Wednesday 27 April 2022

Celebrating ten years of the Opera Holland Park Young Artists

Opera Holland Park Young Artists past and present at Wilton's Music Hall
Opera Holland Park Young Artists past and present at Wilton's Music Hall

On Monday (25 April 2022), Opera Holland Park (OHP) had an event at Wilton's Music Hall to celebrate ten years of their Young Artist Scheme, and we heard from a fine array of current and past Young Artists. The scheme arose because the philanthropist, the late Christine Collins, wanted to support OHP and wanted to provide opportunity for young artists, and the scheme debuted in 2012 with the Young Artists performance of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi

Christine was also a client at our shop (Alec Drew Picture Frames) in Chelsea and would chat to David about opera and about the Young Artists Scheme. We attended that first performance and have, I think, attended (virtually) every Young Artists performance since and are pleased to help support the scheme.

On Monday, we heard a mixture of opera arias and interviews. So we heard:

  • Jack Roberts in 'Dein is mein ganzes Herz' from Lehar's The Land of Smiles
    • Lensky in the 2022 Young Artists production of Eugene Onegin
  • Anna Elizabeth Cooper in 'What a movie' from Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti
    • Olga in the 2022 Young Artists production of Eugene Onegin
  • Elizabeth Karani in Musetta's waltz from La Boheme
    • Musetta in the 2016 Young Artists production of La Boheme, and she was Susanna in last year's main stage Le nozze di Figaro and sings in Mark Adamo's Little Women this year
  • Blaise Malaba in Claudius' 'Je t'implore, o mon frere' from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet
    • Ribbing in the 2019 Young Artists production of In ballo in maschera
  • Elizabeth Karani and Sian Dicker in Susanna and the Countess' duet from Le nozze di Figaro 
    • Sian Dicker was the Countess in the 2021 Young Artists production of Le nozze di Figaro 
  • Julien van Mellaerts in 'Mein Sehnen mein Wahnen' from Korngold's Die tote Stadt
    • Schaunard in the 2016 Young Artists production of La Boheme, the Count in the 2021 main stage Le nozze di Figaro, and co-curator of OHP's Opera in Song series
  • Lucy Anderson, Tatiana in this years Young Artists production of Eugene Onegin, sang the closing part of Tatiana's Letter Scene
  • The pianist was Thomas Ang, who was the Young Artists repetiteur in 2021 with Lucy Anderson being accompanied by Alina Sorokina, this year's Young Artists repetiteur
We also heard interviews with several members and alumni of the scheme including Cecilia Stinton, who was the Young Artists director for the 2018 production of La traviata and who is directing this year's main stage production of Carmen, Elizabeth Karani, Sian Dicker, Blaise Malaba, Thomas Ang and Julien van Mellaerts.

The importance of the scheme to the Opera Holland Park season in general is indicated by the fact the 17 artists in this year's season are alumni of the scheme, and three Young Artists directors have gone on to create main stage productions.

This year's Young Artists production is Eugene Onegin, with performances on 13 and 23 June, further details from the OHP website.

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