31 August 2022

News from Samling Artists – August 2022

Anush Hovhannisyan made her delayed house debut at Israeli Opera in Tel-Aviv as Violetta in La traviata, directed by Alessandro Talevi (pictured above, photo credit Maya Iltus). This season she will sing Mimi for the first time, for Welsh National Opera, in a production that includes fellow Samling Artists Elin Pritchard (Mimi), Luis Gomes (Rodolfo), Haegee Lee / Aoife Miskelly (Musetta) and Benson Wilson (Schaunard).

Anush said “The WNO has been a big support in my career and continues to offer me opportunities to further develop my craft. In these difficult times, I can confidently say that it would have been difficult to sustain a career without the loyalty and support of this wonderful company”.

BBC Proms

One of the hottest tickets of this year’s BBC Proms was undoubtedly Sir Simon Rattle conducting the LSO in Mahler’s Symphony No.2 (‘Resurrection’) with soloists Dame Sarah Connolly and and Louise Alder. The performance has received unanimous five-star reviews, with Boyd Tomkins writing for the Arts Desk that Louise Alder ‘sang with a tender fervour that soared thrillingly above the fray’

If you missed the concert when it was shown on BBC Four, you can still catch it online on the i-player (UK only), and it is available for a year:

You can also hear Louise in Prom 31, singing Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Ulster Orchestra

Performance news

Derek Welton will make his debuts at the Opéra National du Rhin as Der König Der Schatzgräber and at Opéra de Lyon as Pangloss Candide, and returns to Bayreuth Festival to sing Amfortas in their 2023 production of Parsifal.

Olivia Boen is heading off to the International Opera Studio at Staatsoper Hamburg where her roles for the upcoming season include Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Musetta (La bohème), Anna (Nabucco), Suor Osmina (Suor Angelica), Paggio (Rigoletto) and Schleppenträgerin (Elektra). She’ll also be back in London on Friday 21 October when she appears in the French Song Exchange Showcase at Wigmore Hall alongside fellow Samling Artist Louise Fuller.

After jumping in to her making a role and house debut in Garsington Opera’s Rusalka last month, Elin Pritchard went on to make her Edinburgh International Festival debut on 8 August with the same production.

Benjamin Hulett made his role debut as Kudrjas in a new production of Káťa Kabanová at the Salzburg Festival, a performance that he said on Twitter was ‘monumental’ as it marked his return to opera after serious illness. You can also hear him in the role of Zadok in the BBC Proms performance of Handel’s Solomon, available on BBC Sounds until the end of September.

Tenor Michael Bell has been selected for The Wexford Factory, a two-year professional development programme at Wexford Festival Opera for young Irish artists.

Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition

We send best wishes to  Samling Artists sopranos Anna Cavaliero and Sarah Gilford, tenor Liam Bonthrone and pianist Ella O’Neill who have been selected to take part in The Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition, which returns for the first time since 2019, running from 2 to 7 September.

New Recordings

Pianist Joseph Middleton joins Allan Clayton and Carolyn Sampson on a recording of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. Katherine Cooper writes for Presto Classical that ‘Middleton’s brief moments in the spotlight would be worth the price of the recording on their own.’

Nicky Spence and William Thomas are among the line-up of singers appearing on Malcolm Martineau’s latest French song recording project, the complete songs of Duparc, released on Signum Classics

Natalie Burch joins soprano Camilla Harris (herself a former Samling Academy Singer) on ‘Songs of love and longing’, a new album of songs by Liszt, Bachelet, Rachmaninov and Grieg for the Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary series.