Join us to celebrate the upcoming 2024 season at Longborough - a new production of La bohème in the centenary year of Puccini's death, alongside the culmination of our Ring cycle.
With readings and music from some of our brilliant Emerging Artists, we'll also be looking ahead with a first glimpse at the exciting plans for our 2025 programme.
This event will take place at Compton Verney, with drinks in the stunning Naples gallery. Please do come early to explore the grounds. There is a car park on site, a 10 minute walk from the venue. A shuttle bus is available. For more about visiting the venue, see comptonverney.org.uk/plan-your-visit
Naples and the Amalfi coast were a source of inspiration to Richard Wagner. There, he claimed, he had found the garden of Klingsor.
The evening of words and music will feature excerpts from our 2024 and 2025 programme from Sofia Kirwan-Baez (currently studying at the National Opera Studio and making her Longborough debut this summer), prize-winning baritone Edward Jowle and soprano Fflur Wyn, accompanied by Susie Allan.
Longborough's Artistic Director Polly Graham and Music Director Anthony Negus will also explore their plans for 2025 and beyond. This is also an opportunity to meet our new Executive Director Emily Gottlieb and Chairman Andrew Mosely.
Booking is open to Longborough members at Benefactor level and above. Please login to access booking or call Box Office on 01451 830292.
Described as a ‘superb singer actress’ (Opera Today), Anglo-Venezuelan soprano Sofia Kirwan-Baez is a Kathleen Ferrier semi-finalist, a Josephine Baker Trust artist, a Sybil Tutton Award holder (2022) and a recipient of the Musicians’ Company Award (2023). She is a Young Artist on the National Opera Studio’s (NOS) Global Talent Programme, generously supported by Lionel and Marylynn Anthony. Operatic roles include Elle/La Voix Humaine, Adina/Elisir d’Amore, Papagena/Die Zauberflöte and World premieres of works by Jasper Dommett, Marco Galvani and Toby Young. Concert work comprises Handel’s Messiah (Nevill Holt 2022), Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (Birmingham Cathedral, MAC Birmingham), Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Monteverdi’s Vespers (Cadogan Hall), Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s Dixit Dominus (Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford). She made her Wigmore debut in September 2023 as part of their 2023 French Song Exchange.
Having begun her musical studies with the violin in El Sistema in Caracas (Venezuelan), she later started playing the piano, continuing both instruments in the Périgueux Conservatoire. Sofia studied Music at Oxford University and Vocal Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where she graduated with a distinction and was supported by Rotary International. Sofia was a Huffner Scholar supported by the Sir Gordon Palmer Scholarship in the Royal College of Music Opera School and is a winner of the RCM’s Concerto Competition (2021).
Future engagements include a recital with NOS at Wigmore Hall (Jan 2024) and the role of Musetta for Longborough Festival Opera’s La Bohème (Jul/Aug 2024).
A prize-winner of the 2021 Cesti competition and a finalist of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Bass-Baritone Edward Jowle was brought up in Derbyshire and is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio. A Samling Artist and an alumnus of the Verbier Festival Atelier Lyrique, he is also the winner of the 2022 Somerset Song Prize. He has received support from the Drake Calleja Trust, The Countess of Munster Trust, Help Musicians UK and The Josephine Baker Trust.
2022/23 includes appearances with English Touring Opera as Emireno/Ottone and Lesbo/ Agrippina in the autumn, and Gubetta/Lucrezia Borgia, Antonio/Il viaggio a Reims and Curio/ Giulio Cesare in the spring. He will sing Handel’s The Messiah in Lincoln Cathedral and with The Really Big Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with Sloane Square Choral Society. In the summer he returns to the London Song Festival for the world premiere of Granville Bantock’s song cycle The Sphynx with Nigel Foster and Simon Butteriss.
Recent stage work includes Colline/La bohème (Verbier, Medici TV); Guglielmo/ Così fan tutte (Diva Opera); Papageno/Die Zauberflöte (RCM, OperaVision); Adonis/Venus and Adonis (Pratum Integrum); Polyphemus/Acis and Galatea (Ryedale Festival); Steward/Flight and Garibaldo/Rodelinda (RCM).
Having already gained wide acclaim for her performances on the operatic stage as well as the concert platform, Welsh singer Fflur Wyn has quickly established herself as one of the country’s foremost sopranos. She was recently elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the music profession so far.
Her operatic performances include Jemmy Guillaume Tell, Iphis Jephtha, Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando (Welsh National Opera); Pamina The Magic Flute, Alice Alice in Wonderland, Vivetta L’arlesiana, and the title role in Lakmé (Opera Holland Park); Malinka The Adventures of Mr Broucek (Grange Park Opera); Barbarina Le Nozze di Figaro (La Monnaie); Lucia Rape of Lucretia (Potsdamer Winteroper); Esilena Rodrigo (Göttingen International Handel Festival); Governess Turn of the Screw (Mexico City); Celia Lucio Silla (Buxton Opera); Sophie Werther, Marzelline Fidelio, Susanna The Marriage of Figaro, Morgana Alcina, Servilia La Clemenza di Tito, Blue Fairy Pinocchio, Waldvogel Siegfried, Achsah Joshua, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Flora Turn of the Screw, Clerida Croesus, Giannetta L’elisir d’amore, Sophie Der Rosenkavalier, Fire/Nightingale/Princess L’enfant et les Sortileges and Trio Soprano Trouble in Tahiti (Opera North); Floriana in Leoncavallo’s Zazà (Opera Rara); Mimi in Offenbach’s Vert Vert (Garsington Opera); Michal Saul with the BBC Singers; and Celidora L’oca del Cairo with the London Mozart Players.
Fflur has worked with many great conductors and orchestras including Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Richard Armstrong, Harry Bicket and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Gabrieli Consort and The English Concert. Recent recitals include performances at Kings Place, St John’s Smith Square, Wilton’s Music Hall and The Howard Assembly Room.
In the 2022/23 season, Fflur sang Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice on the Opera North concert tour, and also for Chelsea Opera Group, Handel’s Messiah with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, and the role of Nedda Pagliacci with the Cambridge Philharmonic, and 1st Niece Peter Grimes at Royal Danish Opera.