Update for 2016
Christopher Diffey was born in Melbourne and in 2008 he completed his studies on the Royal Academy of Music Opera Course. Operatic roles include Fenton/Falstaff at the Longborough Festival; Talus/Icarus for Tête à Tête; Mercury/Orpheus in the Underworld at the Scottish Opera; Count Almaviva/The Barber of Seville for Opera Brava, Garden Opera and DISS; Paris/Troy Boy for the Merry Opera Company; Borsa/Rigoletto for Bury Court Opera; Ramiro/Cinderella and Rodolfo/La Bohème for OperaUpClose; Alfredo/La Traviata for Garden Opera; Second Priest/The Magic Flute for Opera Holland Park; Cyril/Princess Ida and Fairfax/Yeoman of the Guard for the Buxton International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival; Lensky/Eugene Onegin for Opera By Definition; Mercurio/Il Medo for Ensemble Serse, and Pane/La Calisto and Dardanus/Dardanus for the RAO. Concerts include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Manchester Camerata, Mozart’s Requiem with the Brandenburg Sinfonia, Bach’s Mass in A Major with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Britten’s St Nicholas. In 2012 his performances included reprising Alfredo for Garden Opera and he created the role of Karl in the new crime thriller opera, The Face by Christopher Bowers-Broadbent and Campaspe Lloyd-Jacobs at London’s Gray’s Inn. In 2013, Christopher covered the role of Count Ory for Opera South and Alfredo for Opera UK, a role he performed for them in November of 2012.
Nicky Spence Hailed recently by the Daily Telegraph as ‘a voice of real distinction’, Nicky Spence is fast emerging as one of ‘our finest young singers’. Nicky is currently a Harewood Artist at the ENO. Following his training at the Scottish Youth Theatre and the NYMT, Nicky graduated from the GSMD and went on to study at the National Opera Studio. A former Britten-Pears Young Artist, Georg Solti and Samling Scholar, Nicky’s awards also include the National Bruce Millar Opera Prize, the Kathleen Ferrier Young Singers Award, the Concordia Barthel Prize, the Sybil Tutton Award, a Young Classical Performer of the Year nomination at the Classical Brit Awards and inclusion in the Gold Medal Final at GSMD. Operatic roles include Soldier in Jonathan Dove’s I giardini della storia for the Batignano Opera Festival, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Garsington Opera, Pirelli in Sweeney Todd for Shawford Mill, and Count Zedlau Wiener Blut and Belmonte Die Entfhürung aus dem Serail for the English Touring Opera. Future roles includeOsmin/La rencontre imprévue, The Guide/The King goes Forth to France, Ferrando/Cosí fan tutte, and concerts at Leeds Lieder Festival, the National Portrait Gallery and Hampton Court. He sang Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with the British Youth Opera in 2009. More recent roles include McHeath/Beggars Opera, Jaquino/Fidelio at Opera Holland Park, and Lampwick/The Adventures of Pinnochio and Quint/Turn of the Screw for Opera North. Nicky made his debut at the ENO as Brian in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, a commission and co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Hungarian tenor Gyula Rab is currently studying at the Royal College of Music International Opera School as a Sir Roger and Lady Carr Soirée d’Or Scholar with Dinah Harris. He is also generously supported by The Sussex Opera and Ballet Society, The Josephine Baker Trust and The William Gibbs Educational Trust. Gyula received a first class Master of Music from the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest) in 2012 where he studied with Éva Marton and was the winner of the Le Meridien Prize and the UNELMA-Dream Scholarship from the Ari S Kupsus Salon Concert Society. He also studied in Florence, Italy as an ERASMUS Scholar and at the Birmingham Conservatoire as a Joseph Weingarten Scholar. Gyula was a member of the Glyndebourne Opera Festival Chorus during 2013 and also participated in a New York tour with the company in 2014. Operatic experiences include Gonzalve in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole (RCMIOS), Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Birmingham Conservatoire), the title role in La Clemenza di Tito, Idamante in Idomeneo and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Fox from Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Liszt Academy of Music). Gyula’s notable concert performances incude the world premiere of The Diary of the Butcher song cycle composed by Gyula Fekete, Head of Composition at the Liszt Academy of Music, the tenor solo of Mozart’s Requiem at the Palace of Arts in Budapest, recitals at the Ari S Kupsus Salon Concert Society and singing at the Independence Day Concert at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest.
Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider studies voice with Yvonne Kenny at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a member of the highly regarded Opera course. Gerard’s recent engagements include repertoire at the State Opera of South Australia, Co-Opera, the West Australian Opera, Clonter Opera, and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in roles including Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Ferrando in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Bardolfo in Verdi's Falstaff, Don Riccardo in Verdi's Ernani, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, The Defendant in Trial by Jury, and as both Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro in Wiesbaden, Germany and the Bregenz Festspielhaus, Austria. In his time at the Guildhall, Gerard has sung the title role in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Jacopo in Verdi's I due Foscari, Ramon in Massenet's La Navarraise, and both General Sir Philip Wingrave and the Narrator in Britten's Owen Wingrave. This year, Gerard sang the title role in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana; a role he will reprise in July at Roman Amphitheatre in Fiesole, Italy. Gerard will make his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in May singing as a featured soloist in extracts from Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Sir Mark Elder. In June, Gerard will sing the Consigliere in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista before joining the Young Artist Program at the Salzburger Festspiele and appearing as Ruiz alongside Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, and Francesco Meli in Verdi's Il Trovatore. Gerard’s past awards include the Phoebe Patrick Award, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Prize, and the Australian Opera Auditions Committee Prize at the 2011 Australian Singing Competition. Gerard was a finalist in the 2014 Royal Over-seas League Singing Competition and he was the recipient of the Tait Memorial Trust Scholarship at the 2014 Overseas Award. Gerard is supported by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Worshipful Company of Actuaries, the Australian Music Foundation and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust
Born in Kenya and having lived all over the world (due to family’s work in the diplomatic corps), Greek tenor Alexandros Tsilogiannis started his music training on the piano at the age of 14. He accidentally fell into singing when his piano teacher enrolled him in the chorus after overhearing him sing; something he initially was hesitant to but then later became very grateful of. Soon after, Alex started auditioning for solo’s within the choir and eventually to larger competitions that propelled him to the front of the stage, where he feels right at home. Before Alex arrived to finish his Masters at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, he wanted to become a pilot, which is why he completed his undergraduate studies in Florida at Jacksonville University, where he trained as a commercial pilot (Aviation Management and Flight operations) and completed his B.A in Music. He chose to follow his talents and passion in Music which brought him back to Europe where he completed his Masters and the Opera Course at the Guildhall thanks to a scholarship from The Gordon Foundation and the GSMD. Future plans for 2014 include playing as Pinkerton with Regent’s Opera, performing with Unexpected Opera, singing in concert around Europe and working with his Three Tenors group, Tenorissimi around the UK. Living in different countries and following different schools resulted in acquiring several languages to a varied degree of competence (English, French, Greek, Italian and German). Off the stage, Alex has many interests and hobbies. He loves photography, scuba diving, athletics and staying up to date in the exciting world of technology and space exploration.
Lyric tenor Bo Wang studied in the UK at the Royal Northern College of Music. His Bachelor degree in Musicology was from Beijing Normal University in 2005. During his time there he won numerous scholarships and was also the winner of many national and international competitions, most notably the Fifth Singapore International Music and Dance Competition, in which he won a gold medal (2007). In Beijing Bo sang for two years in the chorus of the International Festival Choir. Opera experience includes Eisenstein, Die Fledermaus (German Embassy in Beijing), Nencio, L’infedelta delusa ( RNCM ), Achilles, La Belle Hélène (RNCM), Thyrsis, Euridice (British Youth Opera), Don Basilio, Le Nozze di Figaro (British Youth Opera), Jenik, The Bartered Bride ( Manchester City Opera) and Lynceus, Les Danaides (University of Leeds). Aside from opera, Bo’s performing experience includes Schumann’s Dichterliebe (RNCM), in the role of Mr. Bumble in the Chinese premier of the musical Oliver, as a soloist in oratorio including Handel’s Messiah, Joshua and Israel in Egypt, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Rossini’s Peite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Requiem and Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Gounod’s Cacilienmesse, Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel, K.Jenkins’ The Armed Man, B.Chilcott’s Requiem. Bo also performed Britain’s Canticle and folk songs at the Manchester Bridgewater Hall.
James Cleverton In 2009, James made his English National Opera debut as Oppenheimer in Dr Atomic by John Adams, and in October 2010, sang Grigorio in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette in his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. James studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Zurich Opera’s International Opera Studio. Awards include the Texaco Award for Opera, the Veitch Ibier Award for Oratorio and a Susan Chilcott Scholarship. James made his international opera debut as Escamillo in Carmen for the Spier Opera Festival in South Africa and as Silvio in Pagliacci in Hanoi for the Concordia Foundation in 2005. He has performed Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem in Hanoi, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Mendelssohn’s Paulus, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenen Gesellen with the Swiss Chamber Orchestra. James is an International Ambassador for the Concordia Foundation and travelled with them to Havana, Cuba in 2009 for concerts and workshops as part of their International Educational Exchange programme and Young Audiences Programme.
