Astrid Joos is a Belgian soprano. She graduated from Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2021 with a Master of Performance (Distinction). Prior to this she was part of the International Opera Academy (IOA) in Ghent as a young artist. During this time she made her opera house debut at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen as ‘Edelknabe 2’ in Lohengrin (Wagner), aswell as being part of their La Finta Giardiniera production as ‘Serpetta’ (Mozart). Other operatic highlights include singing ‘Susanna’ and ‘Barbarina’ in Mozart’s Le Nozze, ‘Pamina’ in his Zauberflöte, ‘Climene’ in Cavalli’s L’Egisto, ‘Woglinde’ in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, and ‘Clarijn’ in Hendrik Andriessen’s rarely performed Dutch opera De Spiegel Uit Venetië.
James is a graduate of the Artist Masters programme at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was supported by a Leverhulme Scholarship and the Chizel Education Trust. James’ recent operatic performances include: ‘Madwoman’ Britten Curlew River, ‘Tobias’ Dove Tobias and the Angel, ‘Male Chorus’ Britten The Rape of Lucretia, ‘Box’ Sullivan Cox and Box. He will also be appearing as ‘Aeneas’ Dido and Aeneas with HGO this year. As an oratorio soloist: Handel Joshua as ‘Joshua’ (forthcoming), UK premiere of Lidarti Ester, Haydn Creation, Bach St John Passion, Rossini Messe Solennelle, and Handel Messiah with the Britten Sinfonia. James also took part in the 2020-21 Nevill Holt Young Artist programme.
Adam Maxey is a British bass-baritone from Dorset and is a graduate of the RCM and the GSMD, where he studied on the opera course under the tutelage of John Evans. Operatic highlights include Dottor Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Amy Crankshaw’s The Apothecary, King Tartaglia and Calmon in The Little Green Swallow, Gil in Il segreto di Susanna, Melibeo in La fedelta premiata, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. Adam has worked with Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera and, recently, at the Donmar Wearhouse. Future engagements include singing the title role in Waterperry Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro.
Julia Mariko Smith
English-Japanese soprano Julia Mariko Smith graduated from the RNCM in 2020. In 2021 she appeared as Gretel Hansel and Gretel (Waterperry Opera Festival), Fredrika A Little Night Music (Buxton Opera Festival) and in recital with Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton (Leeds Lieder Festival). In 2020 she covered and performed Barbarina The Marriage of Figaro, Fairy Godmother in the film Whistle Stop Opera: Cinderella (Opera North) and Ellie in the film Man in the Moon (Charles Court Opera). In 2019 she performed Soeur Constance Dialogues des Carmélites at RNCM Opera and toured as principal/ensemble with the National G&S Opera Company.