Pegasus Opera Company have announced the names of eight singers who are taking part in its trailblazing 2023 mentoring programme, which offers aspiring and emerging artists of African and Asian heritage a bespoke programme of coaching and mentoring opportunities. It was set up in response to the underrepresentation of classical singers from diverse backgrounds on opera stages.
The eight singers will receive individual coaching sessions with sopranos Patricia Rozario, Maureen Brathwaite, and Alison Buchanan; mezzo soprano Ruby Philogene; countertenor Michael Harper; baritone Roderick Williams; and bass/baritone Keel Watson.
Taking part in 2023 are:
- Jasmine Flicker, soprano
- Neeharika Gollapalli, soprano
- Moloko Letsoalo, soprano
- Isabella Moore, soprano
- Roberta Philip, soprano
- Aina Miyagi Magnell, mezzo-soprano
- Carlos Felipe Cerchiaro, baritone
- Masimba Ushe, bass
Glyndebourne Opera is Pegasus’ main partner in this programme and this is the second year that Glyndebourne has partnered with Pegasus Opera on its opera mentoring programme. Glyndebourne is providing mentorship to four singers on the programme, Jasmine, Moloko, Carlos and Masimba.
The participants mentored by Glyndebourne will be given opportunities to observe rehearsals and shadow established artists at the 2023 Glyndebourne Festival, as well as receiving opportunities to perform for key artistic staff and receive feedback to aid their development. They will also be introduced to other departments at Glyndebourne for insight into the full range of career opportunities in opera.
Representatives from Glyndebourne will also attend Pegasus Opera auditions and showcases to help Glyndebourne spot emerging talent who can be encouraged to audition for the Glyndebourne Chorus, a proven launchpad for a professional career in opera.
Neeharika, Isabella, Roberta and Aina will be mentored by Pegasus, and will be offered masterclasses with Alison Buchanan, as well as opportunities to attend opera productions and receive input and feedback from industry leaders, including agents, communication specialists and dramaturges.
Stephen Langridge, artistic director of Glyndebourne, said: ‘We’re delighted to be partnering with Pegasus Opera Company again this year and to be working with these four excellent young singers. They will each be offered lots of opportunities to experience life at Glyndebourne and learn from established artists and professionals and we hope that their time here will provide inspiration and encouragement as they move ahead in forging a career in opera.’
Alison Buchanan, artistic director of Pegasus Opera Company, said: ‘I am thrilled to partner with Glyndebourne for the second year of our mentorship programme. What a tremendous opportunity for these talented young singers to watch, learn and hone skills as they embark on their operatic careers. I recently attended the first in-person reunion with members of the Porgy and Bess cast with Sir Willard White, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Trevor Nunn, Brian Dickie and others from that iconic Glyndebourne production, a production that was life changing for me and was the genesis of Pegasus Opera. As we come full circle, I know their time at Glyndebourne will be equally life changing to our singers.’
Michael Harper, mentor & vocal tutor, said: Pegasus Opera offers a fantastic mentoring scheme for its young singers. affording them direct access to industry professionals who can guide them on career decisions, repertoire, technique and interpretation. It is a wonderful opportunity for the mentors to pass on the torch to the next generation of talented young singing actors.
Roderick Williams, OBE, mentor & baritone, said: I am so happy to be able to participate for a second year in the Pegasus mentorship scheme to support and encourage singers as they embark on careers in opera. The mentorship scheme will help these singers to hone their craft, gain a few insights and be inspired by established artists in the opera industry. I am delighted that I can be a part of that journey.