Antoine Palloc is from Nice, where he studied with Catherine Collard and was awarded first prize in piano and chamber music. Specialising in the art of vocal accompaniment, he studied with Dalton Baldwin and Martin Katz at Westminster Choir College and the University of Michigan. He has worked with many prestigious artists including Frederica Von Stade, Norah Amsellem, David Daniels, Mireille Delunsch, François Piolino, Bruce Ford, Alastair Miles, Patrizia Biccere, Majella Cullagh, Anne-Sophie Duprels, Patricia Petibon Elizabeth Vidal, Cristina Gallardo-Domas, and Jennifer Larmore. He taught at the Paris Conservatory, and regularly gives master classes at the training centre Lyric Opera Bastille, International Summer Academy of Nice, University of Michigan, the Atelier du Rhin, Nagaoka Lyric Hall, Tokyo Opera Studio, Franz Liszt Academy (Budapest) and the Seoul Opera Studio.
The internationally renowned accompanist and vocal coach David Harper has a long association with Opera Rara and its artists. He has helped shape the careers of many of today’s most distinguished singers and is principal accompanist on Opera Rara’s Il Salotto series. Master classes and vocal workshops dealing with style, interpretation and vocal technique, as well as guest professorships and teaching residencies throughout Europe, Japan, USA and Australasia feature largely in his current professional activities.
Jeff Cohen (pianist) studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Lillian Freundlich before moving to France to study piano and chamber music at the Conservatoire National de Paris. As a pianist, Jeff has collaborated with numerous singers and instrumentalists, such as Roberto Alagna, June Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Angela Gheorghiu, François Le Roux and Dame Felicity Lott, among others. He has made a number of recordings, including a live recital at La Scala with Angela Gheorghiu. He lives in Paris and is currently professor of Mélodie and Lied at the Conservatoire National. In June 2006 he was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. For Opera Rara he was the pianist on the critically acclaimed recording of Wekerlin’s La Laitière de Trianon (ORR245).
Formed in 1959 by Sir Neville Marriner and a group of London’s leading orchestral players, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields was instrumental in the 1960s Baroque revival. Since then its repertoire has broadened considerably, with its discography now numbering more than 1,000 releases. Today, it divides its time between recording, UK concerts and overseas tours. In 1993 the Academy became the first orchestra to receive a Queen’s Award for Export Achievement and four years later it was invited to Hong Kong to play for the official hand-over celebration, an engagement that included performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The Academy’s work with Opera Rara includes the recordings of Nelly Miricioiu – Rossini Gala, La Romanzesca e l’uomo nero, Zoraida di Granata and Ricciardo e Zoraide.
Formed in 1974 with a commitment to serve the Scottish community, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is one of Scotland’s major cultural ambassadors, touring regularly in the Far East, Europe and the USA. The Orchestra is internationally recognised as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras and for its innovative approach to music-making and programme planning. The SCO’s Concert Season includes performances across Scotland, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Perth, Dumfries and Ayr. It also undertakes annual Highlands and South of Scotland tours and has played in over a hundred small communities throughout the country. The Orchestra appears regularly at the Edinburgh International Festival, the BBC Proms and the St Magnus (Orkney) and Aldeburgh Festivals. Its busy international touring schedule has recently included Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA, Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands.
The RPO was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946, picking up its Royal title in 1966. Its music directors have included Antal Dorati, Andre Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and currently Daniele Gatti. The core of the orchestra’s concert work is its London series at the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, though it performs regularly throughout the UK and undertakes world tours. Included in its varied recorded output are three discs for Opera Rara: Donizetti’s Gabriella di Vergy, Meyerbeer’s Il crociato in Egitto and Offenbach’s Robinson Crusoe.
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House was founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Orchestra when the theatre reopened as the nation’s first permanent home for opera and ballet. Throughout its existence, the Orchestra has been distinguished by the number of top musicians who have joined its ranks and the outstanding roster of international conductors with whom it has played. It has been acclaimed by public and critics alike, and has won many awards.
At the beginning of the 2002/3 Season Antonio Pappano was appointed Music Director of The Royal Opera. Highlights of Pappano’s tenure have so far included Ariadne auf Naxos and Wozzeck (for which Pappano was awarded Olivier Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Opera), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production), Faust, Peter Grimes, Wagner’s Ring cycle, Don Carlo and the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur. In September 2010 the Orchestra and The Royal Opera toured to Japan, performing Manon, La traviata and Mozart’s arrangement of Messiah under Pappano. Other performance highlights with visiting conductors include new productions of Adriana Lecouvreurand The Tsar’s Bride under Mark Elder, of Tannhäuser under Semyon Bychkov and of Cendrillon under Bertrand de Billy.
The Orchestra records regularly with both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. Their CD recordings with Pappano include two discs of Wagner highlights with Plácido Domingo and Tristan und Isolde with Domingo and Nina Stemme, released in 2005. The Orchestra regularly appear on DVD with The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, both on their own label Opus Arte and on other labels including Opera Rara (Roberto Devereux, Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal and Linda di Chamounix) and EMI. The Orchestra can also be heard accompanying The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet in Big Screen Events in the UK, and in cinema screenings transmitted worldwide.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is a world-renowned orchestra, which plays on original instruments to bring out the very best of classical music as it was intended to be heard. Its players lead the Orchestra themselves with a commitment, enjoyment and energy which translates directly into the quality, vitality and dynamism of each performance. The Orchestra has chosen to have no permanent music director; this flexibility allows it to work with some of the world’s greatest conductors and soloists across a wide range of music. The Orchestra’s uniquely versatile and pioneering spirit of music making encourages a warmth and involvement, which makes every performance an edge-of-the-seat experience for performers and audiences alike.
The LSO was founded in 1904 by players seceding from the Henry Wood Queens Hall Orchestra. Since then it has had 11 principal conductors, including Hans Richter (its first), Edward Elgar, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis and currently Valery Gergiev. The orchestra took up residence at London’s Barbican Centre in 1984 and refined its approach to programming, introducing the themed festivals that are now a regular feature, attracting the likes of Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez and Anne-Sophie Mutter. The LSO is heard on two Opera Rara releases: Donizetti’s Maria Padilla and Della Jones Sings Donizetti.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra is recognised as one of the world’s great orchestras, and following Sir Thomas Beecham’s founding tenure the ensemble’s Principal Conductorship has been passed from one celebrated musician to another. In the 2007/08 season, the London Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday and inaugurated Vladimir Jurowski as its new Principal Conductor. It is the only symphony orchestra in the UK to combine an annual subscription concert season with regular work in the opera house – resident at both the Royal Festival Hall and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Touring forms a significant part of the Orchestra’s performing schedule, and it regularly appears in North America, Europe and the Far East, often headlining at major festivals and concert-hall openings. The Orchestra’s international reputation is matched by a steadfast and unflinching commitment to the communities of its local London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and it reaches thousands through its varied and extensive programme of education work, both community and school-based. The Orchestra can be heard on a number of Opera Rara recordings, including Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero, Meyerbeer’s Marghertia d’Anjou, Mercadante’s Emma d’Antiochia and Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei and Il diluvio Universale.