Mozart: Il re pastoreBack To Shop
Ian Page is the founder, conductor and artistic director of Classical Opera. He began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, and studied English Literature at the University of York before completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the start of his career he worked on the music staff at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, Drottningholm and Glyndebourne, working with such conductors as Sir Alexander Gibson, Nicholas McGegan, Mark Wigglesworth, Ivor Bolton and Sir Charles Mackerras.
With Classical Opera he has conducted most of Mozart’s early operas, including the world premières of the “original” version of Mitridate, re di Ponto and a new completion of Zaide, as well as Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito. He has also conducted the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito and Telemann’s Orpheus, and the first new staging for 250 years of Johann Christian Bach’s Adriano in Siria. In 2009 he made his Royal Opera House début conducting Arne’s Artaxerxes at the Linbury Studio Theatre, and his studio recording of the work was released in 2011 on Linn Records.
He also devised and conducted Classical Opera’s recordings of ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Signum Classics) and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live), both of which were selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice, and he recently embarked on a new complete cycle of Mozart opera recordings with Classical Opera.
The Orchestra of Classical Opera
The Orchestra of Classical Opera plays on period-instruments, and comprises some of the leading players in their field.
The orchestra, which varies in size from 12 to 50 depending on repertoire and venue, has won consistently high praise from public and critics alike, and performs symphonies and concertos as well as operas.
18th century instruments are generally far more exposed and difficult to play than their modern counterparts, but they bring a thrilling vibrancy and immediacy to the music. This is particularly true of vocal repertoire, where the orchestra provide a dynamic subtext and often become an extra actor in the drama.
John Mark Ainsley
John Mark Ainsley recorded the role of Alessandro on Classical Opera’s recording of Mozart’s Il re pastore, and performed in Mozart’s Requiem at the Barbican. Other roles have included Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Captain Vere (Billy Budd) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Royal Opera House, the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo for the Theater an der Wien and the Munich Festival, and Grimoaldo (Rodelinda) for English National Opera. Recordings include Saul, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pulcinella and Bach’s Mass in B minor (Philips Classics), L’Enfance du Christ, Alexander’s Feast, Acis and Galatea, Berlioz’s Requiem and the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Decca), Charlie (Brigadoon) and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for EMI and a series of recital discs for Hyperion.
Sarah Fox sang in Classical Opera’s first two productions – as Hyacinthus in Apollo et Hyacinthus and Rosina in La finta semplice – and she recorded the role of Barmherzigkeit in Classical Opera’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots. Other roles have included Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Servilia (La clemenza di Tito) for Welsh National Opera and Asteria (Tamerlano), opposite Placido Domingo, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Berlin and the Liceu, Barcelona.
Ailish Tynan sang the role of Weltgeist in Classical Opera’s 2013 performance of Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots. She sang the role of Elisa on our recording of Il re pastore – the fourth release in our complete recording cycle of all Mozart’s operas – and also appears on our recording ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’. Ailish was a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a BBC New Generation Artist and won the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at the 2003 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Operatic engagements include Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) and Madame Cortese (Il viaggio a Reims) for the Royal Opera House, Tigrane (Radamisto) for English National Opera, Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) at La Scala and Despina (Così fan tutte) at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse among others.
Anna Devin studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. She was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House where her operatic roles have included Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Amante (Il Tabarro), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Dew Fairy (Hänsel und Gretel) and Silvia (L’isola Disabitata). Further operatic roles have included, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) for Glyndebourne on Tour, Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) for Garsington Opera and Sophie (Werther) for Scottish Opera. With Classical Opera she has appeared in concert at Wigmore Hall and in July 2013 she recorded Arbate (Mitridate, re di Ponto).
Benjamin Hulett trained as a choral scholar at New College, Oxford and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Ben made his Classical Opera début at Wigmore Hall in 2013, and appears in the role of Agenore on our recording of Il re pastore, the fourth release in our complete recording cycle of Mozart’s operas. Ben’s opera roles have included Flute (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Jaquino (Fidelio), the Four Servants (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Così fan tutte) and Narraboth (Salome) for Hamburg State Opera, Tamino (The Magic Flute) for Welsh National Opera, Edmondo (Manon Lescaut) for the Royal Opera House, Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw) for Opera North, Madwoman (Curlew River) for Rome Opera, and Ferrando (Così fan tutte) for Grange Park Opera.