CONCERT TOUR 2015/2016- GERMANY & THE UNITED KINGDOM
MY HEART & I
Three Poems of Fiona MacLeod (Griffes)
Les nuit d'Ete (Berlioz)
Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)
Don Giovanni (Mozart)
Les contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach)
Bitter Sweet (Coward)
Show Boat (Kern & Hammerstein)
Carousel (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
The Sound of Music (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
The Flower Drum Song (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
South Pacific (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
Soprano Anastasia Nikolova started her musical training at the age of 5, studying piano, drama and dance at the Bulgarian National Theater. She commenced her vocal training in Bulgaria and continued it at the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts) as a recipient of the Janet Irving Scholarship for Vocal Studies. During the 2003-2004 season Ms. Nikolova completed an apprenticeship with Central Florida Lyric Opera and was invited to return as a Resident Artist with the company.
Opera roles include: Violetta in La Traviata (Central Florida Lyric Opera; New London Opera Players) Governess in Turn of the Screw (Opera Seria), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera Seria), Nedda in Pagliacci (Central Florida Lyric Opera), Micaëla and Frasquita in Carmen, under the directorship of late legendary soprano Licia Albanese (Central Florida Lyric Opera); Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro (Central Florida Lyric Opera), Serpina in La serva padrona (Berlin Classic Players, Berliner Philharmonie, concertante), Member of the Chamber in a premiere performance of Eric Sawyer's Our American Cousin (Composers in Red Sneackers),Darling in the world premiere of Victoria Ellis' opera Darling (One of Us Foundation).
Solo concert engagements include J.S. Bach Jauchzet Gott in alles Landen (Berlin Classic Players, Berliner Philharmonie), Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (Old North Concert Series), Magnificat in D (Fine Arts Chorale), Missa brevis in A (Fine Arts Chorale); Mozart's Requiem (Fine Arts Chorale), Missa Brevis in F (Sommerville Choir), Exultate Jubilate (Berlin Classic Players, Berliner Philharmonie), Vesperae solennes de confessore (Somerville Choir); Händel's Messiah (College Park Players), L'Allego, il Pensieroso, ed il Moderato (Berlin Classic Players, Berliner Philharmonie); Haydn Die Jahreszeiten (Fine Arts Chorale); Pergolesi Stabat mater (Berlin Classic Players, Berliner Philharmonie); Schubert Mass in G (Highnam Choir and Orchestra); Dubois Seven Last Words of Christ (College Park Players); Vivaldi Gloria (Old North Concert Series); Vaughan Williams Dona novis pacem (Tufts University Orchestra, cover); Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream (Longy Chamber Orchestra); Berg Sieben frühe Lieder (Kirchberg Chamber Music Festival); Strauss Vier letzte Lieder (Kirchberg Chamber Music Festival); Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras No.5 (Kirchberg Chamber Music Festival) among others. As a concert artist, Ms. Nikolova has given numerous art song recitals in the United States and in Europe. Ms. Nikolova has premiered works by prominent American and British composers such as Vartan Aghababian, Michael Djupstrom, Victoria Ellis, Heather Gilligan and Eric Sawyer;some of these works were written and dedicated to her.
Katherine Steffan studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She then spent three years working in musicals; she sang in the British premières of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place and Nightingale by Charles Strouse, the composer of Annie, alongside Sarah Brightman. She started in ensemble in repertory theatre in a number of musicals, swiftly progressing to principal roles. Shows in which she has appeared include Annie, Mr. Cinders and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and South Pacific. For York Theatre Royal she sang in Jesus Christ Superstar and Cinderella, in which she played Prince Charming. Special productions include A Night in Paris (the Life and Music of Jacques Offenbach) with soprano Rosemary Ashe, and a gala of musicals for Opera Interludes. Katherine has a wide experience as a session singer, and was a regular off-stage singer for Starlight Express in the West End.
She then continued her classical training on the postgraduate opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She has sung with Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Meg, Falstaff), Kent Opera (Isolier, Count Ory), Opera North (Ramiro, La finta giardiniera), Welsh National Opera (Hansel, Hansel and Gretel), Holland Park Festival Opera (Juno, Orpheus in the Underworld), City of Birmingham Touring Opera (Beauty in Stephen Oliver's Beauty and the Beast; Siebel, Faust) and Opera Northern Ireland (title rôle, La Cenerentola). Her other appearances include Dinah (Bernstein's A Quiet Place – British première in the presence of the composer) and Mercédès (Carmen) and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) with European Chamber Opera. She has also sung the title role in Bizet’s own concert version of Carmen, which she studied in Florence with the eminent soprano Suzanne Danco. Appearances overseas include rôles in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Monteverdi's Orfeo in Spain; broadcasts in Holland of Joseph (Méhul) and Ravel’s L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, as L’Enfant; and in Germany, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte. Her concert repertory ranges from Handel and Bach with the Northern Sinfonia to Beethoven's Choral Symphony with the Hallé Orchestra and Chorus. For Opera Restor’d she has sung Mauxalinda (Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley), Gasparina in La Cantarina and Volpino in The Apothecary (both by Haydn), the title rôle in Dibdin’s The Ephesian Matron and Liscione (Scarlatti’s La Dirindina). She appeared in Das Dreimäderlhaus, the forerunner to Lilac Time. She has also sung as soloist for the Royal Ballet in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella for their Dance Bites tour; and Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and the Poulenc Gloria, both at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Toby Hunt made his performing debut aged twelve in the children's chorus of Welsh National Opera's UK tour of Carmen. Following his studies at Cardiff University and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama he joined the Carl Rosa Company in London's West End performing The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance & Iolanthe at the Gielgud Theatre. He has continued to tour with them across the UK & US, most notably playing the Carpenter in HMS Pinafore, 2nd Yeomen in Yeomen of the Guard and understudying the role of Private Willis in Iolanthe. Toby is also a regular performer at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Fesitval at Buxton Opera House and has appeared in seven productions to date.
As a chorister Toby has toured much of Europe and Japan, his most recent trip being one to Georgia with the ensemble Eschoir. As both principal and chorus member he has worked with Grange Park Opera, Opera Bohemia, Bloomsbury Opera, The Mark Morris Dance Group, and Scottish Opera, for which he was a principal understudy.
In addition to his experience as a performer, Toby was Head of Music at Young Dancers Academy for four years, where he conducted the musical Little Women at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. Further experience as a conductor includes working with Gareth Malone and the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican. His work in TV and film includes The Welsh Great Escape, The Savoy Boys/A Motley Pair, Dr. Who, The Hour & Lady Chatterley's Lover. Outside the classical world Toby has worked as a backing singer on Xfactor, as well as for Rod Stewart, Rhydian and Michael Ball. He has given over three hundred performances of 'The Singing Waiters' and is the taller half of the cabaret duo 'The Opera Gents’; working alongisde tenor David Furnell, he has completed a nine month residency at the V.I.P Lounge in Cardiff in 2014.
Most recently Toby performed in ‘Mein Herzchen Immerdar’ alongside Soprano Anastasia Nikolova in Berlin and entertained the British Prime Minister at Downing Street on St. David's Day.
Olivia Travers has enjoyed a busy and varied career as a piano accompanist, specialising in song repertoire. She studied post-graduate piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, after graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Music and Italian from Royal Holloway, University of London. Recital venues include the Wigmore Hall, St. James’ Piccadilly and St. Martin in the Fields, and she has appeared regularly with ‘Live Music Now’. Each summer she performs in Tuscany for a series of Masterclasses given by the International soprano, Alison Pearce. Most recently she has participated in the prestigious week of Masterclasses with Malcolm Martineau in Crear, Scotland.