Luci Briginshaw: Soprano
Luci studied Music (with Italian) at King’s College London and went on to gain a Distinction for the LRSM in Singing Performance in 2009.
This Autumn, Luci will play Fennimore in Kurt Weill’s Der Silberseeand cover Konstanze in Mozart’s The Seragliofor English Touring Opera. She is currently covering Matilde in Rossini’s Elisabettafor their Spring Season. In 2018 she played Iris in the world premiere of Keith Burstein’sThe Prometheus Revolutionfor Grimeborn Festival, and The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flutefor OperaUpClose at the Soho Theatre, London. Luci’s other roles include: title role in Patience(ETO), Adele Die Fledermaus(Fulham Opera), Zerlina (cover) Don Giovanni(ETO), Mimì La Bohème(Opera Loki), Die Königin der Nacht Die Zauberflöte(Pavilion Opera), Donna Anna Don Giovanni(HGO), Gilda Rigoletto(Opera Loki), Leila The Pearl Fishers(Opera South East) and Violetta La Traviata(Opera Loki).
Luci is currently touring the UK as soloist with ETO’s education project, Paradise Planet. In 2013 she created the role of The Grandma in Mario Ferraro’s Ahayiuta and the Cloud Eaterand in 2016 toured with ETO’s Laika the Spacedog. Following her roles in Martyn Harry’s My Mother Told Me Not To Stare, in 2020 Luci will once again tour nationally in his new opera for children, Vehicles.
Siân is currently studying on the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Marie Vassiliou and Janice Chapman. She is a passionate advocate for inclusivity within the arts and performs regularly with UK music charity, Live Music Now. Siân is thrilled to have won the International Voice of the Future competition at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in 2017, the Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year competition for 2017 and the Nigel Beale first prize at the Hurn Court Opera Singing Competition in 2018. She has recently performed at the Barbican Centre, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, LSO St Luke’s and the Machynlleth Festival.
This year, Siân is looking forward to playing the title role of Venus in John Blow’s Venus & Adonisand Amaranta/Diana in Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata for Guildhall Opera. She will also be performing in a newly commissioned opera, The Angel Esmeralda, at the Guildhall School in association with Scottish Opera, by composer Lliam Paterson and librettist Pamela Carter in Spring 2020.
Siân’s studies are generously supported by The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Girdlers’ Company Charitable Trust and The Kathleen Trust.
Kate grew up in Singapore. She studied at Trinity Laban with Ameral Gunson, the Royal Academy of Music with Elizabeth Ritchie, the National Opera Studio and currently with Susan Roberts. She is an inaugural member of Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Artists.
Roles include Baba the Turk (Rake’s Progress), the title role in both Massenet and Isouard’s Cendrillons, Isolier (Le Comte Ory) and Annio (La Clemenza di Tito). She performed the eponymous role in a scene from Cendrillon in the ROH Jette Parker summer showcase 2017, on the ROH main stage with their orchestra.
Soloist performances include concerts at the Canberra International Music Festival, Mark Antony Turnage’s Twice Through the Heart with Shadwell Opera and a worldwide tour of Il Ritorno with contemporary circus group Circa.
She toured Scotland with Scottish Opera’s Opera Highlights tour and performed the complete songs of Duparc at the Machynlleth Festival with Sachika Taniyama, with whom she was the winner of the Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo at the 2015 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition.
Kate looks forward to performing Turnage and Stravinsky at the Ojai Music Festival in California and to covering in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves with Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh Festival.
Jeannette Louise van Schaik
Dutch soprano Jeannette Louise earned her degree in Voice with distinction from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and is a recent graduate of the Dutch National Opera Academy, where she was coached by Ira Siff and Peter Nilsson.
Her operatic debut was asDonna Anna (Don Giovanni). Other roles include Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Dido (Dido and Aeneas)and Click in the Dutch premier of Hanna Kulenty’s The Mother of Black Winged Dreams.
She was 1st Madrigalist in Puccini’s Manon Lescautas part of the Dutch National Opera Young Artist program and then Mimì (La bohème)at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. Last year, she performed Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) at the NJO Muziekzomer Festival and Governess in a concert version of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. She also covered Pamina in Holland Opera’s production ofDie Zauberflöte.
This season roles include Wheel of Fortune Woman in Frederick Delius’ A Village to Romeo and Juliet, Anna in Verdi’s Nabuccoand Das Mädchen in Schreker’sDie Gezeichnetenat the NTR ZaterdagMatinee series in Het Concertgebouw. Furthermore she will sing the New Year’s concert tour with the Residentie Orkest and Verdi’s Messa da Requiemin Holland and the Konzerthaus in Berlin.
Future engagements include Violetta (La Traviata)at the Mélodies sur Arzon Festival in France.
Born in Zambia, Themba discovered his passion for classical music while at secondary school in North Wales. He went on to study at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he was winner of the Gordon Clinton English Song Prize, and more recently was runner-up in the Bologna International Vocal Competition.
Roles include The Millworker Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Birmingham Opera Company, Guglielmo Così fan tutte for Ensemble OrQuesta, Escamillo Carmenfor Rogue Opera, Schaunard La Bohème for The Black Cat Opera Company, and Sid Albert Herring for Harrow Opera. He was also a soloist and member of the Olivier Award winning ensemble in Porgy and Bessfor ENO and Dutch National Opera.
In addition to performing, Themba has enjoyed working on a range of education and community projects with organisations including ENO Baylis, WNO and Birmingham Opera Company as part of his commitment to opera outreach.
Chloë received her undergraduate degree from Trinity College of Music in Jazz and Classical voice. While on the jazz course, she sang St John Passion (Bach) conducted by Richard Egarr. This experience led her to seek out more classical music and in her final year she won a place on the prestigious Monteverdi Choir Apprentice scheme with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and has remained a member of the choir ever since.
In 2017 she was a finalist in the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award and won the MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year award.
Roles include Papagena The Magic Flute, Cissy Cassidy Losers, andAlison Wandering Scholar (Wexford Festival Opera), Theodora Theodora(Crickhowell Festival); Marina Abramović Breakdown(Synnott, World Premiere, Dublin); Euridice Orphée aux Enfers, Céphise Pygmalion, Tessa The Gondoliers(Opera in the Open); and, Madame Mao Nixon in China(Wide Open Opera).
Chloë obtained a masters with distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice, studying with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. She was mentored by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Susan Bullock, Rosemary Joshua and Nelly Miricioiu.
Chloë is currently at Glyndebourne Festival Opera covering the role of Noémie in Cendrillon by Massenet.
Jennifer was awarded the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Gold Medal while studying at the Opera School under the tutelage of Sarah Pring. She recently made her role debut in the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillonfor Glyndebourne Touring Opera and will cover the role during the 2019 Glyndebourne Festival.
Other operatic highlights include: Euridice (cover) for the Royal Opera House’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo; Soprano soloist (cover) for Raymond Gubbay’s One Night in Vienna; La Cugina in Puccini’s Madama Butterflyand Noble Orphan in Der Rosenkavalier(Strauss) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Additional role highlights include: Madame Herz in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektorfor The Opera Box at the Thames Festival; Page Le roi malgré lui(Chabrier) for Wexford Festival Opera; Lauretta Gianni Schicchi(Puccini) for Fulham Opera; and Lucia Rape of Lucretia(Britten) and Aphrodite Phaedra(Henze) for GSMD Opera.
On the concert platform, Jennifer has performed in a staged performance of Bernstein’s MASSat Royal Festival Hall, directed by Jude Kelly, under the baton of Marin Alsop.
Jennifer has also debuted with the Royal Shakespeare Company performing Juno in The Tempestdirected by Gregory Doran with music by Paul Englishby.
Upcoming engagements include recitals for the Bedford Square Festival, Lake District Summer Music International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Przemyslaw Baranek – Baritone
What pushed me to take part in this competition? “By Voice Alone”. For singers, voice is the instrument that you can’t buy. I think, that singers should be chosen by voice alone as it was in the case of Leonard Warren. Until this day his voice is moving me to tears – he had his voice always, got a chance and learned what he was missing and now he’s one of my favourite Macbeths of all times.
Ian Beadle – Baritone
I found the concept of By Voice Alone very interesting, as it’s hard to always know how much the right voice is picked for a role and when looks take over. Creating an even playing field (where the names, image and previous experience of a singer are all unknown) allows the voices to speak for themselves.
Kezia Bienek – Soprano
I was really drawn to the idea of anonymity, I was curious to see how it would affect my singing in an audition. I also wanted to be part of a competition promoting equality.
René Bloice-Sanders – Baritone
The By Voice Alone competition appealed to René as, unusually for a first round audition, he could focus solely on imparting vocal colour and character to a hidden panel. The opportunity to sing for major UK opera company representatives in the later rounds was a big attraction of the competition.
Luci Briginshaw – Soprano
Having never entered a competition before, I wanted to see how far I could get and what positive life lessons I could earn from the experience.
Heather Caddick – Soprano
I decided to enter By Voice Alone because I thought why not? I’ve just had my second baby and not sung much in a while, so I thought this seemed like a singer-friendly audition that I could do myself alone, regardless of outcome, and if I managed to get out there and sing for me alone, then I’d have achieved my goal. I never dreamed I’d go through to the semi-finals! For me, the audition wasn’t about going through but just singing an audition for myself.
Jack Dolan – Tenor
I auditioned for By Voice Alone mainly for experience, I believe that audition and performance experience is essential to building your skills as an artist and the format of By Voice Alone being auditioned blind was interesting to me – you have to be ready for anything!
