31 March 2022

News from Samling Artists – March 2022

Congratulations to tenor Ted Black who will be joining the Young Artist Programme at Vienna State Opera this summer. He says ‘I truly can’t wait for this new chapter to start, and to explore this magical city – there are some exciting things in store’.

Before he heads off to Austria, we’re delighted that Ted will be joining us again on Friday 20 May for our first evening concert at Marchmont House, along with soprano Haegee Lee and pianist Malcolm Martineau.

More details

Role debut

Sarah Gilford made her role debut as Gilda Rigoletto at Stadttheater Klagenfurt. She writes ‘what a treat it is to be singing the role of Gilda. Even after two performances I still feel there is so much more to experience with this character. This is the beauty of the work we do… we are always learning and developing. I’m so much looking forward to the next 12 shows of Rigoletto and hopefully many more opportunities in the future to sing her again.’

This month Sarah also appeared in Jacob Lenz by Wolfgang Rihm, with a part that, in her words, required some ‘nuts coloratura’.

Agent Signing

Pianist Kunal Lahiry has joined IMG Artists, where he will be represented by Isabella Gage. She says ‘I couldn’t be more delighted to be welcoming Kunal onto the roster. His unique vision and artistry make him one of the most exciting young musicians of our time, and I am thrilled to be working with him.’


Ferrier Awards

Soprano Emily Christina Loftus and baritone Joël Terrin are through to the semi-finals of the 2022 Ferrier Awards, to be held at Wigmore Hall at 1.30pm on Wednesday 20 April.

Oxford Lieder Young Artists

Emily Christina Loftus is also one of 11 singers to be selected for this year’s Oxford Lieder Young Artists. She receives coaching and performance opportunities at this year’s main Oxford Lieder festival and a recital at the 2023 Spring Song weekend.

Borletti-Buitoni Awards

Mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska and baritone James Newby are both recipients of the 2022 Borletti-Buitoni Awards. These are given to established artists or ensembles who are recognised as performers of great quality and musicianship with the aim of helping them developing their long-term careers.

Opera North

Opera North have announced their 2022/23 season, and once again, there are plenty of opportunities for our North East supporters to see Samling Artists on stage. Nico Darmanin is Alfredo Germont in one of the casts for La traviata, and in Cunning Little Vixen Elin Pritchard is Vixen with Heather Lowe as Fox. Amy Freston appears in ‘Orfeo Reimagined’, in a collaboration with South Asian Arts-uk, that brings together European and Asian music and Jennifer France is Zerbinetta in Opera North’s first ever production of Ariadne auf Naxos.

Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall have announced their Autumn season. The programme includes solo recitals by Kitty Whately and William Vann (23 October); Ruby Hughes (18 December); and William Thomas (12 December); and headline appearances by singers Claire Barnett-Jones, Harriet Burns, Ben Johnson and Nicky Spence, and pianists Ian Tindale, Joseph Middleton and Jonathan Ware.

And of course, the programme also includes our own Samling Artist Showcase on Wednesday 9 November with Madison Nonoa, Angharad Lyddon, Nick Pritchard, Julien Van Mellaerts, Jonathan Ware and Kunal Lahiry.


Anna Patalong has been appointed Chief Executive of British Youth Opera. Like many Samling Artists, Anna is an alumna of the programme, and has been working for BYO looking after their friends and supporters alongside her busy singing career. She is also a founding member of SWAP’ra, a charity supporting parents in opera.

In Malta, Nicola Said is the founding Artistic Director of a new company, Malta Opera, a collaborative initiative that aims to promote and develop Maltese opera talent.

Anyone can sing

In a new series beginning on 30 March on Sky Arts, six people who think they can’t sing are guided and coached by an expert team including Nicky Spence so that they can perform in public. The programme was developed following a project by English National Opera that used singing techniques to help tackle symptoms of breathlessness in long Covid sufferers. Sky Arts is available free of charge in the UK on Freesat.

Watch the trailer