24 January 2022

A bright year ahead

Although we began our 25th anniversary year in the darkness of lockdown, we have finally been able to celebrate this milestone in the best possible way – with brilliant young people making music on stage in front of an audience.

After so many long months of online work, it has been a thrill to return to a busy period of live events, with six days of Samling Academy, our 25th anniversary Samling Artist Showcase at Wigmore Hall and a second Artist Programme week at Marchmont House – you can read more about all of these via the links on this page.

As the threat of the pandemic seems to be receding, we are excited to be planning a full year of activities for both of our core programmes. We return to Marchmont House in February when eight new Samling Artists will spend the week refining every aspect of their craft. The programme will be led by soprano and celebrated teacher Patricia MacMahon, pianist Caroline Dowdle, actor James Garnon and joining us for the first time, we welcome actor, singer and coach Hervé Goffings, who will be working on French repertoire. Tickets have already sold out for the public masterclass, and we hope that it will be a case of ‘third time lucky’ after Covid and Storm Arwen both severely restricted audience numbers for our last two public masterclasses.

Our partnership with Marchmont House continues in May with our first concert in the beautiful Arts and Crafts music room – a space perfectly suited to the intimacy of a song recital. Malcolm Martineau will accompany two Samling Artists in a programme to include Jonathan Dove’s new cycle, Man, Woman, Child. Jonathan is currently working on the low-voice version of the cycle which will receive its premiere at the opening concert of this year’s Leeds Lieder Festival, performed by Samling Artists mezzo-soprano Shakira Tsindos, baritone Dominic Sedgwick and pianist Ian Tindale. If you’re not able to get to either of these, we’re delighted to tell you that the Leeds Lieder concert will be live-streamed.

This summer, the Samling Academy touring production will return, and as the title for this year’s semi-staged concert will be ‘Sea Pictures’, we’re particularly pleased to be taking it to the seaside with a performance at Saltburn Arts. We’ll also be exploring this theme further at our Wigmore Hall Showcase on Wednesday 9 November, with a programme built around Elgar’s much-loved cycle.

We continue to search for singers with the promise and talent to become Samling Artists and Academy Singers and we’ll be holding live auditions for both of our programmes in the coming months. Our Samling Futures workshops have been instrumental in increasing the number of state school students in the Academy. We are planning further visits in March to schools and Music Hubs in Durham, Berwickshire, South Tyneside and Gateshead, when Samling Artists and current Academy Singers will inspire more young people to discover classical singing for themselves.

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