Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Wexford Festival Opera Gala Concert - Remote Voices: as part of Waiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air

Some of the most famous and outstanding stars from the opera world are to take part in a very special evening from Wexford Festival Opera, including Aigul Akhmetshina, Joseph Calleja, Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Flórez, Igor Golovatenko, Ermonela Jaho, Sergey Romanovsky, and many more.

OperaStreaming announces second season of nine new productions from the opera houses of Emilia-Romagna, free to view on YouTube

Following its successful launch in 2019, OperaStreaming streams nine operas on YouTube from the historic opera houses of Emilia-Romagna during the 2020-21 season, with fully-staged productions of Verdi's La traviata in October from Modena and Verdi'sOtello from Bologna in...

Connections Across Time: Sholto Kynoch on the 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival

‘A brief history of song’ is the subtitle of the 2020 Oxford Lieder Festival (10th-17th October), which will present an ambitious, diverse and imaginative programme of 40 performances and events.

Bampton Classical Opera 2020: Gluck's The Crown at St John's Smith Square

Bampton Classical Opera returns to the Baroque splendour of London’s St John’s Smith Square on November 6 with a concert performance of Gluck’s one-act opera The Crown, the first in the UK since 1987. The performance will also be filmed and available to watch on demand on the Bampton website from 9 November.

A new opera written during lockdown with three different endings to choose from to premiere this October as part of Wexford Festival Opera

While many of us spent lockdown at home taking it a little easier, composer Andrew Synnott wrote an opera.

Grange Park Opera presents Britten’s Owen Wingrave, filmed on location in haunted houses in Surrey and London

Owen Wingrave is part of the new Interim Season of 19 brand new events, all free to view online between September and December 2020.

Music and Theatre For All launches three major new projects supported by The Arts Council

The Arts Council has awarded innovative UK charity Music and Theatre For All (MTFA) a major new grant to develop three ambitious new projects in the wake of Covid 19.

English National Opera to reopen the London Coliseum with performances of Mozart’s Requiem

English National Opera (ENO) will reopen the London Coliseum to socially distanced audiences on 6 and 7 November for special performances of Mozart’s Requiem. These will provide audiences with an opportunity to reflect upon and to commemorate the difficulties the nation has faced during the pandemic.

The Royal Opera House launches autumn digital programme with a new series of Friday Premieres and screenings on Sky Arts

The Royal Opera House is proud to continue its curated #OurHouseToYourHouse programme into the autumn, bringing audiences the best of the ROH through a new series of Friday Premieres and cultural highlights.

Take a Bow: Royal Opera House opens its doors for the first time in six months as part of Open House London

After six months of closure, the Royal Opera House is thrilled to be opening its doors to the public as part of Open House London weekend, giving visitors a taste of one of the world’s most famous theatres for free.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields presents re:connect - a series of autumn concerts at St. Martin-in-the-Fields

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is thrilled to announce re:connect - an eight concert series with live socially distanced audiences at its namesake church, St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The autumn concerts will take place at 5pm & 7:30pm on two Saturdays per month with guest artists including baritone Roderick Williams, soprano Carolyn Sampson and composer-conductor-pianist Ryan Wigglesworth performing a wide range of repertoire.

Connections Across Time: The Oxford Lieder Festival, 10-17 October 2020

Music and poetry unite and collide across centuries, from the Medieval to the Enlightenment to the present day. This year, the Oxford Lieder Festival will present a thrilling and innovative programme comprising more than forty events streamed over eight days.

The English Concert Autumn 2020 series: Handel and Purcell, Britain’s Orpheus

The English Concert with artistic director Harry Bicket is delighted to announce a series of concerts from 1-15 October 2020. The concerts take place in historic London venues with star soloists and will be performed and streamed live to a paying audience at 7pm GMT on each performance date. The programmes include first-class vocal and instrumental works from the two pillars of the English Baroque, covering different aspects of the repertoire.

Glyndebourne announces first indoor performances since lockdown, and unveils 2021 Festival repertoire

Glyndebourne has announced plans for a ‘staycation’ series of socially-distanced indoor performances, starting on 10 October 2020.

Royal Opera House announces autumn opera and ballet concerts

The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce two packed evenings of opera and ballet, live from our stage in Covent Garden and available to view wherever you are in the world online.

New edition of Handel cantata: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

A new edition of Handel’s cantata Mi palpita il cor has been created by a group of students from Guildhall School’s Historical Performance department during lockdown.

Autumn season: free digital events at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Guildhall School of Music & Drama today announces its Autumn Season of events, which will all be delivered digitally and free of charge.

