A former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, soprano Emma Bell has in recent seasons developed her repertoire, moving from the Mozart heroines, with which she established her career, to the key jugendlich-dramatischer roles of Wagner and Beethoven. Recent highlights include her house debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Freia in Das Rheingold with The Hallé; Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites at Staatsoper Hamburg; and Leonore in Fidelio at Oper Köln.
A regular presence on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Bell's most recent appearances there have included Eva, Madame Lidoine and her highly acclaimed Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, about which The Times wrote ‘her timbre has always been unique but now Bell shows so much more: perfect intonation, tenderness, subtle variation, compelling acting’. She returned to the role of Elisabeth last season at both the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bayerische Staatsoper.
A wide and varied early career has taken Bell to Teatro alla Scala as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Elettra in Idomeneo and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; to Teatro Real as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Elettra; to The Metropolitan Opera as Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Donna Elvira; and to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. In more recent seasons, Bell has appeared as Elsa in Lohengrin for Staatsoper Hamburg; the title role in Arabella at Oper Köln; as Eva for Opernhaus Zürich; and as the Governess for Staatsoper Berlin.
An engaging concert performer, Emma Bell has enjoyed a close collaboration with Sir Antonio Pappano on works such as Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and both Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has recently added soprano I in Mahler’s mighty Symphony No 8 to her repertoire in performance with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui.
In 2017, Iestyn Davies was awarded an MBE for his services to music. A former Cambridge choral scholar, he went on to study singing at the Royal Academy of Music. An esteemed Handelian, he has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Orlando, Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Agrippina and David in Saul. His intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adès, George Benjamin and Nico Muhly. Davies recently made his Broadway debut in a revival of his West End theatre project, Farinelli and the King, with Mark Rylance, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. A celebrated recitalist, with repertoire ranging from John Dowland to Eric Clapton, he has twice been awarded the Gramophone Recital Award and, in 2017, won the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award.
Austrian soprano Christina Gansch is the winner of the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Award and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Mozarteum University Salzburg.
Recent highlights have included her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Marzelline in Fidelio for the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In concert, she performed Mahler’s Symphony No 4 at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Zerlina in concert performances of Don Giovanni in Vienna and Lucerne with Musica Aeterna; Gretchen in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Egmont with the Camerata Salzburg. Other recent successes include her debut as Dorinda in Orlando for the San Francisco Opera; Gretchen for Staatsoper Hamburg; Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos for Teatro alla Scala; and Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel for Royal Opera House. Gansch has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris and Opéra national de Montpellier.
In concert, she has appeared at Musikverein Wien with the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wiener Konzerthaus as part of Resonanzen International Cultural Festival, Verbier Festival, Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Wigmore Hall, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni in St Peterburg and Dortmund with Musica Aeterna; Ilia in Idomeneo at the Ingolstadt Festival; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg; Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Coronation Mass in C major at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik; Mozart’s Requiem with the Göteborgs Symfoniker; and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.
Gansch’s recordings include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Music Aeterna and Teodor Currentzis (Sony), Wolf’s Lieder with Malcolm Martineau (Vivat) and Schubert’s Der Hochzeitsbraten with Matthew Rose, Robert Murray and Malcolm Martineau (Stone Records).
Stuart Jackson studied Biological Sciences as a choral scholar at Christ Church, University of Oxford, before completing his training at the Royal Academy of Music in 2013 where he studied with Ryland Davies.
He then went on to Stuttgart Opera Studio for the 2013/14 season and a highlight which was singing the title role in Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice.
He won second prizes at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart and has since given recitals at the Stuttgart Opera, Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival and Albertina Musensaal in Vienna.
Recent opera highlights include Saul at Théâtre du Châtelet Paris in the role of High Priest/Abner/Amalekite/Doeg; his debut at Komische Oper Berlin as Jupiter in Semele; Vasek in Bartered Bride in his debut for Garsington Opera.
Jackson has sung Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with RIAS Kammerchor and Rinaldo Alessandrini; Bach’s St John Passion on a European tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Chappelle Harmonique in Versailles; as well as on tour with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Daniel Reuss, with whom he has also performed St Matthew Passion; Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Royal Northern Sinfonia; Martin’s Le Vin Herbé with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra; Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; and many performances of Handel’s Messiah including with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Daniel Reuss, Hallé Orchestra and John Butt, and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan.
Further afield he has repeated his roles in Handel’s Saul for the Adelaide Festival, sung Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Stuttgart Opera and Nettuno in Legrenzi’s La Divisione del Mondo for Opéra national du Rhin.
Stuart was a Samling scholar and a past recipient of the Sybil Tutton Award administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund.
Felicity Lott was born and educated in Cheltenham, read French at Royal Holloway College, of which she is now an Honorary Fellow, and singing at the Royal Academy of Music, of which she is a Fellow and a Visiting Professor. Her operatic repertoire ranges from Handel to Stravinsky, but she has above all built up her formidable international reputation as an interpreter of the great roles of Mozart and Strauss. At the Royal Opera House, she has sung Anne Trulove, Blanche, Ellen Orford, Eva, Countess Almaviva and under Mackerras, Tate, Davis and Haitink, the Marschallin. At the Glyndebourne Festival, her roles include Anne Trulove, Pamina, Donna Elvira, Oktavian, Christine Intermezzo, Countess Madeleine Capriccio and the title role in Arabella. Her roles at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich include Christine, Countess Almaviva, Countess Madeleine and the Marschallin. For the Vienna State Opera, her roles include the Marschallin under Kleiber which she has sung both in Vienna and Japan. In Paris, at the Opera Bastille, Opera Comique, Chatelet and Palais Garnier she has sung Cleopatra, Fiordiligi, Countess Madeleine, the Marschallin and the title roles in La Belle Helene and La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein. At the Metropolitan Opera, New York, she sang the Marschallin under Carlos Kleiber and Countess Almaviva under James Levine. She recently sang Poulenc’s heroine in staged performances of La Voix Humaine at the Teatro de La Zarzuela, Madrid, the Maison de la Culture de Grenoble and the Opera National de Lyon.
She has sung with the Vienna Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras under Solti, the Munich Philharmonic under Mehta, the London Philharmonic under Haitink, Welser-Moest and Masur, the Concertgebouworkest under Masur, the Suisse Romande and Tonhalle orchestras under Armin Jordan, the Boston Symphony under Previn, the New York Philharmonic under Previn and Masur, the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis in London, Sydney and New York, and the Cleveland Orchestra under Welser-Moest in Cleveland and Carnegie Hall. In Berlin, she has sung with the Berlin Philharmonic under Solti and Rattle and the Deutsche Staatskapelle under Philippe Jordan.
A founder member of The Songmakers' Almanac, Lott has appeared on the major recital platforms of the world, including the Salzburg, Prague, Bergen, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Munich Festivals, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Salle Gaveau, Musée d’Orsay, Opera Comique, Chatelet and Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. She has a particularly close association with the Wigmore Hall and received the Wigmore Hall Medal in February 2010 for her exceptional contribution to the hall.
Her many awards include honorary doctorates at the Universities of Oxford, Loughborough, Leicester, London and Sussex and the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. She was made a CBE in the 1990 New Year Honours and in 1996 was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In February 2003, she was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin. She has also been awarded the titles Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government. Most recently, she has been honoured with the 2015 Incorporated Society of Musicians Distinguished Musician Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 International Classical Music Awards.
Following a degree in Biochemistry, Christopher Maltman studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music. A globally-renowned Don Giovanni, he has sung the role in London, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Toulouse, San Sebastian, Beijing and Chicago, and adds New York and Edinburgh this year. Increasingly in demand for Verdi roles, he has sung Posa, Ford, Simon Boccanegra, Conte di Luna, Guy de Montfort and will soon add Don Carlo di Vargas, Rigoletto and Germont. He won the Lieder prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World early in his career and has continued to delight audiences with his sensitive and engaging song performances, many of which are documented in acclaimed recordings. His vast and varied discography, from Purcell to Ades includes John Corigliano’s Grammy award-winning Ghost of Versailles from Los Angeles Opera.
Born in Lancashire, bass Brindley Sherratt studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is now a Fellow and Visiting Professor.
Recent highlights include Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House and Le nozze di Figaro and Manon Lescaut for The Metropolitan Opera. On the concert platform, he has recently performed Tristan und Isolde with Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España; Siegfried and The Apostles with London Philharmonic Orchestra; Fidelio with The Hallé; Theodora with Arcangelo; A Child of our Time with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and Missa Solemnis with BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Sherratt has also performed at the English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Wiener Staatsoper, Salzburger Landestheater, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Dutch National Opera, Opéra de Nice, Opéra National Bordeaux, Teatro de la Maestranza, Teatro Real, Opernhaus Zürich, Oper Frankfurt and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has appeared at many festivals, including Glyndebourne, Three Choirs, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Bregenz, Edinburgh International, Lucerne and Salzburg, and at the BBC Proms.
