Soloists - November 2019

Ruth Jenkins-Robertsson - Soprano

Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Her prizes include the Pavarotti Prize, the John Scott Award from the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust, Second Prize at the 2012 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the 2011 Leonard Ingram Award from Garsington Opera. 
Ruth’s highlights include Zerlina in Sir Thomas Allen’s new production of Don Giovanni at Scottish Opera, Norina Don Pasquale with Scottish Opera, Queen of the Night The Magic Flute with New Zealand Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Bath International Festival and Garsington Opera at West Green House,
Papagena The Magic Flute with Scottish Opera and Garsington Opera, Frasquita Carmen for Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Royal Albert Hall


Other performances include Mozart Requiem with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Orff Carmina Burana with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, McCarthy Codebreaker and Orff Carmina Burana with the Hertfordshire Chorus at Barbican London, Messiah with Brian Kay at the Royal Albert Hall, Messiah at Sage Gateshead with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Mozart Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall,  the Nelson Mass at St John’s, Smith Square, Mozart Mass in C Minor and Vivaldi Gloria with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. 


Ruth was selected as “Artist of the Month” in Opera Now, and she was also featured as a “New Music Artist” for the Telegraph. She is a Samling Artist and recipient of the ARAM honour from the Royal Academy of Music.


Valerie Reid - Mezzo

Valerie was born in Fife and studied singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Whilst there she won the Governors Recital Prize, two Caird Scholarships and the John Noble Award which with further support from the Friends of Covent Garden enabled her to undertake a years study at the National Opera Studio in London.

Valerie made her debut with English National Opera as Mercedes in the David Poutney production of Carmen, this was followed by further appearances as 2nd Lady in Mozart's Magic Flute, 3rd Nymph in Rusalka, Maddalena in Rigoletto, The Lady in David Sawers acclaimed new opera Morning to Midnight, Grimgerde in Die Walkure which was also performed at the Glastonbury Festival, Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, Glasha in Katya Kabanova, The Grandmother in Juliette with Olivier Award winning director Richard Jones and Ann's Mother in the World Premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys.

Other roles include Dorabella Cosi Fan Tutte, Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro,  Charlotte Grand Duchess of Gerolstein for Scottish Opera, Natasha in The Electrification of the Soviet Union for Music Theatre Wales, Carmen in Hong Kong, Rosina Barber of Seville at the Festival de la Vezere in France, Krobyle Des Esels Schaten with Sir Peter Ustinov at the Covent Garden Festival and Mrs Turner The Blackened Man at the Linbury Theatre Covent Garden. Concert appearances include Verdi Requiem in Coventry Cathedral, Bury St Edmonds Cathedral, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Barbican Concert Hall, Mendelssohns Elijah in St Hellier, Barbican Concert Hall, Truro Cathedral, Elgars Dream of Gerontius in Dunblane Cathedral, St Albans Abbey, Elgars Sea Pictures in Athens, Mahler's 8th Symphony in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Midsummer Music with the English Sinfonia at Gibside.



Austin Gunn - Tenor

 Austin Gunn made his professional operatic debut as Vorsinger Zaide with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras in the Edinburgh International Festival.  Other notable EIF performances include 1st Tenor Soloist Curlew River and Zweite Lehrbube Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

His Scottish Opera debut was covering Don Ottavio Don Giovanni directed by Sir Thomas Allen and conducted by Speranza Scapucci.

His English National Opera debut was Guest John Cage Dinner Party for ENO MusiCircus. ENO performances include Pliable/Superstition/Celestial Voice cover A Pilgrim's Progress, Dantine cover The Perfect American, in preproduction workshops and showcases between ENO, The Barbican and the Young Vic as Gizmo 3 The Way Back Home and Security Guard Between Worlds, an ENO Late Shift Recital at the National Portrait Gallery, and he is core tenor for ENO Baylis Know the Show events as Tamino Magic Flute and Alfredo La Traviata, a member of ENO Opera Squad 2015, 2016 & 2017 singing Nanki-Poo The Mikado, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni and Don Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro in schools performances and has appeared as guest soloist with the ENO Community Choir.


