01 June 2023

News from Samling Artists – May 2023

Benjamin Appl made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing in the Weill Recital Hall with Samling Artist pianist James Baillieu in a recital on the theme of night. The concert ended a coast-to-coast tour of the US and Canada and received a standing ovation from the sell-out audience.

Madison Nonoa made her house debut at Salzburg Festival as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice in a new production by Christof Loy, with Cecilia Bartoli as Orfeo.

Claire Barnett-Jones will make her Bayreuth debut in this summer’s Ring Cycle, singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and Second Norn in Götterdämmerung. Also appearing in this summer’s Festival is Derek Welton in the role of Amfortas, Parisfal.


Pianist Joseph Middleton features on the cover CD of this month’s BBC Music Magazine with a specially compiled selection of songs on the theme of night, with a selection of singers including Christopher Maltman. Writing in the magazine about the art of song pianism, Joseph says ‘My job as an accompanist is to play words, to create atmospheres and to clothe the stories that the singers are telling with all the subtexts, plus all the images…. You have to know what every word means and what picture the text as a whole is trying to paint’.

Joseph’s Leeds Lieder Festival opens on Friday 9 June, and includes recitals by Samling Artists Louise Alder, James Newby and Nick Pritchard.

Benjamin Hulett is the soloist with Wimbledon Choral, City of London Sinfonia and conductor Neil Ferris in the debut recording of Seventy Degrees Below Zero, a cycle by Cecilia McDowall inspired by the experiences of Captain Scott.

James Newby has a new recital disc of English song, including Gerald Finzi’s Let us Garlands Bring and Arthur Somervell’s setting of A Shropshire Lad, with pianist Joseph Middleton. The album reflects on loss, grief and death but also joy, love and healing and is dedicated to the memory of James’s sister Laura who died in 2015.

Ross Ramgobin appears on an acclaimed new recording of Charles Villiers Stanford’s rarely performed Requiem with Martyn Brabbins, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and University of Birmingham Voices. The Sunday Times gave it four stars (‘stellar soloists’) and it featured in the Editor’s Choice of June’s edition of Gramophone.

Pianist William Vann directs and plays on a new recording with tenor Alessandro Fisher and the Navarra Quartet to mark Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 150th anniversary. Portraits of a mind is a new cycle for tenor, string quartet and piano by Ian Venables, and sets texts by poets associated with Vaughan Williams. Venables’s new cycle sits alongsideOn Wenlock Edge and a new arrangement for string quartet by Iain Farrington of Four Hymns.

English National Opera 2023/24

English National Opera have announced their new season, with Samling Artists appearing in the following productions


Iolanthe – Samantha Price
Phyllis – Ellie Laugharne
Earl Mountaratat – Ben McAteer
Leila – Bethan Langford

La traviata

Annina – Sarah-Jane Lewis
Doctor Grenvil – Jonathan Lemalu

The Handmaid’s Tale

Rita – Madeleine Shaw

Magic Flute

Speaker – Jonathan Lemalu

Samling Artists on BBC

Pianist Ian Tindale appeared on the BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert on 31 May, in ‘Schubert Plus’, a recital from the Hay Festival with Soraya Mafi. You can listen again for 30 days on BBC Sounds:

And finally, a reminder that Beth Taylor and William Thomas will be appearing in this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition which runs from 10 – 18 June. All the rounds of the main prize and the song prize will be broadcast either on BBC television or radio.