Adele Mason – Aida
Adele Mason studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and made her debut, aged 14, as the Queen in Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Two Fiddlers at the Buxton Festival. She has performed extensively with Pavilion Opera, including the title roles in Tosca and Norma, Leonora Il Trovatore and Elisabetta Don Carlos. She has also toured with Mid-Wales Opera: Fiordiligi, Gilda Rigoletto and Elvira Don Giovanni, and for Scottish Opera she created the role of Ariadne in the première of Julian Evans’ The Minotaur, and covered the Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus. For WNO she has understudied the title roles in Madama Butterfly and La Traviata. In 2014 she has sung Fiordiligi for Pavilion Opera. For Southdowns Opera she sang the title role in Tosca in 2012.
Iwona Januszajtis– Amneris
Iwona was born in Redhill, Surrey, of Polish parentage, and studied piano and singing at Trinity College of Music. She has appeared all over the UK performing with companies such as Wexford, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Pegasus and Opera Brava. Her operatic roles include Carmen, Eboli, Amneris, Katisha, Tisbe, Lucretia, Marcellina and Baba the Turk. Apart from her large oratorio repertoire including performances at the Royal Naval Chapel, Southwark, Guildford and Westminster Cathedrals and St. John’s Smith Square, Iwona is in demand as a concert singer often accompanying herself on the piano or on the organ singing in Polish as well as English and other languages. Uniquely, Iwona was the guest soloist for the World Cup qualifier, Poland v England, at Wembley Stadium in 1996. Throughout her career she has given her time voluntarily to the Polish Community and performed at many galas for various Polish Veteran associations in the UK. She also revels in the hands on approach working with adults and young people especially Special Needs’ children in numerous educational projects. Recently these have taken her to Shetland, Germany, Poland and America. In 2013 Iwona composed her first mass setting for a mixed voice choir. She recently returned from Poland where she performed one of her own songs at a memorial concert in Gdansk. Iwona is greatly looking forward to repeating the role of Amneris for South Downs Opera Company in October 2015.
Richard Rowe – Radamès
Richard Rowe pursued a career in science and business before studying at the Royal Academy of Music where he received a Dip RAM, attended the Opera Course and was awarded the Charles Vestey Award. He has participated in master classes with Richard Van Allan, Robert Tear, Alan Opie and Malcolm Martineau. A finalist in the 2008 Opera Rara Bel Canto and Richard Lewis prizes, Richard Rowe was also the recipient of the Leverhulme Award and the Worshipful Company of Musicians medal. His roles include Tybalt Romeo et Juliette and Ferrando Così fan Tutte with British Youth Opera, Don Basilio and Don Curzio Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Podesta La Finta Giardiniera, Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia, Duke of Mantua Rigoletto, Albert Albert Herring, Jupiter Semele, Sergei Cheryomushki (Shostakovich), Eisenstein Die Fledermaus, Janek The Makropulos Case and Paolino The Secret Marriage (Cimarosa.) Richard Rowe has always had a busy concert diary and performances have included the Evangelist in Bach St Matthew Passion and St John Passion, Bach Mass in B minor, Mozart Requiem and Great Mass in C minor, Haydn Creation and The Seasons, Elgar The Dream of Gerontius and the title-roles in Handel’s Samson and Jephtha. Richard Rowe has worked with many different types of musical ensemble, ranging from early music groups to full modern orchestras. Richard Rowe sang Sandy The Lighthouse (Peter Maxwell Davies) for the Opernhaus Kiel, for the Nationale Reisopera and at the Dartington International Festival, Jenik The Bartered Bride for Schloss Hallwyl Festival in Switzerland and Golo Genoveva (Schumann) for University College London Opera at the Bloomsbury Theatre. More recently he returned to Scottish Opera to sing two roles in their contemporary Five: 15 production and Stroh in Intermezzo (Strauss). Richard Rowe’s operatic engagements have included the contemporary project Cautionary Tales at Opera North, and Mr Bunce The Fantastic Mr Fox for Opera Holland Park. He has also covered the title-role in Joshua for Opera North. Last Autumn he returned to Scottish Opera to sing Grimoaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda. He recently covered Andres in Wozzeck and Roderigo in Otello for ENO. Future appearances include Goro, Madama Butterfly for Gubbay Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.
Richard Woodall – Amonasro
Richard Woodall was born in Solihull and studied Performance Arts at Middlesex University and singing at the Guildhall School of Music. He was a founder member of the reformed D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, for whom he has sung in many productions, recordings, and toured to California, and continues to appear regularly in Gilbert and Sullivan concerts all around the country. He has also sung in many productions with English National Opera, and many other companies, including De Vlaamse Opera Belgium, Carl Rosa Opera, Crystal Clear Opera, London Opera Players, Heritage Opera, St Albans Chamber Opera, Surrey Opera, and Pavilion Opera, where his roles have included Leporello in’Don Giovanni, Figaro and Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore, King Philip in Don Carlos, Dr Bartolo and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Alfonso in Così Fan Tutte, Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, the Viceroy in La Perichole, and most of the bass-baritone roles in the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoy Operas. He has just finished a season with Opera North, singing in their highly acclaimed productions of Peter Grimes, La Fanciulla del West, and Macbeth. He has also appeared in the Cameron Mackintosh production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! on a UK tour and in Toronto, and regularly appears in concert and cabaret, showcasing the music of Ivor Novello, Noel Coward and Cole Porter.
