Praised by Opera for her “dramatic wit and vocal control”, British soprano Mary Bevan is internationally renowned in baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire, and appears regularly with leading conductors, orchestras and ensembles around the world. She is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in music and was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2019.
In the 2020/21 season, will return to Royal Danish Opera for her role debut as Marzelline Fidelio and for the production LIGHT Bach Dances with director John Fuljames and conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen. She will also make her house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in David Alden’s production of Ariodante as Dalinda. On the concert stage, she will sing the world premiere of Sir James MacMillan's Christmas Oratorio with the LPO and later at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. She performs Haydn Theresienmesse with the Handel and Haydn Society and appears in concert with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Orchestra of the age of Enlightenment.
Highlights of last season included Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene for Opera de Monte Carlo and Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld for English National Opera. Bevan recently garnered praise for her Royal Danish Opera debut as Bellezza in Il Trionfo del tempo e del desinganno, for the title role in Turnage’s new opera Coraline for the Royal Opera at the Barbican, as well as for her return to the English National Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and her debut as Merab in Saul for the Adelaide Festival. For the Royal Opera House she created the role of Lila in David Bruce’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter, sang Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro on the main stage, and the title role in Rossi’s Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
On the concert platform, recent highlights include appearences with the BBC Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra at the Proms, and with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO in the world premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s Faithful Journey. She joined the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as Mary in Sally Beamish The Judas Passion; performed Bach Christmas Oratorio on tour in Australia with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra; and Handel Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music. She also headlined a tour of Asia with The English Concert and Harry Bicket and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the ensemble as Dalinda in Handel Ariodante. In 2020 she will make her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bevan’s discography includes her art song album Voyages with pianist Joseph Middleton and Handel's Queens with London Early Opera, both released by Signum Records, Mendelssohn songs for Champs Hill Records, Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth and Handel: Ode for St Cecilia’s Day with Ludus Baroque, and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.3 and Schubert Rosamunde with the BBC Philharmonic. In autumn 2019 Signum will release her second disc with Joseph Middleton including Lieder by Schubert, Haydn and Wolf.
Scottish-born Nicky Spence trained at the GSMD and the National Opera Studio. Hailed by the Daily Telegraph as “a voice of real distinction,” Nicky Spence is fast emerging as “one of our brightest young tenors”. An artist of great integrity, Nicky Spence’s unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty in his musicianship are steadfastly earning him a place at the top of the profession.
Highlights in Nicky’s 2020/21 season include his role debut as Siegmund in a new production of Die Walküre for the English National Opera, his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Tichon in a new production of Káťa Kabanová, the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Caliban in The Tempest with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Adès.
He has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Seattle Opera; L’Opéra national de Paris; La Monnaie, Brussels; Opéra national de Lyon; the Teatro Real in Madrid; the Dutch National Opera and Oper Frankfurt. Future seasons see Nicky make debuts for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Deutsche Staatsoper and return to the English National Opera, La Monnaie and the Royal Opera.
Nicky gives recitals internationally, appears in concert extensively and records prolifically. In 2020 he won the BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award for his critically acclaimed recording of Janáček’s The Diary of One who Disappeared.
is one of this country’s most sought after baritones and is constantly in demand on the concert platform and in recital, encompassing a repertoire from the baroque to world premieres. In 2016 he won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer of the year award.
Opera engagements have included for Royal Opera House Covent Garden Schaunard/La bohème and Ned Keene/Peter Grimes; for English National Opera Papageno/Die Zauberflöte, Pollux in Rameau’s Castor and Pollux, and Jaufre Rudel in Saariaho’s L’amour de loin ,as well as world premieres of From Morning to Midnight by David Sawer and A Better Place by Martin Butler. For Opera North his roles have included the title role of Don Giovanni, The Count/Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo/Cosi fan tutte, Figaro/Il barbiere di Siviglia, Ned Keene and Goryanchikov/From the House of the Dead. For Scottish Opera roles have included Marcello/La bohème, Lord Byron in the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s Monster and Count/ Figaro. Other notable world premieres have included Alexander Knaifel’s Alice in Wonderland and Michel van der Aa’s After Life for Netherlands Opera, as well as the title role in Robert Saxton’s The Wandering Jew with the BBC Symphony , which has been released on NMC to considerable critical acclaim. He made his North American opera debut singing Figaro/Il barbiere di Siviglia for Florida Grand Opera.
Among Roderick Williams’ many performances of opera in concert are recent appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Tippett’s The Knot Garden (Barbican) and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs Kong (Royal Festival Hall) and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding Billy Budd. He has also sung the role of Eddie in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek for the BBC. He has taken major roles in conductor Richard Hickox’s semi-staged performances of opera, including Britten’s Gloriana (Aldeburgh, 2003), Walton’s Troilus and Cressida and most of the Vaughan Williams operas. Other concert performances include Henze, Strauss, Stravinsky and Wagner (Donner in Das Rheingold for ENO).
Roderick Williams has sung concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, Le Concert Spirituel, and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Recent successes include Britten’s War Requiem and Pilgrim in Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (semi-staged) with the Philharmonia, Jesus in The Last Supper by Birtwistle with the London Sinfonietta in Milan and Turin, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Toulouse, a European tour of Handel’s Messiah with RIAS Kammerchor, Tippett’s The Vision of St Augustine with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2005 BBC Proms, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the world premiere of Birtwistle’s The Ring Dance of the Nazarene with VARA Radio (repeated at the BBC Proms), performances of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen at La Scala, concerts with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a concert with Bach Collegium Japan at the Edinburgh Festival.
Recent and future operatic engagements include Oronte in Charpentier’s Medée, Toby Kramer in Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden and Sharpless / Madam Butterfly for English National Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin for Garsington Opera, the title role in Billy Budd for Opera North, Van der Aa’s After Life at Melbourne State Theatre and at Opera de Lyon, Captain Balstrode / Peter Grimes in a concert performance with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Papageno and Ulisse / Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria for the Royal Opera House, Toby Kramer for Dallas Opera, a concert performance of Ned Keene/Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Christus / St John Passion in staged performances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment both under Sir Simon Rattle.
Recent and future concert engagements include performances with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, King’s College Cambridge, Goldsmiths Choral Union, Ex Cathedra, The Sixteen, The King’s Consort, New London Consort, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Berlin Philharmonic, Rias Kammerchor, Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Music of the Baroque Chicago, Bach Collegium Japan, Cappella Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Britten War Requiem with the Maggio Musicale and Semyon Bychkov in Florence, the UK premiere of Sally Beamish’s Judas Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as well as with Philharmonia Baroque. In 2014 Roderick was the featured soloist at the BBC Last Night of the Proms.
He is an accomplished and highly sought after recital artist who can be heard at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, the Perth Concert Hall, the Concertgebouw, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Song Festival, Howard Assembly Room, the Musikverein, Vienna and on Radio 3, where he has participated on Iain Burnside’s Voices programme. Recent recitals include the three Schubert cycles at the Wigmore Hall, recitals for the BBC and appearances at the Ludlow Song Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Three Choirs Festival and at the Bath International Music Festival.
His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos, and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. He is currently in the process of recording the three Schubert Cycles for Chandos as well as recordings of Stanford and Somervell for Somm.
He is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. Recent commissions include a major work, World without End, for the Rias Kammerchor and BBC Singers as well as a commission to celebrate the centenary of the RAF.
He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder + in April 2016 and he is currently ‘singer-in-residence’ for Music in the Round in Sheffield, presenting concerts and leading on dynamic and innovative learning and participation projects that introduce amateur singers, young and old, to performing classical song repertoire. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in June 2017.