caroline taylor (Sara)
Caroline Taylor is a postgraduate soprano studying at the Royal Northern College of Music under Louise Winter. She is generously supported by the Richard Newitt Fund, the Mario Lanza Educational Foundation and Help Musicians UK, with whom she holds a Maidment Award.
At the RNCM, Caroline was a finalist in the 2018 Concerto Competition and 2017 Joyce and MichaelKennedy Award for Singing of Strauss; and she won the 2017 Brodsky prize with her chamber ensemble, the Lucrezia Trio. She also represented the RNCM in the 2018 Sir Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize, winning first prize.
Opera credits include the title role in Massenet Cendrillon (RNCM Opera), Governess/The Turn of the Screw (Byre Opera) and Papagena/The Magic Flute (St Andrews Voices). She looks forward to joining British Youth Opera later this year as Helena in the UK premiere of The Enchanted Island.
fiona finsbury (hannah)
Soprano Fiona Finsbury is a Post Graduate student at the RNCM under the tutelage of Jane Irwin, generously supported by the Richard Newitt fund, Miss Adella Charlton, Mrs Westwood-Wilson, a Leverhulme Arts Scholarship and Robinson Structures Ltd.
Prior to joining the RNCM Fiona was a professional actor, having trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. Credits include Luciana in The Comedy of Errors, Susan in Company, Laurey in Oklahoma!, and Carlotta in the West End cast of The Phantom Of The Opera. She played the opera singer in an episode of ITV’s Victoria which aired on Christmas Day 2017.
She is a recipient of the Anne Ziegler award the Riga Heesom award. This year she won the Bessie Cronshaw Song Cycle competition and the Dame Eva Turner award.
Opera roles include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Métella in La Vie Parisienne, Elvira in L’Italiana in Algeri, First Niece in Peter Grimes, Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and the title role in Cendrillon.
lucy vallis (magda)
Mezzo soprano Lucy Vallis completed her undergraduate studies at the RNCM in 2017, graduating with a First Class Honours degree. Supported by the Annie Ridyard Scholarship and an RNCM Bursary, she now continues her study as a postgraduate under the tutelage of Jane Irwin.
Lucy’s operatic roles include Dorothée (Cendrillon), Mrs Hildebrand (Street Scene), Mad Margaret (Ruddigore) and The Grand Duchess of Monteblanco (A Dinner Engagement). She also recently sang the role of Lydia for the first known commercial recording of Arthur Cellier’s opera Dorothy, conducted by Richard Bonynge.
As a regular oratorio soloist, Lucy’s repertoire includes Elgar’s The Music Makers, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. Her experience as a choral singer has led to working with professional ensembles such as The Sixteen, and she also currently holds a position as a BBC Radio 4 Daily Service Singer.
lorna day (esther)
Lorna Day is a third year undergraduate mezzo soprano studying with Jane Irwin at the RNCM. In 2016 she won the RNCM Elsie Thurston Prize. Her previous operatic experience includes Phoebe in scenes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard and Third Boy in scenes from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She has recently sung with the RNCM Opera Chorus in Offenbach's La Vie Parisienne and Handel's Theodora, and in summer 2017
she sang with Longborough Festival Opera Chorus in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.
On the concert platform, Lorna has sung the alto solos in Vivaldi's Gloria, Mozart's Requiem, Duruflé's Requiem, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. In April 2018 she sang at Leeds Lieder Festival as part of the composers and poets forum.
Lorna also has extensive choral experience and currently sings with the Daily Service Singers on BBC Radio 4, is a deputy lay clerk for Manchester Cathedral and sings with various chamber choirs in Manchester.
Michael Vincent Jones (Dieter)
Manchester born tenor Michael Jones completed his undergraduate studies at the RNCM, during which he performed the role of Telemachus in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’ulisse in Patria. In 2014 Michael performed the role of Mathurin in Gluck’s L’ivrogne corrige as part of the RNCM Spring opera.
In the summer of 2015 Michael toured the UK with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company where he covered the role of Marco in The Gondoliers and performed and covered the role of Ralph in HMS Pinafore.
Michael began the 2016 season as part of the Iford Young Artist Programme in which he appeared in Verdi’s Macbeth.
In 2016 Michael returned to the RNCM to begin his Master’s Degree under the tutelage of Mary Plazas which has kindly been supported by the Richard Newitt Fund and the Riga Heesom Award.
During his master’s, he has performed the role of Frick in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne and is also a member of the RNCM Songsters.
david cane (Hans/ cobbler)
David Cane is a former choral scholar at King's College Cambridge where he took part in several international tours, CD and DVD recordings and TV and radio broadcasts, including the famous 'Nine Lessons and Carols' service broadcast globally on Christmas eve. David has recently completed three years of postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he gratefully received the support of the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust. Whilst at the RNCM, David won the ‘Bessie Cronshaw / Frost Brownson Song Cycle Competition’ and has been a finalist for the ‘Frederick Cox Award for Singing’ and the 'Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss’. He was given the ‘Brigitte Fassbaender Award for Lieder’. David is currently continuing his studies with Peter Wilson. Recent concert performances as a soloist include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart's Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. On stage David has played the roles of ‘’Schaunard’ in Puccini’s La Boheme, ‘David’ in Sondheim’s Company, ‘Starveling’ in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Bob’ in a production of The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, ‘Abraham Kaplan’ in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and ‘Don Alfonso’ in the RNCM’s 2016 production of Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart, and Taddeo in Rossini’s ‘L’italiana in Algeri’.
einar stefánsson (kapo/ dr. rudi)
Icelandic/Norwegian bass Einar Stefánsson is currently studying for a BMus (Hons) degree with Matthew Best at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has been on Bergen National Opera’s talent programme Unge Stemmer since 2016. Einar’s previous teachers include David Hansford and Simon Kirkbride.
Einar regularly performs with the ambitious Edvard Grieg Youth Choir with performers such as The Rolling Stones, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner and Sir Andrew Davies. Einar started his musical career playing the violin from the age of 5 and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra in Norway for many years.
Recent highlights include performances at Bergen National Opera’s festival ‘Mimì Goes Glamping’ and singing pop-up opera during the World Cycling Championship in Norway.
Exciting projects ahead include the world premiere of the opera La Donna alla Finestra commissioned by Bergen National Opera from Tyrone Landau and hosting the International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition.