Founded in 1949 by violinist Harry Blech, the London Mozart Players played at the opening week of London’s Royal Festival Hall and has performed on London’s South Bank every year since then. Rightly recognised for its performances of Mozart and other core classical repertoire, the orchestra has also commissioned – and continues to perform – many new works by British composers. The LMP tours extensively and under music director Matthias Bamert made an acclaimed debut at the Vienna Musikverein in 1996. It has recorded a highly acclaimed CD series, Contemporaries of Mozart, on Chandos Records and can be heard in excellent form on Opera Rara’s Offenbach pastiche Christopher Columbus.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930. It provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with around a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights, and is Associate Orchestra of the Barbican. The BBC SO has a strong commitment to 20th-century and contemporary music – recent years have seen the world premieres of BBC commissions by leading composers such as Elliott Carter, Brian Elias, Vic Hoyland, Matthias Pintscher, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Judith Weir. As Associate Orchestra of the Barbican, the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs an annual season of concerts there. The BBC SO works regularly with its Chief Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson, Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist in Association, Oliver Knussen. Central to the Orchestra’s life are studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 at the Orchestra’s Maida Vale home.
Roland Wood studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, then at the National Opera Studio with support from the Peter Moores Foundation and English National Opera. In 2003 he was chosen as the English entrant for BBC Singer of the World in Cardiff. Between 2002 and 2004 he was a company principal at Scottish Opera, where roles included Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Marullo in Rigoletto and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. In 2002 he made his debut at English National Opera as The Baron in La traviata. Other ENO roles include Kissinger in Nixon in China (later reprised in Athens), Ajax II in La Belle Hélène and Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana. His concert work includes Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonelle with the Northern Sinfonia, L’enfance du Christ with the English Chamber Orchestra and Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the Hallé. He can be heard on several Opera Rara recordings, including Margherita d’Anjou, Il diluvio universale, La straniera and Paventa Insano.
Rebecca Von Lipinski was born in Mansfield, and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She has been the recipient of many prizes and awards including the Clonter Opera Prize and Audience Prize, and the Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award. During her time at the RNCM, the Peter Moores Foundation supported her vocal studies. Rebecca was a member of the National Opera Studio in London during the 2002/03 season. Her extensive concert and oratorio repertoire includes performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Messiah, Mozart’s Mass in C and Coronation Mass, Rossini’s Petite messe Solenelle, and Mahler’s Symphony No 2 Rebecca has also appeared on numerous recordings, radio broadcasts, and made several television appearances.
Born in Verona in 1977, he started his technical-vocal study with Ivo Vinco and with Paola Molinari. After his debut in La Bohème (Colline) at the Teatro Politeama di Lecce, in 1999 he performed the role of Nettuno in Barcheggio by Stradella at the Festival Barocco di Fano under the baton of Alberto Zedda, the role of Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro in Trento and the role of Conte Rodolfo in La Sonnambula, conducted by Zedda. Marco Vinco’s 2002/3 season was marked by important debuts: in Il turco in Italia (Selim) at the Japan Opera Foundation in Tokyo, Maurizio Benini conducting, and in the role of Argante in Rinaldo at the Politeama Greco in Lecce, where he returned as Selim. On the concert side, he performed in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Parma, under the baton of Gelmetti, in Siena and Rome, and in Mozart’s Requiem in Parma with the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini Orchestra. Opera Rara first worked with Marco at the Edinburgh International Festival when he sang the role of Polidoro in the concert performance of Rossini’s Zelmira and he also appears on Donizetti’s Pia de Tolomei.
Lancashire-born John Tomlinson has developed a large concert repertoire since the 1970s and sung regularly with English National Opera and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as well as with all the leading British orchestras, in Europe and the USA. He was awarded a CBE in the 1997 New Year’s Honours List. He has performed in Geneva, Lisbon, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Vienna, at the Festivals of Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, and every year since 1988 at Bayreuth. Tomlinson has developed an acclaimed reputation for his interpretation of Wagner and has recorded widely. For Opera Rara, he sang on the world-premiere recording of Donizetti’s Gabriella di Vergy.
