John Mark Ainsley
John Mark Ainsley has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including the London, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras and the London, Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic orchestras, with Davis, Haitink, Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Masur, Norrington, Rattle and Abbado. He has performed on stage with the Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Theater an der Wien, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro all Scala Milan, Oper Frankfurt and Bayerische Staatsoper, with the Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh festivals, and the BBC Proms. He has recorded extensively for the major labels and was nominated for a Gramophone Award. He won the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award, and is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
In 2016 John Mark was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Fortunately this was an early diagnosis and with ongoing treatment the prognosis for his general health is very good. However, he has decided that it is time to retire from public performance. It is still very much his intention to remain involved with singing and performing through teaching, adjudication and master classes.
Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar.
She is a member of Oper Frankfurt’s Ensemble where her roles in the 2018/19 season include Romilda Serse, Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel and Monica in a new production of Menotti’s The Medium. She also makes débuts at the Teatro Réal, Madrid in the title role of La Calisto and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich as Gretel.
On the concert platform she sings the title role in Theodora at the BBC Proms with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen; the title role in Semele on tour with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Messiah with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in performances staged by Frederick Wake-Walker; Carmina Burana with the LPO and Jérémie Rhorer; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko; Jessie in Turnage’s The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth; Mozart Arias in Salzburg with the COE and Robin Ticciati and The Plaintiff in Trial by Jury with the OAE and John Wilson.
Her recital appearances include London’s Wigmore Hall with William Vann, the Bath Mozartfest with Joseph Middleton, the Stefaniensaal in Graz with Gary Matthewman and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Azerbaijani soprano Dinara Alieva graduated at the Baku music academy and joined the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as soloist in 2010. She has won prizes at the Operalia Competition, Francesco Viñas Competition and Maria Callas Competition, and has since performed with the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Hamburgisch Staatsoper, Semperoper Dresden, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Bayerische Staatsoper. Ms Alieva’s growing discography includes Pace mio Dio, a CD of Italian opera arias for Delos Records, and a recording of great Italian love duets with Alexandr Antonenko.
Engagements for the 2018/19 season and beyond include Elisabeth Don Carlos at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nedda Pagliacci at the Liceu Barcelona and Liu Turandot for the Wiener Staatsoper, as well as her debut appearances with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Violetta) and Paris Opera (Cio Cio-san Madama Butterfly).
Baritone & Director
Sir Thomas Allen
Sir Thomas Allen is an established star of the great opera houses of the world. He has sung over fifty roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; in 2012 he celebrated his 40th anniversary of his debut with the company. An acclaimed recitalist, he is equally renowned on the concert platform and has appeared with the world’s great orchestras and conductors. He is Chancellor of Durham University. His many honours include the title of Bayerischer Kammersänger awarded by the Bayerische Staatsoper. In the New Year’s Honours of 1989 he was created a Commander of the British Empire and in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor. Among his proudest achievements is having a Channel Tunnel locomotive named after him; and most recently, being awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music 2013.
Marcelo Raul Álvarez is one of the most important singers of his generation; celebrated for his interpretation of the Verdi, verismo and French repertoire.
His career has taken him to the world’s finest opera houses and international festivals, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, The Lyric Opera of Chcago, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper under den Linden, and Opernhaus Zürich.
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 Eduige/Rodelinda with Emmanuelle Haïm in her house and role debut at Opera de Lille and for Opera de Lyon, and will return to the Glyndebourne Festival as Goffredo/Rinaldo. On the concert platform, she will sing Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Seattle Symphony, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Colorado Symphony and the New West Symphony, make her debut with the Early Opera Company in Dido and Aeneas at the Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam and make her BBC debut as Ursula in Beatrice and Benedict.
Recent concerts include 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.
Italian-American tenor Michele Angelini made his European debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro as Count Libenskof in Il viaggio a Reims and sang the part of Hänschen Rilow in the world premiere of Benoit Mernier’s opera Frühlings Erwachen at Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, which was also released on the Cypress Records Label.
In the 18/19 season, highlights include a return to Staatsoper Berlin for performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia; performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater conducted by Gianandrea Noseda with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC and Carnegie Hall New York and his house debuts at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow in Il viaggio a Reims, and at Teatro Petruzelli, Bari as Argirio in Tancredi. He will take part in the AIDS Galas in Berlin and Bonn and sing Barbiere in concert in Bremen’s Die Glocke with Jérémie Rhorer. Looking ahead Michele will give his house debuts at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Tokyo’s New National Theatre.
Anna Caterina Antonacci
Established as one of the finest sopranos of her generation, Anna Caterina won prestigious prizes at the Voci Verdiane, Callas and Pavarotti competitions.
She has been honoured with the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur’ by the French Republic, which is the highest national distinction one can receive. Her first recording Era la Notte for the Naive label received great acclaim and she has also recorded L’Alba separa dalla luce l’ombra for Wigmore Live, with her pianist Donald Sulzen, featuring songs by Tosti, Cilea, and Hahn.