News from former Grads soloists

Our efforts to engage an outstanding group of soloists for our performance of Christopher Bowen’s Australian War Requiem in August have incidentally elicited information about the career development of two outstanding young baritones, who have sung with us in the past but, as it has unfortunately transpired, are not going to be able to do so this time.

Andrew Finden received an honourable mention in the Joan Carden Carden Award in 2007 and as a result sang the roles of Raphael and Adam in our exciting performance of Haydn’s Die Schoepfung in August of that year, before going to Europe, where he is now a contracted soloist at the important German regional opera company in Karlsruhe.  He is currently singing the role of Papageno for the first time in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and on 21 February  sang the role of Berardo in the premiere of the company’s new production of Handel’s Riccardo Primo, which he reports is being done in Baroque style with 1000 candles.  Later in the season, he will be singing the role of Konrad Nachtigall, one of the Mastersingers in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger.

Morgan Pearse will be remembered as having sung in our performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Handel’s Messiah, and most recently Bach’s St John Passion in August last year.  Morgan subsequently went to London and has just completed a Masters at the Royal College of Music as the inaugural Dame Joan Sutherland Scholar.  It is pleasing to be able to report that he has just been offered a nine months attachment to the Houston Grand Opera in their Young Artists Program, beginning in August. This is a great opportunity, as Houston is one of the best opera companies in the United States, after the Met.

Morgan and Andrew have very warm memories of appearing with Christopher Bowen and the Choir, and, circumstances permitting, would like to do so again, although they are both unavailable for us in August.  When ciecumstances permit, it will be interesting to have them sing with us again and to judge the progress they have made since we last heard them..

A recent item on our blog reported on young tenor Pascal Herington’s farewell concert, before he goes to Berlin for further study.  Pascal has sung solo roles in our performances of Handel’s Saul and Messiah, and most recently last December in Zelenka’s Missa Dei Patris.  Those of us who attended the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s recent performance of Richard Strauss’s Elektra, under David Robertson, were surprised and delighted to see Pascal singing the role of the Young Servant.

John  Bowan

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