July | 14, 15, 17
Just occasionally, something startling and wholly original occurs in the world of the performing arts, which has the potential to change the cultural landscape and become an historic event. Imagine a Shakespeare play, often called his “finest achievement”, being performed not by actors but instead by singers, indeed an ensemble company of some the finest operatic actor-singers which this country has produced in recent times. The original part is that they sing not a note, but enact just Shakespeare’s words.
The play is King Lear. And the role of the eponymous monarch one of the scarcely scalable peaks of the repertory which few great actors can resist. Having conquered Wagner’s Wotan, Sir John Tomlinson sets his eyes towards Lear, with Sir Thomas Allen as Gloucester. The cast is a roll call of British operatic stars.
Multiple award-winning director Keith Warner, well known to British audiences from his acclaimed Ring Cycle at Covent Garden and the sensational Vanessa at Glyndebourne, curates this unique project and creates a new production for The Grange Festival, designed by his Vanessa collaborator Ashley Martin-Davis, with original incidental music by Nigel Osborne.
What can singers, these singers, bring uniquely to Shakespearean verse? An obvious first claim is rhythm, quite apart from vocal resonance and dramatic instinct. It should never be forgotten that all singers’ operatic music is a response to words and their multiple layers of meaning. This production promises to bring fundamental dramatic truths to the fore in surprising and transformative ways.
Dramaturg & Associate Director
Keith Warner was Associate Director at ENO and Scottish Opera. Artistic Director of Opera Omaha, and Head of the Royal Danish Opera. He has directed more than one hundred and fifty operas, plays and musicals for over 60 companies, in 18 countries. He has written librettos to four operas with the composer David Blake. He directed two Ring cycles for The New National Theatre, Tokyo and at The Royal Opera House, London. Also Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival. His production of Wozzeck (ROH) won an Olivier Award. Also for the ROH: Rossi’s “Orpheus” at the Sam Wanamaker/Globe playhouse and “Otello”.
He has directed the world premieres of a new version of Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun(Copenhagen), Avner Dorman’s Wahnfried (Karlsruhe), Hans Gefor’s Notorious (Göteborg Opera), and Christian Jost’s “Egmont” (Vienna). The UK premieres of André Tchaikowsky’s The Merchant of Venice and Richard Ayres’s Peter Pan (WNO). Other work includes: André Chénier on the lake stage in Bregenz. Ten productions at the Theater an der Wien, and a dozen productions at Oper Frankfurt. A trio of Faust operas by Berlioz, Gounod and Busoni at the Semperoper Dresden. Elektra (Prague, San Francisco and Karlsruhe) and Vanessa (Glyndebourne). Sondheim’s Passion (Montepulciano) was named by The New York Times as one of the 4 best productions in Europe 2019.
Plans include: “Boris Goudonov” (Frankfurt), Tannhäuser (Tokyo), and Handel’s “Julius Caesar” (Vienna). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Bristol.
John Lloyd Davies has worked throughout Europe as director, designer and lighting designer in both opera and theatre, including directing The Rape of Lucretia and Il re pastore for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Ariadne auf Naxos and Salome (Dallas Opera), Der Rosenkavalier (Dortmund), and Maria de Buenos Aires (Los Angeles).
At the start of his career, he worked at English National Opera on over thirty productions, also directing revivals in Frankfurt, Glasgow and Rome. He made his European debut directing and designing Don Giovanni at the Vienna Kammeroper, followed by Die Zauberflöte and Rigoletto. He directed and designed Madama Butterfly in Dublin and Ludwigshafen, Wozzeck and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Maynight in London and directed, designed and lit his first play in Europe – Schnitzler’s Sommerlüfte in Vienna.
