30 April 2024

News from Samling Artists – April 2024

Following in the footsteps of many Samling Artist successes at The Kathleen Ferrier awards, there were no fewer than four Samling Artists in this years final – soprano Madeline Boreham accompanied by Francesca Lauri and tenor Steven van der Linden accompanied  by JongSun Woo. Notably, all four had taken part in the same Artist Programme week, in November 2023. Congratulations to Madeline, who continued Samling Institute’s long history of successes in the competition by winning second prize.

Pictured above: JongSun, Francesca, Madeline and Steven backstage at Wigmore Hall after the finals

Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition

Another competition where Samling Artists have a long track-record of success is the biennial Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition. The shortlist of 25 duos for this year’s final has been announced, with no fewer fifteen Samling Artists appearing, and including four duos where both the singer and pianist are Samling Artists:
Michael Lafferty and Daniel Peter Silcock
Natasha Page and Ella O’Neill
Emma Roberts and Francesca Lauri
Joël Terrin and Jong Sun Woo

The other Samling Artists appearing are singers Daniel Barrett, Liam Bonthrone, Annabel Kennedy, Lauren Lodge-Campbell and pianists Ilan Kurtser, Emily Hoh and Ian Tindale who is the official Competition Pianist.

The competition runs from Friday 6 to Wednesday 11 September.

House and role debuts

Beth Moxon made her Bridgewater Hall debut with Opera Rara, The Hallé and Sir Mark Elder in a concert performance of Simon Boccanegra, following studio recording sessions of the work. The cast also includes William Thomas making his role debut as Jacopo Fiesco, and we will update you when the recording is released.

Haegee Lee made her house and role debuts as Tytania at Korean National Opera, in what was also the Korean premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Nicholas Mogg made his role debut as Silvio I Pagliacci at Staatsoper Hamburg. He also recently appeared in the premiere of Venere e Adone by Salvatoire Sciarrino.

Catriona Morison gave her debut performance of Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic earlier this month. She performs it again at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival with Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberger Symphoniker.

Louise Alder makes her role debut as Donna Anna, Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera in October, in a new production by Barry Kosky. She also sings Fiordiligi in Vienna in March.


Pumeza Matshikiza is the soprano soloist on a new recording of Child of our Time with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the late Sir Andrew Davis. This recording, made following performances in 2023, is the first new release of Michael Tippet’s masterpiece since 2007 and marks the 80th anniversary of the work’s premiere.

A trio of Samling Artists – Anna Stéphany, Nicky Spence and Andrew Foster-Williams are the three soloists on a period instrument recording of The Dream of Gerontius with Paul McCreesh and the combined forces of his Gabrieli ensembles. Some of our Samling Academy Singers also appear on the recording as members of the Gabrieli ROAR Choir. James Longstaff named it Presto Classical’s  Recording of the Week

Julien Van Mellaerts appears with the Manchester Camerata on an album of Francis Poulenc’s early works for chamber orchestra and voice ‘Francis Poulenc: Les œuvres de sa jeunesse’

Lucy Crowe appears with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere recording of two works completed and orchestrated by Martin Yates from sketches left by Ralph Vaughan Williams The Steersman and The Future.

Alexander Zemlinsky’s one act opera ‘A Florentine Tragedy’ is based on a play by Oscar Wilde and after its premiere in Stuttgart in 1917 it wasn’t performed again until 1977. Christopher Maltman appears as Simone in the first ever recording of the work, taken from live performances in Munich with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester.

The BBC Proms

The 2024 BBC Proms season was announced this month with performances around the country, including a return to the Glasshouse International Centre for Music at the end of July. The Proms at the Glasshouse include Ruby Hughes in ‘Flow my Tears – Elegies and Atonement’, an afternoon recital exploring Elizabethan music and folklore led by violinist Daniel Pioro on Sunday 28 July,

You can also hear Samling Artists at the following Proms around the country and at the Royal Albert Hall.

