onegin for Clonter for whom she also sang Violetta in La traviata. Selected engagements include: Jenůfa (Scottish Opera), Káťa Kabanová (Longborough Festival Opera), Sieglinde Die Walküre (Opera North and Ópera São Paulo), Tosca (Opera Memphis and Opera Omaha), Senta Der fliegende Holländer (Ópera de Bellas Artes, Mexico City), Leonore Fidelio (Dorset Opera Festival), Minnie La Fanciulla del West (Opera Omaha); and concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Teatro Real, Madrid, the Theatro São Pedro, Brazil and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. Recently she sang Liza in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Isolde at the Konzert Theater, Bern, Switzerland and Sieglinde Die Walküre in Singapore. She will sing all the Brünnhildes in the new Longborough Ring.

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NATALYA ROMANIW – Soprano – 2010 & 2011

Natalya won the Clonter Opera prize in 2010, and performed the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Clonter in 2011. She went on to cover Armida in Handel’s Rinaldo for Glyndebourne on tour, and successfully auditioned for the young artist programmes at the MET, New York, The Jette Parker young artist programme, Covent Garden and Houston Grand Opera, Texas, which was the offer she accepted. In 2012 Natalya was the first ever recipient of both the Lovely Song Prize and first prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Subsequent accolades include representing Wales in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, where she was a Song Prize finalist. Last season Natalya was nominated for the Times Breakthrough Category at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. Most recent roles include Tatyana Eugene Onegin for Garsington Opera, Lisa Queen of Spades in a return to Opera Holland Park, Jenufa for Grange Park Opera in their new Theatre in the Woods at West Horsley Place. In 2017-18, Natalya sings Tatyana Eugene Onegin, in her house debut with Welsh National Opera, and for Scottish Opera in a new production by Oliver Mears. Looking further ahead, Natalya will make her debut with English National Opera as Mimì La bohème. Last summer she returned to Garsington Opera as Marenka The Bartered Bride. Also last season she made her first solo recital recording in a collaboration with the pianist Lada Valesova, featuring repertoire by Dvořák, Janáček, Novák and Rachmaninov.

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Click here to watch Garsington Opera – 2017 – Final Scene, Eugene Onegin

Click here to watch Opera Holland Park – 2019 – ‘Otchego eto prezhde ne znala’, Iolanta

Click here to watch Garsington Opera – 2019 – ‘Ten lásky sen’, The Bartered Bride

Click here to watch Garsington Opera – ‘Isolated Arias 2020’ – ‘Song to the Moon’, Rusalka