The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce four music staff who will join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September, selected from more than 119 applicants from 31 countries.

Hong Kong-born British conductor Jonathan Lo

British conductor/répétiteur Patrick Milne

British conductor Thomas Payne

British conductor/répétiteur Edmund Whitehead

The audition process for the selection of the Jette Parker Young Artists began in November 2017, with applications processed through the YAP Tracker website, and auditions held in March and April 2018. Fourteen artists were selected for Opera Conductor/Répétiteur auditions with six progressing to the second and final round. The artists prepared a complete act of an opera of their own choosing, along with excerpts from Falstaff (Verdi), Lohengrin (Wagner), La bohème (Puccini) and Salome (Strauss), both as conductors and as répétiteurs/vocal coaches.

For opera, the panel consisted of Head of Music for The Royal Opera Richard Hetherington , Head of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme Elaine Kidd and Artistic Director of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme David Gowland, with Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, joining for the final round.

Eight conductors and two pianists were invited to audition for Ballet Conductor or Pianist positions, which were held over the course of a day in March 2018. The panel comprised Music Director of The Royal Ballet Koen Kessels, Head of Music Staff for The Royal Ballet Robert Clark, Principal Guest Conductor of The Royal Ballet Barry Wordsworth and David Gowland.

The new music staff will be joined in September by five singers new to the Programme (their names were announced earlier in 2018) Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz, Chinese mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu, American countertenor Patrick Terry, Argentinean baritone Germán E Alcántara and Scottish-Iranian bass-baritone Michael Mofidian. Six current Young Artists continue on the Programme into their second year in the 2018/19 Season: Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, South Korean tenor Konu Kim, South Korean soprano Haegee Lee, British baritone Dominic Sedgwick, American soprano Jacquelyn Stucker and Israeli director Noa Naamat.

The new music staff replace British répétiteurs and conductors Nick Fletcher and James Hendry and British conductor Matthew Scott Rogers who left the Programme in July 2018 at the end of their two-year contracts. James Hendry will remain with The Royal Opera as a Jette Parker Principal in the 2018/19 Season.


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