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An Evening of Opera with Singers of the National Opera Studio

St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets £13 (student cards £6.50, under 18s free)

Tickets in person from Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye

or online through Booth's Bookshop

or at the door if available (cash only)

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

Singers composite.jpg

Ana-Maria Bacanu Marvic Monreal Ben Smith Jake Muffett

Hay Music welcomes an international cast of outstanding singers from The National Opera Studio in a programme of familiar and less familiar operatic arias and songs.


Largo al factotum (Barber of Seville)

Ecco ridente (Barber of Seville)

Barcarolle (The Tales of Hoffmann)

O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi)

Mon coeur s’oeuvre a tes bras (Samson and Delilah)

Caro elisir (L’Elisir d’Amore)

O du mein holder Abendstern (Tannhäuser)

Quel guardo il cavaliere (Don Pasquale)

Seguidilla (Carmen)

O Mimi tu piu non torni (La Boheme)

Quartet (Rigoletto)

Non piu andrai (Marriage of Figaro)

Duet (Marriage of Figaro)

2 Brahms songs:  Wie Melodien and Meine Liebe ist grün

2 Quilter Songs: Come away death, Go lovely rose

Now sleeps the crimson petal (Romanian Song)

Now oh lips say goodbye (The Consul)

Come into the garden Maud (Victorian Parlour Song)

Where is the life that late I led? (Kiss me Kate)

Quartet (Idomeneo)

Soprano Ana-Maria Bacanu hails from Bucharest in Romania. At the age of 10, she was admitted into the Children’s Choir at Romania’s Radiobroadcast (Corul de Copii al Radiodifuziunii Romane) where she performed in both concerts and competitions in her home country and abroad, until she went to the National University of Music, Bucharest in 2011. In 2014, she began to perform at the Comic Opera in Bucharest, where roles included Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mademoiselle Silberklang Der Schauspieldirektor and Dochita in the operetta Crai Nou by Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu. She completed her Masters’ degree at the National University of Music in June 2018, where for her final exam she performed Donna Anna Don Giovanni. Ana-Maria has performed extensively on the concert platform, including engagements such as Mozart’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Bacau State Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also taken part in numerous concerts at Peles Castle, Cantacuzino Castle, the Romanian Atheneum Hall and the Romanian Radio Hall. Ana-Maria is sincerely grateful for the continued guidance and support of her teacher, Bianca Manoleanu.

Ana-Maria is generously supported by The Carne Trust.

Maltese mezzo-soprano Marvic Monreal completed her two-year Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music this year. Marvic also obtained her MA in Voice with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. Before starting her studies in London, she completed a degree in Tourism Studies at the University of Malta. Marvic spent the summer of 2017 in Salzburg participating in the Young Singers Project: she had her debut at the Salzburg Festival with the role of Pisana I due foscari opposite Maestro Placido Domingo and tenor Joseph Calleja in the title roles. Recent performances include Joseph Calleja’s annual summer concert in Malta, where Marvic had the opportunity to share the stage with the tenor himself as well as Sir Bryn Terfel. She was the soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, conducted by Maestro Semyon Bychkov at the Royal Festival Hall, and a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Brian Schembri for Europe Day Concert earlier this year. Marvic was a Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2016. For Royal Academy Opera, she has had the pleasure to perform Bradamante Alcina, Venus Orphee aux enfers, Mrs. Peachum Die Dreigroschenoper, Older Woman Flight and Carmen La tragédie de Carmen. She is most grateful to the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation for their continuing support. Marvic is also supported by an Independent Opera Fellowship. Last summer, Marvic participated in the Solti accademia di bel canto.

Marvic is generously supported by the Nicholas John Trust and a Glyndebourne New Generation Programme Young Artist Development Award.

Welsh tenor Ben Smith graduated from the RCM with a BMus (Hons) degree in Music before furthering his training on the Masters of Performance programme with Timothy Evans-Jones. During his time at the RCM, Ben was the Sir Peter and Lady Walters Soirée d’Or Scholar, was supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Scholarship as well as the Arts Council of Wales Advanced Study Award, the Ryan Davies Memorial Trust, the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust and the Josephine Baker Trust. In 2018, Ben was a member of the Glyndebourne chorus, performing in Giulio Cesare, Vanessa and Pelléas et Mélisande, the latter of which he also performed at the BBC Proms. Ben has worked with Neil Shicoff, and received guidance from Craig Rutenberg and Joyce Fieldsend. He was a 2016 Iford Arts Next Generation Artist and worked at Nevill Holt Opera in 2017, singing in the chorus of Tosca. Ben continues his studies with Marie McLaughlin. During his training at the RCM, Ben performed Pastore/Apollo L’Orfeo, Septimius Theodora and created the roles of Razomikhin and Devlin in a co-production with Tête a Tête Opera. He has sung Nemorino L’elisir d’amore for Arcadian Opera, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera, Tamino Die Zauberflöte for Chelmsford City Opera and Tybalt Romeo et Juliette for Opera at Bearwood. His solo performances have taken him to the Royal Albert Hall with the 1000 Welsh Male Voices, to St John Smith Square and to the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace for a performance of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music under the baton of John Wilson. He was subsequently invited to perform with John Wilson and the CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in a semi-staged concert of The Yeomen of the Guard. Ben made his Wigmore Hall debut performing Habdonah Esther for the London Handel Festival. He is a former member of Classical Brit award-winning group Only Men Aloud.

Ben is generously supported by Sir Peter and Lady Walters and Chris Ball.

Baritone Jake Muffett was born and raised in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He graduated from the University of York with a BA (Hons) in Music and received an MMus in Vocal Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before completing their Opera Programme under Dominic Wheeler and Martin Lloyd-Evans. He is a vocal student of John Evans, and has been since beginning his postgraduate studies. Jake was one of the eight Monteverdi Choir apprentices for the academic year 2014/15. During this time, he worked closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, performing with the choir in concerts across Europe and the United States. Since completing the apprenticeship, he has continued to sing with the group on a regular basis, including various solo engagements. He was a member of the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus for the 2016 season, covering the role of Fiorello Il barbiere di Siviglia and performing a principal role in Glyndebourne Youth Opera’s production of Lewis Murphy’s A Garden Dream. Jake is delighted to have returned for the 2018 season as a Jerwood Young Artist. His most recent operatic engagements include the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera, the role of John Sorrell The Consul and Le Marquis de la Force/ 1st Officer Dialogues des Carmélites for GSMD. He made his major London solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall in Orff’s Carmina Burana with The Really Big Chorus conducted by Bob Chilcott, and sang again with the group for the 2017 performances of Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Ben Parry and Brian Kay. A keen semi-professional clarinettist, Jake still plays with orchestras and chamber groups when the opportunity arises. Jake is also supported by a Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award.

Jake is generously supported by the Carne Trust, Chris Ball and a Glyndebourne New Generation Programme Young Artist Development Award.

Refreshments available during the interval