Matilda Lloyd – Trumpet

Matilda LloydMatilda Lloyd, 17, started playing the trumpet at the age of 8. In 2010 she won the Normans Trumpet Scholarship to Junior Guildhall where she is studying with Andy Mitchell, and this year she won the Junior Guildhall Trumpet Scholarship. Matilda is the principal trumpet of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and also principal cornet of the Junior Guildhall Brass Band and principal trumpet at the Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra. Matilda played solo flugelhorn on one of the 8 music barges in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Matilda has also just won the Guildford Symphony Orchestra Young Artists’ prize and has been invited to play concertos in Guildford, Tonbridge, Canterbury and at St. Martin in the Fields in London. She will also be joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra in one of their lunchtime concerts in February.

Two years ago she joined the National Youth Wind Ensemble on their two-week tour to the Far East as one of the youngest members of the band. Next summer, Matilda will be touring to Budapest as guest principal trumpet with the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra. She was also a member of the National Children’s Orchestra and plays in the Kent County Youth Orchestra as well as many other county ensembles. She enjoys taking part in competitions and festivals and has recently won cups and awards at the Sutton, Reigate and Redhill, and Woking Music Festivals. Matilda is also working for her piano diploma and her Grade 8 cello.

November 2012

Photographer: Richard Olivier

Seán Ruane – Tenor

Seán RuaneTenor Seán Ruane is one of the rising stars of the opera world, whose breathtaking vocal artistry comes with an endearing, easygoing style that has allowed him to grace grand opera, TV and sporting arenas with ease. Equally at home performing in front of the cognoscenti of Covent Garden or fervent football fans at Wembley, Seán has worked all over Europe, the United States, Russia, Australia and New Zealand since making his professional debut in 2001, Opera Holland Park was his very first professional engagement in Manon Lescaut in 2001 and he has returned each summer since.

Highlights of his operatic career include his debut at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in The Tempest (Thomas Adés), he then moved with the production to the Opéra National du Rhin. Other roles followed at the ROH including a welcome return in the revival of The Tempest.

While opera remains at the heart of his work, Seán has become the voice for many of the national sporting events. He has sung ahead of England football internationals, the Irish Rugby Six Nations internationals and during the last three Ashes series, for the English Cricket Team. He has also appeared on the bill of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts, alongside the likes of Paul Weller, Jools Holland and comedian Johnny Vegas.

Educated in his native Lancashire, Seán completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music . His exceptional promise was recognised by the Peter Moores Foundation who supported Seán as a young professional. Through them he was able to study in Italy with Fernanda Puccini. Seán was subsequently awarded a place on the prestigious Academia di Puccini studying with the world renowned Magda Olivero and Rania Kabiavanski. Most recently Sean was a finalist in the ‘Concorso Lirico Internazionale’, Italy, working with Rolando Panerai, Ines Salazar and Vivien Hewitt.

In 2011, Sean established CHANT alongside business partner Wil Woan. Since autumn 2011 they have designed an innovative programme of opportunities for young people, giving them access to work alongside industry professionals in Arts, Media and Sport. CHANT believes that Stadiums are the theatres of the future for young people and hold the potential to unlock youth talent and challenge some of the Country’s greatest social problems. 2012 promises to be even more exciting with programmes being developed with the BBC, The FA, RFL and the Football League.

Susan Young – Soprano

Susan YoungRaised in Northumberland with qualifications from the Universities of Durham and London and Trinity College of Music, Susan is a versatile singer winning critical praise for her strong dramatic sense and rich, warm sound.

Her operatic roles include Katya (cover)/The Passenger (English National Opera), Second Niece (cover)/Peter Grimes (English National Opera), Caterina/L’amico Fritz, Micaëla/Carmen (Opera Holland Park), La Comtesse/Le Count Ory, Lucy/The Telephone (New Chamber Opera) and in scenes, Anne Trulove/The Rake’s Progress, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte and Helena/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Chamber Opera).

An integral part of the group of musicians who founded the now internationally renowned Oxford Lieder Festival, Susan possesses a diverse, extensive song repertoire, including new, commissioned works and has sung at venues including HM Treasury, Handel House Museum, Leighton House, London; Holywell Music Room, New College Chapel and Jacqueline du Pre Hall, Oxford. Having enjoyed collaborating with pianists such as Julius Drake, Iain Farrington, Alisdair Hogarth and Sholto Kynoch, she is delighted to establish a new duo partnership with Ben Dawson.

Susan is a regular soloist with the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford performing works including Bach St John Passion, St Matthew Passion and Mozart Requiem. Other notable concert appearances are Mozart Mass in C Minor, Beethoven Mass in C, Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, Dvorak Te Deum, Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, Dona Nobis Pacem, Tippett A Child of Our Time and Orff Carmina Burana.

August 2012

Helena Dix – Soprano

Helena DixAustralian Soprano Helena Dix completed her post-graduate Opera Programme at the Royal Academy of Music on the ABRSM scholarship in 2005, where she studied with Elizabeth Ritchie and was supported by the Josephine Baker and Countess of Munster Trusts.

