John Metcalf: Composer
John Metcalf was born in Swansea, Wales in 1946. A joint UK/Canadian citizen, he is one of the foremost composers working in Wales in today. His composing career has already embraced a large variety of work including six operas, two to commission from Welsh National Opera. His fifth opera Kafka's Chimp was premiered to great acclaim in 1996 in Canada, received its European premiere in Sweden in 1999 and US premiere in Pittsburgh in 2004. His latest opera A Chair in Love was premiered at the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea in October 2005.
Since the early 1990's a definitive series of orchestral and chamber works have helped to enhance his reputation nationally and internationally. These include Paradise Haunts, Dances from Forgotten Places and Mapping Wales. In December 1999 a collaboration with artist Catrin Webster on Transports was previewed at the Galeria Communale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. This production, which subsequently included performances of Transports/Mobiles and Not the Stillness, received five performances in New York in October 2001 as part of the UK with NY Festival. A commission from the English Symphony Orchestra led to the writing of Cello Symphony for Raphael Wallfisch - recorded by Nimbus records and released in May 2005. In January 2005 he was featured composer at the Waterford New Music Days in Ireland.
Performances around the world marked John's 60th birthday year in 2006. Highlights included a special concert in Sofia in May, the North American premiere of A Chair in Love in Montreal in June, a performance of Three Mobiles at the World Saxophone congress in Slovenia in July and a special concert by Lontano in London. The BBC marked his anniversary year with a special commission In Time of Daffodils which was given its world premiere in St. Davids Hall, Cardiff by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone). Radio 3's Hear and Now programme also relayed a special concert as part of a John Metcalf at 60 celebration. He has recently completed a String Quartet Llwybrau Cân (Paths of Song) for the Sacconi Quartet.
John Metcalf was both an Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director at the Banff Centre, Canada for a period of nearly ten years and was Artistic Director of the Swansea Festival from 1996 - 2007. He is presently Artistic Director of the awardwinning Vale of Glamorgan Festival. He has led creative music projects in more than one hundred schools throughout Wales, reflecting his belief in an active, participatory role for the composer in society.
He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Lampeter, of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and of University College Cardiff. In September 1995 he received the John Edwards Memorial Award awarded by the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music for his services to music in Wales. In 1999 his music was played during the signing, by Her Majesty the Queen, of the Act bringing into being Wales' first elected Assembly for 500 years. His music is recorded on the Lorelt, Sain, Cyfoes and Nimbus labels. Signum Classics recently recorded a disc of orchestral works performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for release in the autumn of 2007.
Keith Turnbull: Stage Director/Producer
Keith Turnbull is a director, dramaturge and producer committed to contemporary and new work in both theatre and opera.
He was artistic director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre; of Second Stage, Neptune Theatre; and founding artistic director of the NDWT Co. with which he started a First Nations theatre company from which emerged many of Canada's most noted native performers and writers. He is the former Artistic Director/Executive Producer of Banff Theatre Arts. He has taught extensively throughout Canada.
He has directed over eighty plays in theatres across Canada and has directed opera/music theatre for Cultural Industries (Toronto), Music Theatre Wales, Peteå Chamber Opera (Sweden), Taliesin Arts Center (Wales), Vale of Glamorgan Festival (Wales), UK in NY Festival (New York) and Vancouver Opera. For Banff Theatre Arts, he directed works by Aperghis, Maxwell Davies, Finnessy, Kagel, Menotti, Stravinsky, Weill, and Zimmermann; produced works by Antheil, Berg, Birtwistle, Daugherty, Henze, Nyman and Vivier; and directed the world premieres of A Chair in love (Metcalf), Boiler Room Suite (Doolittle), Ubu (Toovey), Kafka's Chimp (Metcalf) and Zürich:1916 (Butterfield). In Montreal he recently directed José Evangelista’s Exercices d’Opera and Isabelle Panneton’s L’Arche. Keith Turnbull is Canada’s most experienced producer and director of contemporary opera.
Wyn Davies: Musical Director
Wyn Davies was appointed Director of Music for New Zealand Opera in 2005.