Wigmore Hall: Artistic Director John Gilhooly confirms 100 concerts from 13 September to 21 December

John Gilhooly today announced repertoire and artist details for Wigmore Hall’s autumn series of 100 concerts, including 28 lunchtime concerts in association with BBC Radio 3. All 100 concerts will be live-streamed in HD and free to watch on demand for 30 days after broadcast on Wigmore Hall’s website.

Glyndebourne extends its summer season of outdoor performances into September

Glyndebourne is extending its summer season of outdoor events, with an additional two weeks of open-air concerts and Open Gardens between 29 August and 13 September.

Garsington's Fidelio in Concert: BBC Radio 3 broadcast

Garsington Opera is delighted to announce that its Fidelio in Concert will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 26 September, 6.30pm.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

03 Apr 2020

Participants announced for the first ever Wexford Factory

Twelve singers, in a two-week academy, with guest tutors including world-renowned tenor Juan Diego-Flórez as part of Wexford Festival Opera 2020.

In advance of the opening of public booking on Saturday, 4 April, the twelve singers chosen to take part in the inaugural Wexford Factory were announced. A new initiative, established for the first time this year by WFO Artistic Director, Rosetta Cucchi, the Wexford Factory is a two-week academy for young Irish / Irish-based singers, which will take place in early September, prior to the beginning of rehearsals for this year’s Festival.

Speaking of her reasons for developing the Wexford Factory, Rosetta said, “The best memories of my life are associated with the academies I attended in my youth. That is where I learned the true meaning of professionalism and how I could continue to challenge myself as an artist. This is the reason I decided to establish the Wexford Factory. It is the duty of every highly regarded international festival such as Wexford to give a new generation of singers the opportunity to grow; giving them wings to fly in their careers.”

The Wexford Factory is designed to mentor young singers through masterclasses led by internationally recognised artists and professionals. Guest tutors will include world-renowned tenor Juan Diego-Flórez, Irish soprano Celine Byrne, as well as Ernesto Palacio of the Rossini Opera Festival and Dmitry Vdovin, head of the Bolshoi’s Young Artist programme. Veteran Wexford Festival Opera director Roberto Recchia, Classical Music journalist Michael Dervan, movement specialist Sara Catellani and Rosetta Cucchi will also provide professional instruction.

Graduating students will perform in one of the Pocket Operas / Opera Beag Shakespeare for Fun, a reduced production of Verdi’s Falstaff which will be performed this October in the National Opera House.

The Wexford Factory is in collaboration with TUD (Technological University Dublin), RIAM (Royal Irish Academy of Music) and CSM (Cork School of Music) and in keeping with the International profile and reach of Wexford Festival Opera, a partnership with the Bolshoi Academy, Moscow, the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, and Opera for Peace has also been established. In addition to the twelve Irish and Irish-based singers, two young singers, one from the Bolshoi Academy, Moscow and one from the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro will also join this new initiative.

The twelve Irish or Irish-based singers have been announced as:

Anna Brady, Ava Dodd, Rory Dunne, Andrew Gavin, Francesca Federico, David Howes, Kathleen Norchi, Conall William O’Neill, Jade Phoenix, Sarah Richmond, Sarah Shine, Vladimir-Mihai Sima.

Anna Brady received her BA in Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2011 before studying for her Masters in Vocal Studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which she recently completed. She is a 2012/13 alumni of the Young Associate Artist Programme with Opera Theatre Company, now amalgamated with Irish National Opera. Her performing experience includes Annina in La traviata with Fife Opera, Margot-Froufrou inThe Merry Widow with Opera Bohemia and Daisy in The Next Station is Green Park with Opera Eos among others. Anna is currently preparing to sing the role of Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).

Soprano Ava Dodd originally from Wicklow, is currently in her final year of Bachelor of Music Performance (vocal studies) in RIAM and will continue on to study her masters in London. She has been greatly inspired by her own teacher Professor Mary Brennan, as well as artists including Renée Fleming and Anna Netrebko. Ava was named the ‘Young Opera voice of 2019’ at the Festival of Voice competition with Northern Ireland Opera. Ava has performed in venues including the National Concert Hall Dublin, Project Arts Centre, RDS Concert Hall, the Peacock Theatre and Kilmainham Gaol.

Kildare born bass-baritone Rory Dunne studied as an actor before he realised that he wanted to pursue a career in opera when he first stood on a stage, in full costume, in character and with an orchestra playing in the pit and felt that it is the one place that he felt truly empowered. Rory studied at TU Dublin Conservatoire and has gone on to perform with WFO, Lyric Opera Productions, Irish National Opera, Cork Opera, Opera Collective Ireland and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Soprano Francesca Federico spent all her summers growing up with family in west Cork and Kerry. Francesca received a Bachelor's degree in Global Politics and a Masters in Voice at the Mannes School of Music. Her interest in classical music was sparked by seeing her first opera, Rigoletto at the Met when she was 15. Now based in NYC Francesca is due to perform in dell’Arte Opera's 2020 summer festival and recently made her debut at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center.

