Academy singers’ successes

-Posted on 09.03.2017

The start of 2017 has brought competition success and exciting roles for Academy students and alumni

Three Academy students have won this year’s Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform. The duo of bass-baritone Michael Mofidian and pianist Keval Shah both study here, as does tenor Peter Harris, who performed with pianist Hamish Brown. The prize is awarded annually to two duos that are studying at postgraduate level in UK conservatoires and are already embarked on careers, and offers them recitals around the country.

In the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Annual Music Competition, baritone Nicholas Mogg won the Singers section. He will take part in the Grand Final on 7th June, alongside Academy violinist Mathilde Milwidsky.

The 2016 ROSL Audrey Strange Memorial Award for the most promising singer was won by bass-baritone Richard Walshe.

Baritone Jacob Phillips won the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Bursary, which is open to vocal students at the start of their second year of study at each of the eight major music colleges in England, Scotland and Wales.

Academy students swept up six awards at the Mozart Singing Competition for singers under the age of 28, with soprano Clare Tunney claiming First Prize, as well as the contest’s Art Song Prize. Second Prize and Audience Prize went to Richard Walshe, Fourth to mezzo Victoire Bunel, and the prize for 19th-century Opera to baritone Sung Kyu Choi. Pianists Somi Kim and Johan Barnoin won the accompanists prizes (first and second, respectively).

Baritone Alex Otterburn has just sung Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte for Bury Court Opera and will take the role of Eddy in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek for Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh Festival opening weekend in August. The latter role is as Artist in Residence at Scottish Opera for 17/18 season, during which he will sing the Marquese in Verdi’s La Traviata and Harlekin in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2018 he takes the part of Pallante in Grange Festival’s production of Handel’s Agrippina.

Darwin Prakash has been selected as a Holland Park Young Artist and will sing Leporello in the Young Artists’ performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on 22nd June.


Alumni news

Aoife Miskelly is currently singing the title role in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden for Opera North, which ends on 24th March.

Iestyn Davies has just sung in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He will also appear at this year’s London Handel Festival, which starts on 18th March, as will Rupert Charlesworth.

Frederick De Tommaso will make his Royal Opera House debut on 11th March as one of the Apprentices in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Christina Gansch sang Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Opéra National de Paris and will take the role of Servilia in the composer’s La clemenza di Tito there in November and at the Salzburger Festspiele in July.

Henry Neill is appearing as Noah in Russell Hepplewhite’s Silver Electra for English Touring Opera, which is currently on tour, arriving at Snape Maltings on 1st April and at Wilton’s Music Hall in London on 4th April. In July, Neill appears in the title role of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Clonter Opera and in September as Sir Edmund Bartram in Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park for Grange Festival.    

Gareth Brynmor John is currently taking the role of Schaunard in Welsh National Opera’s production of Puccini’s La bohème.

Stefan Kennedy has won a place at the Dutch National Opera Academy.

Božidar Smiljanić recently made his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, in The Yeoman of the Guard. He will make his Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra debut on 11th March in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, and later in the year with Scottish Opera, as Schaunard in La bohème.

Oliver Johnson is currently playing Lucano/Soldato in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera de Vichy, and then at the Théâtre National Populaire de Villeurbanne.

Several Academy alumni feature at Garsington Opera this summer: Jennifer France, Andrew Tipple and Alison Rose will appear in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Douglas Boyd, from 2nd June; David Soar sings in Handel’s Semele from 1st June; Jonathan McGovern takes the title role in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande from 16th June; Sarah Tynan, Katie Bray and Geoffrey Dolton feature in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia from 26th June; and Sam Furness sings Jack in Roxanna Panufnik’s Silver Birch from 28th July. 

The next Royal Academy Opera production is of The Threepenny Opera, directed by Walter Sutcliffe. Find out more here

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