To mark Samling’s 21st anniversary, we are celebrating our ‘Coming of Age’ on Friday 17 February at Sage Gateshead in a a gala evening concert saluting the music of Vienna. Patron of Samling and internationally acclaimed baritone Sir Thomas Allen joins four of our most talented Samling Artists and our Samling Academy Singers. We are thrilled that conductor Nicholas Chalmers will lead the esteemed Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Performing arias and ensemble gems from operatic masterpieces by Mozart, Strauss II and Lehár, Allen is joined onstage by four outstanding graduates of the internationally renowned Samling Artist Programme: tenor Luis Gomes and baritone Johannes Kammler, as well as soprano Rowan Pierce and mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany, both of whom hail from the north of England. The performance will be semi-staged, with direction by Sir Thomas Allen and choreography by Mandy Demetriou.
Sir Thomas Allen has performed in the great opera houses of the world, including Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Salzburger Festspiele and Bayerische Staatsoper, to name a few. After making his directorial debut in 2003, he has directed tremendously successful productions of Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and Don Pasquale. Considered by many to be the greatest lyric baritone of his generation, Sir Thomas Allen is currently Patron of Samling and Chancellor of Durham University.
Nicholas Chalmers is artistic director and conductor of Nevill Holt Opera, conductor at Northern Ireland Opera and artistic director of Second Movement Opera Company. The first person to conduct a Benjamin Britten opera in China (Noye’s Fludde in Beijing in 2012), Chalmers recently worked at Opéra de Lyon and Opernhaus Zurich, and conducted at Northern Ireland Opera for Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw. He was nominated for Best Opera Production for The Turn of the Screw and Macbeth (Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2013 and 2015) and Achievement in Opera for Der fliegende Holländer (UK Theatre Awards 2013).
The Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra and collaborates regularly with Samling. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a world-wide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences. The orchestra regularly performs at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh Festival and further afield, including a recent tour to Brazil and Europe.