Ilona Domnich – Soprano
I was attracted to the idea of ‘By Voice Alone’. The experience of a blind audition is never practiced at auditions of opera/song or oratorio. It was also very attractive to me to sing at a platform where there was no limitations in terms of ethnic background, age, previous experience, looks, weight, degrees and connections. Clean page, purely judged by voice Alone.
Eva Fiechter – Soprano
It is a pioneer competition and the concept of being selected only by voice alone proves fairness! Not judgement on background, age or looks.
Suzanne Fischer – Soprano
I applied for By Voice Alone because it appealed to the idealist in me. We often come to singing as a profession because we adore music, theatre and the sensation of singing itself – this can get muddied along the years of training with needing to think about image, marketability, how you can sell yourself – often very uncomfortable for an artist who believes in their artistry and wishes to achieve something with pure intentions. I thought I would apply and just think of the singing for once..! Not distracting myself with ‘am I a package?’ or any negative thoughts.
Tereza Gevorgyan – Soprano
By Voice Alone competition is the first competition that I know that is judged By Voice Alone, finding new talents in the Opera world. Singing behind a screen, without knowing who is listening to you, doesn’t matter you are a well known singer to the panel or not, you are judged By your voice, because it is the voice that touches somebody’s soul. The competition is helping singers to show off their voices, talents and believe in themselves.
Kiandra Howarth – Soprano
The reason I have entered By Voice alone is to gain exposure to a broader range of opera houses in the UK in order to enhance my career and have critic from noted industry professionals to improve my stagecraft and performance techniques.
Kate Howden – Mezzo-Soprano
I entered By Voice Alone as having been auditioning in this country for years, I think I got into a rut of both being a bit scared of rejection and also of choosing what I thought was the ‘right’ (not necessarily natural-to-me!) repertoire. For the first round (as I knew they couldn’t see me) I chose things I love singing and it was very freeing to not worry about what I look like or be able to see the panel watching me. This freeing experience has given me a bit of confidence to go into the next round and other situations having more trust in myself and my voice.
Erika Mädi Jones – Soprano
At the grand old age of 34(!) I now find myself too old for most singing competitions. Since there was no age limit for By Voice Alone, entering was a no brainer for me!
Stephanie Maitland – Soprano
I entered By Voice Alone as I felt this competition gave me the opportunity to sing repertoire that suited my voice which does not necessarily reflect my age – being a low mezzo-soprano I struggle to find arias that highlight my voice but that also reflect my casting so being able to sing whatever I wanted without the panel seeing me or knowing my age, which has possibly gone against me in the past, was a wonderful experience!
Kimberley Anne Raw – Soprano
What most attracted me to this competition was how fairly it was judged. I loved the idea that the competition was being based solely on an individual’s voice and that there were no other contributing factors. I like the idea that the panel couldn’t see me and what they heard was what they got.
Emma Roberts – Mezzo-Soprano
I was prompted to audition for By Voice Alone because I have spent a lot of my young adult life striving for confidence. For various reasons, self doubt has often got the better of me and so singing to an audition panel who judged me purely on my voice allowed me to come out of my shell more than I ever have done before, and whatever happens I am so glad to have experienced that and excited for my future in singing.
Cairan Ryan – Baritone
I was intrigued by the By Voice Alone Competition because of its unique approach in the opening rounds, where first only the quality of the voice was appraised, allowing the singer to truly focus on the voice first, as opposed to a normal audition where the whole package is on display. Of course, this is important for casting considerations and onstage personality, but it was interesting to me that this competition adopted an approach that orchestras use the world over. Count me in favour of the vocal meritocracy, as big of a pipe dream it may be.
Oksana Sliubyk – Soprano
I entered this competition because: I was very much attracted by the concept of the competition and the new experience that By Voice Alone provides.
Emma Walsh – Soprano
I entered By Voice Alone because it felt like a great way to be heard by major opera companies.
Emma Tring – Soprano
Turning 40 this year and having spent the last decade raising my two boys and enjoying a successful career as an ensemble singer, By Voice Alone offered me a chance to pursue my ambitions as a solo performer!
Andrea Tweedale – Soprano
As a young singer, I was often told that my voice would be best suited to the more dramatic repertoire that I would be ready to sing in a few years. Now that I am starting to sing this more dramatic repertoire, it is frustrating that many competitions have an age limit that often prevents me from being able to enter. It can be difficult to gain opportunities to be heard by industry professionals and the By Voice Alone competition is providing a unique opportunity for those who have changed fach or have come to singing later in life.
Catharine Woodward – Soprano
I entered By Voice Alone because it gave me an opportunity to test myself. I have been on the UK opera scene in minor roles, fringe productions, chorus and covers for a long time, but I know my voice has changed, so I took a risk to sing repertoire I would love the opportunity to sing despite my CV not necessarily reflecting that.