Shortlisted in 2017 for Best Female Opera Singer by the Wales Theatre Awards, French-italian Soprano Chiara Vinci’s career highlights include …
singing the role of Sophie Scholl in Polly Graham’s award-winning production of Kommilitonen! by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Chiara received praise in The Guardian for her performance with the Welsh National Youth Opera. ” It was Chiara Vinci’s Sophie that stood out, incredibly moving, naturally poised and with a lovely bloom to the voice”.
Chiara recently made her West End debut in the world premiere of TriOperas at The Peacock Theatre, Sadler’s Wells. Her recent roles include Gretel/Hänsel und Gretel; Carolina/Il Matrimonio Segreto; (Pop Up Opera); Bubikopf/Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Loud Crowd); Flora/The Turn of the Screw (Aylesbury Opera); Adina/L’Elisir d’amore (WOW Opera); Serpina/La Serva Padrona (Barefoot Opera); Psyche & Sister (Hanbury & Groves) at Tête à Tête Opera Festival; Unsung Heroes of The Planet at Green Man Festival (Gestalt Arts).
Chiara trained at the Rambert School and the Actors Temple before training in classical singing with Jenny Miller and working intensively with the Barefoot Opera coaches. Chiara’s multidisciplinary background in the arts has steered her career towards operas that focus on devising and creating new roles. Chiara’s future engagements include singing the role of Calisto in La Calisto with the Longborough Festival Opera, touring as Galatea in The Loves of Pygmalion with The Weaver Ensemble and making her Grimeborn Festival debut cast as Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi.
Recorder player Evelyn Nallen has appeared on BBC TV and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, and 4. Together with harpsichordist David Gordon, she formed the innovative early music/jazz group Respectable Groove …
their take on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas integrates improvisation with written compositions. (‘If you like ground-breaking, cage-rattling recordings. this is for you.’ Early Music Today). Evelyn devised a programme with Respectable Groove and the French baroque dancer Gilles Poirier called Dido’s Got the Blues (‘The whole performance was utterly compelling, a tour de force of baroque dance and jazz music’,Newbury Festival). For The Loves of Mars & Venus Evelyn studied the existing incidental music from the late 17th and early 18th century London stage and from this considerable repertoire, recreated the ballet score which underpins the play.
Jane worked at Longborough Festival Opera in the seasons 2007-11. With Barefoot Opera, she worked on ‘Clash’ for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and L’Elisir d’Amore …
She also paints, mostly portraits, and has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the National Portrait Prize.
Since 2001, Jane has worked with Radiator Arts, both as artist and project manager, creating large-scale theatrical performances in England and France. Typically, these are experimental in nature and take place in unusual sites.
Jane has also worked with MSL Projects on several new media projects since 2013.
Polly was nominated in the category of Best Newcomer at the 2017 International Opera Awards. She read English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, before doing an MA in Text and Performance at RADA …
She spent two years as Genesis Assistant Director at Welsh National Opera, where she was mentored by David Pountney and assisted Mariusz Trelinski, David Pountney, Martin Constantine, Pierre Audi and Alessandro Talevi. Her directing work includes Le Vin Herbé (WNO) nominated for Best Achievement in Opera at the UK Theatre Awards, A Christmas Carol (Orchestra Haydn Opera 20.21 and WNO), Simplicius Simplicissimus (Independent Opera), Kommilitonen! winner of Best Opera at the Welsh Theatre Awards, and Unheard Voices: CREW (both at WNO), Mr Punch and Me (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Nighthawks (Yellow Earth Theatre), and Alcina (Barefoot Opera).
Polly was the recipient of an INDEPENDENT OPERA Director Fellowship 2016.
Monique is a coloratura soprano of Italian/Thai descent. A top graduate from the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, her international singing career has already taken her to four continents …
She was appointed to sing for the King of Thailand Rama X, and in other Royal Command Performances. Praised by “Opera” Magazine UK for singing “her two showpiece arias with apparently effortless ease” as Queen of the Night, she also created major roles in various opera World Premieres in Thailand and Australia.
Monique also has extensive teaching experience, having taught Classical Voice and Italian Diction in Thailand’s top universities and international schools. Currently based in London, she has ongoing collaborations both as a performer and as Italian Language coach with Barefoot Opera and Longborough Festival Opera. A strong supporter of the Barefoot Opera pedagogy, she will be involved in the Barber of Seville Tour 2019, both in the soprano version role of Rosina, and also as Italian language coach for the cast of singers.
Born in London into a musical family, Nicola began her musical training as one of the founding girl choristers at Salisbury Cathedral. She is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama …
and she continued working there as a Junior Fellow before completing her studies at the National Opera Studio in London.
As a repetiteur, Nicola has worked with Welsh National Opera, Music Theatre Wales and Barefoot Opera as well as with the education and community departments of The Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera, English National Opera and Opera Holland Park.
Nicola recently received notable critical acclaim for her work as music director of Welsh National Opera’s Rhondda Rips it up! – a newly commissioned work by Elena Langer about the suffragette movement in Wales.
Nicola has a wealth of experience in extending performances outside the mainstream theatres and concert halls, as an alumna of Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now scheme, a current member of Lost Chord and a pianist and conductor of the Forget-me-not Chorus. She has worked as a vocal coach and repetiteur on the Italian Opera Summer School in Southern Italy, at Zurich Opera Studio and at the Indemini Music Festival in Switzerland. She is currently a pianist and vocal coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and enjoys working throughout the UK with instrumentalists and singers alike.
Oscar Castellino used to work as a software engineer in India. When he was 24, soprano Patricia Rozario discovered his baritone voice on her concert tour of India …
He was offered a scholarship to move to London and study at the Royal College of Music in 2011.
Barefoot Opera noticed Oscar’s ability on stage and gave him a chance to sing his first role with them as Dancairo in Carmen while he was still an undergraduate. Since then he has returned to Barefoot regularly singing the roles of Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore and Marcello in La Boheme among others.
Oscar featured in two masterclasses at the BBC Cardiff Singer 2017. He debuted with Scottish Opera in 2018 and Welsh National Opera in 2019 singing the role of George Benton in Dead Man Walking.
Oscar promotes opera in India under the name Operawala meaning opera-seller and he has a keen interest in space travel. His song ‘Rise to Mars’ was selected as Mars Anthem by the International Mars Society. He performed it at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff with a 1500-strong children’s chorus and also at the Mars Convention in California in 2017.