Monday, 21 November 2016

Young artists awards at Garsington

Benjamin Lewis
Benjamin Lewis
Three young singers and an up-and-coming conductor have won awards at this year's Garsington Festival. Baritone Benjamin Lewis and conductor Jack Ridley have won the 2016 Leonard Ingrams Awards, made in memory of Garsington Opera’s founder Leonard Ingrams, to ensure the continuity of his vision, whilst soprano Lauren Zolezzi (whom we caught as Sophie in English Touring Opera's 2015 production of Massenet's Werther) has received the Helen Clarke Award and tenor James Way the Simon Sandbach Award.


Jack Ridley - photo Becky Nye
Jack Ridley - photo Becky Nye
All three singers were part of this year's Alvarez Young Artists' Programme at Garsington, taking part in the festival and receiving training and support. This year, Benjamin Lewis understudied the title role of Eugene Onegin (see my review), Lauren Zolezzi understudied the role of Ilia in Idomeneo (see my review), and James Way understudied the role of Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin, whilst Jack Ridley was assistant conductor of Eugene Onegin, and conductor of the schools OperaFirst performance.

In 2017 James Way returns to sing a principal role in Roxanna Panufnik’s Silver Birch, and both Jack Ridley and Lauren Zolezzi will be taking part in the 2018 opera season. The 2017 season at Garsington runs from 1 June to 30 July features four opera productions – Handel’s Semele, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Rossini’s Il turco in Italia. Roxanna Panufnik’s new opera Silver Birch commissioned by Garsington Opera, for professional singers and over 180 amateur performers, completes the season. The 2016 production of Eugene Onegin can be watched on the BBC Arts website.

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