The Sofa and The Departure

Ensemble

Samuel Boden
Tenor
Samuel started his professional life as a pastry chef, but decided to go to Trinity College of Music to study voice under John Wakefield, subsequently gaining a First Class Honours degree in 2006. At Trinity, Sam won the Ricordi Opera Prize in 2005 for his portrayal of Orfeo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Greenhouse-Allt Prize for cantata and oratorio in 2006 following Trinity’s acclaimed performance of Britten’s War Requiem. He represented Trinity at the Wigmore Hall for the Derek Butler London Prize. He is completing his postgraduate studies at Trinity while performing in recitals and concerts around the country. He recently took part in Graham Johnson’s Young Songmaker’s Almanac at St John’s, Smith Square, and sang under Roger Vignoles in Leeds Lieder Plus.

Michelle Daly
Mezzo-soprano
Michelle studied at the RNCM with Honor Sheppard and at the Guildhall School with Annette Thompson. Her concert experience includes a recital at the Waterfront Hall as a finalist in the 2003 Belfast Music Bursaries Competition, Purcell’s Fairy Queen at Aldeburgh (Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme) and a performance at the Theatre Royal, Wexford (Wexford Opera’s Young Artist’s Programme), directed by Dennis O’Neill. Her oratorio experience includes Haydn masses, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. Her operatic experience includes Seconda Cercatrice (Suor Angelica) and Dorabella, Cherubino and Cornelia (Guilio Cesare). She has also sung at Opera Holland Park (Cosìfan tutte) and Buxton Festival Opera (Roberto Devereux and Bluebeard). She has understudied Madam Larina (Eugene Onegin) and more recently Nancy in Albert Herring, both at BYO.

Jassy Husk
Soprano
Originally from Tasmania, Jassy moved to England four years ago. Since her graduation from the RCM in 2005, she has made regular appearances with Buxton Festival Opera. She has performed opera scenes with Northampton Festival Opera as their guest soprano, singing Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Adele (Die Fledermaus). She has also sung the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute at the Dame Judi Dench Concert series at St George’s Hanover Square, where she continues to perform regular recitals. Jassy has also had much success with her diverse performance repertoire by performing for The Ministry of Sound, “Beat Freakz” and has just been featured on the new release by the Young Punx, “Your Music is Killing Me”.

Simon Lobelson
Baritone
Born in Sydney and raised in Brussels, Simon completed postgraduate opera studies at the RCM in 2006. In the past year he has worked as a soloist in Australia, the UK, France, Italy, Austria, New York, Switzerland and Spain. On the concert platform highlights have included Carmina Burana; Elija; Johannes-Passion; Rameau’s Les grands motets; requiems of Mozart, Brahms and Fauré; and Gubaidulina’s Jetzt immer Schnee for the Lucerne Festival under Pierre Boulez. Past operatic roles have included Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Marcello (La bohème), Don Alfonso and Guglielmo (Cosìfan tutte), Papageno, Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Junius (The Rape of Lucretia), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Dancaïro (Carmen), Plunkett (Martha), L’Horloge/Le Chat (L’enfant), Ramiro (L’heure espagnole), Gaoler (Carmélites), Hildebrand (Princess Ida), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Macheath (Beggar’s Opera), Noye, Pirate King and Drunken Poet in The Fairy Queen.

Benedict Nelson
Baritone
Born in London, Benedict began his studies at the Guildhall School in 2002. He is currently entering his second year on the Opera Course, under the tutelage of Robert Dean. He has been generously supported in his studies by The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers, as well as receiving a Sybill Tutton award and a Countess of Munster Musical Trust Scholarship. In 2007 Benedict won second prize in both the Kathleen Ferrier awards and the Guildhall Gold Medal. Following this, he sang in Brahms’ Requiem at the RAH and played Masetto in Thomas Allen’s production of Don Giovanni at the Sage in Gateshead, before taking the part of Sid in BYO’s Albert Herring. Benedict’s operatic roles include Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni, Marcello (La bohème), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Mr Gedge/Sid (Albert Herring). Plans include a Wigmore recital for the Samling Foundation and La vie Parisienne for the Guildhall School in early 2008.

Tom Oldham
Bass-baritone
Tom studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School, where he recently completed the Opera Course, studying with David Pollard. He has sung the roles of Narumov (Queen of Spades), Junius (The Rape of Lucretia), King Tartaglia (L’augellino belverde), Simone (La finta semplice) and Pistola (Falstaff). He has just completed a season at Glyndebourne Opera Chorus, where he understudied the role of Judas in St Matthew Passion. He sings regularly with Polyphony and Exaudi, among other groups. He recently took part in a performance of Ferneyhough’s Missa Brevis for 12 solo singers at the Aldeburgh Festival that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He sang the solo bass part in a concert version of Dusapin’s opera Niobe at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Kate Symonds-Joy
Mezzo-soprano
Kate graduated from Cambridge University with a First Class degree in Music. She is undertaking postgraduate studies with Lillian Watson at the RCM, where she recently won the Michael Head Prize for English Song and the Edna Bralesford Prize. She has a particular interest in contemporary music, performing Errollyn Wallen’s. Are you worried about the rising cost of funerals? for voice and string quartet, Robin Holloway’s Author of Light and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, a work for mezzo, harp and double string orchestra written for her by Graham Ross. Her operatic roles include Mrs Sedley (Peter Grimes), Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress) and Lapak/Woodpecker (Cunning Little Vixen). Future plans include Ravel’s Chansons madécasses at the Purcell Room, Giles Swayne’s Stabat Mater at St John’s, Smith Square and Handel arias with Capella Bydgosiensis in Warsaw.

David Webb
Tenor
David began his musical career as Head Chorister of Exeter Cathedral and was later a Choral Scholar at Truro Cathedral. Now in his third year at the Royal College of Music, David studies with Ryland Davies but has also worked alongside musicians such as Roger Vignoles, Robert Tear and Maria Cleva. In concert, his performances have included Mozart’s Reqiuem at Rochester Cathedral, Bach’s B Minor Mass with the London Mozart Players, Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Baroque Sinfonia at St. Johns, Smith Square, and Handel’s Judas Maccabeaus at New College Oxford. On stage, he has perfomed the roles of Damon (Acis and Galatea), Tamino (cover; The Magic Flute) for BYO and Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere de Sivilgia). Future engagements include Orff’s Carmina Burana at Truro Cathedral, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and Mozart’s Requiem in Inverness. David is supported by the Josephine Baker Trust and the Kathleen and Margery Elliot Scholarship Trust.