GALA IN THE GARDEN

Our Artists

Alexander Grainger

Alexander Grainger is a Yorkshire based promising young tenor. He studies with Paul Nilon and has recently graduated from the RNCM with Postgraduate Diploma in performance.

 Whilst studying at the RNCM he played the role of Ferrando (Cosi Fan Tutte) Mozart, Camile (Merry Widow) Lehar, Snout (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Britten, also roles such as Tamino (Magic Flute) Mozart with Leeds Youth Opera also the role of Ernest (A Grand Duke) Gilbert and Sullivan with the Manchester University G&S society. Alexander has also sung with the Manx Opera festival as Gastone (La Traviata) and covered several roles at the Buxton Opera Festival, Aufido (Lucio Silla) Mozart, The Mayor (Albert Herring) Britten, and Arturo (Lucio Di Lammermoor) Donizetti.

 

Alex is currently premiering a new opera for Hull Urban Opera and last year was due to work at Garsington Opera but sadly was cancelled due to Covid.

Alex gave his debut performance of Alfredo with the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, and has worked with opera companies including Opera North, Clonter Opera, Opera Devon and Glyndebourne.

Alexander is also highly sought after on the concert platform, he has appeared as a soloist in many concert halls and cathedrals across Britain singing works including, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Pettie Messe Solennelle, Rossini Stabart Mater, Haydn Paukenmesse, Hayden Theresienmesse, Mozart Credo, Mozart Mass in C. He has sang as a soloist on BBC Radio 4 (Mozart Missa Breivs).

     

He was a founding member of the RNCM chamber choir, a member of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and started his singing Career with the Beverley Minster Choir as Chorister.

    

Alexander Studies were kindly funded by the Andrew Lloyd Weber foundation, and he is a Concordia Foundation Artist.

Thomas Chenhall

English Baritone, Thomas is undertaking his Master’s Degree at the Royal Academy of Music, Under the expert tutelage of Raymond Connell. Where he has been supported by the Charlotte Fraiser Foundation, The Mario Lanza Educational Trust and the Royal Academy of Music. He studied his undergraduate degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, under the watchful eye of Professor Stephen Robertson. 

Thomas made his International debut as Laquais in Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet at the Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland in 2019. Since then Thomas has appeared in several productions both before and during Covid-19. During the Pandemic Thomas created several videos for an online gala concert put on by the Dorset Opera Festival, Thomas will be returning to the Dorset Opera Festival to play Masetto in their 2021 production of Don Giovanni. Thomas also played Starvelling in the Royal Academy of Music’s 2020 production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night's dream, along with scenes from Il Barbiere di Siviglia and I Puritani. 

He also sang the role of David in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge at the Royal Academy of Music. Previous Engagements during 2019 include Sole inmate in Jake Heggie’s Dead man Walking with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Chorus in Verdi’s Nabucco and Donezetti’s Lucia di Lammemoor with the Dorset Opera Festival, and Chorus in the Edinburgh International Festival’s Götterdämmerung. 

In Oratorio and choral concerts he has performed the solos for Handels messiah with the Cupar Choral Society and Stainer’s Crucifixion with the St Andrew’s Trinity Singers, also various performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the RCS

Emily Hodkinson

Emily is a Nottingham-born mezzo-soprano studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the RCS, under the tutelage of Clare Shearer. She graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Music from the University of York and subsequently did a year of postgraduate study at the RCS before joining the RCS Opera School. Her studies have been gratefully supported by Ulrike Wilson, a Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award and the Ena Mitchell Scholarship.

She is a Making Music UK Selected Artist and winner of the Liz Chant Bursary competition and the John & Barbara Beaumont Bursary competition.

Operatic engagements include Spirit (Dido & Aeneas,Ryedale Festival); Sara (Tobias and the Angel, Streetwise Opera); Nancy (Albert Herring)and Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia,Aspect Opera); Jenny (Die Dreigroschenoper,RCS). Engagements at the RCS that are cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 include Tolomeo (Giulio Cesare),Minskwoman (Flight), Genévieve (Impressions de Pelléas),La Libellule and l’Ecureuil (L’enfant et les sortilèges) and Mère Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites).

