Soprano Maggie Cooper
Described by The Times as ‘captivating’ and What’s on Stage as having ‘a superb voice, magnetic eyes and stage presence to spare’ lyric soprano, Margaret Cooper, was born in London and brought up in Oxford. She is a scholarship graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her most favourite operatic roles include Cio Cio San Madame Butterfly for Opera Up Close and Mimi La Boheme for Longborough Festival Opera YAP.
A two-time Metropolitan Opera district winner and regional finalist in 2008 and 2009, in 2010 she was awarded a grant at the Giulio Gari International Singing Competition in New York. She moved to Europe after completing a Master of Music degree in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory, Boston, where she was awarded a distinction in performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honours in music and French literature from Emory University in Atlanta.
As described by the New York Concert Review as ‘Stupendous…totally original and engaging’, British harpist Keziah Thomas enjoys a reputation of a lively and engaging concert artist. She has appeared as a soloist in major venues and festivals throughout the world, including a tour of Japan for Aoyama Harps and a solo debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2010.
Rhys Bowden is an operatic tenor based in London. After studying for a degree in music at Girton College, Cambridge, Rhys joined the Royal Academy of Music on the postgraduate course in vocal studies from which he graduated with distinction. He has performed a variety of operatic roles and sung with several distinguished companies including Wexford Festival Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Opera, Nevill Holt Opera, Opera Rara, the Aldeburgh Festival and Opera de Bauge.
Elizabeth Andrews lives in Carshalton Beeches, and is a musician whose professional work encompasses both performance and management. She is director and cellist with Thames Sinfonia and the Purcell Orchestra, and a trustee of the multi-award winning Tenebrae Choir. As a cellist she has performed throughout Europe with a variety of orchestras and ensembles, including the Hanover Band, English Bach Festival and the Classical Chamber Players.
Victoria has a BA Honours degree in English and Drama from Manchester University and a postgraduate diploma in Acting from Drama Studio London. Whilst training she was chosen to represent Drama Studio in the prestigious BBC Radio Drama Carleton Hobbs contest. Victoria, along with three peers from Drama Studio, competed against candidates from 18 drama schools, and her team received a special commendation for best team exercise.
Robin is Musical Director of Thames Sinfonia and the period instrument Purcell Orchestra, and has conducted orchestras throughout the UK. Abroad he has given concerts and made recordings with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Amor Artis Orchestra of New York and various orchestras in Hungary and Bulgaria.
Soprano Lynda Benn, gained her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland studying with Margaret Izatt. Previous roles and scenes in opera include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at RCS; Female Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for St. Andrew’s Opera under the baton of Michael Downes; Governess in Britten's The Turn of the Screw; and the title role in Donizetti's Anna Bolena.
Mezzo-Soprano Claire Filer was born in New Zealand where she began a career that has involved studying and performing in the US, the UK and Europe. Claire holds a Master of Arts with Distinction from her studies with Dennis O’Neill at the Wales International Academy of Voice, a Master of Music from The Boston Conservatory in the US and a Bachelor of Music with first class honours from The University of Auckland.
London based Soprano Louise Lloyd is a graduate ofthe Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she was awarded the St Clare Barfield Memorial Bowl for Operatic Distinction, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Operatic highlights include Musetta in OperaUpClose's Olivier award winning production of LaBoheme, Barbarina The Marriage of Figaro (Iford Arts), Gianetta L'Elisir d'Amore (Anghieri Festival-BYO and Southbank Sinfonia)
Born in Bydgoszcz (Poland), studied in Milan. Among others, he worked with Giuseppe Verdi Symphonic Chorus of Milan,Teatro alla Scala, Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse, France), Birmingham Opera Company, Grange Park Opera Festival, Tête a Tête Festival, Opera Nova. His roles include: Paris (Romeo et Juliette), Scarpia and Angelotti (Tosca), Jakub (Flis), Starek (Jenufa), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore).