In a single year she won several prestigious opera competitions and was a finalist in the McDonalds Aria held at the Sydney Opera House and won the Nino Sanciolo scholarship to further her studies in Italy. Helena has also been successful in many competitions in London and sang in the finals of the ‘Songmakers Almanac’, the Opera Rara Bel Canto prize, Blyth Buesst Opera Prize, Clonter Opera prize and the Richard Lewis competition. Helena was also very proud to be the Australian representative in The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2005. Most recently, in December 2011, Helena won 1st prize as well as the audience prize in the Bayreuth Wagner Bursary Competition Finals.

Helena’s operatic repertoire includes Cis Albert Herring, Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Carmen and La Bohème, Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro and Felice School for Fathers by Wolf-Ferrari. She also worked with Opera Australia in La Bohème and Der Rosenkavalierunder Simone Young and Paul Kildea. Other roles in Opera Tableaux have included Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte, Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte, title role Thais, Madama Butterfly, Mercedes Carmen, Elvira Ernani and Violetta La Traviata in Academy Opera Tableaux. Helena sang 1st Lady Die Zauberflöte conducted by Sir Colin Davis and directed by John Copley and Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon. In the summer of 2005 Helena appeared as Li-Li in Jonathan Dove’s Greed for the Glyndebourne young artist project Dovetales. For Scottish Opera Helena has covered Frasquita Carmen and Karolina in The Two Widows, and has performed Rosalinde Die Fledermaus and covered/sang Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow for Scottish Opera Go Round. Helena also covered the title role Ariadne auf Naxos for Garsington Opera, and recently appeared as Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte for The Opera Project.

In Australia, Helena sang the role of the Angel in Handel’s cantata La Resurrezione and made her debut with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah, receiving critical praise for her performance, and returning as soloist in several performances of Messiah, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and Carmina Burana. In London, concert engagements include Messiah, Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini, Mozart Coronation Mass in C, Elijah, Oratorio de Noel by Rheinberger, Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saens and Brahms Requiem and Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Cambridge String Players. Further concert engagements include her debut at both St. James Piccadilly singing Mozart’s Mass in C minor and at The Royal Albert Hall in Carmina Burana with Concerts from Scratch, conducted by Brian Kay, Haydn’s Creation at St John’s Smith Square, Mozart Requiem in Knightsbridge, Verdi Requiemat the Royal Albert Hall, Elijah at Dorchester Abbey, Beethoven 9th Symphony for the RPO, Exsultate Jubilate in Guildford Cathedral, Verdi Requiem in Beckenham and in Gloucester Cathedral, Faure Requiem at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, and Creation at the Dartington International Summer School with Sir Charles Mackerras.

Recent engagements include Flowermaiden Parsifal for English National Opera, Messiah (Keele), Verdi Requiem at the Barbican Centre, War Requiem at Ripon Cathedral, Brahms Requiem (Woking) and Donna Anna Don Giovanni for The Opera Project. Highlights of the 2011/2012 season include her appearance with Opera in the Alps (Melbourne), Creation in Guildford Cathedral, Nella Gianni Schicchi for Opera Project, Vier letzte Lieder (High Wycombe), and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the English Concert Singers.

April 2012

Ben Johnson – Tenor

Ben JohnsonBen Johnson quickly established himself as one of the most exciting tenors of his generation. He studied with Neil Mackie and Tim Evans Jones at the Royal College of Music Benjamin Britten International Opera School. Winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in 2008, he is also a prizewinner at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Gerald Moore Awards (singer’s prize). Currently studying with Jeffrey Talbot, he is a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist in 2010-2012.

His recent opera engagements include Nemorino The Elixir of Love for English National Opera, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni for Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bénédict Béatrice et Bénédict for Chelsea Opera Group, Shepherd and Sailor in concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the CBSO, Novice in Michael Grandage’s new production of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Copland’s The Tender Land at Opéra de Lyon and productions for Scottish Opera and the Classical Opera Company.

On the concert platform Ben Johnson has sung Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music and the English Chamber Orchestra, Samson with the English Concert at the BBC Proms, Elgar Caractacus at the Three Choirs Festival, Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mozart concert arias, Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Rückert Lieder and Frank Bridge with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Britten Our Hunting Fathers and Strauss Lieder with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Les Illuminations with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Evangelist in St Matthew Passion with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Haydn Paukenmesse and Britten St Nicolas Cantata at De Doelen in Rotterdam. He has worked with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jiří Bělohlávek, François-Xavier Roth, Nicholas Kraemer, Thomas Dausgaard, Francesco Corti, Rory Macdonald, Leo Hussain, Richard Egarr and Harry Bicket.

In recital he works regularly with Graham Johnson. They performed together at the Wigmore Hall, the Ruhr Klavier Festival in Germany, Aldeburgh Music, and have recorded songs by Poulenc for Hyperion records and Britten for Onyx. He also works with Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau, and James Baillieu. In 2011/12 season, he has sung Britten Canticles at deSingel, Antwerp with Roger Vignoles. He has also appeared at City of London Festival, Rosenblatt Recitals, Kings Place, Lake District Summer Music and a Kathleen Ferrier celebrations concert at the Wigmore Hall.

Highlights in 2012/13 season include Don Ottavio and Alfredo La Traviata at the English National Opera, Britten Serenade with the Residentie Orkest, and Tippett A Child of Our Time with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the future seasons.

Ben Johnson is currently an ENO Harewood Artist and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent.

January 2013.