Court Gardens Farm

Orchard Lane Ditchling East Sussex BN6 8TH UK

Court Garden Opera

Così Fan Tutte

Biographies


Ferrando – Stephen Mills (tenor)

Tenor Stephen Mills is in demand throughout the classical repertoire and is sought after for both Oratorio and Opera, as well as on the concert platform.

He was recently awarded a Masters in Performance with Distinction from the Royal College of Music where he was a TSH Prince Donatus and Princess Heidi Von Hohenzollern Scholar. He was also supported during his studies by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the Josephine Baker Trust, the Mario Lanza Educational Foundation and the Clemence Charitable Trust.

His operatic experience includes Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Le Fils in Les mamelles de Tirésias, the title role in Cavalli’s Ormindo, Vašek in The Bartered Bride, Laisander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Gomatz in Zaide and Le Chevalier in Dialogues des Carmélites. In 2017, Stephen performed the role of Heddle Nash in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music at Buckingham Palace, conducted by John Wilson, and also Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge at Leith Hill Place. Stephen was a member of the Lyon Opera Studio in 2019 and performed the roles of Giove, Eumete and Eurimaco in their production of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria; he will return next season to perform the role of Voleur de Lune in Carl Orff’s Der Mond.

Stephen received second place in the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize and Birmingham Conservatoire Singing prize and reached the finals of the Les Azuriales Opera Competition, Royal College of Music Lieder Prize, Kathleen Ferrier Youth Competition, Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize and Edward Brookes Lieder Prize.


Guglielmo – Edward Jowle (baritone)

Baritone Edward Jowle is a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music. He studies with Russell Smythe and Caroline Dowdle, and has participated in masterclasses with Gerald Finley and Sir Thomas Allen. He is a Rose Williams Scholar supported by the Denis and Sylvia Forbes Award, also recieving support from Help Musicians UK and the Josephine Baker Trust.

Recent stage work includes: Falke (Die Fledermaus / Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore); Elviro (Serse / Accademia Europea Dell’Opera, Italy); Papageno (Die Zauberflöte / Westminster Opera, France); Lord Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement), Snug (A Midsummer Night's Dream), cover Sam (Trouble in Tahiti) and Will Atkins (Robinson Crusoe / RCM Opera Studio); Baritone Chorus (Dardanus) and cover Curio (Giulio Cesare / English Touring Opera); Gendarme (Les Mamelles de Tirésias) and Masetto (Don Giovanni / Euphonia Studio); Geneticist (Our Perfect Child / Tête-à-Tête, premiere); Adonis (Venus and Adonis / Brighton Early Music Festival); Cecil (Maria Stuarda / Magnetic Opera, Edinburgh Fringe); Alidoro (La Cenerentola / London Young Sinfonia); Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance / Grosvenor Light Opera).

His concert repertoire includes works from Bach to Howard Goodall, performing with choral societies and orchestras across the UK and Europe. Recent highlights include Oli Tarney St Mark Passion (St Peter, premiere) for the Endellion Festival, Bach B Minor Mass for Lloyds Bank Choir, Berlioz L’enfance du Christ (St Joseph) for Scherzo Ensemble, Finzi Let us garlands bring for East London Symphony Orchestra and Elgar The Starlight Express (Organ Grinder) for the RCM.

Future performances include returning to the Richmond and Rye Festivals and also to France for an Opera Gala with Orchestre de Canet en Rousillon.


Don Alfonso – Peter Edge (baritone)

British baritone Peter Edge (25) recently graduated as a Master of Music at the Royal College of Music, London, where he was tutored by Peter Savidge.

Peter is extremely grateful for the support of the Walker Trust, Draper’s Company, Kathleen Trust, Clemence Charitable Trust and Millington’s Charity. Competition successes include the International Medal at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, the Chris Treglown Memorial Award and RNCM Freckleton Prize. Peter also achieved Highly Commended in the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition, Brooks-van Der Pump English Song Competition and the RCM Lieder Competition.

Opera roles include Alfio Cavalleria Rusticana (Blackburn Cathedral), Antonio Le Nozze di Figaro (RCM, directed by Sir Thomas Allen), Don Alfonso Così Fan Tutte (Devon Opera and Opera at the Athenaeum, Pall Mall), Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore (New Sussex Opera), Guglielmo Così Fan Tutte (Felici Opera), Littore Lincoronazione di Poppea (Longborough Festival Opera), Masetto Don Giovanni (Opera Loki and Felici Opera), Papageno Die Zauberflote (City of Manchester Opera), Snug and Theseus A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RNCM and RCM) and Zaretsky Eugene Onegin (RCM).

Peter has been a Young Artist of Longborough Festival Opera for the last two years and also joined LFO as a chorus member in their 2019 production of Anna Bolena. In May 2018, Peter performed principal roles in three contemporary operas in collaboration with Tête à Tête Opera. As an oratorio soloist, Peter has recently performed the solos in Bach’s St John Passion and Handel’s Messiah (St Martin in the Fields), Haydn’s Creation (Chester Cathedral) and Verdi’s Requiem (Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham). Peter is proud to be a featured artist of the Concordia Foundation.


