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Royal Opera House announces Jette Parker Young Artists for 2019/20 Season

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, is delighted to announce the five singers and one stage director who will join the Jette Parker Young Artists (JPYA) Programme in September 2019, selected from more than 508 applicants from 61 countries across the globe.

The artists are:

  • South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha
  • British mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards
  • Tongan/New Zealand tenor Filipe Manu
  • Uruguayan tenor Andrés Presno
  • South Korean bass-baritone ByeongMin Gil
  • British director Isabelle Kettle

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 may have already worked with professional companies. They are salaried employees of the Royal Opera House, who work at Covent Garden full-time over two years.

The process for the selection of the Jette Parker Young Artists began in August 2018. Seventy-six singers were selected for live audition. Twenty-seven singers progressed to the second round, involving a one-to-one coaching session with David Gowland, JPYA Artistic Director, and a panel audition with David Gowland, ROH Director of Casting Peter Mario Katona, senior répétiteur Mark Packwood, Australian soprano Yvonne Kenny and Elaine Kidd, Head of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

The final shortlist of ten singers auditioned on the Royal Opera House’s main stage with the decision-making panel joined by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, Oliver Mears, Director of Opera, and The Royal Opera’s Head of Music, Richard Hetherington.

Oliver Mears, Director of Opera, The Royal Opera said:

‘The Royal Opera House has always sought to provide the best opportunities for new voices, directors and for talented young singers, especially those from backgrounds that don’t offer them access to skilled musical training and support. I am proud to say that the 2019/20 intake of Jette Parker Young Artists are truly a cut above, both in the quality of their music making, and in the diversity of their backgrounds. We warmly welcome our new intake of singers, and are determined to support and drive forward their talent while giving them the best opportunities that the Royal Opera House can provide. I look forward to working with each of them over the coming years.’

The new Young Artists will join the five singers and four music staff who continue on the Programme into their second year.