After graduating in music from Christ Church, Oxford, he became a repetiteur and Staff Conductor at Welsh National Opera. He has conducted a wide repertoire ranging from Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea to Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen (WNO/Scottish Opera), through Mozart and Rossini at ENO, to Gershwin and Puccini operas at Opera North. He has collaborated with John Metcalf on several of his operas, including the most recent A Chair in Love.He spent two seasons as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and undertook two winter seasons for the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in Canada which included the award-winning production of Weill's Threepenny Opera in Toronto. He has been conducting in New Zealand for thirteen years and other recent international engagements include the Bregenz Festival, La Cenerentola for Opera Queensland and a New Year’s concert at the Teatro di Pisa.Wyn also has a career in cabaret, having appeared in festivals from Edinburgh to Salisbury. Two albums of JUST WYN recordings have been released.
Simon Banham: Stage & Costume Design
Simon is a founder member of Quarantine, (www.qtine.com) and is responsible for the scenography on all their productions. In 2005 Quarantine were awarded the ‘Art 05’ prize for outstanding achievements in the arts.
Two of his designs: Ion, (Opera National du Rhin) and Rantsoen, (Quarantine and Victoria Theatre Company) were chosen for presentation at the inaugural World Stage Design 2005 exhibition. For WSD 2009 he was invited to exhibit For You (Music Theatre Wales), Grace (Quarantine) and Rebekka (Norwegian National Opera). He has a long working relationship with Music Theatre Wales most recently Greek which was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Opera 2011, at the Theatre Awards UK.
He recently designed Coriolan/us the second collaboration with Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes for National Theatre Wales; his first collaboration, a production of The Persians, was awarded the Best Design 2010 award by the TMA.
His work has been part of a Gold medal winning British entry at the Prague Quadrennial.
Since 1999 Simon has taught at Aberystwyth University where he is a Senior Lecturer in Scenography and Theatre Design.
Paula Dankert: Foley Director/Assistant Stage Director
Paula is a dramaturg, producer of live radio and performance, Foley artist and teacher. For five years she worked as Company Dramaturg and Artistic Associate at Canada’s National Arts Centre. Before joining the NAC, Paula was the Artistic & Executive Director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal in Quebec. In Halifax, Nova Scotia she was President of Playwrights’ Atlantic Resource Centre, and a drama producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was also Associate Producer for Live Art Productions: New Dance Series, Foley artist for Salter Street Films, and host of Artspeak on CKDU- FM. She has been the Associate Dramaturg at The New Play Centre in Vancouver, at Banff’s Playwrights Colony and at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Paula graduated from Canada’s National Theatre School where she has taught for many years.
Michael Beer: Sound Design
Mike started his career at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff in the late 80’s. Since then he has toured Theatre and Corporate events Worldwide with many companies, including DV8 Physical Theatre, Diversions Dance, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Act Productions, Theatre Clwyd, Clarion Productions, Imagination, Wildworks and The National Museum and Galleries of Wales.
Mike’s designs include: Coasting, Treasure Island, Peter Pan and The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Bristol Old Vic), Branches, Coriolan/us, In Water I'm Weightless, The Radicalisation of Bradley, A Provincial Life, The Passion, The Persians, and Love Steals Us From Loneliness, (National Theatre Wales), Tir Sir Gar and Deffro’r Gwanwyn (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), The BFG (Fiery Angel), Great Expectations (Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Say It with Flowers, Desire Lines, The Borrowers and Merlin (The Sherman Theatre Company), The Firework Maker’s Daughter and Danny the Champion of the World (Birmingham Stage Company), Single Spies, Legal Fictions, Happy Days, Love and Marriage, The Gingerbread Man, Where there’s a Will, The Importance of Being Earnest (The Theatre Royal Bath).
Much of Mike’s work for the last 6 years has been with Stage Sound Services, working as Sound Designer and Project Manager on theatre and corporate events.
