Claire Surman, soprano

Claire Surman photoClaire graduated from the postgraduate opera course at the RCM with distinction, having won the Lies Askonas Prize, Agnes Nicholls Harty Trophy and Ted Moss Lieder Prize.

She made her Welsh National Opera (WNO) debut in 2011 as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and her Glyndebourne Festival Opera (GFO) debut as Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Other roles include: Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Violetta (La Traviata), Gilda (Rigoletto), Leïla (The Pearl Fishers), Mimì (La Bohème), Governess (Turn of the Screw), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus).

Concert highlights as a soloist include performing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO)/Vladimir Jurowski (Royal Festival Hall); with the OAE/Sir Simon Rattle (Royal Festival Hall), in Raymond Gubbay’s Last Night of the Spring Proms Concerts (Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall) and with the Berlin Philharmonic/Sir Simon Rattle (Berlin, and the Salzburg Festival).

Claire appeared as a guest artist for the television series ‘Sopranos’, performing Sempre libera (La Traviata) and Ebben? Ne andrò lontana (La Wally) with the City of London Sinfonia.


Charlotte Stephenson, mezzo-soprano

Charlotte Stephenson PhotoBorn in Manchester, Charlotte studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy Opera (RAO). She is an Independent Opera Fellow and graduate of the Solti-Te kanawa Academia di Bel Canto, and is also a Samling Scholar. Whilst at the RAO, Charlotte sang roles including Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Celia (La Fedelta Premiata), Hänsel, Diana (La Calisto), and Vava (Cheryomushki).

Charlotte made her Glyndebourne Touring Opera debut as Valetto (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and has sung Annio (La Clemenza di Tito) for English Touring Opera (ETO), and Kate Pinkerton/Cousin (Madam Butterfly) for Mid Wales Opera. Other roles include; Minsk Woman (Flight) and Gertrude(cover) (Roméo et Juliette) for British Youth Opera and Carmen for Garden Opera. In 2014 Charlotte covered Nancy (Albert Herring) for Opera North and sang with the Glyndebourne chorus, covering roles for the Festival and Tour.

As a soloist, Charlotte has performed alongside conductors Trevor Pinnock, Sir Colin Davis and Sian Edwards, and Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO. She is a regular soloist with Opera Interludes and LFO, touring the UK and Europe. Her most recent performances include Carmen and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) in Venice and Seville.

Jack Dolan, tenorJack Dolan, tenor

Born and raised in Manchester, Jack Dolan is currently based in London. He is a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having studied with Maureen Brathwaite, Sarah Pring and Adrian Thompson. Currently, Jack is undergoing further studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a student on the Opera Course where he is a Baroness de Turckheim Scholar, supported by The Drapers’ Company.​

Jack’s musical roots lie in rock and blues, and he studied guitar for six years whilst developing a love for Classical music. His eclectic musical tastes, from rock to musical theatre, sparked a fascination with vocal music and motivated his research into all different types of singing. Originally, he intended to follow an academic path and become a teacher; however, he was persuaded by Claire Surman to change his path to study at Conservatoire and train as a tenor.

Jack works as a freelance singer and enjoys a busy performance career. He has appeared in staged operatic productions as chorus in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilegès (RBC) and in the National G&S Opera Company tour in 2018 and 2019. At the RBC he has performed as Raoul de Gardefeu in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Henry Crawford in Dove’s Mansfield Park. Other operatic engagements include Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Strada Stretta Opera, Malta), Bill in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge (Cumbria Opera Group), Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Cumbria Opera Group) and Peppe (Benny) in Donizetti’s Rita (Opera South). Equally at home on the concert platform, Jack also performs oratorio and concert work with a network of established choral societies throughout the UK. He has appeared as a soloist at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.

Terence Ayebare, tenor

Terence Ayebare studied voice and piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The opera roles in his repertoire include Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), Dr Falke (Die Fledermaus), Pangloss (Candide), Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore), Zurga (Pearl Fishers), Marullo (Rigoletto) and Silvio (I Pagliacci). Among the works he has sung as a soloist with orchestra include Mahler’s Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen and Rückert Lieder, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and R. V. Williams’ Songs of Travel and Sea Symphony.

Terence is also a regular oratorio soloist in, among others, Bach’s St. John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, the requiems of Brahms, Fauré, Duruflé, Puccini and Mozart, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and St’ Paul, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Handel’s Messiah.


Benjamin Powell, piano

Benjamin Powell photoBenjamin Powell has performed across the UK and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and song accompanist. Since winning the British Contemporary Piano Competition in 2010 Benjamin he has performed at Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Snape Maltings, Bridgewater Hall, IRCAM (Paris), and Harpa (Reykjavik). In 2014 he was appointed pianist for Manchester’s leading contemporary music group, Psappha. He currently teaches at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Benjamin’s recording of selections from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was used in the recent National Theatre production of ‘the Hard Problem’, Sir Tom Stoppard’s latest play.

He studied at the RNCM with Carole Presland and later with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Alexander Melnikov at the Hochschule für Musik Cologne and RNCM respectively.

Benjamin was born and raised in West Sussex and currently lives in Glossop with his wife and three children.