Sherratt regularly works with leading orchestras and conductors, and recent engagements have included with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under Sir Antonio Pappano; Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis; The Hallé under Sir Mark Elder; Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Harry Bicket; Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Louis Langrée.
He has recorded the roles of Polyphemus in Acis & Galatea (Nimbus); Cadmus in Semele and Ariodate in Serse (Chandos); Ubaldo in Imelda de’ Lambertazzi and Goffredo in Il Pirata (Opera Rara); Rocco in Fidelio (Glyndebourne Live); as well as Judas in The Apostles with The Hallé; Missa Solemnis with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and Haydn’s masses and JS Bach’s cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir.
Christopher Ventris has performed on the world’s most important stages, enjoyed enduring collaborations with many esteemed conductors and is considered internationally to be one of today’s finest tenors.
Ventris made a long-anticipated role debut in 2019 as Tristan in Wagner’s epic Tristan und Isolde under Alain Altinoglu at La Monnaie, with Operatraveller.com writing: ‘In the love duet, he sang with honeyed warmth, blending handsomely with Merbeth [Isolde] and the orchestra below.’ The same year brought further Tristan performances, this time at the Royal Danish Opera conducted by Lothar Koenigs, and 2020 saw a return to The Metropolitan Opera in a role debut as Tambourmajor in Wozzeck conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In addition to concert performances of Die Walküre with the Dresdner Philharmonie under Marek Janowski, he joined Robert Carsen’s production at Teatro Real under Pablo Heras-Casado.
Ventris appeared as Peter Grimes at Opernhaus Zürich and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Florestan in Fidelio at Washington National Opera, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Geneva, Madrid, London and Brussels, and Jimmy Mahoney in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at both Staatsoper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. He has performed in Jenůfa for The Metropolitan Opera and Opernhaus Zürich, Der Freischütz at Teatro alla Scala and Palestrina at Bayerische Staatsoper. His role debut as Prince Andrey Khovansky in Khovanshchina at Wiener Staatsoper, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, was subsequently seen at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2017 BBC Proms.
An acclaimed debut at Bayreuther Festspiele as Parsifal led to a number of other appearances in the role, including at Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris, San Francisco Opera and Opernhaus Zürich. Ventris has appeared as Siegmund in Die Walküre numerous times, including a live CD recording from Wiener Staatsoper with Christian Thielemann. He joined Philippe Jordan at Salzburger Festspiele in the title role of the lesser-performed Rienzi, made his role debut as Tannhäuser under Sir Mark Elder at Opéra national de Paris, and appeared as Lohengrin at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Real and The Dallas Opera.
Stephanie Wake-Edwards is a London-born mezzo-soprano. With her unique and impressive voice, she is attracting significant international attention from the highest levels. At only 26 years old, she has already secured engagements with several opera companies and orchestras, including Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, where she joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2019. In 2018, Marc Minkowski awarded Wake-Edwards a special recital in his Concours Bordeaux Medoc Lyrique. She was a finalist in the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Royal Academy of Music’s Richard Lewis Award.
Wake-Edwards is a Royal Academy of Music Bach Cantata/Kohn Foundation scholar, recipient of the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Award 2017, a member of the Academy’s prestigious Song Circle and is supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, Help Musicians UK and the Academy, where she holds a Blue Badge Style Award. She is also the recipient of the Sarah Walker CBE Mezzo Soprano Award and won second prize in the Isabel Jay Competition 2017.
In September 2019, she made her debut at the Royal Opera House as Käthchen in Werther, followed by more role debuts including Flora in La Traviata, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the Maid in Jenůfa and Second Maid in Elektra. In 2018, Wake-Edwards made her debut as Third Noble Orphan in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne Festival as well as joining their Chorus for Saul, Vanessa and Madama Butterfly. In summer 2019, she covered roles including Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne as part of the Jerwood Young Artist Programme.
Other operatic engagements include Dido and Aeneas for Leicester MusicFest; The Enchanted Pig, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Die Zauberflöte for Hampstead Garden Opera; Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia for Aspect Opera; and Peter Grimes for the Dartington International Summer School & Festival.
Wake-Edwards graduated from the University of York with the BA in Sociology with Social Psychology, and studied for a Master’s degree in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Ashworth and Jonathan Papp.