Described as having a voice of bell-like clarity with an impeccable vocal technique and powerful stage presence, Lucy Crowe has established herself as one of the leading lyric sopranos of her generation.
With repertoire ranging from Purcell, Handel and Mozart to Donizetti’s Adina and Verdi’s Gilda she has sung with opera companies throughout the UK and Europe, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Bavarian State Opera. She made her US operatic debut as Iole (Handel’s Hercules) for Chicago Lyric Opera, reprising the role for the Canadian Opera Company, and she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, New York as Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), returning last season for Adele (Die Fledermaus).
On the concert platform she is much in demand with the world’s major orchestras and conductors and she has appeared at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Salzburg and Tanglewood Festivals and at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. She is a regular guest at London’s Wigmore Hall and other recital appearances include New York’s Carnegie Hall. She makes her Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw recital debut this season.
Lucy’s 2016/17 operatic plans include the title role in Rodelinda at the Teatro Real Madrid and Ismene (Mitridate) at the Royal Opera House. In concert she will appear with the Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on tour with the London Symphony Orchestra/John Eliot Gardiner, the Czech Philharmonic/Jiří Bělohlávek, the Boston Symphony Orchestra/Nelsons, and the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra/Pappano.
Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best of our younger baritones”, William Berger is distinguished by his rich vocal timbre and charismatic stage presence. A compelling interpreter of song, Berger is equally at home on the operatic stage and has performed at renowned festivals, opera houses and concert halls including the English National Opera, Liceu Barcelona, Opera Vlaanderen, Opéra de Toulon, and the Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh International Festivals.
Engagements in the 2015/16 season include Berger’s return to Opera Vlaanderen both as Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme, and Bill in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. He will perform as Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride with Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and the title role in Handel’s Imeneo at Gottingen International Handel Festival. In concert Berger will perform at the FestspielOrchester Gottingen’s tenth anniversary Gala Concert.
In Spring 2016 Berger will release his third album: Duet with soprano Lucy Crowe. The disc features works by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Cornelius and showcases the richness and spirit of the duet genre, which reached its zenith in the Victorian age but has since become increasingly overlooked in the concert hall.
Berger’s skill as a musical interpreter and his imaginative approach to programming has led to critical acclaim for both his previous solo albums. Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage In Song, released on Delphian Records in 2012, describes in a sequence of seventeen songs the restless night experienced by a man as he reflects on the absence of his unnamed love. It was included in The Guardian’s Top Ten Classical CDs of the Year and was described as “pure gold” by The Arts Desk and “magnetic” by The Scotsman. This was followed by the release of Hommage à Trois on Linn Records in November 2013, which features arias and duets by three of the finest composers of the 18th century: Mozart, Haydn and Cimarosa. The disc, recorded with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Nicolas McGegan, was awarded five stars by Opera Now, and described as “one of the most delightful recital discs of the past year” by International Record Review.
In addition to his two solo releases, Berger’s discography includes Handel’s Alexander’s Feast and The Triumph of Time and Truth with Ludus Baroque for Delphian, Samson and Dettingen Te Deum for Carus, Poulenc’s Carmelites for Chandos and on DVD, Admeto for C Major and L’incoronazione de Poppea for Opus Arte.
Other recent engagements include a German recital tour with Julius Drake in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Bonn, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in California, Finzi’s Requiem de Camera with the London Mozart Players, Don Alfonso in Cosí fan Tutte at the Liceu in Barcelona, Escamillo in the Luzerner Theater’s production of Carmen, Papageno for Opéra de Toulon, Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra, Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland and Carpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers with conductor Christian Curnyn and the Classical Opera Company at the Wigmore Hall.
William Berger has collected a multitude of prizes and awards, including the 2010 Ernst Haefliger Competition in Switzerland, the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers, the Countess of Munster Trust Scholarship, the Musicians Benevolent Fund Grant and the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Award. William is a graduate and Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and a former member of the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera.
Interweaving roles as pianist and Sony Award-winning broadcaster with equal aplomb, Iain Burnside (“pretty much ideal” BBC Music Magazine) is also a master programmer with an instinct for the telling juxtaposition. He has performed in recital with many of the world’s leading singers. His recordings straddle an exuberantly eclectic repertoire ranging from Schoenberg and Copland to Debussy and Judith Weir with a special place reserved for the highways and byways of English Song, as acclaimed recordings of Britten, Finzi, Ireland, Butterworth, Parry and Vaughan Williams have all proved. In 2014, Delphian released Burnside’s complete Rachmaninov songs with seven outstanding Russian artists. He also enjoys a close association with Rosenblatt Recitals, both on stage and in the studio, in collaboration with Opus Arte.
For Guildhall School of Music and Drama Burnside has written and devised a number of highly individual theatre pieces. A Soldier and a Maker, based on the life of Ivor Gurney, was performed at the Barbican Centre and the Cheltenham Festival. It was also broadcast on Drama on 3 as part of the BBC’s World War One season. Journeying Boys, developed in association with the Royal College of Music, was performed in November 2013 in the Milton Court Theatre. His new play Why does the Queen die? received its premiere at the Oxford Lieder Festival in October 2014 and will transfer to London in May 2015. He continues to present Shining Armour, reinventing Brahms's Die schöne Magelone through the eyes of Clara Schumann.
This season, Burnside will give recitals with tenor Robin Tritschler and with baritone Roderick Williams. Burnside and Williams will present recitals of Schubert throughout the UK finishing the season at the Wigmore Hall. Further highlights for Burnside include returns to the Leeds Lieder Festival, Ludlow English Song Weekend, and to Barcelona for recitals as part of the Lied Festival Victoria de Los Ángeles.
The 15/16 season saw Burnside re-collaborate with Williams giving recitals in Brazil, as well as returns to the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Leeds Lieder Festival, and the Cheltenham Music Festival. In addition to a Rosenblatt recital at the Wigmore Hall, Burnside also sat as a member of the jury for the 2015 Wigmore Hall Song Competition. In demand as teacher and animateur, Burnside also works on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the National Opera Studio. He is International Visiting Artist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin.