Tait Awardees to star in Opera North production of La Boheme

We are delighted to announce that #TaitAwardees, Lauren Fagan, and Samantha Clarke are to sing major roles in Opera North’s production of La Boheme later this year. Lauren is to sing Mimi, Samantha the role of Musetta.

Lauren Fagan
Lauren was generously supported by a grant from Trust donors, Michael Whalley OAM & Karen Goldie-Morrison for the duration of her advanced operatic studies in 2013 and 2014. This financial support assisted with her fees at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she was a member of the prestigious Opera Course. After graduation Lauren was offered a coveted place in the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House which gave her two years of training as a junior principal.


A review of her recent appearances as Alcina with the Handel Festspiele, Karlsruhe, Germany.

“Unusually for Europe, the two main roles were sung by Australians, up-and-coming soprano Lauren Fagan and the more established countertenor, David Hansen. Fagan was a convincing sorceress from the very start, with a strong rich soprano, inducing sympathy in “Ombre pallide” as her shades desert her, spitting venom in the trio “Non è amor” and finally collapsing as all conspire to defeat her. ” Sandra Bowdler, 25 February 2019. Bachtrack.com

Lauren Fagan, Alcina. Handel Festival, Karlsruhe 2019 ©Felix Grünschloß

Lauren’s website

Samantha Clarke
Samantha is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and is supported by a grant from Tait donor, The Thornton Foundation and is currently in her second and final year at the Opera School at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Samantha Clarke in the title role of Handel’s Theodora © RNCM

Samantha is also supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and was recently awarded the Nora Goodridge Developing Artist Award from the Australian Music Foundation
Samantha is a Baroness de Turckheim Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

“There was no lack of chemistry between him and Samantha Clarke as a pure-toned and vulnerable Anne Trulove. Her Act 1 aria “Quietly night” (with Ana Docolin’s beguiling bassoon) and florid cabaletta (with a fabulous closing top C) were both wonderful – her traversal from despair to determination utterly convincing.”  , 06 September 2018 | Bachtrack.com

Samantha’s facebook page

Helen Sherman makes Strauss debut in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera North

Lovely to hear from 2007 Tait Awardee, Helen Sherman. Helen had great success in the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World as Australia’s representative in this career making competition. She won the third prize in the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition in 2013.
As you can see from her year in review below, Helen is now singing in the very best houses and is an international singer of repute. This recording of Vivaldi’s, Bajazet by Pinchgut Opera has just been released. We look forward to hearing more about this exciting artist.
Available now from Fish Fine Music http://www.fishfinemusic.com.au/products/PG007/Pinchgut-Opera/Vivaldi-Bajazet/CD and also at http://www.pinchgutopera.com.au/cds/bajazet
Update from Helen
2016 has been a challenging and exciting year for me. Highlights included singing Dorabella in Opera North’s revival of Tim Albery’s production of ‘Cosi fan Tutte’ and Donna Elvira for Classical Opera’s Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall. The jewel of the year for me however, was making my Strauss debut as Octavian in David McVicar’s iconic production of ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ with Opera North. There was something quite ‘out-of-body’ about having Sarah Connolly’s name stitched into my trousers! The music in ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ is really out of this world and this production is beautiful in every way. I really learned so much from this role. We sang a show the night the divisive US election result was announced; it reminded me how truly blessed we are as musicians to be able to transcend this world and all it’s troubles through our work. It also re-emphasised to me how relevant and important music is; it proves that together we can do incredible things.

Source: Helen Sherman

Message from Sky Ingram, Soprano


Dear Friends,

I hope you’ve all had a lovely start to your autumn/spring (depending on hemisphere!) – I certainly have! Most especially the start of rehearsals for my debut with the Royal Opera House world premiere of Glare in the role of Lea. Very exciting!! Helping develop a new opera and new story line has been such a creative and different rehearsal experience. I hope that if you’re in London you might be able to come!

Am I am robot?… am I a woman?… am I ‘perfect’?… ’imperfect’?… who knows?! – Come and find out!

Please see the trailer attached and performance dates below…

There’s also lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline for 2015. In particular, (and what I’m currently allowed to reveal), is that I have accepted a La Bohème contract for my debut with English Touring Opera. We will be travelling all around the UK. I can’t wait to visit all the towns that I haven’t had the opportunity to go to yet. I am also excited to be performing in this opera with two fellow Adelaidians; Grant Doyle and Nicholas Lester.


