Born into a family of musicians in 1998 in Palermo, Floriana studied classical singing from 2011 with Elizabeth Smith. She is the winner and finalist of a number of international singing competitions including Archimede di Siracusa, Alcamo, Placido Domingo di Valencia, Benvenuto Franci di Pienza, A. Belli di Spoleto, Magda Olivero. She made her debut with the Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana with Beethoven’s Egmont Op.84 with Aldo Ceccato and the roles of Serpina (from La Serva Padrona), Clorinda (from La Cenerentola), Countess of Ceprano (from Rigoletto). She also debuts the role of Ocsana / Zarina from La notte di Natale by A. Cara in world premiere at the Opera Giocosa in Savona and Pavarotti in Modena. In 2019 she attended an advanced opera course at the Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti in Modena. In May she made her debut with the Stabat Mater by G. Rossini with the Europe Philharmonic Orchestra in Todi conducted by Maestro Ezio Bosso. She is a graduate student at the DAMS faculty of Palermo.
Having graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge, with a degree in Classics, Xavier moved to Moscow where he studied with Professor Pyetr Sergeevich Gluboki. On his return to the UK he learned privately with Christine Cairns before being accepted into the Royal College of Music. He receives support from Opera Prelude and currently studies with Russell Smythe.
In summer 2020 Xavier will play the role of Theseus in the Grange Festival’s production of Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze. Recent engagements include the title role in Monteverdi’s l’Orfeo at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall; Lensky Eugene Onegin, title role Jephtha, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice; Sailor Dido and Aeneas, Don Curzio and Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro (Dartington Festival), Sir Thomas Allen’s acclaimed production of Le Nozze di Figaro and the Page in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (Bampton Classical Opera); and Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Damnation de Faust (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus). As a concert soloist Xavier has sung throughout England including St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall; Salisbury, Ely and Winchester Cathedrals and Dorchester Abbey. He is a young artist for Opera Prelude and regularly gives concerts and lecture-recitals in London and Henley on Thames. He has worked with conductors such as Jane Glover CBE, John Lubbock, Michael Rosewell, RobinTicciati and Rafael Payare.
Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Gabrielė Kupšytė graduated with honours in Vocal Studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA). She is currently finishing an Advanced Diploma in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, London (RAM) where she is studying with Elizabeth Ritchie and Jonathan Papp. She is extremely grateful for the generosity of the Carr-Gregory Trust Scholarship. Gabrielė has won numerous national awards in her home country and has a broad background as a soloist and choir member. Recent operatic performances with Royal Academy Opera include the title role in Massenet’s Chérubin, Prince Athamas in Semele, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (Opera Scenes), The Dog in The Cunning Little Vixen, and La chatte / L’écureuil in L’enfant et les sortilèges. She is the winner of the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize competition (RAM) and a CLC Music Section Student award (City of London). Gabrielė attended the Georg Solti Accademia in 2019, working under Roberto Frontali, Barbara Frittoli and Richard Bonynge.
Polish baritone Paweł Trojak was born in 1994. In 2020, he graduated from the Fryderyk
Chopin Music University in Warsaw, where he studied with Jadwiga Rappé. He is also a
member of the Opera Academy at the National Opera – The Grand Theatre in Warsaw.
He is a laureate of over 20 vocal competitions, including the first prize at the 2019 International Antonina Campi Vocal Competition, the first prize at the 2018 Bell’Arte Competition. He is a scholar of the Polish Ministry of Culture, Hans and Eugenia Jütting Foundation and the Jerzy Semkow Foundation. Paweł made his Polish National Opera debut in April 2017 as Jonek in Jan Stefani’s The Supposed Miracle or Kracovians and Highlanders. In June 2018 he returned to sing Le Dancaïre in Carmen. In 2018, he participated in the Young Singers Project of the Salzburg Festival where he made his debut as the Second Nazarene in Salome. In June 2019 he sang Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Warsaw Chamber Opera. Among the many orchestras with which Paweł has worked are the Vienna Philharmonic, the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Polish National Opera.