Ann Taylor was born in Wrexham and studied at the RNCM, GSMD and National Opera Studio. Since her debut for Opera North she has sung with WNO, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera and for La Monnaie, Opera Zuid, Bayerische Staatsoper and the New Zealand Festival. Engagements have included the title roles of Ariodante and Gluck’s Orfeo, Rosina, Hänsel, Cherubino, Dorabella, Ramiro/La Finta Giardiniera, Varvara/Katya Kabanova, Pipo/The Thieving Magpie, Hermia/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kristina/The Makropoulos Case, Oreste/La Belle Helene, and Kate/Owen Wingrave as well as three world premières: Sarah/Tobias and the Angel and Stewardess /Flight both by Dove, and Judy and Grey Wolf / Baa Baa Black Sheep by Michael Berkeley. Concerts engagements include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, the LPO, the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Ann has recorded Mercadante’s Virginia, Ricci’s Corrado d’Altamura, Offenbach’s Vert-Vert and Donizetti’s Parisina with Opera Rara.
Tenor Kenneth Tarver is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Yale University School of Music. His repertoire encompasses the operatic roles of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Gluck, Verdi and Berlioz as well as concert works from Bach and Beethoven to Debussy and Stravinsky. Among his operatic performances are Don Giovanni with Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding in Aix-en-Provence, Così fan tutte at Covent Garden with Colin Davis and Il barbiere di Siviglia with Maurizio Benini at the New York Met. In October 2006 he took the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni under René Jacobs in Brussels, Cologne and Paris and more recently has sung Il barbiere di Siviglia (Conte d’Almaviva) and La Cenerentola (Don Ramiro) at the Bavarian State Opera. He has recorded several of Berlioz’s operas with Colin Davis and the LSO and with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra. He can be heard on the Opera Rara releases Paventa Insano and La donna del lago.
Krassimira Stoyanova was born in Bulgaria and studied violin at the Conservatory in Rousse and singing and violin at the Plovdiv Music Academy. She made her professional debut in 1995 at the Sofia National Opera, where she sang a wide range of repertory: Rigoletto (Gilda), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), Il Guarany (Cecilia), and Antonio Carlo Gomes’ I Fosca (Delila), La Juive (Rachel), La Clemenza di Tito (Vitellia) and Idomeneo (Ilia). Since 1998 she has been engaged at the Wiener Staatsoper – and has sung in La Juive (Rachel), Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa), Carmen (Micaela), Les contes d’Hoffmann (Antonia), Turandot (Liù), I Pagliacci (Nedda), La Bohème (Mimi), La Traviata (Violetta). In October 2009 Krassimira Stoyanova was nominated Kammersängerin by the Vienna State Opera. For Opera Rara she has recorded the title role in Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan.
David Stout has rapidly established himself as one of the UK’s most versatile baritones, with a repertoire encompassing early music, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Britten, bel canto and twentieth-century works. Highlights this season include Count Douglas in Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff (Wexford Festival), the title roles of Le nozze di Figaro and Figaro Gets A Divorce (Welsh National Opera), and Posa Don Carlo (Grange Park). Recent highlights include the title role of Le nozze di Figaro and Fritz Kothner Die Meistersinger (English National Opera); Sandoval Le Duc d’Albe, Paolo Simon Boccanegra and the title role of Falstaff (with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé); a critically acclaimed Sancho Pança Don Quichotte (Grange Park); Bach St John Passion (Aurora Orchestra at King’s Place); Oromazes in Rameau’s Zaïs (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment); and Aeneas Dido and Aeneas (English Concert/Bristol Old Vic). Other operatic appearances include Axel Oxenstierna in Foroni’s Cristina, regina di Svezia and The Dark Fiddler A Village Romeo and Juliet (Wexford); Zaretski Eugene Onegin and Pish Tush Mikado (English National Opera); Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Dr. Falke Die Fledermaus, Ping Turandot, Harašta The Cunning Little Vixen and Buddha Wagner Dream (Welsh National Opera); Angelotti Tosca, Roucher Andrea Chenier and Gratiano The Merchant of Venice (Bregenzer Festspiele);and Baron Douphol La traviata (Royal Opera House).