Pegasus Opera Company announce nine singers taking part in mentoring programme in association with Glyndebourne

Pegasus Opera Company have announced the names of nine singers who are taking part in its trailblazing 2024 opera 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 2021 in response to the underrepresentation of classical singers from diverse backgrounds on opera stages.

The nine singers will receive individual coaching sessions with and mentoring from world-class global majority opera singers, including sopranos Maureen Brathwaite and Alison Buchanan; countertenor Michael Harper; and bass Jonathan Lemalu.

Taking part in 2024 are:

  • Keren Hadas, soprano
  • Tia Jordan Radix-Callixte, soprano
  • Anusha Merrin, soprano
  • Yolisa Ngwexana, soprano
  • Lynda Olivia Nwabudike, soprano
  • Parvathi Subbiah, soprano
  • Bernadine Pritchett, mezzo-soprano
  • Yumeng Cui, tenor
  • Julian Chou-Lambert, baritone

Glyndebourne is Pegasus’ main partner in this programme and this is the third year that Glyndebourne has partnered with Pegasus Opera on its opera mentoring programme. Glyndebourne is sponsoring mentorship to four singers on the programme, Anusha, Yolisa, Lynda and Parvathi. 

The participants mentored by Glyndebourne are given opportunities to observe rehearsals and shadow established artists at the 2024 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 also attend Pegasus Opera auditions and showcases to help spot emerging talent who can be encouraged to audition for the Glyndebourne Chorus, a proven launchpad for a professional career in opera. 

Keren, Tia, Yumeng and Julian will be sponsored by Pegasus Opera, and Bernadine is sponsored by Hagemann Rosenthal Associates, a new sponsor for one place in the mentoring programme. These mentees will be offered masterclasses with Alison Buchanan and other industry leading performers, 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: In the third year of our partnership with Pegasus Opera, the relationship between the two companies continues to go from strength to strength. We’re looking forward to welcoming Anusha, Yolisa, Lynda and Parvathi to Glyndebourne this summer where they will enjoy a variety of opportunities to experience life as a professional opera singer and learn from established artists. Our goal is to provide insight, inspiration and motivation that can help propel these talented young singers forward in their careers.’

Alison Buchanan, artistic director of Pegasus Opera Company, said: I am so proud to announce our 4th mentorship round. The programme continues to grow and develop and afford our wonderful young artists an opportunity to hone their skills, be mentored by and have masterclasses with world class artists, to gain career advice and get performance opportunities in a bespoke way.

Last year we lost Keel Watson who was one of our first mentors. Keel made an indelible impact on those he mentored, he was encouraging, nurturing, compassionate and he was an expert on repertoire and vocal technique. He will be sorely missed. 

We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Glyndebourne. The Glyndebourne mentees enjoy trips to Glyndebourne to attend rehearsals, be coached by the amazing Glyndebourne musical staff and are immersed in all aspects of the opera world.

What makes me most proud is to see our mentees blossom during the scheme, to watch them as they become more confident, improve vocally and leave the year-long programme empowered to enter an industry that has excluded them in the past…. I am proud that they have trusted us to be part of their journey.’ 

Murray Rosenthal, of Hagemann Rosenthal Associates, said: Rosenthal & Hagemann Associates are thrilled to sponsor an artist in this year’s cohort of deserving artists. As Tony Award-winning producers of Broadway musicals and opera we understand the value of mentoring from someone who is both highly qualified and can provide an objective view of the individual, delivered in a supportive and nurturing way, enabling the mentee to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. This helps them to grow in ability and confidence, thereby enhancing the quality of the singing and performance.  Having supported Pegasus Opera for seven years, we see the impact of their work and are proud to now also partner in this important initiative of artist development.

Jonathan Lemalu, ONZM, operatic bass and mentor, said: This exciting mentorship scheme supports young artists as they prepare for the competitive market of classical music, cultivating and celebrating their craft through their own unique gifts.  I look forward to offering my knowledge and experience to support them on their journeys as the future of our industry.