Since then he has directed, designed & lit over a hundred productions, including Madama Butterfly at the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen, Un Ballo in Maschera and Die Zauberflöte (Klagenfurt), and Tosca (Malmö). Other work includes, Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw (Aldeburgh), Cabaret (Graz), and Tchaikovsky’s The Enchantress (Brighton Festival), as well as designing Racine’s Phaedra (Vienna), Tales of Hoffmann (Nürnberg), Don Giovanni and Falstaff (Dortmund) and Der Talisman (Salzburg).
In Vienna he has become well-known as a specialist in contemporary opera, with the Austrian premieres of Britten’s Death In Venice, Aribert Reimann’s Das Schloß, The House of Usher (Philip Glass), Weiße Rose (Zimmermann) and Powder Her Face (Adès). He also designed and lit the world premiere of John Casken’s opera God’s Liar at the Almeida, London, and La Monnaie, Brussels, and was Associate Director to Keith Warner for Die Dreigroschenoper at Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
John Lloyd Davies has been awarded the Josef Kainz Medal, one of Austria’s major theatre prizes, for opera and theatre work in Vienna, and he was recently Dramaturg to Kasper Holten, Director of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden on the Royal Opera’s new production of Szymanowski’s King Roger. He has recently directed and designed Birtwistle’s Gawain and Yan Tan Tethera at the Barbican for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and has written and directed a new stage adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover for the Festspiele Reichenau and Austrian TV.
Ashley Martin-Davis studied at Central School of Art & Design and Motley Theatre Design School. He designs internationally for theatre and opera.
Recent opera work includes: Egmont (Theater an der Wien); Vanessa (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Francesca da Rimini (Opera du Rhin); Tri Sestri and Peter Grimes (Oper Frankfurt); Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette (Santa Fe Opera/Liceu Barcelona); Une Nuit À Venise (Opéra de Lyon/Oper Graz/ROH Muscat); I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Bergen National Opera); Pelleas och Melisande (Royal Swedish Opera); The Merchant of Venice (Bregenz Festspiele Austria/Polish National Opera/Welsh National Opera/Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Otello, Macbeth and Falstaff (Royal Danish Opera).
Recent theatre work includes: Jude, Filthy Business, Rabbit Hole, Hapgood, Wonderland, #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei and 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre); Leonora Christina (Odense Teater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman); The Last Days of Troy and Britannia Waves the Rules (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester) and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Betty Nansen Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark).
Nigel Osborne is a composer and aid worker. He has worked with the world’s principal orchestras, ranging from the Philharmonia of London to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and from the Vienna Symphony to the Moscow Symphony. He has spent much of his life in the theatre: as Master of Music at the Shakespeare Globe, composer for Ballet Rambert, where he worked on a series of contemporary dance “classics” such as Wildlife and Apollo Distraught, and currently house composer for Ulysses Theatre in Istria, with over twenty productions including Medea, Marat Sade, Waiting for Godot, The Tempest, Arturo Ui, Antigone and The Bacchae
His many operas have been performed in opera houses and theatres in the UK and around the world including Glyndebourne, Wuppertal, Berlin and Oslo (The Electrification of the Soviet Union), Scottish Opera (The Queens of Govan), English National Opera (Terrible Mouth), The Royal Opera House (The Piano Tuner) Royal Court (Hell’s Angels), National Theatre Sarajevo (Evropa), Hofburg, Vienna (Differences in Demolition) and Matera (Silent City)
Among many awards, he has received the Opera Prize of Radio Suisse Romand/Ville de Genève, a Netherlands Gaudeamus Prize, the Radcliffe Award, the Koussevitzky Award of the Library of Congress Washington, and in 2017, the Inspiration Award of the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers (BASCA)
He has pioneered methods for using music to support children who are victims of conflict in the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, East Africa, India and South East Asia.
Ran Arthur Braun is a Live Action Designer who specialises in stunt coordination.
Ran has gained huge recognition for his work and is in great demand all across Europe and Asia. He collaborates regularly with leading Stage Directors, Companies and Festivals around the world.
Ran has over 250 credits world wide, including a 17 year relationship with the Bregenz Festival. Since 2017 he is a member of Team Tcherniakov.
