In anticipation of Scottish Opera’s 2021/22 season, a four strong group of Emerging Artists is being welcomed on board.
The group has two new singers, mezzo-soprano Lea Shaw and tenor Glen Cunningham. Lea, an award-winning Black/BIPOC mezzo-soprano from Colorado who studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is among the youngest to have graduated from this degree pathway. Glen is a multi-prize winning tenor who is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music’s Opera Studio, where he studied with Russell Smythe, and who has previously performed with SO Connect in a world premiere.
The pair will be working with soprano Catriona Hewitson and Toby Hession. Catriona returns for a second year following a successful season with the Company in 2021, and will perform in a live performance of Cosi fan tutte at the Lammermuir Festival and Perth Concert Hall, that was originally created as part of the Scottish Opera: On Screen collection. Toby, who continues as the Emerging Artist repetiteur, is a prize-winning graduate of Clare College, Cambridge and an alumnus of Georg Solti Accademia. He studied as a repetiteur at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, principally with Elizabeth Rowe but also received tuition from Susanna Stranders and Clive Timms, and will continue his work with SO having made his conducting debut at the SO’s lunchtime concerts at Live at No.40 in 2020/21.
With live performance beginning to return to theatres, the appointments mean that the Company is again able to offer a group of young artists a period of full-time work at the beginning of their careers. Throughout the year, they will have opportunities to perform with SO in live productions, as well as work in-house with SO staff and visit coaches to develop their skills.
Head of Casting at Scottish Opera Sarah-Jane Davies said, “I am proud to welcome Lea and Glen onto the Emerging Artists’ programme joining Catriona and Toby for the 2021/22 season. All have exciting projects ahead of them and are already busy preparing for these with the support of our team. Lea and Glen are eager to be starting their programme with us on tour, in Scotland, with the Opera Highlights performances. Catriona is delighted to be making her long anticipated mainstage debut in front of an audience for The Gondoliers andUtopia Limited. I look forward to working with them on this thrilling new venture.”
The group’s first performance will be at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival in a Masterclass with Thomas Quasthoff and during October and November, where Glen and Lea will perform in Opera Highlights, that will perform to local venues across Scotland including Musselburgh, St Andrews, Ballachullish, Strathpeffer, Stornoway, Peebles, Ayr and Dunoon.