Elgar The Apostles
Edward Gardner is Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he assumed in October 2015 leading their 250th anniversary gala concert. The coming season will see Edward touring the orchestra to cities including Berlin, Munich, London and Amsterdam and continuing his hugely successful relationship with Chandos Records. Edward was Music Director of English National Opera for eight years until July 2015 and under his direction ENO presented a series of stellar productions, including Peter Grimes, Benvenuto Cellini, Meistersinger and Otello. He returned in Spring 2016 to conduct a new production of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde to critical acclaim. Edward continues to be in great demand on the international opera scene. He has an ongoing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera New York where he has conducted Carmen, Don Giovanni and Rosenkavalier and will return in Spring 2017 for Werther. Last season he made his debut with Lyric Opera Chicago [Rosenkavalier] and was re-invited to La Scala, Milan following Britten’s Death in Venice in 2011. This season will see him returning to Opéra National de Paris to conduct Eugene Onegin and future invitations include The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and further engagements at Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera Chicago. He was appointed Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2004, a position he held for three years and in 2008 returned to conduct Britten’s Turn of the Screw.
The recipient of the Young Singer award at the inaugural 2013 International Opera Awards. Sophie Bevan is now at the forefront of the new generation of young British singers. A graduate of the Benjamin Britten International Opera School, she was awarded the Queen Mother Rose Bowl Award. Her concert repertoire ranges from Handel to James Macmillan and she has worked with conductors that include Sir Antonio Pappano, Edward Gardner, Laurence Cummings, Harry Bicket, Sir Neville Marriner, Phillipe Herreweghe, Sir Mark Elder, Ryan Wigglesworth, Daniel Harding and Sir Charles Mackerras. Already highly accomplished on the operatic stage, her engagements include her first Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for English National Opera; the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for Welsh National Opera; her first Susana Le Nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera; Michal Saul for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Waldvogel Siegfried, Pamina and Ilia for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Engagements this season and beyond include Susana and Antigone Oedipe at Covent Garden; concerts with the Sao Paulo State Symphony, CBSO, and recitals at the Wigmore Hall; Pamina for the Teatro Real, Madrid; her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Beatrice in the world première of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel; and her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Past and future highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at Wigmore Hall London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kennedy Centre Washington and in 2015, her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as regular recitals for BBC Radio 3. With Simon she recently recorded a critically acclaimed recital of lieder by Alma and Gustav Mahler for Linn Records. Karen regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Seoul and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras working with conductors including James Levine, Donald Runnicles, Valery Gergiev, Yannick Nézet-Séquin, Myung Whun Chung, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Robin Ticciati. Opera highlights have included roles with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, New York and Deutsche Opera, Berlin.
Allan Clayton is established as one of the most exciting and sought after singers of his generation. A consummate actor and deeply sensitive musician he has made a huge impact on the international operatic and concert scene. The opening of the 15/16 season sees his debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in Handel’s Alcina. Allan will make return appearances at English National Opera throughout 2015 and 2016, and takes the lead role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, which will have its world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2017 as part of the nationwide celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. He made his debut at the Komische Oper, Berlin in 2014 with Castor/Castor et Pollux and Tamino/Die Zäuberflöte. For English National Opera he has sung Cassio/Otello, Castor/Castor et Pollux and Lysander/A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other roles include Male Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour; and Ferrando/Cosi fan tutte for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. In the forthcoming seasons Marcus will appear at Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson and James Bailleau and at Musée d’Orsay, Paris with ‘Songsmiths’. Recent recital highlights include debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and La Monnaie, Brussels with Mark Padmore and Julius Drake; a UK tour of Schubert Winterreise with James Baillieu; Salute to Venice with Graham Johnson for Leeds Lieder and a recital for Opéra de Lille with Simon Lepper while appearances at Wigmore Hall include the Britten Festival with Malcolm Martineau and Julius Drake and concerts with the Myrthen Ensemble and Joseph Middleton and with the Carducci Quartet. Concert plans this season and beyond include Orff Carmina Burana with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin; Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem in Hereford Cathedral; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ with the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon; Bach St John Passion (bass arias) with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach St Matthew and St John Passions (bass arias) on a European tour with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh.
Since his critically acclaimed portrayal of Billy Budd in Michael Grandage’s production for Glyndebourne, South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo has performed at many of the most prestigious opera houses throughout the world, collaborating with conductors, directors and orchestras of the highest calibre. On the concert platform, recent appearances include Christ The Apostles with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder at the BBC Proms, Beethoven Symphony No.9 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Britten War Requiem at Teatro Real, Madrid, and Carmina Burana with the New York Philharmonic under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Further highlights include Bach St John Passion, Handel Messiah, Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem and Duruflé Requiem. Imbrailo has given solo recitals at Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and performed at Verbier Festival, the Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre. A former member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Imbrailo also studied at the Royal College of Music and in 2007 was awarded the Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Whilst on the Jette Parker Programme, roles included the title role of Owen Wingrave, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Morales Carmen, and Marullo Rigoletto.
John Relyea continues to distinguish himself as one of today's finest basses. Mr. Relyea has appeared in many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera (where he is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program and a former Adler Fellow), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, Theater an der Wien, and the Mariinksy Theater. His roles include the title roles in Attila, Le Nozze di Figaro, Bluebeard’s Castle, Don Quixotte, Attila, and Aleko; Zaccaria in Nabucco, Bertram inRoberto le Diable, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Colline in La Bohème, Don Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Giorgio in I puritani, Banquo in Macbeth, Garibaldo inRodelinda, Méphistophélès in both Faust and La Damnation de Faust, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Escamillo in Carmen, Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Caspar in Der Freischutz, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, and King René in Iolanta. Mr. Relyea also remains in high demand throughout the concert world where he appears regularly with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. He has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Blossom, Cincinnati May, Vail, Lanaudière, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne and Mostly Mozart festivals, and in the BBC Proms.
Edinburgh Festival Chorus
The Edinburgh Festival Chorus celebrated 50 years of world class singing at the 2015 International Festival. Since its foundation in 1965 the Chorus has been at the heart of the Edinburgh International Festival, performing annually with internationally renowned orchestras, soloists and conductors. The Chorus has performed virtually all the great standard works of the 19th and 20th centuries, continuously broadening its repertoire under the Festival Director’s programming. International Festival 2014 performances included Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien with the RSNO and Oliver Knussen; Britten’s War Requiem with the Philharmonia and Sir Andrew Davis; Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony with the RSNO and John Axelrod and Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass and Sir Jonathan Mills’s Sandakan Threnody with the BBC SSO and Ilan Volkov. The Chorus occasionally performs outside of the International Festival and has most recently joined the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and its Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles at the 2010 BBC Proms for Mahler’s Symphony No.3; two performances of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the orchestra’s 75th anniversary season in February 2011; at the 2011 BBC Proms with Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé; two performances of Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody in March 2012; a performance of Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony in May 2014 with Associate Guest Conductor Andrew Manze; and three performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 in November 2014. Christopher Bell was appointed Chorus Master of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus in October 2007. He is also currently Chorus Director of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago and of the RSNO Junior Chorus and has been Artistic Director of the National Youth Choir of Scotland since its formation in 1996. The Open University awarded him an Honorary Masters Degree for Services to the Arts in 2009 and in 2013 Chorus America awarded him the Michael Korn Founders Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art.
Royal Conservatoire Voices
Biography to follow.
NYCoS National Girls Choir
NYCoS National Girls Choir, led by world-renowned conductor Christopher Bell, is part of the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the organisation dedicated to encouraging singing for young people aged 0–25. Chosen from Scotland’s best young female singing talent, the choir demonstrates a freshness of voice and unrivalled diction that receives consistent praise. Performing regularly throughout Scotland, NYCoS National Girls Choir has been invited to sing at world-class music festivals including BBC Proms in the Park, Edinburgh International Festival, Aberdeen International Youth Festival and Lammermuir Festival. The choir has released three commercial CDs to date, on the Signum label, all of which were critically acclaimed. The first is a recording of two complementary works: Britten A Ceremony of Carols and the rarely-performed Poston An English Day-Book (2010). The second is Bennett Letters to Lindbergh (2012). The most recent, Only a Singing Bird (2015), was recorded with patron and international mezzo-soprano, Karen Cargill.
“This youth choir is so on it - the vitality, the diction, everything that you want from a young choir is there. It’s beautiful; it’s very grown up but youthful too.” - Jeremy Summerly on BBC Radio 3.