Ran teaches stage combat at the Royal Opera House in London, Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo in Valencia, and the Opera Studio in Amsterdam.
In Season 2020/2021 his work will be featured at Teatro Liceu Barcelona, Munich State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Boloshoi Opera Moscow, Vienna State Opera among others.
Past work with Keith Warner includes, Peter Pan,Forza del Destino, Egmont and Otello
This is his Grange Festival Debut
Michael Hunt was recently appointed Artistic Director of Cape Town Opera. Prior to this he has held the posts of Artistic Director of Co-Opera in Ireland, Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal in Waterford and Chief Executive of Wexford Opera Festival. He started his journey in opera as a Staff Director at English National Opera before becoming the Associate Director of the Cheltenham Theatre Royal. He has directed for many theatres and opera companies including English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Opera Ireland, Portland Opera, Operadagen in Rotterdam, Northcott Theatre in Exeter, Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, Perm State Opera in Russia and the Teatro Comunale in Bolzano. A number of his productions have been site-specific, including Fidelio in the last remaining Gulag in Perm, Russia – for which he became the only non-Russian to be awarded the Perm State Prize for Culture. He continues to direct regularly in Perm where his productions have included Egbdf by Tom Stoppard, a new version of Alice In Wonderland and Jesus Christ Superstar. His next project in Russia will be the Russian premiere of the David Bowie musical Lazarus. He has collaborated as a Producer with Keith Warner on the double-bill La Voix Humaine and Krapp’s Last Tape in London and Der Silbersee by Kurt Weill at Wexford Festival.
Cornwalls Servant and Officer
John Tomlinson was born in Lancashire. He gained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music. He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Singer in 1991, 1998 and 2007 and in 2014 their Gold Medal.
John Tomlinson’s engagements include performances at La Scala, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Tokyo, Opera Australia, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Antwerp, and Bilbao and the Festivals of Bayreuth (where he sang for eighteen consecutive seasons), Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. He has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies.
Sir Thomas Allen is an established star of the great opera houses of the world. At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where in 2011 he celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debut with the company, he has sung over fifty roles. The same year he also celebrated the 30th anniversary of his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
He has been particularly acclaimed for his Billy Budd, Pelléas, Eugene Onegin, Ulisse and Beckmesser, as well as the great Mozart roles of Count Almaviva, Don Alfonso, Papageno and, of course, Don Giovanni.
As a director, his projects have included Il Barbiere, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte for Scottish Opera; Don Pasquale for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Così fan Tutte for the Boston Lyric Opera.
An acclaimed recitalist, he is equally renowned on the concert platform and has appeared with the world’s great orchestras and conductors.
He is Chancellor of Durham University. His many honours include the title of Bayerischer Kammersänger awarded by the Bayerische Staatsoper. In the New Year’s Honours of 1989 he was made a Commander of the British Empire and in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor. Among his proudest achievements are having a Channel Tunnel locomotive named after him, being awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music 2013 and most recently being awarded with honorary doctorates from the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music.
Donnie Ray Albert is a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera as Germont, Los Angeles Opera as Trinity Moses in Mahagonny, Simone in A Florentine Tragedy, and as the Father in Hansel and Gretel, plus numerous appearances with Opera Pacific, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Dallas Opera, Arizona; Atlanta Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera,Utah Opera, and the opera companies of New Orleans, Baltimore, Columbus, Kansas City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, and, in Canada, with the companies in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Manitoba, and Vancouver. This past season, he returned to Copenhagen as Falstaff and to Austin Lyric Opera as Amonasro.