Greek-American mezzo-soprano Polixeni (Xeni) Tziouvaras is from Santa Barbara, California. She is 24 years old and has just completed her graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Recent credits include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Chautauqua Institute, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music at Carnegie Hall, and Signora Guidotti in I due timidi, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea all at the Manhattan School of Music. Xeni has received many awards, most recently the Meche Kroop Encouragement Award (Premiere Opera Foundation/NYIOP, 2019) and the Richard F. Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation, 2019). She was a semi-finalist in the Eleanor McCullum Competition (Houston Grand Opera, 2020) and a finalist in the 2019 Mildred Miller Voice Competition. Upcoming engagements include Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto as an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera.
Henry Websdale is a répétiteur fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and the organist of St John’s Hyde Park. He plays for all major musical and production rehearsals with the Royal Academy Opera, and was recently the main répétiteur for the widely acclaimed production of Massenet’s Chérubin. Before moving to London, Henry was the senior organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he also graduated with a double first class degree in Music. During his time at King’s, he accompanied the college choir live on radio for the annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols, as well as on BBC Television for Carols from King’s and Easter from King’s. He has appeared in concerts at the Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Seattle Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Washington National Cathedral, and many other venues across the world. He has played with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra (live on Radio 3), the Academy of Ancient Music and the BBC Singers (also live on Radio 3).
American Soprano Alexandria Wreggelsworth is currently finishing an Artist Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD). Most recently, Alexandria has performed roles such as Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Lunchbreak Opera, Eurydice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Oxford Opera Society, and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with The People’s Opera and Oxford Alternative Orchestra. Other performances include Mimì in La bohème for Cyprus Opera Studio, Nicosia, the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the London Dockland Singers, and has performed the title role in Suor Angelica for both Lunchbreak Opera in London and Love to Sing Opera in Provence. Alexandria has also performed in several concerts, including an array of song recitals at GSMD, the Barbican Centre, Oxford University, Song in the City, and the St Marylebone Festival.
Pianist Kristina Yorgova graduated with a master’s degree in Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she studied with Prof. Petras Geniusas. She was a finalist at the 8th Stasys Vainiunas International Piano Competition in Lithuania and was awarded Second Prize in the Bamber/Galloway Piano competition. Kristina also won the Bach Prize for organ, piano and harpsichord in Glasgow and the Intercollegiate Beethoven Sonata competition. Kristina has performed as a soloist with the Lithuanian Chamber orchestra, RCS symphony orchestra and the Stara Zagora and Vidin orchestras in Bulgaria. She has played recitals in venues across Europe including Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, and Russia. Kristina is passionate about working in collaboration with singers, her most recent duo being with mezzo-soprano Svetlina Stoyanova, currently pursuing a career at the Vienna State Opera.
Scottish mezzo-soprano Lauren Young is in her final year at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). Operatic experience includes: Cover Angelina in La Cenerentola (British Youth Opera); Chorus in Un ballo in maschera and Roméo et Juliette (Grange Park Opera); Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro (Magnetic Opera); Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (RCS); Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi; and, Kate Julian in Owen Wingrave (RCS Opera Scenes). Lauren is a recipient of an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship and Fellowship. She is also the holder of the John Mather Rising Star Award and WFT Anderson Scholarship. Lauren was the winner of the Clonter Opera Prize 2020 and runner-up in the Ye Cronies Opera Award 2019. She was a finalist in the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform 2020.
Baritone Thando Zwane graduated from Tshwane University of Technology with a National Diploma in Vocal Arts and subsequently became a member of the Cape Town Opera Young Artist Programme. He was a runner-up in the first Amazwi Omzansi Singing Competition and a semi-finalist in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition and the ATKV Muziqanto. In 2019, he won the audience prize at the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition and the Baroque Prize at the Voices of South Africa Opera Competition. Thando has performed roles in a number of operas, including the title role in Don Giovanni, Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, Don Magnifico and Dandini in La Cenerentola, Ford in Falstaff, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Tshwane University of Technology. More recently, he performed Cecil in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. He was also a guest artist at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet 2018 New Year’s Gala.