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Tara Erraught is “… a tremendously appealing and charismatic singer” (The Washington Post) with a penchant for engaging her audiences with unique and compelling dramatic interpretations. A resident principle soloist with the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Erraught’s recent highlights include her role debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms.
"...vocally and dramatically her performance was flawless" Seen and Heard International
“The evening, however, belonged to the young Irish mezzo Tara Erraught as the put-upon Angelina. With her accurate, fleet divisions and sweet disposition she won the audience’s hearts completely.” Opera
Praised for her rich voice, expansive range and dynamic stage presence, Irish-born mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught has been called “a true rising star” by the press. Her international stature has continued to grow since she stepped in on five-days’ notice, learning the role of Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2011, her performance winning worldwide acclaim. In the seasons since, Ms. Erraught has sung a world premiere, made her US opera debut, numerous role debuts, and successfully toured North America twice.
Tara Erraught’s 2015-2016 season is marked by debuts and recitals. Summer 2015 begins with her first solo opera gala concert with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, followed by engagements with the Bayerische Staatsoper including Mozart’s Die Zauberflote; Janacek’s The Makropulos Affair; Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau, Op. 80; a Festspiele concert, and Tara’s debut in the roles of Kathy and Brenda in a new production of Poul Rouders’ Selma Jezkova. Between September and May, she appears in five productions with Bayerische Staatsoper: with music director Kirill Petrenko, she creates the role of Kathleen Scott in the commissioned world premiere of Czech composer Miroslav Srnka’s South Pole, a double opera in two parts; and sings in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cosi fan Tutte, Hänsel und Gretel, and The Makropulos Affair. An active recitalist, Ms. Erraught tours Ireland, the UK and the U.S. in the fall. She gives recitals at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, debuts on the acclaimed Music for Galway Series and in recital at the Wexford Festival (the first performance in a multi-year engagement), returns to London’s Wigmore Hall and makes her series debut recitals at Celebrity Series of Boston and Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall. Additional debuts include the South Denmark Philharmonic (Sonderjyllands Symfoniorkester), with Ireland’s Wide Open Opera in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and with Tokyo Opera Nomori in recital. In June 2016, Ms. Erraught makes her role debut as Susanna in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
Past performances include: an acclaimed American opera debut with the Washington National Opera as Angelina in La Cenerentola; role debuts as Carlotta in Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau, Op. 80, Christa in Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair, Despina (having previously sung the role of Dorabella) in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as singing Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with the Bayerische Staatsoper; Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Angelina in La Cenerentola with the Hamburg Staatsoper; creating the role of Kitty in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s A Harlot’s Progress at the Theater an der Wien; and her role debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and at the BBC Proms. With the Wiener Staatsoper she sang Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, as well as the premiere performances of a new production of La Cenerentola, earning accolades from the Frankfurter Allgemeine as the “New Queen of Belcanto”.
Audiences and Press are not alone in taking notice of Ms. Erraught’s talent: in spring 2013, the Bavarian government bestowed upon her the prestigious Pro meritis scientiae et litterarum in recognition for outstanding contribution to the arts. She is only the fifth musician, and the youngest recipient, to be honored with the annual award since its inception in 2000. In March of 2010 Ms. Erraught was the recipient of Dublin’s National Concert Hall's Rising Star Award. Other honors include First Prize in the Jakub Pustina International Singing Competition in the Czech Republic, along with the Zdar nad Sazavou Audience Prize in 2008. In that same year she was awarded both the Houston Grand Opera Prize and the Washington National Opera Prize at the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. In 2007 Ms. Erraught won Dermott Troy Award for the Best Irish Singer.
A native of Dundalk, Ireland, Tara Erraught is a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, where she studied, and continues to study, with the acclaimed Royal Opera soprano Veronica Dunne. A member of the opera studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich since 2008, Ms. Erraught also works with famed German mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, expanding her lieder and opera repertoire.
Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’ James Baillieu has been the prize-winner of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Das Lied International Song Competition, Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber Competitions. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2010 and in 2012 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award.
James has given solo and chamber recitals throughout Europe and further afield. He collaborates with a wide range of singers and instrumentalists from Lawrence Power, Jack Liebeck, the Elias and Heath Quartets to Sir Thomas Allen, Kiri te Kanawa, Annette Dasch, Pumeza Matshikiza, Allan Clayton, Gerard Collett, Jared Holt, Eri Nakamura, Catherine Wyn Rogers, Jacques Imbrailo, Sarah-Jane Brandon, Kishani Jayasinghe, Ailish Tynan and Mark Padmore. Festivals and venues have included Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Musikverein, Bridgewater Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Festpillene i Bergen, Spitalfields, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, City of London, Aix-en-Provence, Verbier, St Magnus, Derry, Norfolk & Norwich and Brighton Festivals. As a soloist he has appeared in the Nottingham and Leeds International Series as well as at the Royal Festival Hall with the English Chamber Orchestra.
An experienced coach, James has worked regularly at the George Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Italy (with Mirella Freni and Leo Nucci), was a repertory professor for the Encuentro de musica y Academia de Santander in Spain, has worked with Gerhard Schulz at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove and continues to coach for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, a scholar for the Samling Foundation, participated in the European Liedforum in Berlin and worked with Thomas Quastoff at the Verbier Festival Academy.
Engagements this season include an 11-concert series at the Wigmore Hall Introducing James Baillieu with Adam Walker, Jonathan McGovern, Ailish Tynan, Julian Pregardien, Henk Neven, Iestyn Davies, and Allan Clayton amongst others. He will also appear with John Mark Ainsley at the Oxford Lieder Festival and in a European tour with Benjamin Appl as part of the ECHO Rising Starts series.
Born in South Africa, James studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music in London with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. In 2007 he graduated with a Dip.RAM and received the Christian Carpenter Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He was appointed a Hodgson Junior Fellow in 2007, a Professor of Piano Accompaniment in 2011, and awarded an ARAM in 2012.