Lecturers & Performers
Sir Mark Elder
Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979–1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992–1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989–1994). He has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and London Symphony. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared annually at the Proms for many years, including in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé Orchestra.
He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and the Bregenz Festival.
Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the OAE, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and ENO, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and releases have met with universal critical acclaim culminating in Gramophone Awards for Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, The Kingdom andThe Apostles. Other Hallé recordings include Die Walküre, Gotterdammerung and Parsifal.
TV appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV in 1994 and a similar project on Donizetti for German television in 1996. In November 2011 he co-presented BBCTV’s four part series Symphony, and in 2012 fronted BBC2’s TV series Maestro at the Opera. Sir Mark will present a series of TV programmes on BBC4 during the 2015 Proms in which he will talk about eight symphonies ranging from Beethoven to MacMillan featuring performances from the season’s concerts.
In April 2011, he took up the position of Artistic Director of Opera Rara, with whom he has made many award-winning recordings including Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien, Imelda di Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan, Les Martyrs and, most recently, Semiramide.
Recent and forthcoming concert engagements, as well as his commitment to the Hallé, include Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Gürzenich Orchester, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Symphony, the OAE, Australian Youth Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music and performances with National Youth Orchestra and the Hallé at the 2015 BBC Proms. Operatic engagements include a complete performance of Parsifal at the BBC Proms with the Hallé, Tannhäuser and La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris, Benvenuto Cellini for Netherlands Opera, Meistersinger for San Francisco Opera, Billy Budd, Falstaff and La Traviata for Glyndebourne, several productions for Covent Garden including Wozzeck, Fidelio, La bohème ,Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Etoile and concert performances of Lohengrin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, a recording of which has just been released on the orchestra’s own label.
Sir Mark Elder was knighted in 2008, was awarded the CBE in 1989 and created a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.
American tenor Michael Spyres made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 as Rodrigo (La donna del lago) and has since returned to sing the title role of Mitridate, re di Ponto.
Spyres grew up in Mansfield, Missouri, and studied in the USA and at the Vienna Conservatory. He came to international acclaim in 2008 when he sang the title role in Rossini’s Otello for the Rossini in Wildbad Belcanto Opera Festival. His many other engagements in bel canto repertory include Rodrigo for La Scala, Milan, and Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, Cavalier Belfiore (Il viaggio a Reims) for La Scala, the title role in Aureliano in Palmira and Baldassare (Ciro in Babilonia) for the Rossini Opera Festival, Giannetto (La gazza ladra) for Semperoper Dresden, Conte di Libenskof (Il viaggio a Reims) for Dutch National Opera and Arnold (Guillaume Tell) for Teatro Comunale, Bologna, and La Monnaie, Brussels.
Spyres’s engagements in other repertory include Orlando (Orlando paladino) for Zürich Opera House, Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) for Liceu, Barcelona, Mitridate for La Monnaie and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Faust (La Damnation de Faust) for Opéra National de Bordeaux and Opera Vlaanderen, Benvenuto Cellini for English National Opera, Enée (Les Troyens) in concert with Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Don José (Carmen) for Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ozia (Betulia liberata) for Salzburg Festival, Masaniello (La Muette de Portici) in Bari, Alfred (Die Fledermaus) and Camille de Rosillon (Die lustige Witwe) for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Candide for Opera Vlaanderen and Rome Opera. His many recordings include the solo album A Fool for Love (Delos). He is Artistic Director of Springfield Regional Opera.
Danielle de Niese
Renowned soprano Danielle de Niese was the youngest member to enter the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist’s Program at 19. Her career has included countless starring roles on the opera stages of Paris, London, Naples, Madrid, ZurichBerlin, San Francisco, Tokyo, Sydney and beyond. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and has recorded four studio albums. Her accolades include New Artist of the Year at the 2008 ECHO Awards for her debut solo album Handel Arias, the Orphee D’Or from the Academie Du Disque Lyrique, and a 2009 Classical Brit Award nomination. More recently, she appeared in ITV’s Popstar to Operastar and was the subject of her own BBC4 documentary, Diva Diaries.
For Glyndebourne her roles have been Cleopatra/Giulio Cesare, Poppea/L’incoronazione di Poppea, Adina/L’elisir d’amore, Norina/Don Pasquale. Recent engagements elsewhere have included Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro; Despina/Cosi fan tutte; Ariel/The Enchanted Island (Metropolitan Opera, New York); Title role/Partenope (San Francisco Opera); Anne Truelove/The Rake’s Progress (Teatro Regio) ; Calisto/La Calisto (Bayerische Staatsoper) ; Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro (Staatsoper Hamburg) ; Concerts in Ireland, Paris and St Petersburg. Forthcoming engagements include BBC Proms ; Concerts in Madrid and Los Angeles ; Roxanne Coss/Bel Canto, world premier (Lyric Opera of Chicago).
She is married to Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne.
His operatic career identifies him with parts such as Gluck’s Orfeo, Britten’s Oberon and Apollo, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo, Bertarido and Ottone, and a host of gods and heroes and the occasional villain throughout the Baroque and early Classical eras. He has performed in most of the great opera houses and concert halls. His favourites are Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Pergola in Florence, Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, and now also The Grange. He has made over 150 recordings, with solo albums devoted to composers such as Purcell, Dowland, Bach, Tavener and Vivaldi. His recording of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater was recently chosen in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. Amongst many international awards for his recordings is a Grammy for his performance in Handel’s Semele (with Kathleen Battle and Marilyn Horne). He received a CBE in 2009.
