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 2017/18 season include Sophie Werther and Despina Così fan tutte. She also returns to Garsington Opera as Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte and to the Glyndebourne Festival as Sophie Der Rosenkavalier.
On the concert platform she sings the title role in Handel’s Theodora at the BBC Proms with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen; the title role in Handel’s Semele in London and Vienna with the OAE and Christophe Rousset; Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Paul McCreesh; Rossini Arias with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Richard Egarr and Bach’s Johannes-Passion with the Royal Nothern Sinfonia and Harry Bicket.
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, 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 in the 2017/18 season and beyond include Mimi La boheme at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Violetta La Traviata at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Desdemona Otello in Frankfurt, Nedda Pagliacci at the Liceu Barcelona, Liu Turandot for the Wiener Staatsoper, and her deut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Violetta.
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, most famous for his interpretation of the Verdi, verismo and French repertoire.
His career has taken him to all the world’s major opera houses and renowned international festivals, including Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, La Scala Milan, Vienna State Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opernhaus Zürich.
George Andguladze was born in Tbilisi Georgia and began his singing career at a young age. He graduated with a degree in piano and a master’s degree in choral conducting before moving to Italy to study lyrical singing at the Accademia delle Voci Verdiane di Busseto. His recordings include Aida and Stiffelio for Naxos recorded at the Teatro Regio di Parma.
His operatic roles include Ferrando Il Trovatore, Sparafucile Rigoletto, Escamillo Carmen, Ramfis Aida, Filippo II Don Carlo, Fiesco Simon Boccanegra, Oroveso Norma, Massimiliano I Masnadieri, Timur Turandot, Colline La Bohème, Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor and Commendatore Don Giovanni.
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.
Frédéric Antoun was born in Quebec and studied at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia.
Frédéric has appeared as Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Thespis Platée and Ferrando Cosi fan tutte (Opera de Paris), Tonio La Fille du Régiment (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera de Lausanne and Opera de Toulon), Amaedus Daberlohn Charlotte Salmon and Raul in the world premiere of Adès’ The Exterminating Angel (Salzburg Festival), Nadir Les Pecheurs de perles (Opernhaus Zurich), Laërte Hamlet at the Theater an der Wien, Cendrillon at La Monnaie Brussels and Ferrando Cosi fan tutte (Opera de Marseille and Opera de Paris).
Concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri, Berlioz L’enfance du Christ and Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No.9, Mozart Requiem, Orff’s Carmina burana and Bach’s Magnificat and St Matthew and St John Passion.