Royal Opera House Young Artists Concert 2022

Members and non-members enthusiastically packed the auditorium of Rye Creative Centre on Saturday 3rd December for the thirteenth concert by present and past members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, organised by club chairman Jonathan Jempson for thebenefit of Rye Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

This year the stars of the show were all alumni of the Young Artists Programme, some returning to Rye for a second or even third time: South Korean soprano Haegee Lee, who visited in 2017, Estonian mezzo-soprano Monika-Evelin Liiv, who sang in the first concert at Rye in 2010 and again in 2019, Russian-Ukrainian tenor Egor Zhuravskii and South African baritone Chuma Sijeqa. At the piano was British conductor Oliver Gooch, whose wife’s family come from Rye and who accompanied the singers in 2015, 2018, 2019 and July 2021.

The programme, which was put together by Gooch, opened with arias from Rossini’s La cenerentola and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni, before moving on to Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Bizet, Offenbach and Massenet, all rendered with power and precision by the ROH team. After an interval for drinks and canapés, the audience was served up a good helping of Verdi, followed by songs from each singer’s home country and concluding with a rendition of ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ from Rigoletto.

After a rousing encore of ‘Brindisi’, the ‘Drinking Song’, from La Traviata, the appreciative audience dispersed to reflect on yet another superb musical evening. A fourteenth concert is planned for December 2023.

Photographs by Roger Way

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