The Royal Opera's Jette Parker Artists Programme Reveals The New Company For 2024-25 Season

Graduates of the JPA programme starring in roles across the current Season have included Yaritza Véliz (La bohème), Aigul Akhmetshina (Carmen), and more.

By: May. 30, 2024
The Royal Opera's Jette Parker Artists Programme Reveals The New Company For 2024-25 Season
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The Royal Opera are delighted to announce the new cohort of Jette Parker Artists (JPA) for the 2024 - 25 Season. The two-year JPA programme is committed to nurturing the next generation of conductors, directors, répétiteurs and singers by offering career-changing opportunities across the RB&O stages. Graduates of the JPA programme starring in roles across the current Season have included Yaritza Véliz (La bohème), Aigul Akhmetshina (Carmen), and Hongni Wu (Madama Butterfly). 

Mezzo-soprano Jingwen Cai, soprano Marianna Hovanisyan, bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson and baritone Siphe Kwani will join the JPA community in Summer 2024. They will be joined by pianist Richard Fu, director Sophie Gilpin (for the 2024/25 Season only), and conductor Peggy Wu.  

Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera, said: ‘We're delighted to have a Jette Parker Artists cohort for the 24/25 programme that represents the plethora of homegrown operatic talent the UK has to offer, alongside exceptional international younger artists. Our long history of developing artists, with alumni enjoying flourishing international careers, continues in hugely exciting fashion and I'm looking forward to seeing the new cohort develop over the next two years.' 

Head of Jette Parker Artists Programme Elaine Kidd said: ‘The level of talent displayed in the 2024/25 cohort is incredible and I'm thrilled that there is a mix of international and British artists. It's encouraging to see successful applications from those who have participated in our Royal Opera House coaching work in Armenia and South Africa as well as others, such as Peggy Wu, who have completed other courses with us. It's all about recognising extraordinary potential and enabling it to develop at just the right pace.' 

Now in its 22nd year, the Programme provides a bridge to a career with the world's leading opera companies and gives the artists first-hand experience of a major international producing house. Over the last two decades, the Programme has trained and supported over 140 young singers, directors, conductors and pianists from across the globe, providing access to all areas of opera, music and theatre production. As well as performing repertory roles, singers may also cover roles for more established cast members, stepping into another artist's shoes at short notice. All artists receive coaching and mentoring to further their technical abilities and help evolve their artistic identity. 

Applications for the 2025/26 intake of singers will open this summer, with conductor and director auditions following in the autumn – click here for further information. 

Jingwen Cai – Mezzo-soprano 

Mezzo-soprano Jingwen Cai studied at South China Normal University and at Xinghai Conservatory of Music. She won the Music Golden Bell Award Vocal (Bel Canto) at the 12th Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music; The Silver Award at the First International Vocal Competition of Chinese Art Songs; The First Prize at Ningbo International Vocal Competition; the First Prize at Bologna International Vocal Competition; the Second Prize at the Renato Bruson International Competition; and the Second Prize and the Best Potential Prize at I°Concorso Canto Lirico Internazionale Beniamino Gigli Sezione Italia. 

Cai has performed with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lanzhou Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven's Symphony No.9); Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (Verdi's Requiem); Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra (Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde); and roles including Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Wang Xiaoyan (The Song of Youth). 

Marianna Hovanisyan – Soprano 

Armenian soprano Marianna Hovanisyan graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory and Mascarade Opera Studio in Florence. She is a former principal singer of the State Musical Comedy Theatre in Armenia and was honoured with the Mayor of Yerevan Award in recognition of her achievements in the field of theatre. Additional awards include the Audience Prize, Eva Kleinitz and The Beckwith Foundations special prizes at the Portofino International Competition (CLIP) in 2022 and First Prize in the Gohar Gasparyan National Singing Competition and the 2020 Presidential Prize for young opera singers in her native Armenia.  

She has performed in opera scenes as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Adina (L'elisir d'amore) and Norina (Don Pasquale) at La Fenice, Venice and has sung Nella and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Clorinda (La Cenerentola) at the Yerevan Opera Studio. She covered the role of Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) at the New Generation Festival in Florence in 2018.     

Ossian Huskinson – Bass-baritone 

British bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music where he was a Bicentenary Scholar. He was a finalist in the Neue Stimmen (2022) and Paris Opera (2023) Competitions, and winner of the Mozart Prize in the Tenor Viñas Competition 2024. He was named Young Vocal Talent of the year (2022–23) by The Critics' Circle and was a Harewood Artist for English National Opera (2022/23).    

  Roles include Sciarrone (Tosca), Harashta (The Cunning Little Vixen), and Speaker (The Magic Flute) for English National Opera; Jupiter (Platée, Summer 2024), Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin), Pluto (Orfeo) and Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos) for Garsington Opera; Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) for Dorset Opera; Pietro (Simon Boccanegra) for Deutsche Oper Berlin; and Seneca (L'incoronazione di Poppea) for Opéra de Toulon. His debut solo recital 'The Roadside Fire' with pianist Matthew Fletcher was released on Linn Records in 2022. 

Siphe Kwani - Baritone 

South African baritone Siphe Kwani's awards include First Prize and Audience Prize in the 2019 Schock Foundation Prize for singing and First Prize in the Friends of Cape Town Opera (FoCTO) bursary competition for singers (2022).    

Roles include Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) in a collaboration between the University of Cape Town and Cape Town Opera, Gianni Schicchi with the Operatunity Company, and, with University of Capetown Opera, Ferryman (Curlew River), Alexander Dunlop in the world premiere of Sarah Baartman by South African composer Hendrick Hofmeyr, Tarabotto ( L'Inganno felice), Lindorf/Dr Miracle (The Tales of Hoffmann) and Giorgio Germont (La traviata). 


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