Mark Beesley – Ramfis
Mark made his professional singing debut in 1987. In 1989 he joined the Royal Opera, where roles included Colline, Ancient Hebrew Samson et Dalila, Lodovico Otello, King Aida, Timur Turandot, First Nazarene Salome, and Capellio I Capuleti e i Montecchi. In 1998 he joined English National Opera as principal Bass, where he sang Pistola Falstaff, Daland The Flying Dutchman, Colline, Lodovico, Don Basilio, Sparafucile, Bartolo and Parson The Cunning little Vixen. He has also sung principal roles at WNO, Glyndebourne, Paris (Théâtre du Châtelet), Nantes, Palermo, and in the Hong Kong, and Aix en Provence festivals, in concert at the New York Lincoln Center and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Mark also enjoys passing on his 20 plus years experience in his thriving singing teaching practice.
Nick Gee – King of Egypt
Nick was born on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and, having been educated at Bedford School and the University of Manchester, trained with Robert Alderson at the Royal Northern College of Music and Boris Bakow at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. He currently trains with Peter Medhurst. He is a founder member of JE Promotions, performing the title roles in Le nozze di Figaro and Don Pasquale, Guglielmo Così fan tutte, Leporello Don Giovanni, Tonio I Pagliacci, Prince Gremin Eugene Onegin, Marcello La Bohème, Il Sagrestano & Sciarrone Tosca, Doctor Falke Die Fledermaus, and Méphistophélès Faust in venues owned by The National Trust and English Heritage, as well as privately owned houses including Wilton House, Hatfield House and Arundel Castle. Other roles include Escamillo Carmen and Colline La Bohème for Commedia Opera; Melchior Amah and the Night Visitors, Ben The Telephone, and the title role in Debbie Rose’s The Selfish Giant for Opera Anywhere; The Father Hänsel und Gretel and Giorgio Talbot Maria Stuarda for Operatique; Papageno Die Zauberflöte for The Classical Music Company; Il Sagrestano Tosca for Opera Novella; and The Vicar Albert Herring for Operamus. Nick was baritone soloist with the Salzburger Domchor under Janos Czifra, and is much in demand as a concert performer. Recent engagements include Fauré’s and Duruflé’s Requiem Mass, Haydn’s Theresienmesse and Missa Sancti Nicolai, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Schubert’s Mass No.2 in G, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Purcell’s Te Deum in D, Mozart’s Requiem, C minor Mass, and Missa Brevis in D, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols.
Rhys Bowden – Messenger
Born in London, Rhys Bowden studied for a degree in music at Girton College, Cambridge. Subsequently, he joined the Royal Academy of Music on the postgraduate course in vocal studies from which he graduated with distinction and where he was awarded the Hilda Anderson Deane prize. He studies with Raymond Connell. Rhys’s forthcoming operatic performances include Cortigiano The Hospital of Incurable Madness for Solomon’s Knot Collective at Aldeburgh Music and Messenger Aida with South Downs Opera. His recent roles include Eisenstein Die Fledermaus for Surrey Opera, Spoletta Tosca for South Downs Opera and 1st Armed Man/2nd Priest Die Zauberflöte at Nevill Holt Opera. Other notable roles to date include Vasek The Bartered Bride, Albert Herring cover, Albert Herring and Luiz The Gondoliers with Surrey Opera, and Errand Boy A Dinner Engagement for The Minotaur Music Theatre. Rhys has considerable experience of contemporary opera, and recently performed the lead roles in Alexander Campkin’s Predictability at The Cockpit Theatre, London and Three to Midnight at the Tête-à-Tête Festival. He has sung with Wexford Festival Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Opera, British Youth Opera and Stanley Hall Opera. Rhys performs regularly as a soloist in recitals and oratorios. His oratorio repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah and Samson, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Stainer’s The Crucifixion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s The Creation.
Felicity Hayward – High Priestess
Felicity Hayward studied on the Opera course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, supported by the Geraint Evans award, and completed undergraduate studies at Trinity College of Music, graduating with First Class Honours and winning the Silver Medal, the Gladys Puttick prize and the Chamber Music Prize. She currently studies privately with Ameral Gunson. Felicity’s operatic roles to date include Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Jackdaws Young Artists), Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, La Princesse/Une Pastourelle L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and 2nd Woman/1st Witch Dido and Aeneas (all for Iris Theatre). She created the roles of Woman and Rhino in Danyal Dhondy’s Just So, an operetta based on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, at the 2012 Tête à Tête Opera Festival and in September 2013 she covered the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen (Woodhouse Music). At the RWCMD Felicity covered the role of Female Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and played Mrs Grose in ensemble piece Britten’s Women, directed by Martin Constantine, which was performed at the Bath International Festival. Extensive solo oratorio engagements have included Verdi Requiem, Haydn Nelson Mass and The Creation, Mozart Requiem and Coronation Mass, Handel Messiah, Bach Magnificat, Fauré Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria. She has also performed in masterclasses with Malcolm Martineau, John Fisher, Susan Bullock and Anita Morrison. Felicity is a passionate exponent of song and of new music, frequently performing and premiering new works. She has collaborated frequently with the London Composers Forum and similar groups, and in 2014 appeared in the Flourish opera competition at the Kings Head Theatre. She is delighted to be appearing with South Downs Opera for the first time.