28 May 2021

News from Samling Artists – May 2021

We begin this month’s round-up of Samling Artist news with two big season announcements:

English National Opera

Samling Artists appear in almost every production of English National Opera’s new season, with Nicky Spence making a significant role debut as Siegmund in a co-production with Metropolitan Opera, New York of The Valkyrie, the first in ENO’s new Ring Cycle. You can also see Bethan Langford (Hebe) in The Pirates of Penzance; Louise Alder (Musetta) and Benson Wilson (Schaunard) in La Bohème; Sally Matthews (Vixen), Pumeza Matshikiza (Fox), Madeleine Shaw (Forester’s Wife / Owl), Sarah-Jane Lewis (Innkeeper’s Wife / Hen) and Claire Barnett-Jones (Dog) in The Cunning Little Vixen; Nardus Williams (Fiordiligi) and Benson Wilson (Guglielmo) in Così fan tutte and Pumeza Matshikiza (Moira), Elin Pritchard (Ofglen) and Madeleine Shaw (Rita) in The Handmaid’s Tale.

BBC Proms

The BBC Proms return with live audiences this year. Not all soloist line-ups have been announced yet, and there are also four nights being held as ‘mystery Proms’, to be announced later, but so far, we’ve spotted Samling Artists in the following events:

Friday 6 August
Benjamin Hulett is one of the soloists in a programme of Pergolesi and Stravinsky
Monday 16 August
Sally Matthews, Nardus Williams and Nicky Spence in a programme of opera excerpts titled ‘To soothe the aching heart’.
Thursday 26 August
Lucy Crowe sings Beethoven’s concert aria Ah! perfido
Monday 6 September
Ema Nikolovska gives two performances at Cadogan Hall of a recital focussing on Pauline Viardot and her circle, including Gounod, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Chopin.
Thursday 9 September
Stuart Jackson is the Evangelist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, performed by Arcangelo. He also appears as Young Sailor/Shepherd in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s Tristan on Tuesday 31 August

All Proms are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and ‘To soothe the aching heart’ and St Matthew Passion are among the Proms that will be filmed for broadcast on BBC Television.


Lucy Crowe appears in the title role of a new recording of Handel’s Rodelinda with The English Concert that has already caused quite a splash. Since its release, it has so far been named Record of the Week by BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’, Presto Classical and The Sunday Times and it entered the Specialist Classical Charts at #1.

As well as appearing with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble Arcangelo at the Proms (see above), Stuart Jackson also appears on their new recording of Handel’s Brockes Passion, Gramophone Magazine praised the ‘heroic timbre’ of Jackson’s Evangelist, writing that he ‘wrings every drop of drama and pathos from the Evangelist’s narrative’.

Other news

Leeds Lieder, directed by Joseph Middleton, returns for a four day festival celebrating their 10th anniversary, from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 June. All concerts will have audiences and will also be available to stream. Ema Nikolovska gives a recital with Joseph on Saturday 19 June and appears in a recital on Sunday 20 June.

Pianist Libby Burgess has begun an imaginative and ambitious project to play the 48 preludes and fugues that make up J S Bach’s The Well-tempered Clavier in each of England’s 48 counties. Over the last year, Libby has live-streamed and posted articles about the set, covering one key per month, and with the return of live music, she began her recital tour in her home county of East Riding of Yorkshire, with performances in St Mary’s Beverley (pictured above).

Find out when Libby will be performing in your county at

Lucy Crowe takes the title role in a new recording of Handel’s Rodelinda

Stuart Jackson appears in Arcangelo’s new recording of Handel’s ‘Brockes Passion’