Wednesday 20 March 2019

Introducing the Opera Holland Park Young Artists for 2019

Jack Holton, Sonia Ben-Santamaria and Claire Lees at the Opera Holland Park Young Artists 2019 launch
Jack Holton, Sonia Ben-Santamaria and Claire Lees at the Opera Holland Park
Young Artists 2019 launch (Photo Flickr Treble2309)
Opera Holland Park introduced its Young Artists for 2019 at an event at the East India Club last night (19 March 2019) which gave us a chance to meet them and to hear some of them in action. 

This year's Young Artists will be performing in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera on 28 June 2019, with Jack Holton as Anckarström, Claire Lees as Oscar, Georgia Mae Bishop as Madame Arvidson, Blaise Malaba as Ribbing, Tom Mole as Horn, and Samuel Oram as Cristiano, the Associate Director will be Rachel Hewer, the Associate Conductor will be Sonia Ben-Santamaria and the Young Artists Répétiteur will be Lucie Sansen. The Young Artists will be joined at the performance by Nadine Benjamin as Amelia and Adriano Graziani as Gustavo.

Last night we heard Jack Holton and Claire Lees performing 'La ci darem' from Mozart's Don Giovanni, Georgia Mae Bishop singing Olga's aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Clarie Lees also gave us a taster of Oscar from Un ballo un maschera, all accompanied by a string quartet conducted by Sonia Be-Santamaria.

The Young Artists scheme at Opera Holland park is unusual in that the young performers get a whole performance to themselves, with separate rehearsals directed by the Associate Director, this year Rachel Hewer, and conducted by the Associate Conductor, this year Sonia Ben-Santamaria. In fact they will be doing two performances, as they do the schools matinee as well. Further details from the OHP website. The scheme has been running since 2011, and means that a remarkable number of those taking part in the 2019 season are returning alumni of the scheme, singers, directors and conductors.

I bumped into Jack Holton last week as he was singing with Lunchbreak Opera for their 2019/20 launch [see my article], and as many of you will know Georgia Mae Bishop is singing the role of The Mother in the premiere of my opera The Gardeners at Conway Hall on 18 June 2019 (further details from the opera's website). Last year we caught both Claire Lees and Georgia Mae Bishop in Poulenc's The Carmelites at the Guildhall School [see my review], and saw Tom Mole in Stravinsky's The Rakes Progress with British Youth Opera [see my review].

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