Michael teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, in his own Siena Summer Academy in Italy, and in masterclasses all over the world.
He accepted the invitation to be artistic director of The Grange Festival in October 2015. He was given the task of creating from scratch a new opera company and putting together rather hastily the first season in 2017 after the unexpected announcement shortly before the departure of Grange Park Opera from The Grange.
The Grange Festival is the only opera company in the UK to be led by a singer of international renown. It is intensely gratifying that the Grange Festival’s entire senior management team moved from GPO to work with him and stay at The Grange. He also hopes that the confusion of names will be soon resolved.
Michael’s vision for the future of The Grange is based on a long performing career, deep knowledge of the working process to put the finished article on the stage, and a love of open minded collaboration at a high level. He envisages a wide range of possibilities for the theatre at The Grange centred around the core opera festival in the early summer, but also including ballet, drama and other activities with a regional association. The strong sense of local identity with The Grange and its rich cultural legacy are inherent in creating a regional hub at The Grange which he hopes will be a centre of international excellence in the heart of Hampshire. He is determined that everyone who visits will be entranced by the quixotic charm of the setting and thrilled by the fantasy and craft on the stage.
John Copley has directed opera in most of the world’s major opera houses. He was Resident Director at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where he worked on many new productions with the world’s greatest conductors including Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis, Carlos Kleiber, Sir John Pritchard and many other distinguished colleagues. Among his greatest successes there were Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan Tutte which remained in the repertoire for 21 years and 24 years respectively. His acclaimed production of La Bohème is still in repertoire after more than 30 years. He has acted, choreographed and designed regularly throughout his long and varied career.
John Copley has staged many new productions at English National Opera, several with Sir Charles Mackerras and Dame Janet Baker, including the award-winning Julius Caesar which went on to San Francisco, Geneva and finally the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where it has been recently revived (as Giulio Cesare). He works regularly with all the major American opera companies including the Metropolitan, Chicago Lyric, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Dallas and San Diego and was for many years a regular director with the Canadian Opera Company. In Australia he has directed more than 25 productions for both the Australian Opera in Sydney and the Victoria State Opera in Melbourne. European productions include Greek National Opera Macbeth (Athens Festival), Madama Butterfly and Otello. He returned to Athens in 2001 for a new production of Il Corsaro. John has also directed in Munich, Berlin, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam, Drottningholm, Stockholm and Gothenburg.
John enjoys a close relationship with many of the colleges and training programmes, including the RAM, the RCM, the National Opera Studio, and Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. In 2010 John was awarded San Francisco Opera’s prestigious ‘Opera Medal’. His credits there include three previous productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, and more than 15 titles including Peter Grimes, the U.S. premiere of Tippett’s A Midsummer Marriage, Manon, Anna Bolena and Don Giovanni.
His recent productions include La Traviata for San Francisco Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Aida for Dallas Opera and Norma for the Metropolitan Opera. Many of his productions can be seen on video, including Mary Stuart and his celebrated Giulio Cesare from English National Opera, as well as La Bohème and Lucrezia Borgia from Covent Garden and L’elisir d’amore from the Metropolitan Opera.
John was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to opera.
Na’ama Goldman has attracted attention throughout Europe following her recent appearances at Wexford Festival Opera in the title role of Alphonse Mariotte’s Salome, Opera de Tenerife as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Rossini Opera Festival as Mercesa Melibea in Il Viaggio a Reims, Hamburg as Mete in the world premiere of Peiffer’s Vom Ende der Unschuld, and at the Vienna Konzerthaus in Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos. This summer, she will join the roster of Glyndebourne Festival Opera for their production of Beatrice et Benedict after which she will debut with Opera Royal de Wallonie as Fenena in Nabucco. She will take the role of Carmen for The Grange Festival in their summer 2017 season.
Born in Israel, she is a graduate of the Mettar Opera Studio at The Israeli Opera. She has performed many roles in her native country including Carmen, Elvira in Don Giovanni (at the Masada Festival), Rosina in Il Barbiere di Sivigilia, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fenena in Nabucco and Maddalena in Rigoletto, all at the Israeli Opera. She will return there as Stephano in Romeo et Juliette, and Angelina in La Cenerentola. Notable roles at the Mettar Opera Studio included Charlotte in Werther, Hansel in Hansel und Gretel, and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Na’ama currently resides in Milan.
Born in Northumberland, Richard Pinkstone graduated from the University of York, where he read Music and sang Damon, Acis and Galatea and Tamino, The Magic Flute. He is currently studying for a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music, where he is under the tutelage of Timothy Evans-Jones and Gary Matthewman. Richard Pinkstone is a Royal College of Music Richard Carne Scholar, supported by an Yvone Wells Award and The Josephine Baker Trust. At the Royal College of Music, he has sung The Witch, Hansel und Gretel, directed by Liam Steel, and Alfred Die Fledermaus directed by John Copley. His concert repertoire includes Beethoven’s Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mass in C Minor and Requiem, and Schubert’s Mass in G and he made his international debut with a recital of music by Puccini, Rossini and Verdi at the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome.
Current engagements include the title role in Albert Herring for the inaugural Grange Festival, Podestà La finta giardiniera for the Royal College of Music International Opera School and Messiah in Truro Cathedral.