28 year old Huw Montague Rendall made his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut on 15 September as Papageno in David McVicar beloved production of The Magic Flute to rapturous critical and public acclaim:
“The young baritone cut his Papageno teeth at last year’s Glyndebourne semi-staging, but here he had licence to go the full Michael Crawford with pratfalls, dive-slides and physical tics galore, while never missing a note of his pan-pipe motif or remembering he’s primarily there to sing. His routine with a War Horse-style puppet bird was a joy; his thought of suicide (at which, in a moment of inspiration, he rendered his final pipe call as a doleful whistle) had the first-night audience exhorting him to think again. It was, in short, the most remarkable house debut I can remember since an astounding new Pelléas graced the Opéra de Rouen earlier this year. Come to think of it, that was Montague-Rendall too.” - Bachtrack
“ Audience participation at the opera isn't common and definitely doesn't happen in foreign languages, but spectators at the second production of Covent Garden's new season were far too enamored with the charming house debutant Huw Montague Rendall to worry about their accents. Yes or no? No, the crowd roared back at him. It was the only time he looked a little flustered. David McVicar's production has been a workhorse for Covent Garden since its creation in 2003. It needs the youthful energy that the 28-year-old Montague Rendall gives it. The baritone's spoken and sung German is crisp and snappy, his baritone warm-toned, and his physical comedy exuberant. When firing yourself around the stage like a pocket rocket, it does help to be tall, gangly and wear a hat with a duck on it.” - The Times
“…while newcomer Huw Montague Rendall’s Papageno keeps the comic engine turning in pratfalls, collision, leaps and trouser-drops. No house debut could demand more, and the larky, lanky young baritone delivers in armfuls, sparring gamely with a wilful chicken and romping with Haegee Lee’s Papagena.” - The Arts Desk
The National Norwegian Television, NRK, are airing on 21 September a documentary about Lise Davidsen, filmed over the course of 18 months. The documentary which is an intimate portrayal from her childhood until now, had the camera crew follow her during her debuts in Bayreuth and Metropolitan as well as the Covid pandemic. Davidsen made history in May 2021 when she reopened Teatro Alla Scala in Milan with a solo concert with Riccardo Chailly on the same night she was named "Female Singer of the Year" by the Opera Awards. Two days later she inaugurated the reopening of Bayerische Staatsoper. Earlier this month, she received the Anders Jahre Culture Prize and has been nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize. The documentary will be available in Norway only.
Komische Oper Berlin inaugurated their new season with the premiere of George Enescu's Oedipe starring Leigh Melrose in the title role. A real "tour de force" musically and dramatically which garnered him huge public and critical acclaim:
" The outstanding Leigh Melrose carries the evening with a singing that is close to speaking - and in fact Enescu has repeatedly noted transitions into the spoken song. At the same time, Melrose still has reserves for magically soft tones until the conciliatory final vocal" (Berliner Zeitung)
"Leigh Melrose, in the fraught title role, gives a remarkable performance, gripping and powerful, consummately emotional yet always in control." (Financial Times)
"Leigh Melrose’s mesmerising performance in the title role. One felt, rather than merely observed, every twist and turn of the fatal screw, words, music, and gesture conceived and delivered in post-Wagnerian whole." (Seen and Heard International)
We are delighted to welcome Hungarian/Romanian bass Alexander Köpeczi for worldwide management. Winner of the best performance of a Verdi aria and Internationale OpernWerkstatt prizes at the 2020 Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, Köpeczi will join the hugely prestigious Salzburg Festival Young Artist Project this summer. He will also make his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut next season as Sacristano Tosca in a cast which includes fellow Romanian superstar soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Stefan Pop in December 2021 and as Lodovico in Otello in July 2022.
An ensemble member of the Hungarian State Opera in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a frequent collaborator of the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest his roles include: Sparafucile Rigoletto, Old Hebrew Samson et Dalila, Fafner Das Rheingold, Commendatore Don Giovanni; Ferrando Il Trovatore; Brander La damnation de Faust; Zuniga Carmen; Il Re Aida; Sarastro The Magic Flute; Jose Castro La fanciulla del West and Colline La Boheme.
Köpeczi can be heard as Jose Castro and Billy Jackrabbit on the PENTATONE recording of La fanciulla del West. Following this performance he was immediately invited to sing Doctor Grenville in a recording of La Traviata for the same label, which stars Lisette Oropesa and is due for release later this year.
We are thrilled to announce the signing of hugely exciting Tongan-New Zealander tenor Filipe Manu, who joins shortly before graduating from the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. Upon his graduation, Manu will make his debut with the Edinburgh International Festival in their production of Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and will be joining the ensemble of Stadttheater Bern, where his roles will include Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Arbace Idomeneo and Tebaldo I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, and in 2022 he will return to Covent Garden in a leading Mozart role.
An alumnus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and of University of Waikato, Manu made his Royal Opera debut in the 2018/19 Season as Hippolyt Phaedra in the Linbury Theatre he joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme a season later. During his time in the programme he sang Gastone de Letorières La traviata and First Prisoner Fidelio for The Royal Opera and has appeared extensively in concert and recital with the company, including: the Royal Opera House Stars Gala with Lisette Oropesa and Gerald Finely conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano; Christmas Gala Concert conducted by Mark Wigglesworth; and an intimate recital of song and aria’s with Sir Antonio Pappano.
His next appearance is on the stage of the Royal Opera House as Genaro Lucrezia Borgia and Fenton Falstaff on 17 July .
Lise Davidsen will make her Teatro alla Scala debut on 10 May, in the reopening concert of the opera house, marking 75 years since La Scala was rebuilt. She will perform a solo concert conducted by Maestro Riccardo Chailly, with a programme featuring works by Verdi, Wagner, Purcell, Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss.
On 16 April Decca Classics release Freddie De Tommaso's debut album Passione , recorded in London with the Philharmonic Orchestra and Renato Balsadonna. The album explores De Tommaso's Italian heritage and pays tribute to his two heroes: tenor Franco Corelli, whose centenary we celebrate this year, and to his late father, Franco De Tommaso.
On 26 March Decca Classics will release Lise Davidsen's much anticipated second solo album, which features music by Beethoven, Wagner and Verdi, including some arias from operas Davidsen has performed on stage in recent years, including Fidelio (Leonore’s aria ‘Abscheulicher!’), Cherubini’s Medea and Santuzza' in Cavalleria rusticana. Other operatic heroines explored include Verdi’s Leonora from La forza del destino and Desdemona from Otello plus the first of Wagner’s five Wesendonck Lieder. To honour the launch, Lise will make several TV and Radio appearances as well as gracing the cover of Gramophone Magazine. To keep up to date with her latest appearances and interviews follow us on social media.
We are thrilled to announce the signing of one of the most exciting and in demand artists today, French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac, whose performances have garnered him acclaim on the world’s most important opera stages such as Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Grand Théâtre de Genève, San Francisco Opera, and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals
Hailed by many as the Tamino of his generation, recent important debuts include the title role of Pelleas Pelleas et Melisande at Opéra National de Bordeaux and a much celebrated Max Der Freischütz at Theatre de Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Engagements this season include a new Magic Flute at Opera de Paris and two very exciting role debuts: Don José in Carmen at the Opéra de Bordeaux and the title role La Clemenza di Tito at Opera de Paris.
De Barberyac appears regularly in recital and concert in such works as Berlioz’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in Mozart’s Davidde Penitente and later returned to Salzburg for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Passionate about song and chamber music, he will next appear in recital in Paris at Salle Gaveau on 1 March, together with mezzosoprano Ambroisine Bré.