Timothy Connor was born in Northern Ireland and studied at TCM and the GSMD with John Evans. His operatic roles include Hel Helson, Paul Bunyan, Title Role Le Nozze di Figaro, Vicar Albert Herring, Maurrant Street Scene, Gaoler and Sacristan Tosca. He made his Barbican debut in Iain Burnside’s A Soldier and Maker and recently appeared with the Orion Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. Timothy sang with Graham Johnson in a Recital of ‘Winterreise’ as part of his Series ‘Cycles in Tandem’ at the Guildhall School. Last year, as a Christine Collin’s Young Artist, he made his Opera Holland Park solo stage debut in a special production of Gianni Schicchi and played Leporello in Don Giovanni with MidWales Opera Young Artists. After his recent move to Berlin, Timothy sang in ‘MauerKlänge’ with Kiez Oper as part of the Berlin-Leuctet Festival. He is grateful for the generous support from Serena Fenwick, John and Carol Wates, the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, the Kathleen Trust and the Concordia Foundation. Timothy received the MBF Postgraduate Performance Award for 2012/13. He joins the Opera School at the RCM in September 2014 where he plays Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Ed Ballard is in his final year on the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying with Glenville Hargreaves and Audrey Hyland. Operatic roles include Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (forthcoming, November 2014) with Royal Academy Opera, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte and Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shadwell Opera, Truffaldino in Jonathan Dove’s The Little Green Swallow and cover Chao Lin in Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera for British Youth Opera, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Dartington and chorus for Glyndebourne. Concert appearences include Fauré Requiem with the Britten Sinfonia in St John’s Smith Square, Handel Messiah with the Orchestra of St John in King’s Place and Bach Cantatas for the acclaimed Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series; recital appearences include London’s Wigmore Hall with Academy Song Circle. Winner of The Marjorie Thomas Art of Song Prize, The Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize, two Sybil Tutton Opera Awards and the Grabowski Connell Prize, he is immensely grateful for the support of an International Opera Awards Bursary, a Howard de Walden Award and Carr-Gregory Scholarship and the Kathleen Trust. Born in London, Ed began singing as a Chorister at the Temple Church and was a Choral Scholar in Clare College Choir and King’s College Choir in Cambridge, where he read History.
Edward Grint is a graduate of the International Opera School at The Royal College of Music. Other roles include Arcas Iphigenie en Aulide (Theater an der Wien), Colonel Patience (Musee D’Orsay, Paris), Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte (Woodhouse Music), Hobson Peter Grimes (CUOS), Mother Die Sieben Tödsunden (Cuenca Festival), Thoas Iphigenie en Tauride (Euphonia) and Zaretsky Eugene Onegin (Ryedale Festival). Edward has also recently created the roles of Mr. Delancey Louis Dernieres Aqualung (RCM) and Cocteau Edward Hughes When the Flame Dies (Canterbury Festival). Edward has worked with many leading ensembles including London Handel Festival, Valletta Baroque Festival, Malta) London Mozart Players and City of London Sinfonia. Solo concerts have taken him to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Snape Maltings; King’s College, Cambridge; Ely Cathedral; St. Alban’s Abbey; Fairfield Halls Croydon; Sherborne Abbey; Cadogan Hall; Chelmsford Cathedral; Sheffield Cathedral and St. John’s Smith Square. An equally passionate recitalist, Edward has performed Brahms Vier Ernste Gesänge, Dvorak’s Biblical Songs, Finzi’s Earth and Air and Rain, and Let us Garlands Bring, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Schumann’s Liederkreis op. 24 and Ravel’s Don Quichotte cycle.
South African born Njabulo Madlala was first prize winner at the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. From Inanda Township in Durban, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, gaining his Bachelor of Music with Honours and Master’s Degree at the Post-graduate Opera Course there. At the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, he studied with tenor Denis O’Neill. He has been supported by the Oppeheimer Memorial Trust, the South African National Arts Council, the Sir Peter Moores Foundation, the Countess of Munster Trust and the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. Njabulo Madlala is a Britten Pears Young Artist, a Samling Foundation Scholar, and a prize winner of the Young Kathleen Ferrier Bursary and the Kenneth Loveland Gift Prize. He recently sang Mel in Tippet’s Knot Garden for the Montepulciano Festival, broadcast live by Radio Italy, and played the role of the Disciple and an Angel in The Mysteries filmed by the BBC. Njabulo has recently sung in Bird.
Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider studies voice with Yvonne Kenny at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a member of the highly regarded Opera course. Gerard’s recent engagements include repertoire at the State Opera of South Australia, Co-Opera, the West Australian Opera, Clonter Opera, and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in roles including Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Ferrando in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Bardolfo in Verdi's Falstaff, Don Riccardo in Verdi's Ernani, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, The Defendant in Trial by Jury, and as both Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro in Wiesbaden, Germany and the Bregenz Festspielhaus, Austria. In his time at the Guildhall, Gerard has sung the title role in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Jacopo in Verdi's I due Foscari, Ramon in Massenet's La Navarraise, and both General Sir Philip Wingrave and the Narrator in Britten's Owen Wingrave. This year, Gerard sang the title role in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana; a role he will reprise in July at Roman Amphitheatre in Fiesole, Italy. Gerard will make his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in May singing as a featured soloist in extracts from Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Sir Mark Elder. In June, Gerard will sing the Consigliere in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista before joining the Young Artist Program at the Salzburger Festspiele and appearing as Ruiz alongside Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, and Francesco Meli in Verdi's Il Trovatore. Gerard’s past awards include the Phoebe Patrick Award, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Prize, and the Australian Opera Auditions Committee Prize at the 2011 Australian Singing Competition. Gerard was a finalist in the 2014 Royal Over-seas League Singing Competition and he was the recipient of the Tait Memorial Trust Scholarship at the 2014 Overseas Award. Gerard is supported by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Worshipful Company of Actuaries, the Australian Music Foundation and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.