John Bishop: Lighting Design
John is an award-winning Lighting Designer who has created original lighting designs for more than 185 major productions including: Tannhäuser (Strasbourg), Marriage of Figaro (Warsaw); Der Ring des Nibelungen, Der Fliegende Holländer (Oslo); Tristan und Isolde, Don Juan (Aarhus); Peter Grimes, Le Revenant (Madrid); Don Giovanni (São Paulo); A Chair in Love (Swansea & Montreal); Demon Juice (ROH, Covent Garden); Ernani (English National Opera); La Traviata, West Side Story (Welsh National Opera); Albert Herring (Opera North); Hänsel und Gretel (Belfast); Vanessa, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Royal Northern College of Music); Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Snow White, Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals (Kiev Classical Ballet); Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs (Ballet Cymru); the rock opera Demones (Athens); The Woman in Black (Dubai); Brand, The Vortex, The Private Room (London); numerous productions for Opera Zuid (Maastricht) and for the Buxton Opera Festival (UK).
John created the lighting design for the World Premiere, and subsequent tours, of John Metcalf’s acclaimed opera A Chair in Love at the Taliesin Theatre, Swansea.
Elizabeth trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio, London. After winning the 2002 Welsh Singer of The Year, she represented Wales in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2003. She was then invited to join Welsh National Opera as an Associate Artist. Roles for the company have included Hero Beatrice & Benedict, Marzelline Fidelio, Konstanze Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro, First Lady Die Zauberflöte, Echo Ariadne auf Naxos, Berta Il barbiere di Siviglia & Flowermaiden Parsifal.
Other roles have included Pamina Die Zauberflote, Fiordiligi Cosi Fan Tutte, Donna Anna Don Giovanni & Ortlinde Die Walkurie at Longborough Festival, Leila Les pêcheurs des perles for Chelsea Opera Group, Constanza The Seraglio for English Touring Opera & Clorinda La Cenerentola for Scottish Opera Go Round. She made her debut at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2003 as Oriana Amadigi; 2005 BBC Proms as Brigitta Iolanta ; Welsh Proms 2006 singing the Mozart Requiem.
Elizabeth has performed with the likes of Bryn Terfel, Willard White, Dennis O'Neill, Rebecca Evans; condutors such as the late Sir Charles Mackerras, and Richard Hicox CBE, Carlo Rizzi, Vladimir Jurowski; perfoming at the WMC, St. David;s Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and recently at Buckingham Palace for HRH Prince of Wales.
Elizabeth currently lives in Penarth with her husband and expanding brood.
Having started her musical career in the jazz world, British soprano Helen-Jane Howells trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music where she was the recipient of the John Warner Competition, the Russell Sheppard Vocal Scholarship, the Simon Fletcher Award as well as support from the Richard Carne and Josephine Baker Trusts and the Samling Foundation. She was winner of the 2010 Patricia Routledge English Song Competition and continues her studies with Jennifer Smith.
Helen-Jane has sung Eve The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and at the Opéra Comique and Brooklyn Academy of Music with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie, Amore L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Glyndebourne on Tour, Dido Dido & Aeneas at The Bath Festival, Vasco Mendonça’s Ping for Music Theatre Wales and Tom Smail’s Soon at the Tête-à-Tête Festival.
On the concert platform she has performed Bach with the OAE / John Butt, Messiah in Spain, the St Matthew Passion in Lausanne and Wroclaw and The Fairy Queen in Beaune with The Gabrieli Consort / Paul McCreesh, also with McCreesh, Amore in Gluck Orphée et Euridyce with the Spanish National Orchestra; She has sung Bach Cantatas and Magnificat with the Academy of Ancient Music / Richard Egarr and Beethoven Mass in C at the Worcester Three Choirs Festival. Other engagements have included the St Matthew Passion with The Bach Choir / David Hill and a staged version with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Suzi Digby. Amongst recent projects are the St John Passion with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Kraemer, Bach B Minor Mass with The Bach Choir / David Hill, Messiah with Kraemer and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, King Arthur with Ensemble La Fenice / Jean Tubéry as well as Bach with La Nuova Musica / David Bates.
A busy recitalist, her recent appearances include a programme with Christopher Glynn at the Ryedale Festival, Purcell songs and duets at the Opera de Dijon and Britten and contemporary works with Huw Watkins at the Presteigne Festival. Helen-Jane has recorded Handel and Vivaldi with La Nuova Musica for Harmonia Mundi USA and Joseph Phibbs’ The Canticle of the Rose with The Novarra Quartet for NMC.
Her plans include Messiah with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra / Kraemer, The Tempest with Ensemble La Fenice and the première of John Metcalfe’s Under Milk Wood on tour through Wales.
