December 18, 2022

GSA Alumni News (December, 2022)

Aigul Akhmetshina (GSA 2021)

Aigul Akhmetshina began her season this year by making her Norther American debut at the San Francisco Opera, singing the role of Olga in Tchaikovsky's, Eugene Onegin. Following this debut, she headed to New York where she has made her MET Opera debut at the Metropolitan Opera singing the role of Maddalena in Verdi's, Rigoletto.

In 2023, she returns to Europe where she will appear in leading roles at the Royal Opera House, and Dutch National Opera. Her season caps off with a sensational production of Massenet's, Werther, in which she sings the leading role of Charlotte opposite tenor Jonas Kaufmann, with ROH Music Director Antonio Pappano conducting.

Freddie De Tommaso

GSA faculty member and alumnus Freddie De Tommaso released his second album on the DECCA recording label this year.

Following his chart-topping debut album, Il Tenore celebrates the greatest tenor hits by Puccini and Bizet including 'Nessun dorma', 'E lucevan le stelle' and 'The Flower Song' from Carmen. Veteran Italian conductor Paolo Arrivabeni conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra, with guest appearances from three outstanding singers: sopranos Lise Davidsen and Natalya Romaniw and the sensational mezzo Aigul Akhmetshina (also a GSA alumna) as Carmen.

Following the release of this disc, Freddie also won the Newcomer of the Year award from the BBC Music Magazine. This season, Freddie has appeared at the Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro La Fenice, Santa Fe Opera, and the Wiener Staatsoper, among others.

Gemma Summerfield

We are extremely proud of GSA Alumna Gemma Summerfield who won the 2022 Viñas Competition.

In the 2022/23 season she sings Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte for Staatsoper Hamburg, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte for Opéra de Toulon and Ulana MANRU for Opéra national de Lorraine. She also performs Delius A Mass for Life with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Recent operatic engagements include Mimì La bohème (Northern Ireland Opera); Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Opéra national du Rhin); Pamina The Magic Flute and cover Michal Saul (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Nannetta Falstaff and Pamina The Magic Flute (Scottish Opera); Paula Jordan in the European premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight (Wexford Festival Opera); Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Bury Court Opera); Barmherzigkeit in Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, Hyacinthus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus and Mozart’s Grabmusik (all for Classical Opera); cover title role Rodelinda (English National Opera); Gretel Hänsel und Gretel (Royal College of Music International Opera School); Ginevra Ariodante (RCM / London Handel Festival); Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, First Lady Die Zauberflöte and La Chauve-Souris/Une Pastourelle L'enfant et les sortilèges (all RCM); Berenice Il Vologeso (Classical Opera at the Cadogan Hall); and Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Verbier Festival Academy and Euphonia).

Gabriele Kupsyte

GSA alumna Gabriele Kupsyte began her first year on the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme this year. As a young artist on the programme, Gabriele can be heard at the Royal Opera House this season as Kate Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly), Second Lady (The Magic Flute), Druhá žínka (Rusalka), Arminio (Arminio), and as Flora (La Traviata). Gabriele also sang Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi this season at the Lithuanian National Opera, and will cover GSA alumna Aigul Akhmetshina in Werther later this season at the Royal Opera House.

Kupšyte is a recent graduate of the Mascarade Opera Studio in Florence and holds an Advanced Diploma in Opera from the Royal Academy of Music, London. She previously graduated with honours in Vocal Studies from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. During her time at RAM, she was a recipient of the Carr-Gregory Trust Scholarship and the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize for Singing. She twice attended the George Solti Accademia, where she worked with Roberto Frontali, Barbara Frittoli, Grace Bumbry and Richard Bonynge.

Michael Sikich

Michael Sikich (alumnus of the GSA's Repetiteur Course) began a new position these season as a repetiteur at Gothenburg Opera. Projects for the current season in Gothenburg include Les contes d’Hoffmann, La Bohème, and Die Schweigsame Frau. He will also return to the Royal Opera this season as chief repetiteur for a production of Turandot under Antonio Pappano.

Michael joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2020, where he was employed for two seasons as a member of the music staff. He has worked as chief repetiteur on productions of Rigoletto, La Traviata, Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, and Otello with conductors Antonio Pappano, Antonello Manacorda, Oksana Lyniv, Dan Ettinger, Daniele Rustioni, and Constantin Trinks. Further projects at the Royal Opera House included an insights evening that he hosted with Michael Papadopoulos on Wagner's Ring Cycle as well as various song recitals and a production of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Stravinsky's Mavra with the Britten Sinfonia. He also performed as pianist in Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins and Mahagonny Songspiel alongside the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Madeleine Slettedahl

Madeleine Slettedahl (alumna of the GSA repetiteur course) joined the music stuff at the Houston Grand Opera (Houston, Texas) as Pianist & Assistant Conductor in May of 2021. Since then, she has assisted on their productions of Carmen, Dialogues des Carmélites, and Roméo et Juliette. In the summers of 2020 (virtual) and 2021, Madeline was on staff with the Opera Theater of St. Louis as a principal coach for the company’s celebrated Gerdine Young Artist Program. In the summer of 2022 she joined the music staff at Wolf Trap Opera, returned as an affiliate music staff member with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and performed a featured recital at Green Lake Festival of Music with soprano, Katie Henry.