1 April 2014 at 3.03pm | Comment on this article
Audiences have the chance to hear world-class musicians in a more intimate setting with our programme of free lunchtime recitals, which take place most Mondays in the Crush Room, Linbury Studio Theatre or the Paul Hamlyn Hall.
The performances form an important part of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme. A very different experience to performing on the expansive main stage, they help the Young Artists to perfect the intimate craft of giving recitals.
‘Singing a recital is so different from being on the main stage, when you have professional lighting, make-up and costume,’ says Anush Hovhannisyan. ‘A recital is a wonderful chance to meet the audience in a more informal situation, be yourself and give a more sincere performance, singing music that identifies you as a person and a singer.’ Anush will make her recital debut on 14 April with a programme that includes works by Berg and Brahms, as well as songs from her native Armenia: ‘In a way, I feel like I’m both the stage and musical director of my own show – I think it will be an unforgettable date for me.’
Fellow JPYA Michel de Souza spoke in a recent interview about the particular demands of a recital; that without the performance element of opera, an artist is more exposed.
The next JPYA recital will be on 7 April and will see mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly perform a programme that includes works by Purcell, Debussy and Strauss in the Crush Room. Rachel is currently performing in Kasper Holten’s production of Cavalli’s L’Ormindo at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, and was previously due to perform in March. However, a rehearsal clash meant that former Young Artists Susana Gaspar (2011-2013) and ZhengZhong Zhou (2010-2012) had to step in with just one week’s notice.
‘It was a great pleasure to sing again at the Royal Opera House with a great soprano, my good friend Susana,’ says ZhengZhong. ‘It reminded me a lot of the many memories I have of the JPYA Programme. I really miss the London audiences and the opera house!’
'Although it was a last minute recital, I enjoyed every moment of it,' adds Susana. 'To sing in the Crush Room again, for a lovely audience and with two very special friends and colleagues was more than I could ask for!'
During recitals, singers are accompanied by members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, The Royal Opera Chorus or Southbank Sinfonia. The events are free to attend and tickets can be reserved online up to nine days before the concert. However, although advance tickets are often sold out, tickets are available in person from the Box Office on the day. View the full lunchtime recital listings.
Find out more about the life of a Jette Parker Young Artist: