Our Soloists – Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Amy Strachan
Soprano

Niall Anderson
Bass-Baritone

Heather Ireson
Mezzo-Soprano

Samuel Jenkins
Tenor

Amy Strachan

SPORANO

Amy Strachan

Peterhead born soprano Amy Strachan is a fellow and postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, having graduated with a distinction in her Masters, under the tutelage of Mary Nelson. She previously read music at The University of Edinburgh and was the recipient of the Margaret Fletcher Schola Cantorum of Edinburgh Lieder Prize and the Donald Tovey Memorial Prize.  Amy has featured as a soloist in the Edinburgh International Festival as part of their Songlines series, and in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme.  As an oratorio soloist Amy has performed a plethora of works including Dvorak Te Deum, Händel Messiah, Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2, Poulenc Gloria, Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart Requiem, Rameau Grands Motet – In Convertendo, Vaughan Williams Benedicite and Serenade to Music, Haydn Creation and Goodall Eternal Light with ensembles such as Sospiro Baroque, HHCOS, Caledonian Voices, Edinburgh University Music Society and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Operatic roles include Micaela Carmen, Rosalinda Die Fledermaus, Iris Semele, Pamina Die Zauberflöte. Amy has also performed many scenes including Pat Nixon Nixon in China, Lady Billows Albert Herring, Mimi La Boheme, Neda Il Pagliacci, Countess Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi Cosi Fan Tutte.  Amy began singing with HHCOS at the age of 16, taking part in many performances from singing as part of the choir in the Bach Mass in B Minor to playing the title role of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. HHCOS and its members have been hugely supportive to Amy and she is thrilled to be singing alongside them again. Amy’s studies are generously supported by The Robertson Trust, The Caird Trust, The Cross Trust, and The Baird Educational Trust.

Niall Anderson

BASS-BARITONE

Niall Anderson

Originally from Fife, Niall Anderson now studies on the Royal Academy Opera Course under the tutelage of Glenville Hargreaves and Jonathan Papp. Roles include Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Escamillo (La Tragédie de Carmen),  and Marcello (La Bohème) as part of Royal Academy Opera Scenes. Niall has performed globally most notably singing the role of Christus in Bach’s St Johannes Passion in Würselen, Germany. On the oratorio stage, Niall has sung Mozart’s and Fauré’s Requiem amongst many others in the genre.

Niall has experience performing in venues such as St Andrew’s Cathedral, Cowdray Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Haddo House. Niall is also a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music Song Circle where he performed in their annual Schubertiade event this year. A keen performer of new music, Niall sang the Baritone Solo in the Welsh premier of Paul Mealor’s Symphony No.1, Passiontide. Recent engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle and the role of Escamillo in RAO’s production of La Tragédie de Carmen. Niall made his Wigmore Hall debut in November in a recital with Julian Prégardien and Christoph Schnakertz. Niall also featured as a soloist in the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series in 2018 led by Iain Ledingham.  Niall is proudly supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, The Robertson Trust, The Kathleen Trust, The Mario Lanza Education Foundation and The Cross Trust

Heather Ireson

MEZZO-SOPRANO

Heather Ireson

Scottish mezzo-soprano Heather Ireson studied Music at the University of Aberdeen and was taught by Gillian Jack throughout her degree.  During her time at Aberdeen University, Heather held a revered choral scholarship in conjunction with the Aberdeen University Chapel Choir, and performed with them on a weekly basis. In July 2010 she graduated with a First Class BMus (Hons) degree and received the Ogston Music Award for outstanding commitment to performance during her time at university.   Heather then went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was awarded a Master’s of Music in Solo Performance with Distinction. Whilst at the RNCM, Heather sang the title role in Handel’s Xerxes and Mrs Herring Albert Herring.  Last year was an exciting year for Heather; during the summer of 2017 Heather received commendable reviews for her portrayal of the role of Karolka, in Jenůfaby Janáček, which she sang for Grange Park Opera at their new residence of West Horsley Place.  She then went on to join the Glyndebourne Opera Tour, taking part in the choruses of Brett Dean’s newly composed opera Hamlet, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte

Other recent professional engagements for Heather include; role of Coro Il Campanello Donizetti, chorus Herculanum Félicien David and Vanessa Barber for Wexford Festival Opera 2016, chorus i>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Wagner, Béatrice et Bénédict Berlioz and cover chorus Le Nozze di Figaro Mozart for Glyndebourne Festival Opera 2016, chorus Don Pasquale Donizetti, Die Entführung aus dem Serail Mozart and Handel’s Saul for Glyndebourne Tour 2015, chorus Bizet’s Carmen and Donizetti’s Poliuto for Glyndebourne Festival 2015.  Heather has now relocated to Scotland permanently and continues to study singing with Patricia MacMahon. Heather has recently finished touring with Scottish Opera, where she was part of the chorus in Eugene Onegin.

Samuel Jenkins

TENOR

Samuel Jenkins

British tenor Samuel Jenkins is an H R Taylor Trust Scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying under David Rendall. He also holds an MA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh.

As an oratorio soloist, Samuel has sung the Evangelist and tenor roles in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium and Johannes-Passion; Mozart’s Requiem; Haydn’s Creation; and Händel’s Dixit Dominus. Highlights have included appearing as the haute-contre soloist in Rameau’s motet In Convertendo with Sospiro Baroque, and as tenor soloist in Händel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir, Edinburgh.

On stage, Samuel’s opera roles have included Acis (cover, Acis and Galatea) with BarokOpera Amsterdam & Opéra-Louise in the Netherlands; Coridon (Acis and Galatea) with Glasgow Opera Collective & John Butt; Dorvil (La scala di seta) and Don Eusebio (L’occasione fa il ladro) with Raucous Rossini & Maximilian Fane; Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Remendado (Carmen), and Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) with Edinburgh Studio Opera & William Conway. Most recently he has appeared as Ferrando (Così fan tutte) in RCM Opera Scenes, and Foreman in the world-premiere of Maeve McCarthy’s short opera John Henry, with Tête à Tête.

Samuel has performed solo and chorus roles in Purcell’s King Arthur, Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro and Bizet’s Carmen in Edinburgh; Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore with New Generation Opera in Florence; Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at L’Opéra de Lausanne in Switzerland; and Händel’s Messiah at the Bristol Old Vic & Manchester Bridgewater Hall, directed by Tom Morris, with The English Concert & Harry Bicket.

In November and December 2018 Samuel will appear as Don Curzio in the RCM International Opera School production of Le Nozze di Figaro, directed by Sir Thomas Allen.