Gweneth-Ann Jeffers: Soprano
Gweneth-Ann Jeffers trained at the University of Exeter, Goldsmith's College and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. During her training she received the Maggie Teyte, Ian Fleming and Sybil Tutton Awards. She was a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in 2001 represented England at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Operatic engagements include Aida for Theater Bremen, Oper Kiel, Finnish National Opera, Macedonian Opera, Opera Poznań and Oldenburgisches Staatstheater; Senta Der fliegende Holländer at London's Barbican Hall with London Lyric Opera; Leonora La forza del destino for Oper Köln and Chelsea Opera Group; Leonora Il trovatore for Welsh National Opera; Amelia in Un ballo in maschera & Margherita/Helena in Boito’s Mefistofele for Theater Erfurt; Tosca at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos; Gutrune Götterdämmerung at the BBC Proms under Donald Runnicles; Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana & title roles in La Gioconda and La Wally for Opera Holland Park; Bess Porgy and Bess for the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Macedonian Philharmonic; Ariadne Ariadne auf Naxos with the Orchestre de Picardie and appearances at the Royal Opera Covent Garden in Elektra, Daphne and The Cunning Little Vixen.
Her varied concert and recital engagements include the Verdi Requiem in Truro Cathedral; Ein deutsches Requiem and Strauss Four Last Songs in Canterbury Cathedral; a Michael Berkeley programme with the Endymion Ensemble; Zemlinsky Der Konig Kaudales in Gran Canaria; Dvořák Stabat Mater in Madrid; Tippett A Child of Our Time with the NDR Hannover, the CBSO and Göteborgs Symfoniker under Robin Ticciati; Britten War Requiem in Warsaw; and Mahler Das klagende Lied in Rome and at the BBC Proms; the European premiere of Elliott Carter Of Rewaking and Vaughan Williams Third Symphony both with the CBSO. She sang Poulenc Gloria for the Three Choirs Festival and Schoenberg Gurrelieder with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Markus Stenz and also in Japan.
Gweneth-Ann is widely known for her critically acclaimed interpretations of Messiaen’s song cycles Harawi performed at the Cheltenham Festival & Wigmore Hall and Poèmes pour Mi performed with the Gürzenich Orchester Köln and the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. She also performed Harawi as part of the Southbank Centre's composer centenary celebrations 'From the Canyons to the Stars' and at the 2008 BBC Proms.
Highlights of the current season include Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria in Mexico, Sieglinde in Act 1 of Die Walküre and Wesendonck Lieder at the Internationales Kammermusikfestival Nürnberg and covering Lady Macbeth Macbeth for Opera North and Abigaille Nabucco for Welsh National Opera.
Michael Douglas Jones:Bass
Michael is a singing artist with a passion for creating and performing new music-theater works and opera. He has recently sung performances in Miami as King Claudius and the Ghost in a new opera based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Carson Kievman produced by Sobe Arts Institute; performed in Brooklyn, NY at Roulette with Jazz legend Anthony Braxton’s Diamond Curtain Wall Ensemble. In 2011 he recorded Braxton’s newest opera Trillium E; gave 2 performances in a concert reading of dream seminar, a Swedish American opera project involving 22 artists from around the world in a bilingual piece based on the poetry of 2011 Nobel Prize winner for literature, Tomas Tranströmer with music by American composer Ellen Lindquist; performed in New York and Vermont the role of Blanck in Triangle, a puppet play about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. In 2010 he recorded Charles Wuorinen’s duet for Bass and Tuba Never Again the Same with Tuba player Jay Rozen.
In 2009, he toured the UK with performances of A Chair in Love in a co-production by Taliesin Arts Centre and Le chien qui chante. His role as man’s best friend, the Dog, was developed over a 3 year period in collaboration through improvisations in creative development workshops with Welsh composer John Metcalf and Canadian stage director Keith Turnbull.
Michael won the prestigious Jessie award in 2002 for “outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role” for his creation of the Marquis in 120 Songs for the Marquis de Sade (Hannan) in the world premiere co-produced by Modern Baroque Opera and Vancouver New Music. He made his international debut in Sweden, singing the role of Director in Kafka‘s Chimp by Welsh composer, John Metcalf. The production, sung in Swedish, was preceded by the world premiere at the Banff Centre for the Arts and sung in English. He reprised this role in a unique remounting by Quantum Theatre in February 2004 with the Pittsburgh Zoo as the venue.
Highly regarded for his appearances in works of the 20th and 21st centuries, among his other world premieres are Westergaard’s The Tempest as Caliban, for the Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Star Catalogues (Underhill) as Tycho Brahe for Vancouver New Music. Other performances include Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Ullman) at the Goethe Institute for Elysium between 2 Continents and Arthur in Peter Maxwell Davies The Lighthouse for the Opera Festival of New Jersey.
Michael made his New York City Opera debut in Madama Butterfly and has sung Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Victoria, BC; Anchorage, and Sarasota; Sparafucile in Rigoletto for El Paso Opera and Anchorage; the Doktor in Wozzeck,at the Banff Centre and with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne in Montréal; Rocco in Fidelio with the operas of Sarasota and Anchorage, the Florida Philharmonic (semi-staged), and the San Antonio Symphony; Colline in La Bohème for the operas of Florentine, El Paso, and Memphis; Timur in Turandot, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Noye in Noye’s Fludde. Concert appearances have included Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat, Kagel’s Fürst Igor, Strawinsky and Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon.
Paul Carey Jones: Baritone
Paul Carey Jones was born in Cardiff and studied at The Queen’s College Oxford, The Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, where he was the recipient of the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ W Towyn Roberts Scholarship. In May 2013 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
His operatic work includes principal roles for companies including Northern Ireland Opera, Scottish Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Teatro Rossini di Lugo and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Highlights of the 2013 season included his début for Welsh National Opera as Doctor Schön in David Pountney’s new production of Alban Berg’s Lulu; the title role of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in the work’s Chinese première at the Beijing Music Festival, and again at the MISA Festival in Shanghai; and the release of his new album of contemporary British song, Songs Now, with the pianist Ian Ryan.
He has given the world premières of many works, including Richard Elfyn Jones’ In David’s Land and Stephen McNeff’s Cities of Dreams, as well as songs and song cycles by Sadie Harrison, Emily Hall, Peter Reynolds, Mike Parkin, David Power, David Lancaster, Dick Blackford, Tom Armstrong and Jonathan Owen Clark.
As a recitalist he has worked regularly in collaboration with the award-winning pianist Llyr Williams for nearly fifteen years; their début album Enaid – Songs of the Soul was recently released to critical acclaim. Paul’s other recent recordings include Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O on DVD, and Edward German’s Tom Jones for Naxos.
Karina Lucas: Mezzo Soprano
Karina is from London and is of Spanish and English parentage. She studied at the National Opera Studio and the RNCM where her studies were supported by the Peter Moores Foundation and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Karina has performed major roles in three of Jonathan Dove Opera's: the role of Flora (The Enchanted Pig) at the Linbury Studio Theatre, ROH and at the New Victory Theatre, 42nd Street, New York; the title role (The Adventures of Pinocchio) for Opera North and Sara (Tobias and the Angel) for the Young Vic/Opera Group of which a disc has been released on Chandos. Other roles include Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) for Opera North; Witch (Macbeth) for Scottish Opera Go Round; Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Kitchen Boy and 3rd Nymph (Rusalka), Leila (Iolanthe), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Wowkle (La Fanciulla del West) and Smeraldina (The Love of Three Oranges) for Grange Park Opera. She recently performed the role of Mrs Noye in Britten’s Noyes Fludde at Southwark Cathedral.
As a Park Lane Group Young Artist, Karina made her debut at the Purcell Room in January 2007 with duo partner Simon Lane, since when she has given recitals at the Brighton Festival, Leeds Lieder Festival, Ripon Cathedral, St. John's Smith Square, St. James's Piccadilly, Oundle International Festival and been invited to perform at the Wigmore Hall. They released their first disc 'From the Old World to the New', in collaboration with violist Rebecca Jones, at the end of 2011 on the Sonimage label. Last year Karina presented a special recital in tribute to Kathleen Ferrier to mark the centenary of her birth at St. John’s Smith Square, Oxford Lieder Spring Series as well as music societies in Abbotsholme, Hoddesdon and Clitheroe.
