Così fan tutte - Cast Biographies
Musical Director - William Cole
William Cole was born in London in 1990, and read Music at Clare College, Cambridge where he graduated in 2013 with double First Class Honours. As well as his work with Opera Lyrica, William is Music Director of multi-genre club night Filthy Lucre, and is Trainee Conductor of the Goldsmiths Choral Union. He has also worked with the Melos Sinfonia, Gestalt Arts collective, the Hampshire Sinfonia and all the Cambridge University ensembles in a broad range of orchestral, operatic and choral repertoire, and has worked as assistant to Sir Roger Norrington, Stephen Cleobury and Martin Yates. He has a particular interest in contemporary music, and has given performances of music by Vivier, Scelsi, Feldman, Tansy Davies and Romitelli (UK premiere of Lost), as well as many new works.
Recent performances of William’s compositions have been given by Britten Sinfonia, Piotr Anderszewki, The Hermes Experiment, Peter Sheppard Skaerved, the choirs of Clare and College, Cambridge and Gloucester Cathedral, the Cambridge University New Music Ensemble and the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, with festival appearances include the Ludlow Festival of English Song, L’Aura des Arts, Nonclassical and the Three Choirs Festival. Winner of the 2013 John Sanders Memorial Competition, his works have been heard at venues across the UK, Europe and in America and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and he is one of today's youngest published composers, with his choral music published by Encore Publications. Future projects include a new horn trio for the Swaledale Festival.
William is also active as a pianist, with recital partners including Stephen Varcoe, and was a Choral Scholar at Clare College. Community work has involved workshops with young children in the south of England as part of the Elastic Band, collaborations with children in Soweto, Johannesburg, and projects with English Touring Opera. He writes for Interlude HK and TEMPO, and holds the position of Choral Director at London’s Youth Music Centre.
Fiordiligi - Jenny Stafford
Jenny Stafford was born in Huddersfield and studied Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music where she won the Isabel Jay Operatic Prize and Dame Eva Turner Operatic Award. She previously undertook a BMus at King’s College, London, ENO Opera Works and the prestigious Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, participating in masterclasses with Angela Gheorghiu, Richard Bonynge and Dennis O’Neill. She has also taken part in masterclasses with Edward Gardner, Angelika Kirchschlager, Barbara Bonney and Lillian Watson and is now studying under Susan Roberts and Jonathan Papp in London.
Jenny has performed the roles of: Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito) and Dido (Dido&Aeneas) in Cadogan Hall, Musetta (La Bohème) and 2nd Woman (Dido&Aeneas) for Silent Opera at The Vaults Festival (Old Vic), Savitri (Holst’s Savitri) and Alison (Holst’s Wandering Scholar) at Grimeborn Festival 2011, Mother (Hänsel und Gretel) for London Youth Opera, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Belinda (Dido&Aeneas). In scenes: Anne Trulove, Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Frasquita (Carmen) for Imperial Opera.
Jenny has given recitals and concerts in venues such as the Barbican Centre, Southwark Cathedral, Huddersfield Town Hall, and for the Chipping Campden Music Festival 2011. Solo performances include Brahms’ Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s St Paul, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, C Minor Mass and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Theresienmesse, Missa Sancti Nicolaiand Missa in Angustiis, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah (in the Linder Auditioriumm, Johannesburg) and Monteverdi Vespers 1610.
Jenny’s studies were kindly supported by the Rhoda Jones Roberts Scholarship and Josephine Baker Trust.
Dorabella - Sarah Denbee
Sarah studied Music & Italian at the Universities of Bristol and Bologna, and subsequently went on to gain a Masters with Distinction from Trinity Laban Conservatoire. She was the Vocal Department’s representative at Trinity’s Gold Medal Competition at Kings Place and was a Director's Prizewinner. She was previously a member of a Mentor Scheme at the Royal Opera House, and she sings regularly with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir as well as other leading ensembles. She currently studies with Glenville Hargreaves (Professor at the Royal Academy of Music), and enjoys balancing a mixture of opera, oratorio, recital and consort singing.
Sarah will be performing in the Chorus at the Royal Opera House in 2015 in a production of Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice, and she is also a freelance Chorus member for Scottish Opera. Solo opera credits include Maurya (Riders to the Sea), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), the Mistress of the Novices (Suor Angelica), Fanny Price (Jonathan Dove's Mansfield Park), the Witch (Hansel & Gretel), Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), roles at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival, 3rd Lady (The Magic Flute) and the Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas). On the concert platform, she has been a soloist at prestigious concert venues such as the Cadogan Hall, the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place.
Despina - Kristy Swift
Australian soprano Kristy Swift studied singing at Queensland University, and was valedictorian of her year. For the past two years, she was the featured soloist in the One Night in Vienna tour for Raymond Gubbay. Her operatic roles include Paquette Candide (The Barbican Centre and Leipzing Gewandhaus), Young Heidi Follies (Opéra de Toulon), Angelica Orlando and Norina Don Pasquale (Lyric Opera of Melbourne), Yum-Yum The Mikado (Opera Queensland), Atalanta Serse (Iford Opera), First Niece Peter Grimes and Frasquita Carmen (Cambridge Philharmonic). Kristy is also interested in performing new work, and received excellent reviews for her performances as Mag in Richard Wargo’s Winners (Wexford Festival) and Elana in Llywelyn ap Myrddin’s The Crocodile (Tête à Tête). She made her stage debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as the First Sprite/cover Noemie in Cendrillon. Other roles for the ROH have included Second Nymph Rusalka (cover) and First Innocent/Young Woman The Minotaur (cover). Future engagements include Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos for Opera Project.