IIn Europe, he has appeared at the Cologne Opera singing all Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and Frank in Die Tote Stadt, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as the Four Villains, the Royal Opera Wallonie in Liege for Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy, the National Theater in Prague as Jack Rance, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, Lithuanian National Opera in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer, plus the opera houses in Bordeaux, Köln, Bregenz, Milan, Mannheim and Hamburg, and in Vienna in the title role in Ernst Bloch’s Macbeth for the Vienna “Klangbogen” Festival. He has appeared in Japan with the New National Theater in Tokyo as Wotan and the Wanderer in Der Ring des Nibelungen, and in Brazil as Jochanaan in Salome in Sao Paolo.
Last season, he returned to the Semper Oper Dresden to sing the Four Villains and Germont, and made his debut with the Glyndebourne Festival as the Doctor in Vanessa.
As a concert artist, Mr. Albert has sung with the orchestras of Washington DC (National), Cologne, Southwest Florida, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Dallas, Minnesota, Seattle, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Austin, Palm Beach, Greensboro, Grant Park Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Madison, Vienna and Linz, in Austria and in Jerusalem, Gibraltar Philharmonic, and Grand Teton Festival. This past season, he appeared with the Säarlandische Rundfunk Orchestra as soloist the Verdi Requiem, and the Cincinnati Symphony for performances in Carnegie Hall and Cincinnati of Dett’s TheOrdering of Moses. He remains a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago’s Columbia College. He has also appeared in Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra as the Kommandant in Friedenstag and the title role in Krenek’s Der Diktator..
Recent operatic engagements include: Rigoletto for Vancouver Opera, Amonaso in Riga, Latvia, and Phoenix, Alfio for the Orlando Opera, Iago for the Kentucky Opera, Il Giuramento for the Washington Concert Opera, Das lied von der Erde with Rhode Island Philharmonic, Elijah with the Southwest Florida Master Chorale, concerts with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Atlanta Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra for their performance of d’Indy’s Fervaal, Nashville Symphony, Kentucky Opera as Germont, Latvian Opera as Giorgio in I Puritani, Prague’s National Theater as the Four Villains in a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman, and the Semper Opera in Dresden for Keith Warner’s new production of Faust, Paris for Aida, Riga, Latvia for Otello, Madison Opera for La Traviata, Washington Concert Opera for Adriana Lecouvreur, and Edmonton Opera as Amonasro.
Donnie Ray Albert was born in Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at Louisiana State University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Albert may be heard on RCA’s Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winning recording of Porgy and Bess, NOW’s recording of The Horse I Ride Has Wings with David Garvey on piano, EMI’s Frühlingsbegräbnis and Eine Florentinesche Tragodie by Zemlinsky conducted by James Conlon, and Simon Sargon’s A Clear Midnight on the Gasparo label.
Kim Begley began his career in 1970 as an actor working in rep including Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman Theatres, and Birmingham Rep. Throughout 1977 / 1978 he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Kim joined Covent Garden as principal Tenor in 1981 where he sang over forty principal roles; He sang regularly with the Metropolitan Opera New York, Lyric Opera Chicago, San Francisco, Bayreuth, Vienna Staatsoper, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva, La Scala, Bastille and Chatelet Paris, Florence, Glyndebourne and English National Opera, he has also enjoyed a busy international concert career.
Kim made many recordings and in 2003 was the recipient of a Grammy Award for his performance as Mefistofeles in Busoni’s Dr. Faustus. He was nominated for an Olivier for his performance as Parsifal for English National Opera.
Alongside his performance schedule, Kim has directed and designed productions and has inaugurated Arts Festivals and Community Projects in the U.K. He founded and ran the International Opera course “Broomhill” alongside Jonathan Miller and Nicholas Cleobury which provided a platform for young International Opera Singers.
After thirty-five years, Kim retired from singing in 2018 following the highly acclaimed premier of Brett Deans opera Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival. He has been involved in the development of this unique and exciting Lear project since its inception five years ago following a conversation with director Keith Warner in the back of a taxi in Vienna!
Anthony Flaum is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and National Opera Studio. His studies were generously supported by English National Opera and the John Wates Foundation.
His operatic roles include Borsa in Jonathan Miller’s production of Rigoletto (English National Opera); Tybalt Roméo et Juliette, Motel Fiddler on the Roof, Tchekalinsky Queen of Spades and Lensky Eugene Onegin (Grange Park Opera); Macduff Macbeth (Scottish Opera); Nemorino L’elisir d’amore (Nevill Holt Opera and Northern Ireland Opera); Pinkerton Madame Butterfly and Rodolfo La bohème (Iford Arts); Gonzalve L’heure espagnol (Mid Wales Opera); Turiddù Cavelleria Rusticana (Portsmouth Choral Society); Don José Carmen (Tonbridge Philharmonic Society) and the title role in UC Opera’s production of Aroldo. For OperaUpClose he was the first Rodolfo in their critically acclaimed production of La bohème, with subsequent roles including Lensky Eugene Onegin, Don José Carmen and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni.
On the concert platform Anthony has performed with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Proms and in galas concerts, most notably Fiddler on the Roof at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Actor-singer Oskar McCarthy’s recent roles include Leporello and Don Alfonso for Waterperry Opera Festival (were he returns as Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore in 2021) and King George Eight Songs for a Mad King with Red Note Ensemble (‘a tour de force… mesmerising’, The Herald).
He has staged Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with movement director Rachel Drazek for the London Month of the Dead and toured his own staging of Schoeck’s song cycle Buried Alive. Other projects include ‘the case against…’, a pair of 6 hour freely-improvised installations performed in Glasgow with composer Rufus Elliot, and work for young audiences: Spitalfields Music’s Catch a Sea Star (part of their award-winning series of music theatre pieces for 0-2.5 year olds) and Peter Rabbit’s Musical Adventure for Waterperry Opera Festival with the Echéa Quartet.
Oskar has portrayed Robert Schumann in Re: Sound Music Theatre’s acclaimed play-with-music Duet at the Oxford Lieder Festival and Wilfred Owen in Where Then Shall We Start?, a multimedia theatre piece at the Queen’s House, Greenwich. He is company manager of Festival Voices, an experimental vocal ensemble whose most recent project – Handel Remixed: Volume II – brought electronic-choral reimaginings to a Peckham warehouse for the 2020 London Handel Festival.
Oskar is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Opera School and the University of Cambridge. He has studied Lecoq technique, fooling, improvisation, and mime at the International School of Dramatic Corporeal Mime in Paris.
Susan Bullock’s unique position as one of the world’s most sought-after British dramatic sopranos was recognised by the award of a CBE for Services to Opera in June 2014.
Of her most distinctive roles, Wagner’s Brünnhilde has garnered outstanding praise, leading Susan 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. She has also sung Brünnhilde in Frankfurt, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo , Lisbon , Melbourne, Toronto and Taiwan. Appearances as Richard Strauss’ Elektra have brought her equal international acclaim, with performances at the Royal Opera House, La Scala Milan and the Metropolitan Opera among many other major theatres, resulting in 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, Susan has begun to explore new repertoire with debuts last season as Klytaemnestra (Elektra) at Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus, the role of Liz Stride in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper for ENO; and she reprised her acclaimed portrayal of Mother in Mark Anthony-Turnage’s Greek at BAM after a successful debut for Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Opera the previous season. Further debuts in recent seasons include in the role of Kostelnička (Jenůfa) for Grange Park Opera, both Gertrude and The Witch (Hänsel und Gretel) for Opera North and Grange Park Opera; and Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd) for Houston Grand Opera. Last season included her debut as Mother in the European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s award winning Breaking the Waves for Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh Festival, a welcome return to the role of Mrs Lovett with Bergen National Opera, and Klytaemnestra in concert with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits.
Future plans include a return to Frankfurt for Hänsel und Gretel and her debut as the Kabanicha in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova for the Canadian Opera in Toronto.
Soprano Emma Bell has in recent seasons moved on from the Mozart heroines with whom she established her career to the key jugendlich-dramatisch roles, recently making house debuts at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) under Kirill Petrenko, at Deutsche Oper Berlin as both Elisabeth and Venus (Tannhäuser) under Sebastian Weigle, at Opernhaus Zürich as Leonore (Fidelio) under Markus Poschner and at Staatsoper Hamburg as Elsa (Lohengrin) under Simone Young.
With an exciting early career that took Bell to Teatro alla Scala as Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Elettra (Idomeneo) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), to the Metropolitan Opera as Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Donna Elvira and to Teatro Real Madrid, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Dallas Opera and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, more recent seasons have seen appearances as Elisabeth at Bayerische Staatsoper under Simone Young, Madame Lidoine (Les dialogues des Carmélites) at Staatsoper Hamburg under Kent Nagano, both Leonore and Strauss’ Arabella at Oper Köln and on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, she has received praise as Eva, Madame Lidoine and Elisabeth. Her return to Glyndebourne Festival in 2018 as the title role in Keith Warner’s celebrated production of Vanessa was met with critical acclaim, the Guardian writing “Bell gives one of her finest performances to date, beautifully acted, her voice soaring with elation and anguish”.
Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar.
In the 2020/21 season Louise makes her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, singing also Sophie Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Massenet’s Manon. She also returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Susanna and to Madrid’s Teatro Real as Zerlina Don Giovanni.
Recent highlights on the concert platform have included Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Messiah with the New York Philharmonic/Harry Bicket, the title role in Semele on tour with the the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Tokyo Philharmonic/Jonathan Nott, Mozart Arias at the Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Harding and the title role in Theodora at the BBC Proms and in the Wiener Konzerthaus with Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen.
Recital appearances include the BBC Proms, Graz Musikverein and the Oper Frankfurt with Gary Matthewman, Wigmore Hall with both Joseph Middleton and James Baillieu and the Oxford Lieder Festival and Fundación Privada Victoria de los Ángeles in Barcelona with Sholto Kynoch.
In a career spanning over forty years, Richard has performed leading tenor roles ranging from Tamino to Tristan in many of the world’s great opera houses.
He made his debut in 1976 at Glyndebourne in the lyric tenor roles of Flamand in Strauss’s Capriccio, Fenton and Tamino. The development of his voice enabled him to take on heavier repertoire, leading him eventually to the great Heldentenor roles. Notable appearances include Siegfried and Siegmund in the famous Seattle Ring, Siegfried for the English National Opera, Siegmund at the Liceu, Barcelona and throughout Germany, Tannhäuser at Sydney Opera House, Beijing, Chemnitz and the Palafenice, Venice, Lohengrin at ENO, Teatro Massimo, Palermo and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Loge in the Adelaide, Melbourne and Toronto Ring Cycles, Peter Grimes at the Liceu, Barcelona, Laca Jenufa at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and at San Francisco Opera, Herodes Salome at Stuttgart, Washington and New York City Opera, Sir Philip Wingrave at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals and Opera de Toulouse. He has also sung Tristan with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and at Grange Park Opera in their first Wagner production.
In 2016, Richard became a professor of singing in the Vocal Faculty at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is enjoying working with the next generation of exciting young singers.
Born in Lancashire, Darren studied at the Royal Northern College of Music as a baritone. After college Darren played various roles in opera, operetta and musicals before moving to London to continue his voice studies as a tenor. He was soon offered a full time position with Carl Rosa Opera Company with whom he travelled across the UK and all over the world.
Darren has sung with Opera Holland Park, Dorset Opera, Raymond Gubbay, Birmingham Opera, Mid-Wales Opera, Heritage Opera and at the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals. Although he continues to perform on the opera stage he mainly performs with his wife as the award-winning opera and guitar duo Trovatori entertaining audiences worldwide in concert and on prestigious cruise liners as guest artists.
Darren is also a Qi Gong practitioner, which he incorporates into his own craft and in his work as a singing teacher. He continues his vocal studies with Arwel Treharne Morgan.
