National Opera Studio 40th Anniversary at Cadogan Hall
The NOS 40th Anniversary Concert was a well-rehearsed evening’s entertainment, highlighting twelve of their talented young musician’s in a varied concert featuring composers from Handel and Mozart to Bizet and Britten.
Since 1978 over 600 young artists have been trained at the NOS producing world class singers and repetiteurs, as well as artistic directors, conductors, coaches and senior musical staff of major companies all over the world. The vision of NOS under the guidance of its retiring chairman, Vernon Ellis and Chief Executive, Emily Gottlieb, is highly responsive to the changing needs of the sector and its audiences, with a vision being ‘today’s talent prepared for tomorrow’s opera’. NOS is not only providing training to artists of outstanding talent, but have deepened their commitment to increasing opportunities for rising directors, conductors and other creative opera professionals, planning to support mid-career singers in transition and showing educational leadership within the opera training sector.
The evening was introduced by an NOS Alumni, the wonderful Marie McLaughlin. The variety of the programme helped us enjoy some really beautiful moments. The evening opened with a great quartet from Fidelio led by the Leonore of Frances du Plessis, who also closed the evening in another quartet from Cosi fan tutte. In between we had the deep mezzo sound from the Carmen of Marvic Monreal, together with great support from the substantial soprano of Charlie Drummond, as well as the mezzo of Margot Arsane, who also allowed us to enjoy a skipping exercise class as part of her Barber of Seville role as Rosina. The mezzo, Beth Moxon, also sang a clear Dorabella.
Nicholas Mogg and Jake Muffett, the two baritones, produced lovely tones and Ben Smith in L’elisir d’amore as Nemorino sang a meaningful rendition of Una Furtiva Lagrima. The two tenors, Adam Temple-Smith in his Fidelio and Roberto Barbaro as Peter Grimes, showed real potential, although it was clear for the latter that Mozart is not his repertoire. Perhaps the two most interesting voices of the evening were the countertenor of JungKwon Jang, particularly his Oberon aria and the Romanian soprano, Ana-Maria Bacanu, who showed great versatility and substance in the four roles that she sang.
NOS works in partnership with six of the leading opera companies in the UK. In order to reach the levels those companies require for their performers, each artist undergoes a rigorous training programme that is individually designed around their particular vocal and development needs. This huge requirement in the operatic world is fulfilled by NOS and may we all celebrate another 40th anniversary of NOS in the years to come.