Nicholas Cleobury is quietly transforming Mid Wales Opera into a force to be reckoned with. First and foremost he has the experience and knowledge to introduce exceptional standards; the company is recruiting some of the most gifted young singers in the country, and have started a young artists training program which is providing considerable enrichment to burgeoning careers.
I was delighted to have been given the opportunity yesterday to meet eight of these so called YAPS. We had mock auditions and a lively discussion with nine really smart young people. I was particularly delighted to meet Hannah Sandison, daughter of two singers, both of whom did distinguished work at Glyndebourne during my years there......a while ago now of course!
We also had a budding baritone from Canada, Andrew Mahon, a striking mezzo from Belfast Dawn Burns, a one off young man, formerly a baritone and now a most promising tenor - Tristan Stocks, a soprano from Wales but living in Bristol - a fine voice who excelled in Mozart and Beethoven, Angharad Watkeys, and a charismatic young baritone who will be singing an important, if small, role at Garsington next season, Henry Manning. And we finished up with a quality young baritone Adam Gilbert, and a substantial young tenor from the Guildhall School Samuel Smith who is understudying Don José in the MWO Carmen.
I hope that some of readers may go the extra mile and attend a performance of MWO when on tour in the coming months. It will be effort well repaid.
I hope to get back into the flow in the coming days - but I have had many distractions with my move......sorry everyone!