Opera Holland Park (OHP) has announced the names of the 12 participants in its Young Artists Scheme for 2021, as the Kensington-based opera house celebrates 10 years of the project.

OHP’s Young Artists Scheme was launched in 2011 to support emerging directors, conductors and singers. Previous recipients have gone on to develop their careers with other companies at home and abroad, with many of them returning to Opera Holland Park each summer

This year’s 12 participants consist of a conductor, stage director, répétiteur (or coach) and nine singers. They are conductor Lada Valešová, director Rebecca Meltzer, répétiteur Thomas Ang, baritones Jacob Phillips, Alex Jones and Jolyon Loy, sopranos Siân Dicker, Charlotte Bowden and Isabelle Peters, mezzo-sopranos Charlotte Badham and Hannah Bennett, and tenor Guy Withers.

OHP’s 2021 season opens with a production of The Marriage of Figaro (1786). Mozart’s opera buffa (comic opera) tells the story of how servants Figaro and Susanna succeed in getting married, foiling the efforts of their philandering employer Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna and at the same time teaching him a lesson in fidelity.

This year’s Young Artists will rehearse alongside the production’s main cast, many of whom are themselves alumni of the programme. They will receive individual mentoring, language coaching and a dedicated sitzprobe – a rehearsal with the orchestra – with the City of London Sinfonia.

The production’s director Oliver Platt, as well as principals Nardus Williams, Julien Van Mellaerts, Elizabeth Karani and Claire Lees are all alumni of OHP’s Young Artists project. Former Young Artists also appear in principal roles across the season, in La traviata (The Fallen Woman, Verdi, 1853), The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček, 1924), L’amico Fritz (Friend Fritz, Mascagni, 1891) and a co-production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (1879) with Charles Court Opera.

The scheme culminates in four main stage performances for the Young Artists, two of which will be for local school children as part of Opera Holland Park’s Inspire programme. The other two public performances take place on 14 June at 7.15pm and 26 June at 2pm. Booking is open now and tickets are available from OHP’s website.

Charlotte Bowden, who will be singing the role of Susanna in the Young Artists’ performances of The Marriage of Figaro, commented: “The Young Artists programme at Opera Holland Park is an incredible opportunity for a young singer. Having the chance to learn from the main cast and also perform roles in full with the Young Artists cast will be invaluable preparation for the future. I can’t wait to get started!”



Opera Holland Park has revealed the names of the 12 participants in its Young Artists programme.