Sarah Connolly was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours, having previously been awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours. She has sung at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Tanglewood festivals and the BBC Proms where, in 2009, she was a soloist at the Last Night. Opera engagements have taken her around the world from the Metropolitan Opera to the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, the Munich State Opera and the Bayreuth, Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals.

Recent highlights include Fricka in The Ring Cycle at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Teatro Real in Madrid and recitals for the Schubertíada a Vilabertran, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

Recent performances on the concert platform have included Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Jurowski & London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowski), his Symphony No. 8 (Wiener Symphoniker/Jordan), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Orchestre national de Paris/Saraste) and Tippet’s A Child of our Time (Orchestre de Paris/Adès). In the 2018/19 season, Sarah curated a residency at Wigmore Hall.

Mezzo-soprano

Michelle DeYoung

Michelle DeYoung is one of the world’s most exciting mezzo-sopranos.

Her prolific concert engagements include the New York Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras under Sir Colin Davis (with whom she recorded Didon in Les Troyens to great critical acclaim), the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson Thomas, the Boston Symphony under Ozawa, the Chicago Symphony and Philharmonia under Boulez, the Cleveland Orchestra under Slatkin, the Royal Concertgebouw under Chailly, the Berlin Staatskappelle under Barenboim and Boulez, the Israel Philharmonic under Maazel and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Gardner. She has given recitals in New York, San Francisco, Lisbon, Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival.

Her operatic engagements have included Jocasta with von Dohnanyi in Paris; Fricka for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Haitink; Fricka, Brangäne, Venus and Shaman in Tan Dun’s The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera under Levine; Brangäne in Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis and at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin and La Scala, Milan under Barenboim and Kundry in Bayreuth under Boulez and Berlin under Barenboim.

Mezzo-soprano

Larissa Diadkova

Celebrated Russian mezzo-soprano Larissa Diadkova is a principal artist of the Mariinsky Theatre and is a favourite singer of Valery Gergiev. In addition to the Russian repertoire she’s so associated with, Ms Diadkova also concentrates on the works of Bach, Händel, Mahler, Verdi and Wagner.

Her international career has taken her to the leading opera houses around the world and has sung leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala Milan and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has also appeared in many of the world’s prestigious concert halls, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and Wigmore Hall in London, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. As well as Maestro Gergiev, conductors with whom she has collaborated include Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Antonio Pappano, Sir Charles Mackerras and Semyon Bychkov. Ms Diadkova records for BMG/RCA, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Phillips and EMI Classics.

Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences and critics across the globe in operas ranging from Mozart and Handel to Rossini, Donizetti, Berlioz and Heggie. Winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, she is a multi-Grammy Award winner and a fierce advocate for the arts.

Joyce’s 19/20 season sees her staged debut as Agrippina in a new production at the Royal Opera House, returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Agrippina and Charlotte Werther, and performances as Semiramide at the Liceu Barcelona. She is Carnegie Hall’s 19/20 Perspectives Artist with appearances including the Chicago Symphony Orchesrta under Muti, with Nézet-Séguin in recital performing Schubert’s Winterreise, a Joyce & Friends chamber music concert joined by the Brentano Quartet, a baroque inspired programme My Favourite Things with Il Pomo d’Oro, as well as live-streamed masterclasses. Also with Il Pomo d’Oro, the season holds the final tour of her album In War & Peace to South America culminating in Washington DC, as well as a European and US tour of My Favourite Things. Other highlights include a tour with the Orchestre Métropolitain under Nézet-Séguin; touring her latest album release Songplay in Europe and recorded concerts of Berlioz Roméo & Juliette with John Nelson and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia.  She studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. She won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in 1999 and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

Ms Garanča is an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon. She has won four ECHO Klassik awards: ‘Singer of the Year’ in 2007, ‘Vocalist of the Year’ in 2010 and ‘Solo Recording of the Year’ for both her Romantique recording (2012) and Meditation (2015).

Her most recent album Sol y Vida was released in May 2019 and has been unanimously praised by the critics. Gramphone said: “Garanča’s selection of flamboyant Mediterranean and Latin American songs is a predictably good fit for her ripe and beguiling timbre.”

Among other roles, she is particularly famed for her portrayal as Bizet’s Carmen which she has sung at both the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Metropolitan Opera to critical acclaim; the NY Times named her “the finest Carmen in 25 years…”.

Ms Garanča appears regularly at the Vienna Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, ROH Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Bayerisches Staatsoper Munich and Deutsche Oper Berlin and continues to perform in various concerts, festivals and recitals all over the world.

American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey is quickly making a name for herself at home in the US and abroad.

Highlights of recent seasons include her role and house debuts as Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Den Norske Opera and as Siébel Faust at the Grand Théâtre de Genèvthe, the title role in Handel’s Agrippina at The Juilliard School, and Varvara in Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Káťa Kabanová.

In the 2019/20 season, Samantha joins the ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich where her numerous roles include Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel, Mercédès Carmen and Dorabella Così fan tutte. She will make her Dallas Opera debut as Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte and return to the Metropolitan Opera for Madrigal Singer Manon Lescaut. In recital, Samantha will appear at the Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center and at both Rockport and Aspen Festivals.

Mezzo-Soprano

Jane Henschel

In concert she has appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony, BBC Symphony, Philadelphia, Oslo Philharmonic and Deutsches Symphony Orchestras, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Orchestre de Radio France under Ozawa, Conlon, Maazel, Janowski, Colin Davis, Andrew Davis and Rattle. She has recorded widely for Decca, Philips, Chandos and EMI, including Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the CBSO and Rattle.

In opera, she has sung Baba the Turk at the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals; Brangäne in Los Angeles and Paris; the Kostelnicka (Jenufa) in Japan, the Kabanicka (Katya Kabanova) for the Salzburg Festival and Herodias (Les Troyens) at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Roles for The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden include Fricka and Waltraute, Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Klytemnestra and Mrs Grose (The Turn of the Screw). Roles at the Bayerische Staatsoper include Herodias, Klytemnestra, Mistress Quickly and Ortrud; at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin Klytemnestra, Herodias and Ortrud; Auntie (Peter Grimes) in Salzburg with Rattle, Mistress Quickly under Nagano in Los Angeles, and Klytemnestra, Fricka and Mistress Quickly in Vienna.

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.