Austin made his Portuguese debut in 2017 as Martin in the premiere staging of Hummus by Zad Moultaka and Manager in The Waiter's Revenge by Stephen Oliver at the Musica Na Fabrica Festival, Lisbon directed by Max Hoehn, his Swiss debut last year as the Spectre in Dvorak's The Spectre's Bride in Zürich conducted by Philipp Mestrinel and his Longborough Festival Opera debut this year covering Don Ottavio Don Giovanni.

Other roles include Beppe Rita (Berwick Festival Opera) Bobby The Fisherman's Brides (Tete a Tete Opera Festival), Aubrey Der Vampyr (Berwick Festival Opera), Dormont La Scala di Seta (Berwick Festival Opera), Frederick Pirates of Penzance (Opera Anywhere, Berwick Festival Opera) Nanki-Poo The Mikado (Opera Anywhere, Berwick Festival Opera), Gastone La Traviata (InterOpera), Don Jose Carmen (Black Cat Opera, OperaLab, Sage Gateshead), Tololler Iolanthe (Berwick Festival Opera), Ralph Rackstraw HMS Pinafore (Berwick Festival Opera).


Austin appears regularly in concert in repertoire ranging from Orff Carmina Burana and Rossini Stabat Mater to Bach St John Passion and Handel Judas Maccabeus.


Austin teaches singing at York, Durham and Hull universities and has given masterclasses at York University, Hull University, Durham University, the Cite des arts Internationale in Paris and for Brussels OperaLab.


Andri Björn Róbertsson - Bass

 Icelandic bass-baritone Andri Björn Róbertsson made his house début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden last season as Witness 3/ Madman in the World Premiere of Sir George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, also recently revived at the Dutch National Opera, Staatsoper Hamburg and Opéra de Lyon. As a Harewood Artist at ENO, Andri sang Angelotti in Tosca, Ceprano in Rigoletto, Lord Krishna in Satyagraha by Philip Glass, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Basilio (cover) in The Barber of Seville. Andri also performed the role of Angelotti in Tosca opposite Kristine Opolais and Sir Bryn Terfel at theLlangollen International Musical Eisteddfodand  Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring at The Grange Festival.
In 2014/15 Andri joined the International Opera Studio in Zürich where heperformed Sprecher/Erster Priester in Die Zauberflöte, Der König in Die Gänsemagd, BrabantischerEdler in Lohengrin and FedjaDawidowitsch Pronin in Fälle by Oscar Strasnoy. He subsequently returned as a guest artist to reprise his role as Sprecher and to perform Saxon Priest/Pan/He in King Arthur. In 2014, he was named as a HSBC Laureate of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, where he performed the role of Bass in Trauernacht and the production has since travelled to various European venues. Other roles include Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with Garsington Opera and again at the Bath International Music Festival, Craftsman in Elspeth Brooke’s The Commission and Barman/Hunter Gracchus/Policeman in Francisco Coll’s Café Kafka for Royal Opera House, Opera North and Aldeburgh Music. 
Andri’s oratorio repertoire includes Bach’s Cantatas and St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, Handel’sMessiah, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass KV 317, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges.
Andri’s upcoming plans include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Icelandic Opera, Messiah in Darlington, recital at King’s Hall in Newcastle with Ruth Jenkins-Robertsson, Handel’s Saul with Newcastle Bach Choir, Der Einäugige in Strauss’s Die Frau ohneSchatten at the Dutch National Opera and a concert of French baroque with the Baroque Ensemble Brák í Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland.
Andri was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Queen Sonja International Music Competition and was nominated as the ´Brightest Hope in Classical Music´ at the 2013 Icelandic Music Awards and has won numerous other prizes.