John Wilson is known for the vivid nature of his interpretations and is applauded repeatedly for the rich and colourful sounds that he draws from orchestras in repertoire ranging from the core classical through to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. An outstanding communicator, Wilson has developed long-term affiliations with many of the UK’s major orchestras and festivals and is working increasingly at the highest level across Europe and Australia. In 2016/17 he became the Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducting them regularly across Scotland as well as at the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival.
In 2018 Wilson returned to the BBC Proms with the London Symphony Orchestra as well as with his own John Wilson Orchestra, and in the 2018/19 season at London’s South Bank he returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra and makes his debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Elsewhere in the UK he conducts the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, City of Birmingham Symphony and Royal Northern Sinfonia, and in Europe he returns to the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras. Wilson also makes his debut at English National Opera in a new production of Porgy and Bess and in Summer 2019 he returns to Glyndebourne Summer Festival for a new production of Cendrillon.
In recent seasons Wilson has made his debut with many major orchestras including the Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and further afield he has twice been to Australia to conduct the Sydney Symphony. In 2016 he made his opera debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera to great critical acclaim, described as a “sensational success” by Opera Magazine, conducting the theatre’s first ever Madama Butterfly in a new production for their autumn tour.
In 1994, Wilson formed his own orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, dedicated to performing music from the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway; for the past decade he has been performing with them annually at the BBC Proms and touring regularly across the UK. John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra record exclusively for Warner Classics, and their performances are broadcast regularly on television and radio.
Wilson has a large catalogue of recordings with a range of orchestras. His most recent recordings are three volumes of symphonic works by Copland with the BBC Philharmonic, described by Gramophone as ‘outstanding’, and two volumes of works by Richard Rodney Bennett with the BBC Scottish Symphony. Born in Gateshead, England, John Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he was taught by Joseph Horovitz and Neil Thomson and where he won all the major conducting prizes and, in 2011, was made a Fellow. In March 2019, John Wilson was awarded the prestigious ISM Distinguished Musician Award for his services to music.
Kim Criswell has been singing and acting professionally for more than forty years.
Her career has taken her from Broadway to the West End to the international concert stage, resulting in a most unusual career path unmatched by any other singer. She continues to specialize in musical theatre, bringing the classic American songbook to leading music venues across the world, both in symphony settings and recital. She has sung at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, the Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Opéra Comique in Paris, Concertgebauw in Amsterdam, Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall in New York, the Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Volksoper in Vienna, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Aldeburgh, and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, not to mention multiple appearances in London at the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Rooms, Cadogan Hall, and the Linbury Studios at the Royal Opera House, and elsewhere, from Reykjavik, Helsinki, Leipzig and Kaiserslautern, to Athens, Essen, Gothenburg and Bremen, to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Malta, Montpellier, and Moscow, giving her a unique platform among interpreters of the musical theatre repertoire.
She has had the pleasure of singing with many of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, ranging from the Berlin Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with whom she has recorded Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town in a version that then was repeated as a BBC Proms concert, and as the New Year’s Eve Gala in Berlin, to the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and London Sinfonietta, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Northern Sinfonia, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestre de Picardie, the Orchestra della Toscana, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Toronto and Winnipeg Symphonies, and many, many more, including the BBC, RTE, MDR, WDR, Berlin and Munich radio orchestras. She has also sung in productions at La Fenice, Opera North, Lisbon Opera, Grange Park Opera, Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera, Atlanta Opera, and many others.
Scarlett Strallen has starred in productions on Broadway, London’s West End, and is a frequent soloist on the concert stage. She is currently starring on Broadway as Gwendolyn in Travesties and has appeared in the title role of Mary Poppins, a role she also played in the West End and as Sibella Hallward in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Additional theater credits include Mabel in Pirates of Penzance at Barrington Stage Company, Lady Macduff in Macbeth at the Armory in New York, Cunegonde in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Cassie in A Chorus Line at The London Palladium, Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Palace Theatre London (Olivier Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical), Amalia in She Loves Me at the Chocolate Factory, and Clara in Passion at Donmar Warehouse. Prior to this she played Marian in The Music Man at Chichester Festival Theatre and at the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Anne Page in Merry Wives of Windsor. Her performance of Josephine at Regents Park Open Air Theatre in HMS Pinafore won her an Olivier nomination. Other productions at Regents Park include Cymbeline and Twelfth Night, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), and original casts of Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward), The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and Peggy Sue Got Married (Shaftesbury). In 2014, Scarlett received the ‘Whatsonstage’ awards for best actress in a musical for A Chorus Line at the London Palladium and Candide at the Menier.
A frequent soloist with orchestras around the world, Scarlett made her German debut at the Philharmonie in Berlin with the John Wilson Orchestra in “A Celebration of the MGM Film Musicals”. Recent concerts include "Disney on Broadway" at the Royal Albert Hall, “I Love Musicals” arena tour of Sweden with Peter Joback, “Cole Porter in Hollywood” UK tour with the John Wilson Orchestra, a broadcast on Sky television from the Royal Albert Hall in London and “Bernstein Stage and Screen” at the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra which was broadcast on BBC television.
