Friday, January 24, 2014

Barihunks Samuel Johnson & Yuriy Yurchuk selected as Jette Parker Young Artists

Samuel Johnson
Barihunk Samuel Johnson, who we introduced to readers last summer, and Ukrainian bass-barihunk Yuriy Yurchuk, who is new to the site, are two of the five singers who will join the Royal Opera's Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2014. They'll be joined by Australian soprano Lauren Fagan, British bass James Platt, and Australian tenor Samuel Sakker.

The audition process for the selection of the Jette Parker Young Artists began last September. 66 artists were selected to sing in the first of three rounds with 25 progressing to the second round involving a one-to-one coaching session with David Gowland, Artistic Director of the Programme, plus a panel audition for John Fulljames, Associate Director of Opera, Peter Katona, Director of Casting and David Syrus, Head of Music for The Royal Opera, as well as English counter-tenor Andrew Watts and David Gowland.

Yuriy Yurchuk
A final shortlist of 12 singers auditioned on the main stage in front of a panel comprising Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, Kasper Holten, Director of Opera, Peter Katona, David Syrus, Andrew Watts, David Gowland and Siri Fischer Hansen, Administrator of the Programme.
The five new Young Artists will join the six who continue in the program into their second year next season: sopranos Anush Hovhannisyan and Kiandra Howarth, mezzo-sopranos Nadezhda Karyazina and Rachel Kelly, tenor Luis Gomes and stage director Greg Eldridge.

Yuriy Yurchuk sings Aleko's cavatina by Rachmaninov:

The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme supports the artistic development of young professional singers, conductors, directors and répétiteurs. The Young Artists are an international group of outstanding professionals at the start of their careers who have undertaken formal training and have already worked with professional companies. They are not students, but contracted, salaried employees of the Royal Opera House, who work for the company full-time over two years. The Young Artists work on productions for The Royal Opera, singing small roles, covering larger roles or joining the music or directing staff.

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