We are delighted to announce the singers and instrumentalists for our Cosi Fan Tutte 2018 production.
Louisa trained as an actress at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and then gained a scholarship to study singing at Trinity College of Music after which she attended the Opera Works course at the English National Opera. Louisa was nominated for best female in the Off West End awards for the role of Violetta in La Traviata at the Soho Theatre which then transferred to the Tricycle Theatre and toured to UK venues. She then went on to play The Countess, Le Nozze di Figaro which also toured the UK. Other roles include Mimi, La Boheme (Soho Theatre and UK tour) Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Soho Theatre) Queen of the Night, Magic Flute (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival) Fiordiligi, Cosi Fan Tutte Grimeborn (Arcola Theatre) Louisa also directed Magic Flute and Orpheus in the Underworld for St Pauls Opera recently and has worked in the chorus of Opera Holland Park and Raymond Gubbay.
Felicity trained at the RNCM and later on ENO’s Opera Works programme. She studies privately with Mary Plazas.
Felicity’s 2017/18 season included Olga in Eugene Onegin for three different companies: Opera Up Close, Opera South East and Mid Wales Opera (cover.) She made her Wagnerian debut as Rossweisse in Die Walküre for Grange Park Opera last year. Other operatic highlights include the title role La Cenerentola (High Time Opera); Dorabella Così Fan Tutte (Baseless Fabric Theatre) Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro and 3rd Lady The Magic Flute (both Opera Up Close) and Maddalena Rigoletto (Park Opera).
Felicity is in demand for solo oratorio, and performs and records extensively as a professional consort singer, including appearing on Eric Whitacre’s Grammy Award-winning choral disc, Light and Gold. She is also a singing tutor and experienced choral animateur.
This summer sees Felicity sing the role of Paquette in Candide for West Green House Opera. She also makes her chorus debut with English National Opera in Porgy and Bess, a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera New York, and Dutch National Opera, where she will cover the role of Lily.
Swiss-Canadian tenor Simon Gfeller studied with Gail Desmarais in Montréal, with Adrian Thompson at the GSMD and attended the Franz-Schubert Institut (Vienna).
Recent engagements include Lysander in A Fairy Queen at Iford Festival, Ubaldo in Donizetti’s Pia de Tolomei with English Touring Opera as well as Scythian Guard Iphigenie en Tauride, Pete Peterson Paul Bunyan, 2nd Priest (and cover Tamino) Die Zauberflöte also for ETO.
He recently sang Florestan in Die Schumann Sonate for TAKK Theatre Lichtenstein & STOCK Theatre Zurich, the title role of Glück’s Antigono with Ensemble Serse and 6th Servant in Strauss’ Capriccio for ROH, Covent Garden.
Other operatic credits include, Billy Mahagonny-Songspiel, Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Alfred Die Fledermaus, for companies such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opéra de Montréal and British Youth Opera.
Performances in the 2017/18 season include Beethoven 9th at St-John’s College Cambridge, Goro in Madam Butterfly for Iford Arts Festival and Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE for English National Ballet on tour and at London Coliseum.
Tom Stoddart is a baritone from South-East London. He studied voice at Trinity College of Music. Whilst at Trinity, Tom represented the college in the finals of the Kathleen Ferrier Junior Bursary Award. Since graduating he continues his studies with Robert Dean.
In 2016, Tom participated in English National Opera’s ‘Operaworks’ course, during which he had the opportunity to work with expert practitioners including Mark Wigglesworth, Jane Robinson, Mike Alfreds, Martin Constantine and Peter Robinson.
Tom has worked extensively on the stage; recent engagements include ‘3rd brother’ in Kurt Weill’s “7 Deadly Sins” for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov and 49 date tour as Figaro in “il Barbiere di Siviglia” for the critically acclaimed ‘Pop-up Opera’
Additional operatic work includes: Dr Malatesta – Don Pasquale (ENO ‘Operaworks’), Billy Jackrabbit – La fanciulla del West (Opera Holland Park), Captain (cover) – Onegin (Grange Park Opera), Count Almaviva – Le nozze di Figaro, Morales – Carmen, Count Danilo – The Merry Widow, Marcello – La bohème, Paul – Les Enfants terribles (UK premiere).
