Singing the praises of glamorous soprano Samantha

Samantha Crawford, the glamorous young opera singer who has sung for the BBC on the Proms and captivated viewers on Songs of Praise, is to make her debut performance in Northumberland as part of the Northumberland Music Festival.
Samantha Crawford, the glamorous young opera singer who has sung for the BBC on the Proms and captivated viewers on Songs of Praise, is to make her debut performance in Northumberland as part of the Northumberland Music Festival.

A GLAMOROUS young opera singer who has sung for the BBC on the Proms and captivated viewers on Songs of Praise, is to make her debut county performance as part of the Northumberland Music Festival.

Samantha Crawford will star in 3 Gala Opera Concerts at Doxford Hall near Alnwick and Eshott Hall as part of the 10-day-long inaugural Northumberland Music Festival.

The young singer will perform in the opening Gala Opera Concerts of the festival under Garsington Opera Music Director, Robin Newton. Well-known for his imaginative and dramatic productions, Robin is bringing top singers like Samantha together with loved songs from the operatic repertoire.

British-born Samantha has pursued her passion for performing since she was 13. She has sung in a gala concert with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for Garsington Opera and her diverse musical abilities have led to invitations outside of her concert and opera engagements.

She has sung for audiences at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Piccadilly Theatre and before rugby matches at Twickenham Stoop stadium. Wherever she has sung, praise has chorused from her reviewers: earlier this year, Seen and Heard International, April 2011 complemented her on her ‘perfect vocal control and a real feeling for the music’, and the Bath Chronicle was as happily charmed: ‘impressive and fearless in the high register ... the overall musical excellence on display was as inspiring as ever’.

Samantha is keen to make her first singing engagement in the north east, and said: “I am delighted to have been invited to the Northumberland Music Festival, and look forward to being part of three concerts of wonderful music.”

The glorious gala opening presents arias, duets, trios and quartets from famous Bizet, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Bizet and Verdi operas including Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata; “Voi Che Sapete” from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; d “Una Voce Poco Fa” from Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Habañera from Bizet’s Carmen; L’elisir d’amore from Donizetti; “Una furtiva lagrima’ and ‘Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen’ from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt.

All of the soloists, most performing in Northumberland for the first time, have impressive musical backgrounds bringing a soaring professionalism to complement the Georgian settings of these concerts.

The other lead singers are:

l Adriana Festeu (mezzo soprano) who completed her Masters with Distinction at the Royal Academy of Music Future and whose current projects include the role of Bacchis in Offenbach’s La belle hélène for The Merry Opera Company as well as her debut in the title role of Bizet’s Carmen for Co-Opera.

l Charne Rochford (tenor), a Royal Academy of Music graduate whose recent and future roles include touring with ETO singing the role of Luigi in Puccini’s Il Tabarro , Cavardossi in Tosca for Queens College, Cambridge and Bermuda Festival, Max/Der Freishutz in Cambridge, the Duke in Rigoletto in Luxembourg and Rodolfo in La bohème for Lyric Opera, Dublin.

l Richard Latham (baritone) was organ scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (1997-2000) and choral scholar at King’s College (2000-2001). His operatic roles include Morales (Carmen); Papageno (Die Zauberflöte); Don Alfonso and Guglielmo (Così fan ‘ tutte); Marcello and Schaunard (La bohème); Eugene Onegin; Father (Hänsel und Gretel) and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos).

In addition to the Gala Opera Concerts, the festival will feature a huge variety of music including two Gilbert & Sullivan concerts, again presented by Robin Newton who has assembled a strong cast of former members of D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, including mezzo soprano Pauline Birchall and tenor Stephen Brown.