The A-Z of Mozart Opera

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Ian Page
Conductor

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 FigaroCosì 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.

 

Rebecca Bottone
Soprano

Rebecca Bottone became an inaugural Associate Artist of Classical Opera in 2006. Her appearances with the company have included Sabina (Adriano in Siria), Sifare (Mitridate, re di Ponto), Servilia (Gluck's La clemenza di Tito), Melia (Apollo et Hyacinthus), Despina (Così fan tutte), Elisa (Il re pastore) and Semira (Artaxerxes), as well as numerous concerts at Wigmore Hall and Kings Place. She can also be heard on our recordings of Artaxerxes and 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Other roles include Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Scottish Opera, First Innocent (world premiére of Birtwistle's The Minotaur), Maid (Ades' Powder Her Face) and First Niece (Peter Grimes) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Cricket and Parrott (world premiére of Dove's Pinocchio) for Opera North and Tytania (A Midsummer Night's Dream) for Garsington Opera.

Klara Ek
Soprano

Klara Ek has previously appeared with Classical Opera as Vitellia (UK première of Gluck's La clemenza di Tito) and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), and in concerts at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and, in September 2016, at the annual Haydn Festival at the Esterházy palace in Eisenstadt. She can also be heard on the company's début recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Other operatic roles include Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) for Staatstheater Stuttgart, Ilia (Idomeneo) for Danish National Opera, Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) for Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels and Arminda (La finta giardiniera) for the Academy of Ancient Music, and she has appeared in concert with many of the world's leading orchestras.

Martene Grimson
Soprano

Martene Grimson became an inaugural Associate Artist of Classical Opera in 2006. She is a former winner of the Maggie Teyte Competition, and won second prize at the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Her previous engagements with Classical Opera include Hyacinthus (Apollo et Hyacinthus), Arbate (Mitridate, re di Ponto), Cinna (Lucio Silla), Aminta (Il re pastore), Sesto in the UK premiére of Gluck's La clemenza di Tito and concerts at Wigmore Hall and the Barbican. She also appeared on the company's début CD, 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Other operatic appearances have included Glauce (Cherubini's Medea) for Nationale Reisopera, Holland, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) for Opera East and Longborough Festival Opera, Ilia (Idomeneo) for Pinchgut Opera, Sydney, First Witch (Dido and Aeneas) for Opera North, and Laurette (Bizet's Le Docteur Miracle) and Mrs Gleaton (Floyd's Susannah) for Wexford Festival Opera.

Susan Gritton
Soprano

Soprano Susan Gritton is acclaimed for her versatility in music ranging from Handel and Mozart to Berg, Britten and Strauss. Susan appears on Classical Opera's début recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Notable operatic appearances include Liù (Turandot), Micaëla (Carmen) and Marenka (The Bartered Bride) for the Royal Opera, Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) for La Scala, Opera Australia and Tokyo's New National Theatre, Governess (The Turn of the Screw) and Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) at Aldeburgh, Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen) for English National Opera and the title role in Theodora for Glyndebourne. Mozart roles include Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) for Bayerische Staatsoper and Deutsche Staatsoper, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) for Bayerische Staatsoper and ENO, Elettra (Idomeneo) for The Netherlands Opera, and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Opéra de Montreal and Bolshoi.

Anna Leese
Soprano

Anna Leese became an inaugural Associate Artist of Classical Opera in 2006. She studied at the University of Otago and the Royal College of Music in London, and won the 2005 Richard Tauber Prize and the 2007 Maggie Teyte Competition. Her previous appearances with Classical Opera include Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Tamiri (Il re pastore), as well as our début recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera' and numerous concerts. She made her début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Musetta (La bohème), returning as Micaëla (Carmen), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). Further operatic engagements include Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) for the Flanders Opera and New Zealand Opera, Musetta for the Canadian Opera Company, and Suzel (L'amico Fritz) for Opera Holland Park. She has also released a recording for EMI with Graham Johnson.

Cora Burggraaf
Mezzo-soprano

Cora Burggraaf graduated from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague before continuing her studies in London at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. She appears on Classical Opera's recording of Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and on 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Opera roles include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) for San Francisco Opera, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Netherlands Opera, Bella in Tippett's Midsummer Marriage for the Royal Opera House and Stéphano in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in the Salzburg Festival and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Cora has appeared as a recitalist at venues such as Wigmore Hall, and has received prizes including the 2009 VSCD New Generation Award, the 2009/10 ECHO Rising Star Award, and the Elizabeth Everts Prize 2006.

Jennifer Johnston
Mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston appears on Classical Opera's début recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'. A former BBC New Generation Artist, she is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music, and is the recipient of numerous awards. She has appeared in opera at the Salzburg Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Festival d'Aix en Provence, Opéra de Lille, Beijing Festival, Baltic Sea Festival, Scottish Opera and Opera North, and she sang the role of Jocasta on the London Symphony Orchestra's live recording of Oedipus Rex.

Allan Clayton
Tenor

Allan Clayton studied at St John's College, Cambridge and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He made his début with Classical Opera singing in Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots in 2007, becoming an Associate Artist later that same year. In 2015 he performed a programme of Handel, Boyce, Arne and J. C. Smith at Wigmore Hall and the Newbury Festival, and he subsequently returned to make a studio recording of this programme, 'Where'er You Walk', which was released as his début solo recital disc in May 2016. Opera roles include Castor (Castor et Pollux) and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) for Komische Oper, Cassio (Otello) and Lysander (A Midsummer Night's Dream) for English National Opera, and Ferrando (Così fan tutte) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Allan appears regularly at the BBC Proms, where his work has included the title role in Oedpius Rex with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo, and Vaughan Williams' Pastoral Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

 

Andrew Staples
Tenor

Andrew Staples became an inaugural Associate Artist of Classical Opera in 2006. With the company, he has appeared as Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Alessandro (Il re pastore) and Artabanes (Artaxerxes), and has sung in numerous concerts at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and Kings Place. He also appears on our recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera'.

Andrew made his Royal Opera House début as Jacquino (Fidelio), returning as Flamand (Capriccio), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Artabenes (Arne's Artaxerxes) and Narraboth (Salome), and has sung Belfiore (La finta giardiniera) for the National Theatre, Prague and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for the Salzburger Festspiele. Other engagements include concerts with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Symphony Orchestra among others.

Mark Stone
Baritone

Mark Stone studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and, in 1998, was awarded the Decca Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. With Classical Opera, he has sung at Wigmore Hall and also appears on our recording ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’.

Opera roles have included the title role in Don Giovanni for the Hamburg State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Il Conte (Nozze di Figaro) in Hamburg and Cologne, Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) and Belcore (L'Elisir d’amore) at the Welsh National Opera and Mountjoy (Britten’s Gloriana) for the Royal Opera House. At the English National Opera, Mark has sung the title role in ‘Don Giovanni’, Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro) and Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), among others.

Matthew Rose
Bass

Matthew Rose appears on Classical Opera's recording 'The A-Z of Mozart Opera' and has also appeared with the company at Wigmore Hall. Other recordings include a critically acclaimed Winterreise with pianist Gary Matthewman and Schwanengesang with Malcolm Martineau (both Stone Records).

In concert, Matthew has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, BBC Proms and the Mostly Mozart Festival, New York. he has worked with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra among others.
His recital appearances include the Brighton, Chester and Cheltenham International Festivals, and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London's Wigmore Hall, and the Kennedy Center, Washington.