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Classical Opera announces three new Associate Artists for its 2017/18 season

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Classical Opera is pleased to announce mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds and tenors Alessandro Fisher and Thomas Elwin as new Associate Artists for its forthcoming 2017/18 season. They join a list of exceptional young singers comprising sopranos Louise Alder, Ellie Laugharne, Gemma Summerfield and Soraya Mafi; mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman; tenor Stuart Jackson; and bass David Shipley.

The scheme was launched in 2006 by Classical Opera’s founder and artistic director Ian Page to consolidate the company’s work in assisting the development of young singers in the early stages of their career. Page has a strong track record in this area, initially through his work at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, the Drottningholm Slottsteatre in Sweden, the Royal College of Music and as assistant conductor at Glyndebourne, and more recently as a coach on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The development of young talent has been a central pillar of his work with Classical Opera over the past twenty years.

Since 2006 there have been more than thirty Classical Opera Associate Artists, including Sophie Bevan, who has worked with the company every year since her company début in 2005 and recently released the album ‘Perfido!’ with the Mozartists, and Allan Clayton, whose recording ‘Where’er You Walk’ with the company was recently shortlisted in the ‘Recording (Solo Recital)’ category in the 2017 International Opera Awards.

Associate Artists receive prestigious performance opportunities with the company’s period-instrument orchestra; extended rehearsal periods to enable them to explore the repertoire in great detail; opportunities to explore new repertoire in intimate private settings; coaching, guidance and career advice from Ian Page; financial support to help with the cost of ongoing study, scores, CDs and concert dress; marketing and promotion to the press and within the profession; and mentorship and training to address specific needs.

The three new Associate Artists will all feature in a new semi-staging of Mozart’s La finta semplice at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 6 & 8 June 2018, and will also appear in a concert performance of the same opera at Birmingham Town Hall on 2 June 2018:

  • Emily Edmonds in her company début as Giacinta;
  • Alessandro Fisher, who appeared as Christian in the company’s recent production of Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes, as Don Polidoro;
  • Thomas Elwin as Fracasso.

Thomas Elwin will also appear in a rare UK performance of Haydn’s Applausus at Cadogan Hall on 13 March – a project that has been specifically conceived to nurture young singers.

Current and previous Associate Artists can be found throughout the 2017/18 season:

  • Louise Alder performs Mozart’s “Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!” (K.418) and the concertante aria “De’ sublimi augusti eroi” from Gluck’s Il prologo at the Mozartists Launch Concert at Wigmore Hall on 18 September 2017;
  • Stuart Jackson and previous Associate Artist Anna Devin appear as soloists in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Barbican on 9 October 2017;
  • Ellie Laugharne and David Shipley join Thomas Elwin in the cast for Haydn’s Applausus at Cadogan Hall on 15 March 2018.


Ian Page says:

“I am delighted that Emily Edmonds, Alessandro Fisher and Thomas Elwin are joining the company as Associate Artists. Eighteenth-century music suits young singers so well: there is a wonderful sense of shared discovery, of going on a journey together, when you have young singers doing these roles for the first time, and I can’t wait to work with all three of them next season.”

Current Associate Artist Helen Sherman says:

It goes without saying that having the opportunity to work on Mozart with Ian Page is a real luxury for any singer. Ian not only provides first class academic insight into the composer and the stylistic demands of the period but shares his wealth of experience in performing these works; this inspires a real understanding and passion for the music which everyone on the stage shares.”

Inaugural Associate Artist Rebecca Bottone says:

“Ian understands the importance of helping a singer feel comfortable and this can only mean they can fly, whoever they are. The importance of mixing singers of different experience levels cannot be underplayed. As one of the inaugural young artists I can vouch for the huge value of the scheme and say that this has helped shape me as the artist I am today.”

For a full list of singers currently working with Classical Opera, see here.

For listings of all Classical Opera’s forthcoming engagements, see here.

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