Sunday 11 August, Proms Belfast Michael Pandya with baritone James Atkinson and the Van Kuijk Quartet perform chamber music from fin-de-siècle Paris.

Tuesday 13 August, Prom 33 ‘Titans of British Music’ – Christopher Maltman performs a selection of Charles Villiers Stanford’s songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

Wednesday 28 August, Prom 50 David Butt Philip is the tenor soloist in Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Czech Phiharmonic directed by Jakub Hrůša.

Sunday 1 September Proms Aberdeen – ‘I never laid eyes on Aeneas … Women’s Stories from the Ancient World’. Nardus Williams joins lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and classicist Dame Mary Beard for an afternoon of song and discussion on the themes of women’s voices in antiquity. This programme was researched and compiled by Nardus, which she says came about after a ‘chance meeting’, and is also being performed at Snape Maltings on 25 August.

Saturday 7 September, Prom 65 Mozart’s arrangement of Messiah with soloists including Nardus Williams and Benjamin Hulett, with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields and massed choirs, directed by John Butt.

Tuesday 10 September, Prom 68, Benjamin Britten, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Garsington Opera give a semi-staged performance of their production from this year’s festival, including Lucy Crowe as Tytania and James Newby as Demetrius. This is Garsington’s first visit to the Proms and is included in Neil Fisher’s pick of the season’s highlights for The Times.

Royal Ballet and Opera

The Royal Opera House has announced their 2024/25 season as well as a name change. In his second season as a Jette Parker Artist, Jamie Woollard is Sciarrone Tosca, Zaretsky Eugene Onegin, Second Prisoner Fidelio and he returns as Zuñiga in the 2025 Carmen, a role that he debuts this month on 10 May.

Samling Artists also appear in the following productions:

Le nozze di Figaro Ginger Costa-Jackson Cherubino
Bernstein double bill A Quiet Place Rowan Pierce Dede, Nick Pritchard Funeral Director and Rebecca Afonwy-Jones makes her Royal Opera debut as Susie.
The Sound Voice Project Lucy Crowe is part of an award-winning multi-media project with music by Hannah Conway.
La bohème Simona Mihai Musetta
Jenůfa Nicky Spence Laca Klemeň, Jonathan Lemalu Mayor
Aida Andrés Presno Messenger
Festen (Mark-Anthony Turnage, world premiere) Kitty Whately, Michelle
Carmen Ross Ramgobin, Moralès
Die Walküre Christopher Maltman Wotan, Claire Barnett-Jones Waltraute

Other performance news

Congratulations to Hugo Brady and Francesca Lauri who have both been selected for the 2024 Oxford Song Young Artists Programme. The Young Artists receive spotlight performances during the festival’s headline evening concerts in October, coaching and masterclasses and a recital at the 2025 Spring Festival.

Madeline Boreham, Hugo Brady, Sam Hird and Francesca Lauri appear in a recital on 5 May that forms part of a new collaboration between the Royal College of Music and Wigmore Hall. The programme of music by RCM alumni, includes the first public performance of a recently discovered song by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Alexandra Lowe jumped in at the last minute to sing Wellgunde in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s long-delayed performance of Götterdämmerung, completing their concert performances with Vladimir Jurowski of the Ring Cycle. Alexandra joined Angharad Lyddon as fellow-Rhinemaiden Flosshilde and Claire Barnett-Jones as Second Norn.

The programmes have been announced for two of our local summer festivals. Jâms Coleman appears with French horn player Felix Klieser at the Ryedale Festival in North Yorkshire. Jocelyn Freeman joins Mark Padmore for Music At Paxton in a recital on Friday 26 July, followed by a masterclass on Saturday 27 July – which one of our Samling Academy Singers will take part in.

Haegee Lee in her debut as Tytania at Korean National Opera

Nardus Williams with classicist Dame Mary Beard and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny