2021/22 - 2022/23
British-Italian bass Connor Baiano studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and Royal Academy Opera, coached by Mark Wildman and Ingrid Surgenor. He was a recipient of the Colin Murray and Verdun Davies Scholarships, and the Charles Mackerras Award. Recent performances include Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Connor was a Studio Artist at the Mascarade Opera Studio 2021-2022, as well as for the 2022/23 season.
French soprano Manon Gleizes is a graduate of the Lyon Conservatoire, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Le Pôle Lyrique d’Excellence and the Sibelius Academy. Manon has sung Helmwige in Die Walküre at the Eurajoki Festival; Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des carmélites at the ATM Studio; Angelica in Suor Angelica, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Sibelius Academy; Nedda in Pagliacci, and La Baronne in La vie parisienne at the Bazoches Festival. She was awarded the first prize at the Les Clefs d’Or Competition in 2018, as well as a finalist of the 2022 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. Manon receives support from various cultural institutions such as the Wagner Society in Lyon, the Drake Calleja Trust, the Selmi Eskelinin Foundation, the Sibelius Academy, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Soroptimists National France. She was a Studio Artist at the Mascarade Opera Studio in Florence, Italy, working closely with Head of Music Julia Lynch and vocal consultant Prof. Siegfried Gohritz, for the 2021/22 season.
Matthew Gibson was a répétiteur at Mascarade Opera in 2022/23. He was previously on the Répétiteurship MA/MMus programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera School (2020-2022), where he studied with Philip White and Duncan Williams. During his time in Glasgow, Matthew played for all the main RCS productions, among them Hänsel und Gretel with Adam Hickox and Flight with Matthew Waldren. In the summer of 2022, Matthew undertook engagements with Grange Park Opera and the Oxenfoord International Festival, attending the latter as a recipient of the Sam Hutchings Pianist Prize. At Grange Park Opera, he worked as a répétiteur on Janáĉek’s The Excursions of Mr Brouĉek with George Jackson, and as a chorus pianist on Otello, La Gioconda and Der fliegende Holländer. In the summer of 2023 he was chorus assistant at Wagner Festspiele in Bayreuth.
2021/22 - 2022/23
British tenor Aaron Godfrey-Mayes was a member of Royal Academy Opera under the tutelage of singing teacher Mark Wildman and vocal coach Iain Ledingham. During his time at the Academy, Aaron won numerous awards including the Royal Academy of Music Pavarotti Prize. Aaron was also an Alvarez Young Artist with Garsington Opera. In the summer of 2022, Aaron performed the role of Ferrando in Così fan tutte as part of the Amersham Festival of Music, and was the third prize winner at the 2022 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. He performed the role of Don Ramiro in Nevill Holt Opera’s production of La Cenerentola in the summer of 2023 and has joined the Internationale Opernstudio at Staatstheater Hamburg in the autumn. Aaron was at Mascarade Opera as an emerging artist for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.
After receiving a first in Classics from St John’s College, Cambridge, British tenor Xavier Hetherington did his Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music as Their Serene Highnesses
Dr Prince Donatus and Princess Heidi Von Hohenzollern scholar. He graduated in 2020 with distinction and is now a Studio Artist at the Mascarade Opera
Studio in Florence, Italy, thanks to the generous support of the King-Farlow Trust, Mr and Mrs
Anthony Bolton, Mr John Rae and Mr Simon Groves. Xavier has sung in halls such as St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall and worked with conductors such as Dame Jane Glover, Robin Ticciati, John Lubbock, Rafael Payare, and Stephen Barlow. His recent opera engagements include Orfeo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Minack Theatre Cornwall, Torquemada in the RCM’s production of Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole and the Glyndebourne chorus. In
September 2021 Xavier
joined the Centre de Perfeccionament del Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain.
2021/22 - 2022/23
Armenian soprano Marianna Hovhannisyan graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatoire in 2019 with an MA in classical singing. Roles to date have included Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Norina in Don Pasquale, Nella and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Violetta in La traviata. She is also an associate artist of the Yerevan Opera Studio. In 2019, she covered the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at The New Generation Festival in Florence. Marianna was a professional dancer with the Berd Armenian National Dance Ensemble in addition to performing as a drummer in the Yerevan Drums all-female ensemble. She has also worked at the Armenian State Theatre of Musical Comedy as an actress. She was a 2021-2022 Studio Artist at the Mascarade Opera Studio. Marianna joined Mascarade Opera as an associate artist for the 2022/23 season.
Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Gabrielė Kupšytė is a graduate of the first year of the Mascarade Opera Studio where she worked closely with Julia Lynch. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Opera from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Elizabeth Ritchie and Jonathan Papp, before which she graduated with honours in Vocal Studies from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. During her time at the Royal Academy of Music, she was a grateful recipient of the Carr-Gregory Trust Scholarship, was a member of the prestigious Song Circle and won the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize for singing. In 2019 and 2021, Gabrielė attended the Georg Solti Accademia, where she worked with Roberto Frontali, Barbara Frittoli, Grace Bumbry and Richard Bonynge. Gabrielė has appeared as Cenerentola in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (The New Generation Festival); Veronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève); Chérubin in Massenet’s Chérubin, Prince Athamas in Handel’s Semele, The Dog in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and La chatte / L’écureuil in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (Royal Academy of Music). In 2022 Gabrielė joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and performed Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the National Opera House in Vilnius.
2021/22 - 2022/23
Matteo Londero gained his diploma in piano from the J. Tomadini Conservatoire in Udine and the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome. Matteo continued his studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Ostrava and at the Rodolfo Celletti Belcanto Academy in Martina Franca. In August 2019, he was répétiteur and maestro al cembalo for the Historical Opera Society in Pordenone, which staged scenes from Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. He was subsequently engaged as substitute maestro for two productions at Teatro La Fenice in Venice. Since 2019, he has worked as an accompanist at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatoire of Venice. Matteo worked as second répétiteur for the production of La fille du régiment on stage at Teatro La Fenice in October 2022.
2021/22 - 2022/23
Armenian baritone Grisha Martirosyan graduated with an MA from the Yerevan State Conservatoire in 2021. The student productions of opera scenes included roles such as the title role in Eugene Onegin, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Dr Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Germont in La traviata and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Before becoming an emerging artist at Mascarade Opera, Grisha was a Studio Artist at the Mascarade Opera Studio 2021-2022. Grisha was the first prize winner at the 2022 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and second prize winner at the Magda Olivero International Opera Competition. He spent the summer of 2023 with Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project and subsequently joined the Jette Parker Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
New Zealand soprano Sophie Sparrow studied at Royal Academy Opera with Kate Paterson, Marcus van den Akker and Jonathan Papp where she was supported by the Fishmongers’ Company, Kiwi Music Trust and a Help Musicians Sybil Tutton Opera Award. Opera roles while at Royal Academy Opera included, among others, Sarah/Sun Witch in Freya Waley-Cohen’s recently commissioned opera WITCH, Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Despina (Così fan tutte), and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) with Opera Otago. In 2021, Sophie was awarded the ROSL Music Competition Tait Memorial Prize. She was also a Kathleen Ferrier semi-finalist that year, and in 2023 she reached the ROSL Vocal semi-finals. Sophie worked in the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and covered Barbarina in Glyndebourne’s Le nozze di Figaro. She joined Mascarade Opera as an emerging artist for the 2022/23 season.
Polish baritone Paweł Trojak began his vocal studies at the Tarnów Music School. 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 of the Polish National Opera at the Teatr Wielki.
Paweł has won prizes at a number of international competitions, including the first prize and three special prizes at the 2019 International Antonina Campi Vocal Competition, a special prize at the 2019 International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition, the first prize and six special prizes at the 2018 Bell’Arte Competition, the first prize and a special prize at the 2017 Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský Competition, the second prize and five special prizes at the Ada Sari Competition, the first prize at the 2016 Iuventus Canti Competition and the first prize at the 2016 Rudolf Petráka Competition.
Paweł made his Polish National Opera debut in April 2017 as Jonek in Jan Stefani’s The Supposed Miracle, or Kracovians and Highlanders and in January 2018 he took over the leading roles of Bardos and Wawrzyniec in this same production. In June 2018 he returned to the Polish National Opera to sing Le Dancaïre in Carmen.
In July 2017, Paweł took part in a concert performance of Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane under Fabrice Bollon at the Freiburg Theatre. The performance was also recorded and released on CD. In the summer of 2018, he was a participant 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.
Greek-American mezzo-soprano Xenia Tziouvaras is from Southern California, but currently based in Florence where she is currently a young artist at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and an alumnus of Mascarade Opera Studio.
Recent credits include I due Foscari (Pisana) and Romeo et Juliette (Gertrude) at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Giovani voci alla Fenice at Teatro La Fenice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia) with Chautauqua Institute, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music at Carnegie Hall, and I due Timidi (Signora Guidotti), La Cenerentola (Tisbe), Così fan Tutte (Dorabella & Despina), Rorem’s A Childhood Miracle (Emma), The Cunning Little Vixen (Dog), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Nerone), and Le Roi L’a Dit (Marquis de LaBluette), all with Manhattan School of Music.
Ms. Tziouvaras has received many awards, most recently as a finalist in the Mildred Miller Voice Competition, the Richard F. Gold Career Gran, the Encouragement Award in memory of Alan M. Ades (George London Foundation). Upcoming engagements include Ayda: Amor Fatale at the Maggio as well as a summer concert series in Majorca.
2020/21 - 2022/23
Puerto-Rican tenor Ángel Vargas was a National Semi-finalist at the Metropolitan Opera’s Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition in 2022. At the Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition, he won the Ana María Martínez Encouragement Award. He also completed his second season with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist where he sang in the world première of Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier and covered the role of the Duca di Mantua in their production of Rigoletto. As a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival, he sang Spalanzani in Les contes d’Hoffmann and covered the title role in 2022. He made his role and house debut as Don José in a Landestheater Linz Opera Studio production of Peter Brook’s version of La tragédie de Carmen in 2022. This summer Ángel performed at the Aspen Music Festival in the new opera Bel Canto by… He is an alumnus of Mascarade Opera.
Henry Websdale is a répétiteur, conductor and organist living in Florence. He was a Studio Artist répétiteur of the inaugural year of the Mascarade Opera Studio. He graduated with a double first-class degree in music from the University of Cambridge, and then
worked as a répétiteur fellow at the Royal Academy of Music. Earlier this year he was a
répétiteur at Glyndebourne for a new production of Kát’a Kabanová (Janácek) with
Robin Ticciati and Damiano Michieletto.
In the summer of 2020, he was a répétiteur and assistant conductor for The ReGeneration Festival’s production of La Cenerentola (Rossini) in Florence, after which
he participated in the prestigious Solti-Peretti répétiteur course in Venice. During his time at Cambridge, Henry was the senior organ scholar at King’s College, where 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. Henry 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. During his time with King’s College Choir he 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 recently received an Artist Diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) and is now at the Mascarade Opera Studio in Florence. Most recently, Alexandria has performed roles such as Nella in Gianni Schicchi (Lunchbreak Opera); Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Oxford Opera Society); Tatyana in Eugene Onegin (The People’s Opera and Oxford Alternative Orchestra). Other performances include Mimì in La bohème (Cyprus Opera Studio); the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem (London Dockland Singers); and the title role in Suor Angelica (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.
2020/21 - 2021/22
Pianist Kristina Yorgova graduated with a MMus from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she studied with Professors Petras Geniusas and Fali Pavri. She was a finalist at the 8th Stasys Vainiunas International Piano Competition in Lithuania. Kristina has performed as a soloist with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Symphony Orchestra, and the Stara Zagora and Vidin orchestras in Bulgaria. She worked for the Vocal Studies department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2020; as an accompanist, she played for vocal masterclasses at the conservatoire and worked closely with Head of Coaching Julia Lynch in German Lieder classes. Kristina has worked as an orchestral pianist/celeste, freelancing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra since March 2019. Projects have included the Ten Pieces project by Steve Reich, Stravinsky’s Firebird and Petrushka, and Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre. She was a Studio Artist répétiteur at the Mascarade Opera Studio in Florence for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, where her work is guided by Head of Music Julia Lynch and conductors Sándor Károlyi and Jonathan Santagada. She was part of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists programme for the 2022/23 season.
Scottish mezzo soprano Lauren Young is a Mascarade Opera Studio alumna for the 2020/2021 season. She is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera School (RCS). Lauren is a recipient of an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship and Fellowship. She was the winner of the Clonter Opera Prize and the Joaninha Trust Award in 2020 and runner up in the Ye Cronies Opera Award 2019 and 2020. A keen recitalist, Lauren enjoys a close collaborative relationship with pianist José Javier Ucendo, whom with she was a finalist in the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform 2020, Leeds Lieder Young Artists 2020 and won the Elgar-Spedding Memorial Lieder Prize at RCS. Operatic experience includes Baba The Turk The Rake’s Progress, Angelina La Cenerentola (British Youth Opera); Erste Mägde Elektra, Flosshilde Das Rheingold (Edinburgh Players Opera Group); Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia, Zita Gianni Schicchi, Sorceress Dido and Aeneas, Jade Boucher Dead Man Walking (UK Staged Premiere), La Prieure Dialogues des Carmélites; Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro (RCS). Upcoming engagements include covering with the English National Opera in their 2021/2022 season. Concert highlights having included Duruflé Requiem, Bach B Minor Mass and St. John Passion, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle and Pergolesi Stabat Mater. She made her Wigmore Hall debut in October 2020 as part of the Independent Opera Scholar’s Recital. Upcoming engagements include singing the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah at her Cadogan Hall debut in April 2022. Lauren has participated in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Dame Sarah Connolly, Sir Thomas Allen, Mariella Devia, Susan Bullock, Karen Cargill and Andrea Baker.