In 2012, Tom created the role of ‘Chandler’ in “Friends: The Opera”, commissioned by Comedy Central and premiered in front of an eclectic celebrity audience at the exclusive “Box” nightclub in Central London. In 2015, Tom played ‘The Policeman’ in an opera flashmob advert for Sacla, which has been watched by almost 3 million people.
One-time zoologist and National Otter Surveyor of England, Philip Smith hung up his waders to study singing, first at the Birmingham Conservatoire and then with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating with distinction in 2008. He is a Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme alumnus, Samling Artist and Crear Scholar. He continues to study with Robert Dean.
Recent highlights include Endymion/Charon Orpheus for the Royal Opera House at The Globe, Figaro Barber of Seville for Charles Court Opera at Iford Arts, Sid Albert Herring for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Witness 6 Icarusat the Montepulciano Festival, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari and Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice (André Tchaikowsky) for the Polish National Opera.
In concert, Philip has performed with orchestras including the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Ensemble 10/10, Manchester Camerata and the Northern Sinfonia with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell, David Hill and Nicholas Kraemer.
This season includes a return to Iford Arts later this summer to sing Sharpless in their production of Madame Butterfly, a concert in this year’s Three Choirs Festival and recitals across the UK including Hertfordshire, Norfolk and North Yorkshire.
Leo Geyer studied composition and conducting at Manchester University, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. Leo’s music has been performed worldwide and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Leo has had particular success with his theatrical works including his opera The Mermaid of Zennor which was described by The Times as “imaginative and beautifully shaped.” Recent projects include works for the BBC Singers, Opera North and the Rambert Dance Company. Leo currently works at the Royal Opera House as a Cover Conductor for The Royal Ballet. He is also conductor for Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, Music Director for EMG Symphony Orchestar and Artistic Director for Constella OperaBallet. Recent guest conducting performances include the Manchester Camerata, Psappha Ensemble and the New York based group Ensemble 212. www.leogeyer.co.uk.
Originally from Helsinki Finland, Ilona Suomalainen graduated with a Masters degree (Distinction) from the Royal Academy of Music in 2017, studying under professor Owen Murray. Since then, she has gone on to establish a varied and diverse career as a freelance accordionist in the UK, with recent projects including work with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Opera Holland Park and Birmingham Opera Company. Outside of classical music, she regularly performs with the Israeli pop-jazz singer Irit Dekel, most recently supporting Caro Emerald and Lisa Stansfield on their respective UK nationwide tours.
Before moving to London, Ilona graduated from the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki with a MMus degree studying with professors Matti Rantanen, Veli Kujala and Mika Väyrynen. In 2006, she won first-prize in the Finnish National Youth Accordion Competition and with her accordion trio, BCH, won the Chamber Music, Accordion Orchestra and Overall categories at the 2011 International Accordion Competition in Pula, Croatia. The trio also received the prize for the highest points ever awarded in the competition’s history.
A passionate teacher and educator, Ilona currently teaches accordion at the International School of London and privately across London. As part of her studies at the Sibelius-Academy, she also undertook an intensive course in specialised pedagogical training, which qualifies her to teach in educational institutions from pre-school to university.
Zanete, originally from Valmiera, Latvia, came to the UK to study at the Royal Academy of Music and in 2011 was awarded a full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where in 2012 she won Vera Kantrovich Solo Bach Competition. Zanete is a keen chamber musician – she is a member of Amadeus String Trio, Project Instrumental and has performed with The 12 Ensemble. Zanete has also taken part and lead workshops and educational projects, including side-by-side with Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra, school workshops in Guernsey and London. Zanete enjoys cross-platform projects and has collaborated with a number of popular music artists including Laura Marling, Taio Cruz, Squarepusher and Noah and the Whale. Since becoming a Southbank Sinfonia Alumni, Zanete has performed and continues to work with a number of orchestras around the UK, including Welsh National Opera, CBSO, The Heritage Orchestra, Multistory Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Zanete has just finished her second season as part of the ‘Amadeus’ production at the National Theatre in London.