The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme was established in 2001 to foster the artistic development of professional singers, conductors and directors, at the start of their careers. This summer performance showcased a talented young cast in a series of duets from various classical and romantic operas, alternating between four young conductors, and all overseen by young director Noa Namaat.
Tenor Konu Kim blew us all away as the Duke of Mantua in a scene from Verdi’s Rigoletto, blazing with Italian passion and erupting with astonishing top notes. Baritone Germán E. Alcántara completely dominated the stage with overflowing charisma, in an excerpt from Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, plotting to murder Samson as the High Priest of Dagon.
There were only five women on stage, but they made just as much of an impact as the seven men. Soprano Jacquelyn Stucker sang the role of Euridice with a rich, assured tone, fully conveying the torture and misery of the lyrics, in the finale of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Soprano Haegee Lee briefly stopped the show with her vocal fireworks in Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Conductor Patrick Milne showed superb command of the orchestra in the Tower Scene from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Noa Namaat’s direction was well-choreographed throughout, though the humorous moments really took off; particularly in the delightfully tongue-in-cheek, primary colours trio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the high camp of the to-audience Fugal Finale of Verdi’s Falstaff. An impressive showcase for the next generation of opera stars.
This one-off showcase has now finished, but you can find out more about the Jette Parker Young Artists on the Royal Opera House website.