Tenor Andrew Gavin from Navan, Co Meath, has performed with Wexford Festival Opera on a number of occasions in 2015, 2016 & 2017. He was recipient of the WFO / PwC Emerging Young Artist Bursary 2016. Graduating with an M. Phil in Children’s Literature from Trinity College, Andrew was awarded his Masters in Music Performance at the RIAM. Andrew made his debut at Wigmore Hall as part of the 'Irish Culture in Britain’ celebrations and participated in a joint production with the Juilliard school, New York and the RIAM, Ten Thousand Miles Away. Among the many awards he has won include prizes at the ESB Feis Ceoil, the O’Mara Cup, the Plunket Greene Cup, and the William T. Watt trophy for Tenor solo.

Bass-baritone David Howes, originally from Limerick completed his Bachelor of Music Degree at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. David’s grandad Harry, a self-taught bass singer, inspired him to pursue his singing career, along with his parents’ staunch support. A graduate of the distinguished Young Artist Programme with Northern Ireland Opera David has worked with the Belfast Philharmonic Choir, performed in the world premiere of Andrew Synnott’s opera, Dubliners at WFO 2017, Irish National Opera, Buxton Opera Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Currently based in NYC, soprano Kathleen Norchi studied Music at the Boston Conservatory of Music and her masters at the Mannes School of Music. With a love of performance since she was very young Kathleen has performed with Utopia Opera as well as in productions of Die Zauberflöte, The Telephone, Carmen and Hansel and Gretel.

Bass Conall William O'Neill is based in London where he attended the Royal College of Music (RCM) for both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in music and performing. Most recently, he performed as Colline in Hampstead Garden Opera’s production of La bohème, singled out for his “powerful bass voice and a knockout vecchia zimarra”. He also sang the role of Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring for the Koninklijk Conservatoire Antwerpen. Prior to studying at the RCM, Conall attended Imperial College London, receiving a BSc of Biology degree. His father hails from New Ross, Co. Wexford originally, so performing at the Festival adds an additional element of excitement to his involvement.

Jade Phoenix is an Irish lyric soprano based in Greystones, Wicklow, currently in her final year in the Royal Irish Academy of Music studying with Prof. Mary Brennan and Dr. Dearbhla Collins. From September, she will attend the Guildhall school of Music and Drama to begin her Masters in Music Performance under the tutelage of Yvonne Kenny, having been awarded a scholarship. In 2019, Jade performed the role of Charlotte Badger in the opera Banished by Stephen McNeff, performed in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin. Upcoming performances include Kevin O´Connell´s contemporary opera DreamCatcher, an opera for two principal females which will be performed in the Abbey Theatre.

Carrickfergus born mezzo-soprano Sarah Richmond made her Wexford Festival Opera debut in 2015 in the critically acclaimed Guglielmo Ratcliff by Mascagni, singing the role of Willie and returned in 2016 to sing the principal role of Yelena in the ShortWorks production of The Bear by William Walton. A recipient of the WFO / PwC Emerging Young Artist Bursary 2016, Sarah graduated from the RNCM with a MMus (Distinction) and a PG Dip Solo Performance (Distinction) as a Drapers' de Turckheim Scholar. Sarah has also performed with North West Opera, NI Opera/Nevill Holt Opera, Wide Open Opera, Castleward Opera and more.

Limerick soprano Sarah Shine studied at the RIAM under Veronica Dunne who has been her biggest inspiration in her career along with her grandmother who encouraged a love of music from an early age. Sarah was a member of the Salzburg Young Singers Project 2019 and has just finished two seasons as a singer in residence at the Académie of Opera National de Paris. After a performance at Palais Garnier in 2018, Sarah was awarded the Siemens Opera Award.

Tenor Vladimir-Mihai Sima studied computer programming and International Business/Economics before studying music and graduating from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Music has always been a part of his journey which saw him start his own heavy metal band in his teens. The moment Vladimir-Mihai discovered that this was what wanted to do in life was when someone at work showed him a video of Placido Domingo singing 'E lucevan le stelle' and this changed the course of his life. Some key productions to date include Carmen, The Enchantress and La finta giardiniera.

Wexford Factory video: www.wexfordopera.com

Wexford Festival Opera runs from 20 Oct - 1 Nov 2020.

Find out more at wexfordopera.com

Priority booking is now open for all Friends.
General booking opens on Saturday, 4 April 2020.

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):