Louise Winter (Chair and Founder) Dame Felicity Lott Richard Suart Sebastian Wybrew
Louise Winter began her musical training at Chetham’s school of music and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Her operatic opportunities came on Glyndebourne Tour singing Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville and Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. For the Festival roles included Mercedes-Carmen, Varvara-Katya Kabanova, Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Pauline in The Queen of Spades, and Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the role of Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring. Louise has sung internationally as well as at the Royal Opera House, Grange Opera, Garsington and often sung in English at ENO (the role of Carmen directed by Jonathan Miller, Dulcinea in Massenet’s Don Quixote and sung the title role in Handel’s Xerxes in the acclaimed production by Nicholas Hytner). Louise has also recorded, including an album of songs by Frank Bridge and performed for the BBC, notably singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Phaedra by Benjamin Britten. Her love of English song has grown over the years, and she has taught classes specialising in English language alongside teaching singing for the last twelve years at the Royal Northern in Manchester. Recent work includes return visits to Scottish Opera to sing in Puccini’s Il Trittico (Frugola and Zita) in a new production by Sir David McVicar and to Garsington to sing in The Bartered Bride by Smetana. A performance of Elgar’s The Kingdom with the Norwich Philharmonic in November 2023 was followed by a run as Mistress Quickly in the latest production of Verdi’s Falstaff for Opera North.
Click HERE to read an entertaining account by a self-confessed groupie of attending performances by Louise in 2023.
Dame Felicity Lott studied French at Royal Holloway, London University, and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. She has played leading roles in all the major opera houses of the world and with the greatest conductors and directors. She is particularly associated with the operas of Mozart and Strauss but also with the operettas of Jacques Offenbach. She has given recitals all over the world and is a founder member of Graham Johnson’s Songmakers’ Almanac. Her many recordings include three recital CD’s devoted to English Song, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, the rôle of Ellen in ‘Peter Grimes’ and the Governess in ‘Turn of the Screw’, both by Benjamin Britten. She is a Dame Commander of the British Empire, a Bayerische Kammersängerin, and has been awarded the titles Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. She has also received the Wigmore Medal marking her significant contribution to that Hall. In 2023 Gramophone magazine gave her their coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.
Richard Suart has been a member of the D’Oyly Carte since 1988 when he sang the part of the Lord Chancellor in the augural season of the new company. Over the last decade he has continued his relationship with D’Oyly Carte, in collaboration with Scottish Opera, with productions of The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, The Gondoliers and Utopia Limited. He has sung Ko-Ko in The Mikado for ENO since 1986, and after 45 years in the profession singing a wide variety of music: from Bernstein and Sondheim to Shostakovich and Lehar, from Maxwell Davies and Tippett to Harrison Birtwistle and Benedict Mason, from Ligeti and Stravinsky to Britten and Schoenberg and from Lerner & Loewe and Rossini and Mozart and Donizetti, he has made his debut at Glyndebourne singing Benoit in La Boheme. In 2023 he returned to Scottish Opera to sing Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, where he encountered Louise Winter. He has written two book about his Mikado experiences: They ‘d none of ‘em be missed, documenting many of his re-writes for Ko-Ko’s Little List, and Mikado Memories, remembering the ENO singers, dancers and conductors, who over many years contributed to the great success of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production.
Sebastian Wybrew – Praised for his ‘tremendous versatility and sense of colour’ (BBC Music Magazine), Sebastian Wybrew gives recitals with many of the UK’s most eminent performers including Dame Felicity Lott, Iestyn Davies and Christopher Maltman. He made his debut at Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Ian Bostridge, and at Wigmore Hall with Sophie Bevan. He regularly performs at festivals throughout Europe including Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, Zaragoza, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorprommen.
His recordings of English music, ‘An English Trumpeter’ with Simon Cheney and ‘Songs of Vain Glory’ with Sophie Bevan for Wigmore Hall live have received unanimous critical acclaim. He was awarded the Accompanist Prize at the John Kerr English Song Competition and the Jean Meickle Duo Prize at the Wigmore Hall Song Competition with Gemma Summerfield. He has given masterclasses on Britten song for Foundation Royaumont and taught English Song at the Royal College of Music.
In much demand as a pedagogue, he has given masterclasses for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Edward Said Conservatory, Palestine and the Fondation Royaumont, France.
He is a member of the Vocal faculties of Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance, and the Royal College of Music, London.