Elisabeth Meister – Soprano
British dramatic soprano Elisabeth Meister is an alumna of the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Since her graduation she has performed at the Royal Opera House, Lyric Opera Chicago and Teatro Municipal de Santiago.
In March 2013 she made a sensational debut at La Monnaie, when she was called at very short notice to step in and sing the title role of Lucrezia Borgia. Anthony Lias of Opera Britannia commented: ‘Meister’s command was so total and so overwhelming that there was an audible sense of electricity in the house, as she detonated one explosive high note after another, but then suddenly displayed staggering agility, stunning breath control, hushed and beautiful pianissimos and every other vocal weapon in her considerable arsenal.’
Recent operatic engagements include Pale Lady The Gambler, Fox The Cunning Little Vixen, High Priestess Aïda, Costanza L’isola Disabitata, First Lady Die Zauberflöte and Dama Macbeth - all for Royal Opera House, where she also covered the title roles in Der Rosenkavalier and Aïda and Anna Nicole, as well as Polina The Gambler and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes. She performed to great acclaim the titles roles of Aïda and Lucrezia Borgia for Teatro Municipal de Santiago.
A well‐established concert artist, she recently made her debut at the Royal Festival Hall with René Pape and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Highlights of the 2012-13 season include performing at the Royal Opera House’s Extraordinary Gala marking the Queen’s Jubilee alongside Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu and Bryn Terfel; her Carnegie Hall debut with performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 and Missa Solemnis as part of a US tour with the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as her return to the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and the Royal Opera House.
Kate Symonds-Joy – Mezzo-Soprano
Kate Symonds-Joy graduated with a First Class Music degree from Gonville and Caius College and then studied on the Royal Academy Opera course with Lillian Watson and Audrey Hyland, graduating with a DipRAM and the Charles Norman Prize. She was the winner of the 2011 Thelma King Vocal Award and was awarded the Basil A Turner Prize for her role Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for British Youth Opera.
Operatic roles include Mrs Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring for Britten Pears in Aldeburgh, Wild Girl in Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet for Wexford Festival Opera, , Koukouli in Chabrier’s L’Etoile for Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Opera Comique Paris, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen for Kentish Opera, and Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Medea in Cavalli’s Giasone conducted by Jane Glover, Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring directed by John Copley and Ino in Handel’s Semele with Sir Charles Mackerras - all for Royal Academy Opera. Opera Britannia commented: ‘The striking Kate Symonds-Joy was not only a pleasure to watch, but also to listen to. Her well-schooled and burnished mezzo-soprano was beautifully used with such seductive ease that one can only hope that great things are to come from this gifted singer.’
Concert work includes appearances at the Purcell Room, the Barbican, the Wigmore Hall, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony at the Cadogan Hall and extracts as Carmen with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Future projects include Carmen for Regents Opera, Israel in Egypt under Jane Glover, and the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall.
David Butt Phillip began his musical training as a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral and trained as a baritone at the Royal Northern College of Music with Peter Wilson and on the postgraduate opera course at the Royal Academy of Music with Glenville Hargreaves. Awards include the John Cameron Prize for Lieder, the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize, the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award, the Edwin Samuel Dove Prize for special merit during studentship and the Bruce Millar/Gulliver Prize. David was a Samling Scholar in 2009.
Concert performances include Verdi’s Requiem with Cheltenham Chamber Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and recitals at the Wigmore Hall with the Solstice Quartet and the pianist Simon Lane. Operatic roles include Junius, The Rape of Lucretia and Boris, Paradise Moscow for Royal Academy Opera, Mr Gedge, Albert Herring for British Youth Opera and Marcello in La Bohème for Opera Up Close.
In 2010 David joined the Glyndebourne Chorus, where he performed the role of the Keeper of the Madhouse in The Rake’s Progress before making the decision to change to tenor. He returned to Glyndebourne as a Jerwood Young Artist for the 2011 season where he understudied the role of Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and was the winner of the 2011 John Christie Award. He made his tenor debut in Autumn 2011 as Rodolfo in La Bohème for Glyndebourne on Tour.
Since 2010 he has been studying privately with Ryland Davies. He has been a trainee at the National Opera Studio, where he is supported by the Glyndebourne New Generation Fund and a Sybil Tutton Award. In September 2012 David joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House where his roles in the 2012/13 season include Bastien in Bastien und Bastienne, Master of Ceremonies in Robert le Diable, Abdallo in Nabucco, First Armed Man inDie Zauberflöte and Master of Ceremonies in Gloriana.
James Oldfield - Bass
James Oldfield was a chorister at Leicester Cathedral and held a Choral Scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. After a year as a Lay Clerk at St John’s College, Cambridge, he attended the Royal College of Music for three years, studying with Ashley Stafford. James’ studies were supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Eric Shilling Prize and the Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship.
Described by Opera Now as: ‘a terrific baritone, full of depth and humanity’, James’ recent concert appearances include Mendelssohn Elijah with the London Symphony Orchestra, Orff Carmina Burana with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra (broadcast live), Haydn Nelson Mass with the Manchester Camerata and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Purcell Fairy Queen in the Wigmore Hall, Handel Messiah with the Huddersfield Choral Society (recorded live), Verdi Requiem in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, and Mozart Mass in c minor in Gdansk for Polish radio.
His operatic engagements include Achilla in Guilio Cesare for Opera North, Ludd in Ludd & Isis for Royal Opera House 2, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera, and Nick Shadow in Rake’s Progress for Gothenburg Opera. James is a recipient of the Leonard Ingrams Award and now studies with Graeme Broadbent.