Scarlett has recorded with Simon Keenleyside “Something’s Gotta Give” for Chandos conducted by David Charles Abel. Film and television credits include: Kevin Spacey's movie Beyond The Sea, the title role in the BBC production of Mary Poppins celebrating HM Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday.
Nadim trained at The Royal Academy of Music, where he won The Ronald William White Prize for Excellence in Acting Through Song and has since been appointed an Associate.
Recent Credits include: Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (Holland Park Opera), Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera (West End, Athens and Thessaloniki), Khalil Gibran in Broken Wings (West End and International Tour) and Bertie Wooster in By Jeeves (The Old Laundry). Other Credits include: On The Town (Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms), Sweeney Todd (Tooting Arts Club and West End), One Man Two Guvnors (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Sound of Music (The Palladium), Titanic (Toronto and Southwark Playhouse), Chess (The Union), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne) and The Last Five Years (The Pleasance).
As a Concert Soloist, Nadim’s has performed internationally and across the UK with leading Orchestras and venues including The John Wilson Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, RCO Amsterdam, RTE Concert Orchestra Dublin, Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, London Symphony and BBC Proms at The Royal Albert Hall. Nadim’s 2016 studio album, Sides, topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart, and is available on iTunes and Spotify.
Morgan Pearse from Sydney, Australia is already widely recognised as one of the most exciting and talented baritones of his generation.
Having made his professional début with English National Opera in 2015/16 singing Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Morgan returned to sing the role again at the beginning of the 2017/18 season. The rest of that season included concerts with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and Musica Viva orchestras in Russia and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw, his first solo recital at the Wigmore Hall with Simon Lepper, as well as performances of roles with Opera New Zealand and the Badisches Staatstheater. Other recent and future engagements include the title role in the Verbier Festival Academy production of Don Giovanni, Valens in Theodora and Araspe in Tolomeo for the Karlsruhe Händelfestpiele, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte for the Badisches Staatstheater, covering the title role in Billy Budd for the Bolshoi Theatre, Sid in Albert Herring for the Buxton Festival, Escamillio / Carmen for South Australia Opera, Nero in Kaiser’s Octavia for the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and Belcore / L’Elisir d’Amore, Figaro / Barbiere for New Zealand Opera and the State Opera of South Australia and Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro for the Opernhaus Zurich.
Equally at home in concert repertoire, Morgan’s concert engagements have included the first performance of Schubert’s Winterreise in Sydney in 20 years, Fauré Requiem and Handel Messiah in the Sydney Opera House, performances of Britten’s War Requiem throughout Poland and Mozart Requiem with the English Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Melbourne Recital Hall, Hamer Hall, Copenhagen’s Konserthuset, Sydney Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe, Gower and Newbury Spring Festivals. Recent and future concert engagements include a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall, concerts with the Moscow Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra, RTVE Madrid, Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevillia, Huddersfield Choral Society, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, concert performances of Masetto / Don Giovanni with the Auckland Philharmonia and the Russian National Orchestra, concerts with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, King’s College Choir Cambridge, the Cheltenham Bach Choir, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Newbury Festival, the Creation with the Orchestra of the Opernhaus Zurich, the B minor mass with the Hallé Orchestra, performances of the War Requiem with the Israel Philharmonic, the Seasons with the Gabrieli Consort and concerts and recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music.
During the 2014/15 season, whilst a member of the renowned Houston Grand Opera studio programme, Morgan performed the roles of Papageno in The Magic Flute, Yamadori in Madame Butterfly and Anthony in Sweeney Todd as well as covering Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte and singing scenes as Malatesta in Don Pasquale. He went on to perform the role of Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles for Wolf Trap Opera.
In the 2013/14 season, Morgan performed the title role of Owen in Owen Wingrave for Sydney Chamber Opera, Pompeo in Benvenuto Cellini for English National Opera and Minos in Arianna in Creta for the London Handel Festival. In previous seasons, he has performed the title role of Imeneo with the London Handel Festival, Apollo in L’Orfeo in an Australian national tour of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Principal Baritone in Dioclesian with Pinchgut Opera and the world premiere of Underground Man in Notes from Underground with Sydney Chamber Opera.
Morgan was the winner of the prestigious Cesti Competition in 2016, won the prestigious Lies Askonas prize in 2014 and was the gold medallist in the Royal Overseas League’s Music Competition in 2013. He has also won the John Warner Recital Competition, the RCM’s Schumann Competition, is a Samling Artist, an awardee from the Australian Music Foundation, the Tate Foundation, the Cook Society and the Josephine Baker Trust.
He is extremely grateful for the continual support of the Hon. Ros Kelly, Old Sydneians’ Union, John Hosier Trust, Opera and Arts Support Group, Ian Potter Cultural Trust and Sir Robert Askin Travelling Operatic Scholarship.