London born, Ian studied at Trinity College of Music. Ian’s most recent roles include: Wotan, Fasolt and Donner Das Rheingold; Wotan Die Walküre & Wanderer Siegfried; Marcello La Bohème; Narbal Les Troyens; Goryanchikov Janaček’s From the House of the Dead; Leporello Don Giovanni; Mr Basil The Barber of Seville; Ford Falstaff; and Mr Cox Cox & Box. Concert repertoire includes bass/baritone soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem; Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet; Ireland’s Greater Love Hath No Man; Puccini’
Studied for his bachelors at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and in 2009 completed his masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music Opera School gaining a distinction. Whilst at the Royal Academy he was a finalist in Richard Lewis, Pavarotti and Blyth Busset competitions. Since graduating roles have included: Don Jose – Carmen, Naraboth – Salome, Tamino – Magic Flute, Pinkerton – Madame Butterfly and Stuermann – Flying Dutchmann.
Oliver Gibbs was born in London and originally pursued a career as an actor before studying singing privately, currently with Pamela Kuhn. He has performed most of the leading Baritone roles in the standard repertoire for a variety of companies in the UK over the last 20 years. In the last five years he has specialized in Verdi, including Rigoletto, Macbeth, Conte di Luna Il Trovatore. Giorgio Germont La Traviata, and Iago Otello.
Following his Masters in Philosophy at the LSE, Spiro was admitted to Trinity College of Music, where he studied with Omar Ebrahim. He now studies with Gary Coward. Performances include Macbeth (conducted by Sir Edward Downes), Haydn’s Nelson Mass (conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras), Semele and The Cunning Little Vixen (British Youth Opera), Macbeth, La Sonnambula, Don Giovanni, La Rondine, and L’elisir d’amore (Opera Holland Park), Der Stein der Weisen (Garsington Opera).
Louise studied at Trinity College of Music where she obtained a BMus honours degree and was awarded the TCM Silver Medal Award and a scholarship to continue her studies as a postgraduate with John Bingham. Whilst at college she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21, Schumann’s Piano and Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals. In 1999 she was a soloist in the Harvey Benham Young Soloist’s Concert where she performed Shostakovich’s Piano concerto no.2.
Kathryn Hannah has toured as Rosina (New Devon Opera, Pavilion Opera), Carmen (Lakeland Opera), Maddalena, Giovanna, Alisa, Anna, Dama, Annina (Pavilion Opera), Giannetta, Laura, Suor Osmina (Opera Holland Park), Orlofsky (Kentish Opera, Pavilion Opera), Cherubino (Lyric Hammersmith), Barbarina (Stanley Hall Opera), Second Lady, Second Boy, Kate Pinkerton, High Priestess and currently Madame Larina (Opera up Close).
Laetitia studied at Trinity college in London and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2002 she won the first prize of the « Gerald Moore Award » for accompanists. She teaches at the Russell House School and Sevenoaks School and enjoys passing on her passion for music to her pupils. She performs regularly as an accompanist in her native France and in the UK, and enjoys the variety of venues and repertoire that she encounters.
Northern Irish baritone Brian McAlea read music at the University of Oxford and sang with the Choir of New College. He subsequently won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied under Robert Dean and graduated with Distinction. He won the Audience Prize at NI Opera’s Glenarm Festival of Voice Opera Competition 2019, is currently a BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council Young Musicians’ Platform Award recipient, and is supported by Exitex Ltd.
Tom received a scholarship to train at Arts Educational Schools London and graduated in 2009 with an MA in Acting. Tom has had a varied acting career performing in a wide range of roles from drama to comedy, Shakespeare to new writing, performing in theatre tours, London Theatres, Edinburgh festival and on screen. Highlights include Macbeth in the Shakespeare inspired Play ‘Timeshare’. Jack ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’ and Mirabell ‘The Way of the World’
British Tenor Ben Thapa studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal College of Music and the Wales International Academy of Voice, supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Wagner Society and the Joaninha Trust. Currently, Ben runs a busy diary on opera and concert stages across the UK and abroad. Recent successes include the role of Arbace (Idomeneo, Buxton Festival), Siegfried (The Quest for the Ring, Royal Festival Hall/Opera North)