2015 also marks my debut in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall with Raymond Gubbay in their Grand Organ Gala as their guest soloist.


Well, that’s just a little info for now.  As always, please let me know what you’ve been up to – I always love to hear!

Lots of love,



Upcoming performance dates:

Glare, Royal Opera House            

14, 15. 18, 18, 19, 21 November 2014 at 7.45pm
 & Saturday 22 November 2014 at 6.00pm

Lea, Glare, Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

Danish-German composer Søren Nils Eichberg presents a taut operatic thriller about trust and reality.


Haydn Nelson Mass

Friday 5 December 2014 at 7:30pm, Guest Soprano, Victoria Law Courts

Corporation Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B4 6QA, United Kingdom


La Bohème, Musetta, English Touring Opera

Friday 13 March & Saturday 14 March 2015 at 7.30pm

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ


Tuesday 17 March 2015 at 7.30pm

Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, TR1 2LL


Friday 20 March 2015 at 7.30pm

Lighthouse, Kingland Road, Poole, BH15 1UG


Monday 23 March 2015 at 7.30pm

Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL


Tuesday 24 March 2015 at 7.30pm

Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL


Monday 30 March 2015 at 7.45pm

Lyceum Theatre, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA


Friday 10 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ


Saturday 11 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ


Monday 13 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Lichfield Street,
Wolverhampton, WV1 1DE


Friday 17 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Music, Snape
Suffolk, IP17 1SP


Monday 20 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Curve, Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1SB


Friday 24 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


Saturday 25 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road
Exeter, EX4 4QB


Thursday 30 April 2015 at 7.30pm

Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road
Exeter, EX4 4QB


Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 7.30pm

The Hawth, Crawley, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ


Friday 8 May 2015 at 7.30pm

The Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury, CT1 2AS


Monday 11 May 2015 at 7.30pm

Grand Theatre Blackpool, 33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT


Thursday 14 May 2015 at 7.30pm

Buxton Opera House, Water Street, SK17 6XN


Saturday 16 May 2015 at 7.30pm

Buxton Opera House, Water Street, SK17 6XN


Monday 18 May 2015 at 7.30pm

Gala Theatre, Durham, 1 Millennium Place, Town Centre
Durham, DH1 1WA


Thursday 21 May 2015 at 7.30pm
Musetta, La Bohème
English Touring Opera

Perth Festival, Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5HZ


** 3 more possible dates in May yet to be confirmed…  J


Grand Organ Gala, Raymond Gubbay

Sunday 4 October 2015 at 3pm, Guest Soprano, Raymond Gubbay

Royal Albert Hall, London


Kind regards,

Sky Ingram





Sky Ingram, A young soprano on her way

rotate01Tait Awardee, Australian Soprano, Sky Ingram has just completed a year at the prestigious National Opera Studio. Highlights included the Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera residencies, the song project with Ian Burnside, and working with Keith Warner and Nicholas Cleobury on the Contemporary Opera Scenes – where she was lucky enough to work with composer Jonathan Dove; who re-wrote the last 2 bars of one of his pieces for Sky to better suit the opera scenes!

Sky is now preparing to work as a principal soprano at Opera North. Her roles will include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Festival of Britten, and then again in 2014 as the cheeky Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème.

We are delighted to hear that Sky has signed with the agency Ingpen & Williams and English National Opera have engaged her on a cover contract for 2013 .

Wonderful news Sky.


Website:    www.skyingram.com

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/sopranoskyingram?ref=hl

Duncan Rock – Baritone on his way

Duncan Rock, Baritone
Duncan Rock, Baritone

Since being awarded a Tait study award from the Trust in 2010 Duncan has gone from strength to strength. Winner of the 2012 Chilcott Award and John Christie Award at Glyndebourne, W.A baritone Duncan Rock has had a meteoric rise in the UK.

Since jumping in as Don Giovanni at WNO the ENO have secured him a position as a house baritone where Duncan has sung Schaunard, La boheme; Donald, Billy Budd; Papageno, Magic Flute ( sung with Tait awardee Elena Xanthoudakis as Pamina ). Other roles include Don Giovanni, Opera North; Carousel, Chatalet in Paris and is currently rehearsing for Billy Budd at Glyndebourne singing the Novice and Tarquinius in Britten’s, The Rape of Lucretia also at Glyndebourne.

Duncan Rock website Tait Memorial Trust website
©2013 Tait Memorial Trust •
Registered charity 1042797