Roderick Williams is one of the most sought after baritones of his generation with a wide repertoire spanning baroque to contemporary.
He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and has sung opera world premières by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michel van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel as well as roles including Papageno, Don Alfonso, Onegin and Billy Budd.
He performs regularly with leading conductors and orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Australia, and his many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh.
As a composer he has had works premièred at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, the Purcell Room and on national radio. In December 2016 he won the prize for Best Choral Composition at the British Composer Awards.
Roderick Williams was awarded an OBE in June 2017 and was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera in both the 2018 and 2019 Olivier Awards.
Susie Allan, one of today’s most perceptive accompanists, has performed with international vocal soloists including Emma Bell, Susan Gritton, Rowan Pierce, Jonathan McGovern and Mark Padmore. She has accompanied masterclasses of Sir Thomas Allen, Elly Ameling and Roger Vignoles at the Britten-Pears School. In demand as a coach and teacher, she has held posts at the Royal College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and adjudicated for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s English Song Prize. She is visiting piano teacher at Radley College, Oxford and Shrewsbury School.
In a collaboration with baritone Roderick Williams spanning over twenty years they perform across the UK and internationally. Their third disc for the SOMM label released in 2020 explores the songs of Arthur Somervell about which Gramophone magazine commented “Superbly partnered by Susie Allan (whose deft touch and ingratiating tone are a constant source of pleasure)”. Susie is a regular guest of the UK’s most prestigious venues and concert societies appearing at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Globe Theatre, and festivals including the Endellion, Oxford Lieder and Three Choirs. She has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and for television, including BBC Proms Extra.
A “Shropshire lass”, Susie is dedicated to the music scene of her home county. She has appeared at the Ludlow Song Weekend and is Artistic Director of the Ludlow Music Society.
MOMENTUM: Our Future, Now is an initiative driven by leading international artists supporting younger professional colleagues in the first substantial phase of their career. Created by Barbara Hannigan, the Momentum model is an urgent artistic and human response to the situation caused by the 2020 pandemic, yet devised with long-term staying power.
Momentum: Our Future Now, sees leading soloists and conductors supporting younger colleagues by bringing them onto main stage professional engagements, with
immediate effect. Young professional soloists are invited to share the stage on leading soloists’ engagements, while young professional conductors assist leading conductors and are given invaluable opportunities to lead an orchestra during the rehearsal period. In each case the young artist receives a fee.
Featured as The Times Rising Star of Classical Music 2012 Kathryn Rudge was an ENO Young Artist, a YCAT artist and a BBC New Generation artist.
Recent and future concert engagements include performances and recordings with the RLPO, Philharmonia, Manchester Camerata, Hamburg Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as recitals for the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, the Brighton, Ryedale, Chiltern Arts, Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder and Cheltenham Festivals as well as the BBC Proms.
Operatic engagements include Cherubino with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Annio /La Clemenza di Tito, Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Zerlina / Don Giovanni for Opera North, Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) for Garsington, Rosina (Barber of Seville) for ENO and Nancy / Albert Herring for the Buxton Festival.
Her debut recital album Love’s Old Sweet Song was released in 2014. Recent releases include a disc of Elgar orchestral songs as well as another disc featuring songs by Coates, both on the Somm label. She has also made recordings for Opera Rara.
Born in London, Edward Hawkins studied trumpet and piano as a child, going on to read music at King’s College, London, studying trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music with Ian Wilson.
After graduating, he began working as a freelance musician with various orchestras and small ensembles, and in recording studios across the UK.
Having begun singing in his late twenties, Edward Hawkins quickly began to develop a professional career, studying privately with Russell Smythe and Gary Coward.
Edward Hawkins became a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus, and sang in various critically acclaimed productions, including performances at the BBC Proms and worldwide cinema broadcasts. Highlights have included Barry Kosky’s production of Saul, covering Flora’s servant in La Traviata, performing in the semi-chorus of Brett Dean’s award-winning Hamlet. Most recently he covered the role of Sparafucile Rigoletto for Glyndebourne on Tour.
Edward Hawkins covered and performed the role of Banquo and performed the role of the Doctor in Verdi’s Macbeth, for English Touring Opera. He subsequently appeared as Banquo for Duchy Opera at the Minack Theatre.
In 2020 Edward Hawkins rejoined English Touring Opera to perform the role of Achilla Giulio Cesare, coupled with the cover of Don Alfonso Così fan tutte. Forthcoming engagements include Commendatore Don Giovanni for Ulster Touring Opera. He was also contracted to cover Father Trulove The Rake’s Progress for Glyndebourne Festival in 2020 but this engagement was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has previously performed the roles of Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro, Long Tom Merrie England, Sergeant Meryll Yeomen of the Guard, Polyphemus Acis and Galatea, Patriarch/Theodesius Margaret of Antioch, Luka The Bear, and La Voce di Nettuno Idomeneo.
Photo: Benjamin Ealovega (Roderick Williams) and Bill Wyatt (Susie Allan)
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