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Where Are They Now? 2018


Since performing the role of Rodolfo in Clonter Opera’s production of La bohème in 2018, Bechara has recorded Nessun Dorma for Classic FM’s Classics You Know series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is now a Principal Tenor with the Serbian National Theatre where his roles include Alfredo La Traviata, Il Duca Rigoletto and Rodolfo La bohème.

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Click here to watch Part of 12:40 – Twelve new opera arias for the National Opera Studio’s 40th Anniversary (2018)

Click here to watch La bohème in Lockdown from Germany, Lebanon, Ukraine, Russia & Serbia

MIRJAM MESAK – Soprano – 2018

Since performing the role of Mimi in Clonter Opera’s 2018 production of La bohème, having taken part in Clonter’s May Masterclasses in 2017, and the Opera Gala in the same year, Mirjam received both her Masters degree in voice from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with a First Class Honours under the tutelage of Prof. Rudolf Piernay. For the season 2018/19 she was a member of the Opera Studio at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Mirjam has gone on to work with the finest singers and coaches including Helmut Deutch, Graham Johnson, Edith Wiens, Birgitta Fassbender, Eugene Asti, Julius Drake, Stephan Loges. Mirjam has since performed as a soloist in several of London’s renowned concert halls such as the Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall (including as part of the LSO’s This is Rattle festival), and Wigmore Hall. Recent opera engagements include Iolanta, Iolanta, Papagena Die Zauberflöte, Erste Geist/Erste Uhr Karl V and Blumenmädchen at the Bayerische Staatsoper, to name a few. Season 2019/20 at the Bayerische Staatsoper includes roles such as Juliette, Die Tote Stadt, Taumannchen, Hänsel und Gretel, Esmeralda Die verkaufte Braut, Xenia, Borid Godunov, Mignon, Mignon and Gianetta, L’elisir d’amore. Concert highlights include Beethoven 9th with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and conductor Erik Nielsen, as well as the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and Kahchun Wong. In 2019 Mirjam was awarded with the Bavarian Art Prize in the section Performing Arts – Bayerische Kunstdörderpreis in Der Sparte Darstellende Kunst.

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Click here to watch Blaibach – Michaela’s Aria “Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante, Carmen, Bizet 2019

“I’ve not heard Lauretta’s “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi delivered with such artistry in concert; Mesak has the measure of authentic messa di voce and phrase-roundings, as well as an understanding of the young girl’s plight…”
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 2017

“A light soprano with amplitude in her soaring”
David Nice, The Arts Desk

“Estonian Mirjam Mesak (Mimì) is surely a singing actress with a great future, and she effortlessly shone out over the biggest vocal ensembles and accompanimental textures…”
Robert Beale, 2018

Never is the radiance of her voice careless, there is always skepticism, longing, the idea of ​​a woe. A wonderful artist…”
Egbert Tool, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2019

Mirjam Mesak stood out as Iolanta. Fragile and fairy-like, her lyrical soprano let the princess shine from within. With a slightly rapturous timbre, she played and lived the blindness credibly and thus gave her role an unbelievable amount of depth…”
Norman Schwarze, Bachtrack, 2019

ALEXEY GUSEV – Baritone – 2018

Since performing the role of Marcello in Clonter’s 2018 production of La bohème, Alexey continued as a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist for the 17/18 season with roles inIolantaEugene Onegin, Ariadne auf Naxos and The Fiery Angel, and completed a further season in 2018/19. A keen concert artist Alexey has appeared with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic / Vladimir Jurowsky in Prokofiev Semyon Kotko and at the Golden Mask, En Blanc et Noir, Malvern, Llandeilo and Salisbury Festivals. He numbers amongst his artistic collaborators the conductors Stuart Stratford, Alexander Polianichko, Andrey Anikhanov, Valery Voronin and Maurizio Dones.

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Russian lyric baritone Alexey Gusev made a great impact in the lead roles, Napoleon and Andrey Bolkonsky in Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In this show, Napoleon wins the singing prize, if not the war – a superbly mature performance.”
Richard Morrison, The Times, Iolanta, Scottish Opera 2017

“Alexey Gusev’s Robert is impressive, and one to watch”

“Delightful Russian songs… Baritone Alexey Gusev, with his dark, unmistakably Slavic timbre, dispatches these with elegance and point, patently relishing the verbal music of his native language. This is another young singer to watch”
Gramophone Magazine

Click here to watch Britain’s Got Talent 2020

Click here to watch La bohème in Lockdown from Germany, Lebanon, Ukraine, Russia & Serbia