After a singing career of forty years, in venues around the world, Christopher now likes to call himself an “arts handyman”. While continuing to sing (most recently at the La Monnaie, the Royal Opera, Grange Festival and Bergen Opera) he is the Artistic Administrator of Wild Plum Arts, which commissions new music and hosts artist residencies. He has directed Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the University of Illinois, written articles for The Observer, Opera, BBC Music Magazine and Opernwelt, and written four books; the most recent, Knowing Britten, is a biography of the conductor Steuart Bedford.
John Graham-Hall studied at King’s College‚ Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. Recent and future engagements include Witch of Endor Saul (Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Théâtre du Châtelet)‚ Aron Moses und Aron (Opéra National de Paris and Teatro Real‚ Madrid)‚ Aschenbach Death in Venice (for which he won the Franco Abbiati prize for best male singer) and Grimes Peter Grimes (both La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Basilio‚ Valzacchi Der Rosenkavalier and Triquet Eugene Onegin (Metropolitan Opera)‚ Peter Grimes (title role) for Opéra de Nice and Säo Carlos; Ashenbach (ENO and on DVD)‚ Kedril From The House of The Dead (Royal Opera House‚ La Monnaie and Opéra de Lyon)‚ Mr Taupe Capriccio (Madrid)‚ Aufidio Lucio Silla‚ Il Carciere / Il Grande Inquisitore Il Prigioniero (La Monnaie and Oper Stuttgart)‚ Shuisky Boris Godunov (ROH‚ Paris‚ Toulouse‚ Oviedo and Pamplona)‚ Mayor Albert Herring (Toulouse)‚ Zivny Osud (Stuttgart and Opera North)‚ Captain James Nolan Dr Atomic (Strasbourg)‚ Kaufmann Jakob Lenz (Berlin Staatsoper‚ La Monnaie and Stuttgart)‚ Schoolmaster The Cunning Little Vixen (La Monnaie and Netherlands Opera)‚ Beadle Sweeney Todd (Châtelet)‚ Basilio (Metropolitan Opera‚ New York‚ La Monnaie‚ Glyndebourne and Aix en Provence)‚ Monostatos The Magic Flute (ENO and Northern Ireland Opera)‚ Tree Frog/Tea Pot/Arithmetic L’enfant et les Sortiléges (Opera North).
Mark studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he was awarded the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Trust to study in the Opera School.
He has sung with many opera companies including Royal Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Raymond Gubbay, Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, Opera Holland Park, Mid Wales Opera and Savoy
Roles include Rigoletto and Escamillo (Carmen) for Kentish Opera and Heritage Opera; Bottom (Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Longborough Festival Opera; Figaro (Barber of Seville and Marriage of Figaro), Scarpia (Tosca), Don Giovanni and Sharpless (Madame Butterfly) for Heritage Opera; Ben Budge/Wat Dreary (Beggars Opera) for Royal Opera; Antonio (Marriage of Figaro) for Garsington Opera at the Barbican conducted by Jane Glover; Narumov (Queen of Spades) for Opera Holland Park; Krusina (Bartered Bride) for Mid Wales Opera, and the Hotel Waiter/Boatman (Death in Venice) for the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals conducted by Paul Daniel.
Mark works with David Owen Norris. He played the character of Salieri in David’s comic radio opera Die Sober Flirter! in Norway and the UK. With Bampton Classical Opera he has helped to introduce several lesser known classical works to a UK audience notably Salieri’s Falstaff.
He has been heard several times on BBC Radio 3 and has sung in a variety of oratorios and recitals including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahms’ Requiem (at Birmingham Symphony Hall), Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana (at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall) and Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony (in Rochester Cathedral).
He has recorded the role of Ben Budge (Beggars Opera) with the City of London Sinfonia and Royal Opera conducted by Christian Curnyn.
Mark has recently been working with English National Opera covering the role of Zurga in The Pearlfishers by Bizet.