Fiordiligi – Natasha Day (soprano)

Scottish-Polish soprano Natasha Day trained at The English National Opera on the 2012/13 ‘Opera Works’ course. In 2015 she completed her final year at the Royal College of Music’s International Opera School where she was a Fishmongers’ Company Scholar supported by an Ian Lombe Evans Award.

Roles include Violetta La Traviata (ROH Reimagined, Royal Opera House and Devon Opera), Poppea Agrippina (English Touring Opera), Gilda Rigoletto (Devon Opera), Mimi La Boheme (Haddo House Opera, Devon Opera, Opera Bohemia, Arcadian Opera), Neala Paria by Moniuszko (Polish Opera in London), the title role in Rita (Rocket Opera), Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte (RCM, Nevill Holt Opera), Micaela Carmen (Winslow Hall Opera, Edinburgh Grand Opera), Jessie Mahagonny Songspiel (UNAM) in Mexico City, Fiordiligi Così Fan Tutte (Devon Opera, The Rye Festival) and Musetta La Boheme (Celebrate Voice Festival, Park Opera). Concert engagements include Berg’s 3 Bruchstucke from Wozzeck, Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, Berlioz’s La Mort de Cleopatre, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Requiem, Coronation Mass, Exsultate Jubilate plus various recitals and orchestral gala concerts throughout the UK.

Natasha won First Prize at the Złote Głosy Competition in Warsaw, Second Prize at The Filharmonia Czestochowska Competition also in Poland and The Most Promising Singer Award at the Emmy Destinn Competition in Prague. She is a 2017 Britten-Pears Young Artist, a Finalist in the 2016 Concorso Lirico di Ferrara, Italy and is proud to be a Concordia Artist.


Dorabella – Amy Lyddon (mezzo-soprano)

British mezzo-soprano Amy Lyddon studied at the Royal College of Music as an RCM Award Holder and H R Taylor Trust Scholar.

A former chorister of Bath Abbey and pupil of the Junior Royal Academy of Music, she graduated with first-class honours in Linguistics with French and Spanish from Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was a Choral Scholar.

Previous opera roles include Pastuchyna / Jenufa for Grange Park Opera, Nancy / Albert Herring for Shadwell Opera at Opera Holland Park and on UK tour, Dorabella / Così fan tutte and Flora / La traviata for Devon Opera, and Nicklausse (cover) / The Tales of Hoffmann for English Touring Opera. This summer, Amy will cover the role of Meg Page in Falstaff for The Grange Festival.

Concert engagements have included Bach’s St Matthew Passion for the Dunedin Consort (c. John Butt) at the Wigmore Hall, and for the Academy of Ancient Music (c. Edward Higginbottom) at Palau de la Música València, Handel’s Messiah for Aldeburgh Music Club at Snape Maltings, Handel’s Israel in Egypt at Cadogan Hall, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Amy features on the Dunedin Consort’s critically acclaimed recording of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine.


Despina – Sofia Troncoso (soprano)

Sofia Troncoso is an American Soprano of South American descent based in
 the UK where she was most recently a 2018-2019 Emerging Artist with Scottish Opera singing Papagena and covering Pamina (The Magic Flute) and covering Professor Prentice (Anthropocene).

In 2018, she sang the title role in Longborough Festival Opera’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Adele (Die Fledermaus) for Diva Opera, covered Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) for Bury Court Opera and sang in concert with RSNO and the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 she was a Young Artist for Les Azuriales where she sang Nanetta (Falstaff) and won the Karaviotis Prize and the Salter Prize.

A 2016-2017 Young Artist at the National Opera Studio, Sofia was featured in residencies with Opera North, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera. Upon leaving NOS, Sofia sang Frasquita (Carmen) for Ormond Opera, Vixen
 (Cunning Little Vixen) for Grimeborn Festival and Sister Genioveffa (Suor Angelica) for
 Lunchbreak Opera.

Upon graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2015, Sofia, a lover of Mozart, sang Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) for Grimeborn and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Hampstead Garden Opera.


Jonathan Pease (Piano)

Jonathan graduated with an MA in Music from Cambridge University in 2010 before undertaking further study as a pianist with Graham Fitch.

As an accompanist and repetiteur, he has worked with groups including the Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera, Glyndebourne Youth Opera, Spitalfields Music, Opera Holland Park, Orpheus Sinfonia and Chelsea Opera Group, as well as innumerable choral societies and theatre groups. He performs regularly with oboist Nicola Hands, in venues including St. James Piccadilly, St. Mary’s Perivale, St. George’s Hanover Square, Waltham Abbey, the Schott Recital Rooms and Winchester, Bury and Peterborough Cathedrals; and the duo are currently preparing to produce the premiere recording of Paul Patterson’s Phoenix Sonata for Oboe and Piano. He has also enjoyed a residency on cruise liner HMS Arcadia with saxophonist Alastair Penman. In the past year, he has musically directed from the piano La Traviata for Devon Opera (in his own newly-commissioned arrangement for piano trio) and Suor Angelica and operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan for Opera Anywhere.

Jonathan is musical director of the semi-professional East London Evensong Choir, committed to bringing quality liturgical music to his native corner of the capital, as well as undertaking Cathedral visits. He is also a prolific composer and librettist: scheduled within the next year are the first performance of a full-length opera about the death of a 1960s architect, and recordings of a chamber opera about an office argument and various liturgical works. Jonathan is grateful for the support of Making Music and the Concordia Foundation.