She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2016 as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and has since sung at the Glyndebourne Festival (Dryad/Ariadne); Seattle Opera (Ursula/Beatrice et Benedict); Opera Columbus (Carmen) and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Cherubino/Nozze di Figaro). This season, Avery will sing Alcina/Bradamante, at Glyndebourne and in her house and role debut for the Hannover Staatsoper, as well as Irene/Bajazet for Portland Opera. On the concert platform Avery will open the season with the world premiere of ‘The Listeners’ by Caroline Shaw on a US concert tour with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Avery will also sing Messiah with Bernard Labadie and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, perform Mahler 2 at Salisbury Cathedral and record her debut solo album, also with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
Recent concerts include Dido and Aeneas at the Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Early Opera Company, Vivaldi arias with the Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York; Mozart’s Requiem with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Bramwell Tovey; Bach’s St John Passion and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Voices of Ascension, New York; Berlioz Les Nuits D’été and Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the American Classical Orchestra, and concerts of Handel and Vivaldi with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan. Exceptional in baroque repertoire, she has worked with William Christie, Helmuth Rilling and Maasaki Suzuki, and at the Bachfest Leipzig and the Boston Early Music Festival.
Mezzo-Soprano & Contralto
Adriana Bignagni Lesca
Born in Libreville, Gabon, Adriana Bignagni Lesca studied at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux with Maryse Castets. Previous opera highlights include Brambilla in Offenbach’s La Périchole with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski at Salzburg Easter Festival and on tour to Montpellier, Bordeaux, Grenoble, and Versailles; Fatouma in Marouf, Savetier du Caire by Henri Rabaud at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Opéra-Comique de Paris; Rossweisse Die Walküre in Bordeaux. This season Adriana will return to the Opéra National de Bordeaux as Mistress Quickly in Laurent Pelly’s production of Verdi’s Fastaff; other highlights include Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto on a concert tour of Europe with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski.
Future seasons will see a series of exciting debuts at Staatsoper Berlin and the Opéra National de Paris.
From Cumbria, contralto Jess Dandy has been praised for her instrument of velvety plangent timbre, and her artistic maturity of remarkable immediacy.
Jess has appeared on the concert platform with the Orchestre révolutionnaire et romantique, The English Concert, Florilegium, BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Dunedin Consort, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Les Arts florissants; collaborating with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Harry Bicket, Trevor Pinnock, John Butt William Christie, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Stephen Layton.
Highlights of the 20/21 season include her international opera debut as Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with the Opéra Comique and Raphaël Pichon; Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg at the Großes Festspielhaus; and Jess’s Wigmore Hall debut which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Mezzo-Soprano & Contralto
Jennifer Johnston is a former BBC New Generation Artist, and a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. She is particularly associated with the Bayerische Staatsoper and its distinguished musical director Kirill Petrenko, where her roles have included Second Norn, Roßweise, Floßhilde, Hedwige and La Ciesca. She has appeared in opera at the Teatro alla Scala (Mrs Grose/The Turn of the Screw, Gaia/CO2), Salzburg Festival (Carmi/La Betulia Liberata, Lady de Hautdesert/Gawain, Leda/Die Liebe Der Danae) and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Dido/Dido and Aeneas), amongst others.
A prolific concert performer, she has performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including Jocaste in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Berlin Philharmonic & London Symphony Orchestras, released as an LSO Live disc), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall and on disc), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Cleveland and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras, Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique), Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Sir Simon Rattle/Bayerische Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra and on disc), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (Kalmar/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Brabbins/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Dausgaard/BBC National Orchestra Of Wales), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Lintu/Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, De la Parra/London Philharmonic Orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony (Welser-Möst/Cleveland Orchestra, Zinman/Orchestre National de Lyon), Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), Mahler’s Rückert Lieder (Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Kalmar/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sondergard/Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (Marin/Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Sir Jeffrey Tate/Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Brabbins/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Gardner/Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Slatkin/Orchestra National de Lyon), Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Gatti/Accademia Di Santa Cecilia), Schumann’s Faustszenen (Harding/Gewandhausorchester and Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Schonwandt/Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra), Adès’s Totentanz (Adès/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harding/Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra), and Pasqualita in Adams’ Doctor Atomic (Adams/BBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Nonesuch).
She made her solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall accompanied by Joseph Middleton and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. She is a founder member of The Prince Consort, with whom she has recorded for Linn Records, and has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw and the Aldeburgh Festival. Her extensive discography includes Anthony Payne’s arrangement of Vaughan Williams’ Four Last Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins for Albion Records, which she premiered at the BBC Proms (Vänska/BBCSO) and which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Jennifer’s engagements in Season 2019-20 include Brigitta in a new production of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, and Hedwige in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, both at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival, Auntie in Britten’s Peter Grimes at Oper Frankfurt, Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass at the First Night of the Proms (Kanellakis/BBC Symphony Orchestra), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Stutzmann/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (on tour with Treviño/Basque National Orchestra), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Hrůša/Philharmonia Orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony (Treviño/RTE Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Eight Symphony (K. Petrenko/Bayerische Staatsorchester), Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Treviño/Malmö Symphony Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Farnes/BBC National Orchestra Of Wales), Beethoven’s Opferlied (Gernon/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra) and Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra). She will be Artist in Residence at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, for whom she will sing Mahler’s Second and Third Symphonies (V. Petrenko), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Stutzmann), Messiah (Jeannin), and a recital with Joseph Middleton at St George’s Hall. Her debut solo disc, A Love Letter To Liverpool, will be released in September 2019 by Rubicon Classics.
Mezzo-soprano & Contralto
Globally renowned for her interpretation of Mahler, Swedish mezzo soprano, Anna Larsson, has worked with the greatest Mahler conductors of our time including Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Harding, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lorin Maazel and Kurt Masur. On the operatic stage, she is a distinguished Wagnerian and her roles include Erda, Waltraute, Kundry and Brangäne, for which she is regularly in demand. She built and inaugurated the Vattnäs Concert Barn in Sweden which has been the stage for many community projects including a world premiere. She is an intellectual and vocal commentator and ambassador for the future of opera and classical music. In 2014 she was awarded the Royal Medal ‘Litteris et Artibus’ from the King of Sweden.
Nathalie Stutzmann (Contralto)
Nathalie Stutzmann is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time. Proclaimed “the best contralto in the world“(BR Klassik), Nathalie has spent her career performing with the world’s greatest conductors and orchestras.
Particularly acclaimed for her performances of Mahler, Brahms and Schubert, she is also a highly-praised recitalist. Nathalie has performed more than 300 recitals with Swedish pianist Inger Södergren, with whom she has also recorded several song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Poulenc and Chausson, among others. Recitals in recent seasons include performances at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Stockholm Concert Hall, Salle Garnier Monte Carlo, St George’s Hall Liverpool, La Monnaie in Brussels, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, and a Japan tour to celebrate the re-release by Warner/Erato of their earlier recording of the three Schubert song cycles.
Parallel to her concerts as a singer, she devotes most of her singing season to her own chamber orchestra Orfeo 55, created in 2009 and resident at Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier. Nathalie regularly records with Orfeo 55 and is currently an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato as a singer and conductor. Recent recordings include Italian arias with “Quella Fiamma”, for which she was praised by Gramophone as being “one of the great baroque singers of our day”, as well as “Heroes from the Shadows” (Handel) awarded of a Diapason d’Or, “Une Cantate Imaginaire” (Bach), and “Prima Donna” (Vivaldi), all with Orfeo 55. This season they will perform at Philharmonie de Paris, Montpellier Opera, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Meldorf Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Visit Nathalie Stutzmann’s Conducting page here
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