Opera North and South Asian Arts UK celebrate Orpheus - Outstanding Achievement in Opera

All photos by Elliott Franks

The music section convened with many glamorous guests and award winners for our second annual presentation, at the Sky Bar in the Coliseum, on Wednesday September 20th

Our first Young Talent award winner…

Composer Tom Coult. Here’s Tom receiving his award from Guy Rickards. (A Harrowing Night Out – a good title for our celebration.) Photograph by Elliott Franks

Next up was the 25-year old horn (and ex-Spurs Youth Team) player Ben Goldscheider

Ben receiving his award from Jessica Duchen. Photograph by Elliott Franks

Our Young Talent (piano) award went to the astonishing 24-year-old virtuoso Thomas Kelly, who is still studying at the RCM. Thomas enthralled the room with his performance of the Liszt-Busoni version of La Campanella: ENO’s upright Yamaha will never be the same again.

Thomas receiving his award from Michael Church. Photograph by Elliott Franks

Our Young Singer was the 28-year-old bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson, fresh from a year as a Harewood Singer at ENO: Ossian (accompanied by Ivelina Krasteva) gave us an ebullient rendition of Leporello’s catalogue aria from Don Giovanni.

Photograph by Elliott Franks

We thought it would be nice to have the three lads performing together, but there’s no obvious choice for bass-horn-piano. Instead we asked composer Elena Langer whether she would like to make one for us, and she provided the gorgeous Love Song to Aminta, a setting of a poem by Aphra Behn, which therefore received its premiere at our awards. The recording will be posted here soon.

Elena Langer with our three young performers

The second part of the evening was a celebration of Opera North’s great reinvention of Monteverdi’s Orpheus, made in collaboration with South Asian Arts UK, with half the music newly composed by Jasdeep Singh Degun.

After we played some clips from the show, music director Laurence Cummings, together with tenors Kaviraj Singh and Nick Watts, performed the Orpheus-Charon duet live.

Jasdeep and Laurence receive the award. Photograph by Elliott Franks
Set designer Leslie Travers, Director Anna Himali Howard, Jasdeep and Laurence
Kaviraj Singh and Nick Watts

And then we partied

With huge thanks for generous support from

Leslie and Peter MacLeod-Miller

Peter and Fiona Espenhahn

Les Azuriales Opera Trust

We are massively grateful also to Maxine Anderson for designing and making the awards

to Bobby Williams for recording, setup and sound advice!

and to Louise Flew at ENO and all the staff for managing the whole thing so beautifully

We couldn’t have done it without you!