02 April 2024

News from Samling Artists – March 2024

We send our congratulations to Nicky Spence, who won the Singer Award at this year’s RPS awards. The Royal Philharmonic Society website says that Nicky received the award for ‘a phenomenal year including performances at the BBC Proms, Welsh National Opera, Classical Pride and Eurovision and huge dedication to nurturing young talent at Blackheath Halls and Scottish Opera.’

Opera News

Dafydd Jones will join the Opera Studio at Bayerische Staatsoper in September, with roles already announced in La fille du régiment, Un ballo in maschera and Carmen. He also appears in this summer’s Verbier Festival Atelier Lyrique production of Falstaff as Fenton, alongside Milan Siljanov in the title role.

Bridget Esler is returning to her native Canada where she joins the Atelier Lyrique at Opéra de Montréal, with roles including Shepherdess/Nightingale/Owl L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Opera North have announced their autumn season, which sees Claire Lees in her first major solo role for the company as Pamina Die Zauberflöte, alongside Andri Björn Róbertsson as Speaker. Opera North’s other autumn production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream with James Newby (Demetrius) and Andri Björn Róbertsson (Theseus).

Rounding off this month’s opera news, we send congratulations to Pumeza Matshikiza who recently made her role debut in the title role of Aida at Staatsoper Hannover.

Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall have announced their Autumn 2024 season, which includes our Samling Artist Showcase on Thursday 7 November with Jessica Cale, Beth Moxon, Dafydd Jones, Jamie Woollard, Jonathan Ware and JongSun Woo.

Nicky Spence will be a Wigmore Hall Artist in Residence next year, and begins his season on 29 December with a Shakespearean themed Twelfth Night concert. Other Samling Artists appearing in the Autumn season concerts include: James Baillieu, Gary Beecher, Jâms Coleman, Lucy Crowe, Stuart Jackson, Julien Van Mellaerts, Ella O’Neill and John Reid.

Madeline Boreham, Steven van der Linden and Francesca Lauri, all of whom took part in our November 2023 Samling Artist Programme, are appearing in the semi-finals of this year’s Ferrier Awards, which will take place at Wigmore Hall on 24 April.


Liam Bonthrone and Arthur Bruce are the soloists on a new recording of John Stainer’s Crucifixion with the musicians of St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh. Gramophone Magazine reviewer Malcolm Riley writes ‘Crucial to a successful interpretation is the quality of the soloists, and conductor Duncan Ferguson has struck gold with tenor Liam Bonthrone and baritone Arthur Bruce.’

Finnegan Downie Dear directs the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group on ‘The tyranny of fun’ an album of instrumental and choral works by Richard Baker for NMC Recordings.