Richard Dowling is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music’s Opera Course, where he was privileged to perform the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and as a soloist in the Academy’s complete Bach cantatas series. He is now supported by Opera Prelude and regularly appears in their concerts and lectures.
He sang the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s ‘Cosi fan tutte’ with West Green Opera and, working with the inspirational Graham Vick, performed the role of the Sailor in Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’. He has sung the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s ‘Elisir d’amore’ with Jackdaws OperaPLUS. He has been a regular with Garsington Opera and amongst other roles performed as the Glassmaker in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ conducted by Steuart Bedford. He also sang the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ as a young artist with Mid Wales Opera.
He is also an experienced oratorio artist, engagements including Britten’s ‘Ballad of Heroes’ and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ in the Bridgewater Hall, Finzi’s ‘Dies Natalis’ in Brentwood Cathedral, Janacek’s ‘Otcenas’ in Gorton Monastery and the ‘Messiah’ in Lincoln Cathedral.
Matthew Keighley is currently a master’s student at the Royal College of Music. He is a Soirée d’Or Scholar and working under the tutelage of Tim Evans-Jones. He is also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust. Prior to his studies at the Royal College of Music, Matthew was a Lay Clerk at Gloucester Cathedral.
Matthew is in growing demand across the UK and Ireland as a concert soloist. Recent performance highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum and Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D in Southwark Cathedral with London Oriana. Matthew was also recently involved in an Irish tour of Handel’s Theodora with the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Further afield, Matthew performed last summer in Corfu and Italy singing as a soloist for the Ionian University Choir.
Since starting music college in September, Matthew has been gathering experience on stage. He was delighted to be involved in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Sir Thomas Allen and looks forward to the College’s summer opera production where he has been cast as Errand Boy in Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement.
Peter, currently a Lay Clerk at Southwell Minster, is a freelance tenor, pianist and composer. He is closely involved with the professional choral world, having sung with renowned groups such as Ex Cathedra, the Armonico Consort and the Chapterhouse Choir, York. He studied at Birmingham Conservatoire, and focused primarily on early performance practice and keyboard improvisation. When not singing, he can be found working on restoring one of the multitude of harmoniums, accordions or melodions he has collected over the years.
James read Music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Royal Holloway, University of London, before undertaking postgraduate training in vocal performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying with Adrian Thompson.
James made his international debut as Ferrando Così fan tutte with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra at the Birgitta Festival, Tallinn, in 2016. Other operatic highlights include Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Bardolfo Falstaff (Black Cat Opera Company) and Remendado Carmen (OperaUpClose). Earlier this year, he made his solo debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem alongside the Brandenburg Sinfonia.
When not singing, James is also active as a musicologist, and is currently studying for a PhD on the music of George Enescu at Royal Holloway, where he is also a visiting tutor. www.jamessavagehanford.com.