2019 NZ Opera School – Freemasons International Vocal Tutors

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As we approach the celebration of our 25th Anniversary, we are delighted to announce the two Freemasons International Vocal Tutors for the 2019 NZ Opera School.

Della Jones, world-renown Welsh mezzo-soprano, who has thrilled and entertained us for the last two years, will be joining us again in 2019.

Della Jones, has had a stunning career as one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos, appearing in the U.S, Russia, Japan, Canada, U.K. and throughout Europe in over 120 operatic roles. Her repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary works, with a specialty in the bel canto operas, notably of Rossini.

 Della Jones at the 2018 NZ Opera School at the WOW Gathering, Photo by Credit Jacqui McGowan.

Della Jones at the 2018 NZ Opera School at the WOW Gathering, Photo by Credit Jacqui McGowan.

Della, has worked with all the leading orchestras and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Antonio Pappano.

We have all learnt a great deal from Della with her complete understanding of the opera performance art and we are delighted to welcome her back to the New Zealand Opera School 2019.  

To join Della, it is with great excitement that we announce that our new Freemasons International Vocal Tutor for 2019 is renowned baritone, Russell Smythe.

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Russell studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the London Opera Centre, before performing on the professional stage for almost 40 years, at such places as the Hamburg Staatsoper, the Frankfurt Opera, the Paris Opéra, the Vienna Volksoper and Staatsoper, La Monnaie, Opéra de Lyon, and under the batons of Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Silvio Varviso, Antonio Pappano, Harry Christophers, René Jacobs, Bernard Haitink, Mark Minkowski, John Eliot Gardiner and Seiji Ozawa and many more.

Russell, has performed many roles, and performed alongside many of the greats, such as:

Ariadne auf Naxos as Harlekin Paris Opera, Don Pasquale as Malatesta at Royal Opera House with Marie McLaughlin, The Magic Flute as Papageno in Vienna at Staatsoper, Così fan tutte as Guglielmo at Royal Opera House with Margaret Price as Fiordiligi, Balstrode with Scottish National Opera with Antony Rolfe Johnson as Grimes and many more.

Russell is currently a Professor of vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

 Russell as Billy Budd at Welsh National Opera - 1978 with Frank Oligario as Dansker.

Russell as Billy Budd at Welsh National Opera - 1978 with Frank Oligario as Dansker.

 Russell again as Mr Redburn for New Israeli Opera - 2001 with Malcolm Rivers as Mr Flint and Richard Cowan as Claggart.

Russell again as Mr Redburn for New Israeli Opera - 2001 with Malcolm Rivers as Mr Flint and Richard Cowan as Claggart.

Della and Russell have performed together many times in operas such as "La Cenerentola", "Il Barbiere Di Siviglia" and "Tom Jones" as well as numerous concerts and recordings. We are very excited to welcome two such significant performers together to our important little corner of the world in Whanganui, from the 7th until 20th January 2019.