Ferrando - Peter Aisher
Peter Aisher is a British tenor training at the Royal College of
Music International Opera School, where he is the Janet & Michael
Levesley Scholar supported by a Douglas & Hilda Simmonds Award
and by the Josephine Baker Trust. Peter read Astrophysics at Clare
College, Cambridge, before arriving at the Royal College of Music,
where he studies with Tim Evans-Jones. He graduated from his
postgraduate studies with Distinction and was the winner of the
Ted Moss & Bertha Taylor-Stach Prize for Lieder, and of the Joan
Chissell Schumann Prize.
Operatic roles include: Arete (Giove) Giove in Argo (London
Handel Festival), Alfredo La Traviata (Rye Festival), Tamino
The Magic Flute (Opera Cocktail), Apollo/Demus Jason (English
Touring Opera), Torquemada L’heure Espagnole (RCMIOS),
Monostatos Die Zauberflöte (RCMIOS), Rodolfo La Bohéme
(scenes) Gontran La Vie Parisienne (RCMIOS), Alfred Die
Performances on the concert platform include: Bach St John
Passion (tenor soloist), St Matthew Passion (tenor soloist), Christmas
Oratorio (evangelist and tenor soloist), Handel Messiah, Samson,
Haydn Nelson Mass, Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Virgine,
Mozart Requiem, Tippet A Child of Our Time, as well as contemporary
songs by Julian Dawes and David Earl.
Peter is a keen road cyclist and an avid cook with a particular
soft spot for Italian cuisine. Current season plans include Albert
Albert Herring (RCMIOS), Don Ottavio Don Giovanni (Rye
Festival), and Rodolfo La Bohéme/Passion of Puccini (Devon
Guglielmo - Nick Dwyer
Nick has performed with Grange Park Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, British Youth Opera and Clonter Opera. Roles include Marcello (La Bohème, OperaUpClose, Soho Theatre), Guglielmo (Così Fan Tutte, Greenwich Theatre), Count Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro, OperaUpClose), Sid (Albert Herring, Hampstead Garden Opera), Masetto (Don Giovanni, Opera Vera), Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin, GPO), Alidoro (Cenerentola, OperaUpClose), Escamillo (Carmen, OperaUpClose), Javert (Les Miserables, Pimlico Opera Prisons Project). Cover roles include Eugene Onegin (GPO), Angelotti (Tosca, GPO), Geronimo (The Secret Marriage, BYO), Adolf (The Jacobin, Buxton Festival Opera), and Marullo (Rigoletto, Bury Court Opera).
Nick Completed his Masters degree with distinction at Guildhall School of Music and Drama last year.
Don Alfonso - Szymon Wach
Szymon Wach “performed with playful ease and musical acumen” making his debut as Leporello this year during Merola Opera Programme in San Francisco. During the Merola Grand Finale in San Francisco Opera House he performed ‘La del ciel’ Alidoro from Rossini’s La Cenerentola, “and it was a particular treat hearing Wach’s young, pretty, pliable bass-baritone in music that is usually assigned to gruffer, older singers”.
In 2014 he graduated with distinction from Opera Course at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he was awarded The George and Charlotte Balfour Award. During his residency at Guildhall he created and performed the following roles in season 2013/2014: The Count Donizetti, Francesca di Foix “Wach had a lovely line in bewildered stupidity and displayed a promising young bass even though he has the least interesting music to sing”, 5 roles (Fireater/Ape Judge/ Big Green Fisherman/ Ringmaster/Farmer) in Dove’s Adventures of Pinocchio ‘creating a distinctively different character in each’. In 2013 he created and performed Banquo, Macbeth with Kennet Opera “Wach has a beautiful bass voice, warm, rich and clear, combined with dramatic ability”. During 2012/2013 season in he created roles of Garrido, La Navarraise and Bartolo, Le nozze di Figaro, Quince, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and performed Mr Coyle, Owen Wingrave, and “made an impressive Spencer Coyle, bringing out the character’s conflicted nature”. In 2013 Szymon performed a concert of Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky Songs at Barbican Hall, London.
Szymon Wach was a Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artist in 2012 where he presented scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro and Aleko and participated in the Eastbourne Meads Music Festival (“I heard the honeyed tones of this remarkable bass-baritone”), Brighton Festival, Ebert Room Recitals and Queen Jubilee Concert.
During his time in the Guildhall Opera Course he sang Figaro, Le nozze di Figaro , Masetto, Don Giovanni, Gremin and Zaretsky, Eugene Onegin, Der Sprecher, Die Zauberfloete, Ratcliffe, Billy Budd, Pistola, Falstaff, Don Alfonso, Cosi Fan Tutte, Nick Shadow, The Rake’s Progress and Golaud, Pelleas and Melisande. In 2012 Szymon, supported by ENOA, sang Leporello, Don Giovanni and Ferrando, Il Trovatore at the Latvijas Nacionala Opera. He also sang the Old Gypsy, Aleko with Wroclaw Opera, Germano, La Scala di Seta with Wroclaw Music Academy in Poland and the Commendatore, Don Giovanni with the Music Academy in Gdansk.
Szymon has been supported by the Merola Career Grant (San Francisco), The George and Charlotte Balfour Award (London), Guildhall Full Scholarship (London), Jerwood Foundation Award (Glyndebourne), Governor’s Scholarship for Promising Young Artists (Lublin), Mayor of Lublin Scholarship Award (Lublin).