Susan Bullock’s position as one of the world’s most sought-after British dramatic sopranos was recognised by the award of a CBE in June 2014.
Of her most distinctive roles, Wagner’s Brünnhilde has garnered outstanding praise, leading Bullock to become the first-ever soprano to sing four consecutive cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Royal Opera House under Sir Antonio Pappano. Appearances as Richard Strauss’ Elektra have brought her equal international acclaim and collaborations with some of the world’s leading conductors including Fabio Luisi, Semyon Bychkov, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Mark Elder and Edo de Waart.
In recent seasons, Bullock has debuted as Klytaemnestra in Elektra at the Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus; Liz Stride in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel for English National Opera; and she reprised her acclaimed portrayal of Mother in Mark Anthony-Turnage’s Greek at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Further highlights include the role of Kostelnička in Jenůfa for Grange Park Opera; Gertrude and The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel for Opera North and Grange Park Opera; and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd for Houston Grand Opera. Upcoming plans include her debut as Mother in the European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s award-winning Breaking the Waves for Scottish Opera, and a welcome return to the role of Mrs Lovett with Bergen National Opera, and Klytaemnestra in concert with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits.
Bullock’s vast and diverse concert work has included the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and with Zubin Mehta and the orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper. Popular appearances have included the Last Night of the Proms in 2011 and a special appearance at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony. Recently, Bullock returned to Wigmore Hall in their Wigmore Lates series with pianist Richard Sisson.
Bullock’s substantial discography includes Der Ring des Nibelungen with Oper Frankfurt under Sebastian Weigle on Oehms Classics and the title role in Salome with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras for Chandos.
Lucy Crowe has established herself as one of the leading lyric sopranos of her generation, performing at The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Lyric Opera of Chicago, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Canadian Opera Company and Oper Frankfurt. In recital, she has appeared at The Royal Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Salzburg Festival and the BBC Proms.
In concert, she has worked with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Emmanuelle Haïm, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Charles Mackerras and Richard Egarr; Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Mackerras and Nézet-Séguin; Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras under Sir John Eliot Gardiner; and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano. Her most recent appearances include Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 2 with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Nelsons, and The Cunning Little Vixen with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Crowe’s recordings include Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the London Symphony Orchestra under Gardiner for LSO Live; Handel’s Il pastor fido and a Handel and Vivaldi disc with La Nuova Musica under David Bates for Harmonia Mundi; a Witold Lutoslawski disc with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner for Chandos; Handel’s Alceste with Christian Curnyn and Early Opera Company for Chandos; John Eccles’s The Judgement of Paris for Chandos; and a solo Handel disc, ll caro Sassone, with Harry Bicket and The English Concert for Harmonia Mundi.
Upcoming plans include a debut at the Dutch National Opera in the title role of Rodelinda and a return to the Royal Opera House for Agrippina. In concert, she joins the Berliner Philharmoniker and Haïm for Apollo e Dafne, Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras and Gardiner for a worldwide tour in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday year; Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding for Elijah; and The English Concert and Bicket in a worldwide tour of Rodelinda.
British-Italian tenor Freddie De Tommaso shot to prominence when he won the First Prize, the Placido Domingo Tenor Prize and the Verdi Prize at the 2018 Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona.
A member of the studio of Bayerische Staatsoper for the 18/19 season, De Tommaso appeared in productions including Norma, La Fanciulla del West, La bohème and the programme’s production of Mavra and Iolanta double bill. Prior to this, he was a member of the Young Singer Academy at the Salzburg Festival for the 2018 season. Following the Viñas competition, De Tommaso was invited to appear in concert at Teatro Real, Madrid and in recital in Vilagarcia, Spain. Other performances included concerts with the Georg Solti Accademia in Tuscany and a gala concert at the Victoria Hall, Geneva. His solo credits also include Mendelssohn Elijah, Puccini Messa di Gloria and Verdi Requiem.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, roles here included Don Jose in La Tragedie de Carmen and Rodolfo in La bohème. De Tommaso was generously supported by the Josephine Baker and Countess of Munster trusts. He is a Joseph Karaviotis scholar, a recipient of a Gregory-Carr scholarship and the Richard Lewis scholarship. He currently studies with Professor Mark Wildman and has worked in masterclasses with Christa Ludwig, Placido Domingo, Gwyn Hughes Jones, Barbara Frittoli, Massimo Giordano, Richard Bonynge and Sir Antonio Pappano.
Described by critics as ‘the most exciting voice since Joan Sutherland’, Australian born Helena Dix has secured her name on operatic stages all around the world. In competitions, she notably represented Australia in the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and made her USA debut as a finalist in the Seattle International Wagner Opera competition to great critical acclaim. She was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2015 for her significant contribution to the music profession.
Dix’s operatic appearances include the title role in Feroni’s Cristina, regina di Svezia for Wexford Festival Opera, Oldenburg Staatstheater and Chelsea Opera Group, Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo and Odabella in Verdi’s Attila for Staatstheater Nürnberg and Lubeck opera, Flower maiden in Wagner’s Parsifal for English National Opera, Elvira (cover) in Verdi’s Ernani for The Metropolitan Opera, Isabella in Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot for Chelsea Opera, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Hanna Glawari in Lehár’s The Merry Widow for Scottish Opera. She has also covered the title role in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos for Garsington Opera. In 2019 she made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut as Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff.
Engagements elsewhere in recent seasons have included covering Sondra Radvanovsky in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux at the San Francisco Opera and a return to the Royal Albert Hall to sing Verdi’s Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Dix’s commercial recording debut of Howells’ Missa Sabrenesis with the BBC Concert orchestra and the Bach choir was released on Hyperion records in May 2020.
Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. He was a chorister at Southwell Minster and went on to study at Chetham’s School of Music and the University of Manchester. Marcus is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music where he completed his postgraduate studies as a member of Royal Academy Opera.
He has appeared as a principal artist with major opera companies in the UK and abroad. He has performed Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte, Novice’s Friend Billy Budd and Strephon Iolanthe all for ENO; Lance Corporal Lewis in the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Iain Bell for Welsh National Opera, Sid in Britten Albert Herring in concert with the BBC SO and Ned Keene Peter Grimes at Edinburgh International Festival with Edward Gardner. Other notable roles have included Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour with the Aix en Provence Festival and Bergen National Opera and Eddy in Turnage Greek for Music Theatre Wales and Boston Lyric Opera.
Farnsworth has given recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, La Monnaie, the Oxford Lieder Festival and Leeds Lieder. He has appeared many times at the Wigmore Hall with pianists including James Baillieu, Julius Drake, Graham Johnson and Joseph Middleton. In concert, he has appeared with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in performances of Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, the world premiere of Cheryl Hoad’s Last Man Standing and Hubbard in Doctor Atomic conducted by John Adams. With the London Symphony Orchestra, he had a great success in Candide conducted by Marin Alsop.
A strong supporter of contemporary composers, he has sung works by John Tavener, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher, Peter Maxwell Davies and David Sawer. For the 2017 BBC Proms, Farnsworth performed Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Sian Edwards.
Marcus is Head of Vocal and Choral Studies at Chetham’s School of Music and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southwell Music Festival.
Winner of the 2018 Critics’ Circle Emerging Talent (Voice) Award, Jennifer France has established an outstanding reputation as a singer of remarkable versatility. She has been particularly praised for her work in contemporary music, whether singing the title role in Gerald Barry’s Alice in Wonderland for the Royal Opera House, Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for Glyndebourne on Tour, Pascal Dusapin’s Medeamaterial at the Salzburg Festival or the Princess in Philip Glass’ Orphée for English National Opera. However, France has also been much acclaimed for the title role in Semele for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera at Wormsley and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos for the Nederlandse Reisopera (for which she was nominated for the 2016 Schaunard Award).
France graduated from the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she won many prizes, including the prestigious Patron’s Award, and was awarded the Principal’s Prize at graduation for exceptional all-round studentship, which led to her debut at Wigmore Hall.
She was an Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera, singing Dalinda in Ariodante and Despina in Così fan tutte, and returning as the Controller in Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Ice in the premiere of Stuart MacRae’s Anthropocene, Giulia in La scala di seta and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. Other companies with whom she has worked include Classical Opera, Dorset Opera Festival, Opera Holland Park, Opera North, Dutch National Opera and Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
In concert, she has appeared with the Academy of Ancient Music, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra at Three Choirs Festival, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and The Israel Camerata Jerusalem.
France’s recordings include Lessons in Love and Violence for Opus Arte, Debussy Songs Volumes 3 and 4 with Malcolm Martineau for Hyperion and Une voix dans le désert for Hallé.
Božidar Smiljanić’s most recent engagement was the title role in English National Opera’s 2020 production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. Following his international operatic debut in 2018/19 as a new member of Oper Frankfurt’s ensemble, Božidar has appeared as Eumée in Corinna Tetzel’s new production of Pénélope and Farasmane in Handel’s Radamisto, and is scheduled to perform Leporello in Christof Loy’s production of Don Giovanni, as well as continuing his series of recitals in the house.
A regular on the concert platform, Smiljanić has already developed a relationship with a number of key conductors and orchestras, with recent highlights including JS Bach’s Mass in B minor with Nathalie Stutzmann and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with John Wilson and Hector Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust with Edward Gardner, both with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Don Giovanni with Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberger Symphoniker; and Handel’s Messiah with Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel, Trevor Pinnock and Das Neue Orchester, and Richard Cooke and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. With a particularly extensive concert repertoire, Smiljanić’s other performances include Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Fauré’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9.
Born and raised in London, Smiljanić made his professional debut in 2014 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and has since debuted with some of the major UK companies, including Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour, before joining English National Opera as a Harewood Artist for 2018/19.
During his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, Smiljanić amassed a variety of operatic roles and was particularly singled out as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky, with Opera magazine describing his performance as ‘charismatic and velvet-voiced, simmering with subtle menace beneath his bonhomie and roaring magnificently in defeat’.
Recently nominated by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential artists in London, British soprano Sarah Tynan is well established as one of the most exciting and versatile singers of her generation.
Recent operatic engagements include the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Partenope and The Merry Widow, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Romilda in Xerxes, Eurydice in Orpheus and Eurydice and Eurydice in Orphée by Glass for English National Opera; Despina in Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park; Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia for Garsington Opera; a staged production of Benjamin Britten’s Les illuminations with the Aurora Orchestra at Aldeburgh Festival; Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with The Royal Danish Opera and English National Opera; the Governess in The Turn of the Screw for Opera North; and the title role in Semele for the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.
Tynan has performed in three world premieres: Dai Fujikura’s Solaris at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra de Lille and Opéra de Lausanne; Sharon Disney in Philip Glass’s The Perfect American at Teatro Real and English National Opera; and Megan in James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice for Welsh National Opera. She was also awarded the 2015 Wales Theatre Award for Best Female in an Opera Production for her portrayal of Manon Lescaut in Hans Werner Henze’s Boulevard Solitude at Welsh National Opera.
Equally in demand on the concert platform, Tynan has a wide concert repertoire including Brahms’s A German Requiem, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, Mahler’s Symphonies No 2, 4 and 8, Haydn’s The Creation, JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah, among many others.
Recent concert highlights include Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No 7 with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, The Sixteen and at the Royal Albert Hall; and The Creation with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Recordings include Carmina Burana with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and The Creation with the Handel and Haydn Society.