Other concert performances include works by Nicola Le Fanu, Judith Weir and Anthony Powers with the contemporary music group Okeanos (Gloucester Three Choirs Festival, Bmic The Cutting edge, Guildhall and Cardiff University); Young Artist recitals (Aix-en-Provence Summer Festival) and Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music (Wigmore Hall).
Richard Morris: Baritone
Richard Morris comes from South Wales. After a sports scholarship to Millfield School he studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Banff in Canada. Leonard Bernstein chose him for the role of Celebrant in his “Mass” for the Opera Company of Boston. A role he has repeated all over Europe, the Barbican and South bank in London. As well as Bernstein he has worked with many of the worlds leading composers , Stephen Sondheim, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Maxwell Davies, John Casken, John Metcalf, Gavin Briars and Dominic Muldowney .
Directors he has worked with include Sir Peter Hall, Sir Trevor Nunn, Richard Jones, Bill Brydon. Di Trevis Companies in the UK include Scottish Opera, Opera North, WNO in Vancouver and the Royal Opera House 2. Abroard Opera de Toulouse, Opera Nancy, Les bouffes du Nord, Filharmonie Brno, The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and The Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Festivals in the UK include, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Almeida and Newbury. He was Enjolras in the West End hit Les Miserables. Roles in opera include Macbeth, Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Toreador, Papageno, Malatesta He has been a company member of the Royal National Theatre, Orchestras include National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, Age of Enlightenment, City of London Sinfonia and The Royal Northern Sinfonia. He has made many CD’s one of which won a Grammy, has recorded for Radios 2 3 and 4. TV includes, The Royal Variety show, The South Bank Show and was The Nazi Singer in the film Snow and The Warrior in the film War Oratorio for Channel 4.
Future engagements include Gavin Briars, Anyone Can See I love You in Vancouver and a new Opera version of Under Milk Wood in the UK and New York.
Eamonn Mulhall: Tenor
Irish tenor Eamonn Mulhall, trained at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio in London.
His operatic engagements include the world première of James MacMillan’s Clemency (ROH Linbury, Covent Garden; Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh International Festival), the eponymous role in Dorian Gray (Slovak National Opera), Sailor Tristan und Isolde (Dublin), Prince Safir in Offenbach’s Barbe bleu (Grange Park Opera), staged Messiah, After Dido and Count Almaviva The Barber of Seville (English National Opera), Jacquino in Fidelio and Soldier in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Opera Theatre Company) as well as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Orchestra of St Cecilia), Massimo in Ezio (London Händel Festival), Aumônier in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des carmélites (RCM) and understudying Bajazat in Händel’s Tamerlano (Scottish Opera), Lamplighter in Weinberg’s The Portrait (Opera North) and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Ferrando in Così fan tutte (Welsh National Opera).
A frequent soloist in concert, Eamonn has sung with many of Britain and Ireland’s eminent choral societies. Highlights include Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and appearances with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire spans from Bach’s Matthäus-Passion, through Mendelssohn’s Elijah to Britten’s St. Nicholas.
Future engagements include Handel’s Acis & Galatea for Mid-Wales Opera and a lunchtime concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio3 and RTÉ Lyric fm.
Parmela Attariwala: Viola/Violin/Crwth
Described as “one of Canada’s most original and compelling artists”, Toronto-based violinist/violist Parmela Attariwala is known for her genre-bending music and performance. She has toured and recorded with an array of musicians including Carla Bley, James Campbell, Anthony Braxton, Ernst Reijseger, John Taylor, and tabla players Ravi Naimpally and Shawn Mativetsky. She is an ardent improviser and proponent of improvisational pedagogy as a tool for cross-genre musical communication. Parmela has also worked extensively – as composer, musician and movement artist – with choreographers whose backgrounds range from contact to butoh to bharata-natyam. Choreographer Gitanjali Kolanad, in particular, has developed a bharata-natyam and kalaripayat movement vocabulary that allows Parmela to simultaneously dance and play the violin, resulting in unique multi-sensory works of art.
Parmela undertook formal music training at Indiana University and the Konservatorium in Berne, Switzerland. She pursued a Masters in Ethnomusicology at SOAS (University of London) and recently completed a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.
Parmela has released three critically-acclaimed recordings of her own Attar Project, an avant-garde take on east meets west that combines Parmela’s own compositions for small ensembles with commissioned works for violin and tabla.