ERIKA BAIKOFF – Soprano – 2018

Since performing the role of Musetta in Clonter Opera’s 2018 production of La bohème, Erika went from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama to the Lyon National Opera Studio. This season she will appear as Le Feu/ Princesse/ Rossignol in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and sing the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony under the baton of Daniele Rustoni. Last season, she was heard in the role of Juliet in Boris Blacher’s Romeo and Juliet and Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco. Erika is a 2020 Metropolitan National Council Semi-finalist. She is also the recipient of the first prize at the 2019 Helmut Deutsch International Lied Competition, 2019 Career Bridges Grant, 2018 Mondavi Young Artist Founders’ Prize, 2018 Audience Award at the Art Song Preservation Society Competition, 2018 Paul Hamburger Prize at the Guildhall School of Music. She has been featured in masterclasses with world-class musicians such as Dalton Baldwin, Julius Drake, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, and Ann Murray. She has also participated in summer courses such as the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, directed by Edith Wiens, the Chautauqua Institute, and Songfest as a Schubert Fellow.

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Click here to watch O luce di quest anima – Arie der Linda aus Linda di Chamonix, Donizetti

“The wonderful Erika Baikoff brought relief to the Mahler landscape in the last movement sublimely introduced by the harp and the clarinet. With a pure and very expressive voice, both in the music and in the text, the Russian-American soprano envelops in a fragile but transparent case the paradise described in this wonderful music.”
Augustine Javel

JOLYON LOY – Baritone – 2018

Since performing the role of Schaunard in Clonter Opera’s 2018 production of La bohème, Jolyon has gone on to perform the roles that include Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia 2020, Aeneas Dido & Aeneas, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Marquis de la Force Dialogues des Carmélites* and Owen Hart in the UK staged premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). Upcoming appearances and recent highlights include residencies at Opera North, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera with the National Opera Studio, the final rounds of the 39th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition at Dzintari Hall in Latvia, the 4th Éva Marton International Singing Competition at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, 2nd Prize & the Bayreuth Festival Award at the 2019 Wagner Society Singing Competition at the Wigmore Hall, baritone soloist in Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Symphonieat St John’s Smith Square, Apollo in John Eccles’ Semele with Cambridge Handel Opera Company and the Academy of Ancient Music (recorded on AAM Records), Le Directeur (cover*) Les mamelles de Tirésias and Marco* Gianni Schicchi at London’s Hackney Empire Theatre with British Youth Opera and the Southbank Sinfonia, Don Fernando (cover*) in Fidelio as a 2020 Garsington Opera Alvarez Young Artist and Stimme der Wächter in Die Frau ohne Schatten under Valery Gergiev at the 2019 Verbier Festival. Jolyon is due to join the National Opera Studio in London as a Young Artist in 2020/21. [* cancelled due to Coronavirus]

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“Tarquinius was well sung by Jolyon Loy. Loy recently won 2nd Prize in the Wagner Society’s singing competition at Wigmore Hall, and his suave lyric baritone suggests a natural Don Giovanni, Almaviva or Onegin”
Hugh Canning, The Times

“The handsome, soft-edged Jolyon Loy turned Tarquinius into a tragic, almost sympathetic character”
Andrew Clark, Opera MagazineSemele, Academy of Ancient Music, 2019

“As Apollo announcing the birth of Bacchus, the baritone Jolyon Loy was a suave, commanding and suitably joyful presence”
Sandra Bowdler, Opera Magazine

Click here to watch ‘Wie Todesahnung… O du mein holder Abendstern’, Tannhauser, Wagner 2019

CONNOR BAIANO – Bass – 2018

Since performing the role of Colline in Clonter’s 2018 production of La bohème. His other experience includes the roles of Bertrand in Iolanta (2019, Royal Academy Opera), Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (2018) and Black Bob and Tom in The Little Sweep (2018, Cambridge Youth Opera). In 2018 he also sang in the chorus for Der Fliegende Holländer with Longborough Festival Opera, and sang the bass solos in Mozart’s Requiem, performed with Prior Park Choral Society, Bath. In November 2019 Connor sang the role of Sarastro in Royal Academy Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte.

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PEDRO OMETTO – Bass-Baritone – 2018

Since performing the role of Benoit and Alcindoro in Clonter’s 2018 production of La bohème, Pedro has performed the roles of Theseus in Midsummer Night’s Dream at the São Pedro Theatre in 2018, Don Bartolo Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Banquo Macbeth for Duchy Opera in 2019.


Since appearing as the waiter in Clonter’s 2018 production of La bohème, Marcus has gone on to be the Alternate Evan Hansen, and cover for Jared and Connor, in the West End production of Dear Evan Hansen.