2022 Awards: winners announced
As the Season comes to a close, Garsington Opera announces the recipients of its four awards for young artists, presented in recognition of their professional and personal contributions and musical skill during 2022. All awards are financial, for help with professional development, and each is presented in memory of an important figure from Garsington Opera’s history.
Douglas Boyd writes:
‘This year we have been more reliant than ever on our extraordinary young artists, who have saved the show as understudies of such high quality on countless occasions. It was harder than ever to select just four artists amongst so much talent. I have been thrilled to see such dedication and artistry despite the ravages of the pandemic for those trying to launch their careers and am delighted that Garsington Opera can help these artists continue their path.’
Leonard Ingrams Award: John Findon
‘John Findon ... covered himself in glory; this is a truly heroic tenor voice, capable of rising to the rafters yet finely cultivated in the softer passages, and he executed to perfection the concept of the prince as every bit as much of a lost soul as Rusalka’ (MusicOMH.com)
Tenor John Findon played the role of Hajný in Rusalka and performed the role of the Prince on two occasions, covering Gerard Schneider.
‘Having done an educational Carmen with Garsington Opera during the Covid-19 pandemic and seeing how they handled that incredibly tough period for every company, I was even more excited to perform in a season with them. This season has been such a complicated one for everyone involved. The company have been nothing short of amazing in the way they have handled every situation. They have allowed all the covers to perform and thrive in an incredibly generous and healthy environment. To receive an award such as this makes me feel so proud and privileged to have been able to sing on the Garsington stage, with wonderful colleagues, a wonderful company and to perform to the standards that the company set to everything they do.’
Leonard Ingrams Award: Polly Leech
‘Polly Leech has blossomed into an artist of magnetic poise and the kind of vocal splendour that emerges only rarely among British mezzo-sopranos' (Opera Magazine)
Polly Leech played Dorabella in the 2022 production of Così fan tutte ‘I am deeply moved and honoured to receive this award in recognition of my contribution to our beautiful production of Così fan tutte.
'It has been such a wonderful summer of music-making with exceptional colleagues in a production directed by a true legend of the opera world, John Cox. I am beyond grateful to Garsington Opera for entrusting me with this joyous role, which has allowed me to grow so much as an artist. To be a recipient of the Leonard Ingrams Award is just the perfect conclusion to such a memorable season.’
Helen Clarke Award: Frazer Scott (Alvarez Young Artist)
Frazer played the role of Caronte in Orfeo, is the understudy for the role of Harry in Dalia, and was a member of the ensemble.
‘It’s not often that I’m lost for words. To be honest, just working at Garsington, particularly after so many years away from opera, was a joy. To encounter so many new colleagues who became dear friends on Orfeo was a gift. Then, being given this award... well, it’s just the cherry on top of a wonderfully baked cake (like those from the Garsington Green Room, of course). I can’t accept this award without saying thanks to my singing teacher, Christine Cairns; John, Arielle, Laurence and Ed; as well as the wonderful staff at Garsington for all their support and belief this season.’
Simon Sandbach Award: Ella de Jongh (Alvarez Young Artist)
Ella was a member of the chorus for Rusalka. She performed the role of the Foreign Princess in Rusalka on 9th July when Sky Ingram was indisposed. She was also the understudy for Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw.
‘It’s an absolute honour to have been presented with this award, I’m deeply humbled. When I started to pursue a career in opera, I just had stories I wanted to tell, and never did I imagine receiving such recognition from a company I hold in such high regard! This summer at Garsington has been a season of dreams; the most unbelievable family has been formed and memories made for life. Thank you to all who have helped build me thus far, and to the phenomenal team at Garsington Opera who trust fledgling singers like myself and encourage us to fly.’