Deian Rowlands:Concert Harp/Lever Harp
Welsh harpist Deian Rowlands studied at Wells Cathedral School with Ann Griffiths, followed by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Manon Morris, Bryn Lewis and David Watkins. During his studies, he was awarded scholarships by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Arts Council of Wales, the Craxton Memorial Fund, the Leverhulme Trust, S4C, the Peggy and Maldwyn Hughes Scholarship, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Orchestral and Ensemble Award 2002, and won the Open Instrumental Blue Ribbon at the 2002 National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Deian has performed as a soloist and chamber musician all over the UK as well as in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2002 with Ravel`s `Introduction and Allegro.`
Deian was a member of the Live Music Now! recital scheme with flautist Nicki Phillips. Performances included a concert at Windsor Castle with violinist Maxim Vengarov in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales, and a performance of Mozart`s flute and harp concerto with the London Chamber Orchestra and the New World Ensemble at Criccieth Festival. They performed at many of the UK`s leading festivals including Chichester, Cambridge, Criccieth, Fishguard, St David`s and North Wales International Festival. As a duo, they made their BBC Proms debut in 2004. Performances have also been given to the Very Reverend Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 2006 they were invited by HRH the Prince of Wales to entertain the Royal Family on the occasion of the Queen’s 80th Birthday at Kew Palace.
Deian regularly performs as guest principal harpist with UK and European orchestras, including the BBC Symphony, BBC Concert, Royal Liverpool and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He has performed in every major concert hall in the UK as well as touring the majority of Europe, Asia, The Far East, Central and North America. Artists worked with include Bryn Terfel, Nigel Kennedy, Smokey Robinson, Tim Minchin, The Streets and McFly.
In the recording studio, Deian has worked on soundtracks for the BBC's productions of The Paradise, Wallander, Frozen Planet, BBC Radio 2 Jingles as well as commercials for McDonalds and B&Q. He was a featured artist on Joby Talbot's 'Tide Harmonic' album, and has recorded a CD of meditative music for harp with composer Mike Roberts.
An enthusiastic performer of new works, he has commissioned and premiered works by John Metcalf, Ben Ellin, Eric Crees and Kieron Galliard.
Deian`s Lyon & Healy harp was bought with the kind financial assistance of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. He lives in west London with his wife and two lively sons, Frankie and Dylan.
Jose Zalba Smith: Flutes
Born in 1984, in Havana, Cuba, Jose studied flute and piano at the Alejandro G. Caturla and later at Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. His flute professors at this time were Erasmo Lopez and Floraimed Fernandez, both members of the National Symphony Orchestra, Ballet and Opera Orchestras. During this period of study, he received Second Prize in Amadeo Roldan’s National Flute Competition (1997) and First Prize from the National Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba in their Woodwind Competition in 2001, performing with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jorge Lopez Marin. After auditioning in London, England, Jose was offered places at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Trinity College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the latter offered a full scholarship for the Bachelor of Music Degree which Jose accepted and commenced in 2003. After completion of this degree in 2007, Jose was kindly supported by the Society of Knights of the Round Table and the Innholders’ Company to continue his studies at the Guildhall School of Music, in the Masters Programme (Orchestral Training). During his time at Guildhall, with Philippa Davies as his main professor, Jose enjoyed training under other eminent players such as Sharon Williams, Ian Clarke, Sarah Newbold and Sam Coles.
Jose has performed in festivals such as Glasgow Cathedral Music Recital Series (2006), Seville Music Festival, Spain (2006), Belgrade Music Festival, Serbia (2007), Winchester Music Festival (2008), Frome Young Musicians Recital Series (2008), and Paxos International Chamber Music Festival, Greece (2008). Jose was accepted as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (2006-2007), as an extra player for the National Welsh Opera (2007-present), member of the Southbank Sinfonia (2009), the London Philharmonic Orchestra as a Foyle Future First Scheme. He also performs regularly with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as Principal/Sub-Principal.
Jose is a very keen Latin player and delivers Cuban music workshops to top music colleges in the UK as well as international summer schools. His Cuban band “Tradicional Cubano” is increasingly in demand.
Paul Stoneman: Percussion