Ten Days Of Classical Charm In Aldborough

This year’s top talent lined up for the Northern Aldborough Festival - New Voices Singing Competition
Evie Whitaker
May 8, 2024

The historic St Andrew’s Church in Aldborough is set to be the stage for classical vocalists of The Northern Aldborough Festival’s 30th anniversary event. 

The newly announced semi-finalists found in a nationwide search through concert halls and conservatories will be performing over the ten day festival, vying for career-bolstering prizes including The Seastock Trust Prize, sponsored by The Yorkshire Music Future Fund.

A star-studded affair is on the cards for villagers as renowned figures from the classical music world, including conductor Edward Gardner OBE, bass Sir John Tomlinson CBE, and pianist Sholto Kynoch, form the discerning judging panel.

Sir John Tomlinson said: “I’ve been singing all my life, choosing to join the opera world at the age of 21. It’s a career that demands patience, time, and devotion, and it can also be a long hard road for students. I’m honoured to use my experience to not only judge this important competition, but help shine a light on the new stars of classical music, and help them in their journey.”

Judges of northern aldborough festival singing competition
This Year's Judging Panel

Against a backdrop of uncertainty across the arts industry, the festival remains steadfast in its mission to provide a valuable opportunity for emerging talents to shine as well as providing much needed financial support.

Robert Ogden, director of the festival expressed his pride in the event and what it can accomplish: “The high quality of entrants for the competition this year is truly astounding. At a time of serious arts cuts, we are committed to providing not only this financial support, but a valuable and prestigious platform for young emerging artists, who will perform in front of a judging panel of leading figures. We’re proud that the New Voices Singing Competition is the only one of its kind in the North of England. I urge the audience to come along and experience these exceptional rising stars in their ascendance, as well as catch the 'Winner's Recital' given by last year’s sublime winners, Lea Shaw and Kristina Yorgova.”

The 2024 New Voices Singing Competition semi-finalists are as follows:

  • Annabel Kennedy (Mezzo-Soprano): A Jerwood Young Artist and winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Competition, accompanied by pianist Daniel Peter Silcock.
  • Ava Dodd (Soprano): Winner of the Yves Paternot prize at the Verbier Festival 2023, accompanied by pianist Firoze Madon.
  • Caroline Taylor (Soprano): Recital debut at the Royal Opera House, winner of multiple awards including the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Strauss Award, accompanied by pianist George Ireland.
  • Clara Orif (Soprano) and Jack Redman (Piano): Winners of the Richard Lewis Competition and Oxford Song Young Artists, with extensive collaborative experience.
  • Florian Störtz (Bass-baritone) and Aleksandra Myslek (Piano): Winners of prestigious competitions including the London Handel Singing Competition and the Helmut Deutsch Song Competition, with notable performances at venues like Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall.
  • Lauren Lodge-Campbell (Soprano) and Collin Shay (Countertenor/Pianist): Former member of Le Jardin de Voix with Les Arts Florissants and Opera Prelude Young Artist, accompanied by Collin Shay, a multi-talented musician.
  • Rebecca Leggett (Ten Days Of Classical Charm In AldboroughSoprano) and George Ireland (Pianist): Winners of the London Song Festival 'British Art-Song Award' and finalists of the Kathleen Ferrier Award 2023.
  • Samuel Stopford (Tenor): First-year Royal Academy Opera student, winner of multiple awards including the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award, and upcoming performer at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Accompanied by pianist Daniel Peter Silcock.

While the competition is at the heart of the event, unmissable performances typically reserved for upscale concert halls mark a huge milestone for the festival. Expect to see Fantasia Orchestra's opening performance with Leeds Piano Competition winner Alim Beisembayev, as well as appearances by world-class musicians such as violin virtuoso Vicktoria Mullova and jazz sensation the Julian Joseph Trio.

Tickets are now on sale to attend the live semi-finals on 17 June, and the grand final on 18 June, at St Andrew’s Church in Aldborough: https://aldboroughfestival.co.uk/

Header image: Robert Ogden