Concert engagements include Beethoven Mass in C for London Oriana Choir, Elgar Sea Pictures for Watford Youth Sinfonia, Wellgunde Das Rheingold for Edinburgh Players Opera Group, Elgar The Music Makers for Nottingham Festival Chorus; recitals at the Nottingham Theatre Royal and Southwell Minster; and chorus for Götterdämmerungat the Edinburgh Festival. Engagements cancelled due to Covid-19 include GrimgerdeDie Walküre (Edinburgh Players Opera Group); MacMillan Seven Last Words from the Cross (Dunedin Consort) and Southwell Music Festival.

Hazel Neighbour

British soprano Hazel Neighbour is a graduate of the Royal Academy Opera Programme where she studied with Nuccia Focile and Jonathan Papp, generously supported by the Maria Callas Award, the Gerald Finzi Scholarship and the Josephine Baker Trust. She graduated from the Royal College of Music with distinction in her Master of Performance. Before studying singing, Hazel read Chemistry at Imperial College London.​

 

At the Royal Academy of Music, Hazel has performed the roles of L'Ensoleillad (Chérubin), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte – Mozart), Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen – Janáček), Cupid (Semele – Handel) and Brigitta (Iolanta – Tchaikovsky). In RAO opera scenes, she has performed Mimì (La bohème – Puccini), Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier – Strauss) and Rusalka (Dvořák). At the Royal College of Music, she performed the roles of Mimì (La bohème – Puccini) and Mařenka (The Bartered Bride – Smetana) in opera scenes and Cock/Cricket/Franzl (The Cunning Little Vixen – Janáček) with the RCMIOS. At the RCS, Hazel covered Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus – Strauss) and performed Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail – Mozart) and the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro – Mozart) in opera scenes.

 

Externally, she has performed the Governess (The Turn of the Screw – Britten) at Dartington International Festival; Dorabella (Così fan tutte – Mozart) and Papagena (The Magic Flute – Mozart) with Cambridge University Opera; and Gretel (Hansel & Gretel – Humperdinck), Polly Peachum (Beggar’s Opera – Gay) and Pitti-Sing (The Mikado – Sullivan) with St Albans Chamber Opera. She covered the role of the Bride (The Vanishing Bridegroom – Judith Weir) for British Youth in 2017 and played the lead soprano role in the Butt, an opera by Susie Self adapted from the book by Will Self, at the contemporary music festival Musiktheatertage in Vienna in 2016

 

Hazel attended the Franz-Schubert-Institut summer programme in Austria performing in masterclasses with Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake, Robert Holl, Wolfram Rieger, Birgid Steinberger, Andreas Schmidt and Roger Vignoles.

 

Highlights of Hazel’s concert experience include A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams with Vivace Chorus and Brandenburg Sinfonia at Dorking Halls, Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with Cambridge Sinfionetta and Mozart’s Vesperae solemnes de confessore at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.

Nigel Gyte 

Nigel was educated in Sheffield and started piano lessons at the age of nine. After completing his degree he became a Director of Music, teaching pupils from the age of three to eighteen, building a reputation for the musical excellence of his school concerts and productions. Nigel has always been in demand as soloist, Musical Director, accompanist, orchestral keyboard player and theatre-pit musician.

 

He has performed concertos, having a particular association with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, giving many performances since receiving a rousing ovation with a forty piece orchestra on the Crucible stage. He has also played keyboard for the professional touring production of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers; with the National Festival Orchestra for the Sing Live UK concerts and for Keith Roe in his hugely popular Musical Cavalcade series at Sheffield’s City Hall.


Nigel played for, and has conducted, many stage musicals at the City Hall and the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. He was musical director for the critically acclaimed South Yorkshire premiers of Follies, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Producers, and Gypsy. Nigel has also had tenures as resident accompanist for the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, the Rotherham Choral Society and South Yorkshire Opera. For many years he has been an official accompanist for the Don Valley Festival of Music, in Doncaster.