01 February 2023

News from Samling Artists – January 2023

Our featured photo is of Jamie Woollard who will be having a very exciting 2023 – in the summer, he will be a Jerwood Young Artist at Glynebourne and in the autumn he will then move to the Royal Opera House where he will be a Jette Parker Artist. During the two year contract at ROH, Jamie will receive coaching and performance opportunities, including concerts and recitals and will be invited to cover main stage roles. We will of course keep you updated about his upcoming Royal Opera House appearances as they are announced.

Annabel Kennedy has also been selected as a Jerwood Young Artist. Like Jamie, she became Samling Artist in November 2022. Jerwood Young Artists work with leading conductors, directors, choreographers, theatre specialists and vocal coaches to enhance their skills and experience.

Our warmest congratulations to Annabel and Jamie

Another Samling Artist from the November 2022 programme, Daniela Popescu, writes with news of her first engagement with the Royal Opera House, covering the role of Tusnelda in a production of Handel’s Arminio at the Linbury Theatre.

RPS Awards

Nardus Williams has been nominated in the Young Artist category at the prestigious RPS Awards.

A number of Samling Artists also appeared in two of the three opera productions shortlisted for the Opera and Music Theatre category:

Garsington Opera Orfeo (Ed Lyon, Claire Lees, Anna Cavaliero, Dafydd Jones and Michael Bell)
English National Opera The Handmaid’s Tale (Pumeza Matshikiza, Elin Pritchard, Madeleine Shaw)

The awards will be announced on 1 March, followed by a special programme on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 6 March.

Congratulations to soprano Bridget Esler who won the English Song Prize at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Ruby Hughes has released a new album with pianist and composer Huw Watkins. The title of the album ‘Echo’ comes from a cycle composed for her by Watkins and it also includes music by J.S. Bach, Henry Purcell, Errolyn Wallen, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Deborah Pritchard and folksong arrangements by Benjamin Britten. The recording was named ‘Disc of the Month’ in January’s BBC Music Magazine, where you can also read a short interview with Ruby about the music on the album.

Nicky Spence appears alongside contralto Claudia Huckle and pianist Justin Brown in a recording of Mahler’s own piano version of Das Lied von der Erde.

Rowan Hellier and Jonathan Lemalu appear on Volume 11 of the Complete Songs of Hugo Wolf. This is the final disc in a set recorded by Sholto Kynoch for Oxford Lieder, and is the first ever complete recording of Wolf’s songs.

Performance news

Ginger Costa Jackson sings Charlotte and Dominic Sedgwick is Albert in this summer’s Grange Park Opera production of Werther.

Lauren Fagan made her role debut as CountessThe Marriage of Figaro for Canadian Opera

Samling Artists in the North East

Six Samling Artists – Harriet Burns, Lauren Lodge-Campbell, Katherine Aitken, Michael Bell, Harry Grigg and Daniel Barrett appear with Royal Northern Sinfonia and conductor Nicholas McGegan at Sage Gateshead on Friday 3 February, with music by Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach and the UK premiere of Is a rose by Caroline Shaw.

Read Sage Gateshead’s quick interviews with the artists, in which they share what it means to be a Samling Artist

Also at Sage Gateshead, Anna Huntley and Morgan Pearse are soloists for The Dream of Gerontius on Sunday 26 February with Cleveland Philharmonic Choir, Durham University Choral Society and the Mowbray Orchestra and conducted by John Forsyth MBE.