“Mr. Hymel's principal attributes are a strong, flexible tenor and an attractive warm timbre. He began with German works - Beethoven's "Adelaide," two Strauss songs and a Lehar aria - and projected them with a current of heroic steeliness (lightened somewhat in the Lehar). But it was hard not to feel that for Mr. Hymel, the real business at hand was the Italian repertory in the second half. In a group of sentimental songs (including "Torna a Surriento") as well as "Mamma, quel vino è generoso" from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana, Mr. Hymel sounded entirely at home, delivering both the subtle decoration and the heart-on-the-sleeve emotion that drives the Italian style.”
Allan Kozinn, New York Times


» Full Recital List
» 11 Nov 2009 » 19:30 » St John's, Smith Square » £20, £15, £10 (Concessions £10)


Simon LepperPianist
Songs and arias by composers including Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, Puccini, Bizet and d’Hardelot.

New Orleans native Bryan Hymel first came to attention at age 19 when he was a winner in the 1998 Verdi Aria Competition at the Aspen Musical Festival. He is currently a fourth-year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he has sung Boris in Kat’a Kabanova, Araquil in Massenet’s La Navarraise, Max in Der Freischütz and Alfredo in La traviata.

Artist Biographies


New Orleans native Bryan Hymel won the George London Award in 2007, was the First Prize Winner of the 2008 Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition, the 2008 Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition and the 2008 Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. He is currently a fourth-year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he has sung Boris in Kat’a Kabanova, Araquil in Massenet’s La Navarraise, Max in Der Freischütz and Alfredo in La traviata.

In 1998 he won the Verdi Aria Competition at the Aspen Musical Festival and was a grand finalist in the 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received an Encouragement Grant from the George London Foundation for Singers in 2001. In 2002 he was a winner of the Opera Lirica d’Orvieto Aria Competition in Perugia, Italy and the Palm Beach Opera Competition and also participated in San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Program.

He has appeared as Pollione in Norma with Union Avenue Opera, the Duke in Rigoletto with Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Birmingham and the Aspen Opera Theater Center and as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Grand Rapids. For the New Orleans Opera Association Bryan has sung Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Froh in Das Rhinegold, and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor.

In 2007-2008, he sang Luigi in Il tabarro and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with New Orleans Opera and a New York recital with Michelle DeYoung under the auspices of the George London Foundation. In March, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York in a Gala concert also featuring Renée Fleming, Marcello Giordani and Dolora Zajick. Recently, he made his debut with Palm Beach Opera as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly and sang Guido in Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy at the Bard Festival, which was followed by his European debut as the Foreign Prince in Dvorak’s Rusalka at the Wexford Festival Opera.

2008-2009 engagements included opening the new Opera House at the Wexford Festival as the Tsar in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snegurochka, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opéra National de Bordeaux, Guido in A Florentine Tragedy and Arturo in I Puritani with Greek National Opera, the Prince in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera and Pinkerton in a revival of the late director Anthony Minghella’s production of Madame Butterfly at English National Opera.

He will sing Pinkerton at the Canadian Opera Company in September 2009, before returning to the company in January 2010 as Don Jose in Carmen. Future work includes Enee in Les Troyens for Netherlands Opera, Ismaele in Nabucco at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Don Jose in Carmen for the Royal Opera House,Covent Garden.

Simon Lepper

Simon Lepper was born in Kent and educated at King's College Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, London where he studied with Michael Dussek. He obtained a Dip.RAM, the highest award for postgraduate study, and was subsequently awarded the Hodgson Fellowship. This year he becam an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Competition successes include the 2000 Gerald Moore Award and the accompanist prizes in the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, 2000 Maggie Teyte Song Competition and the 1999 Royal Overseas League Competition

Simon works with many of the leading young singers of his generation including Karen Cargill, ,Jared Holt, Gillian Keith, Gweneth-Ann Jeffers, Kate Royal, James Rutherford and BBC New Generations artists Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews and Ailish Tynan.

Performances have included recitals in the festivals of Aldeburgh, Arundel, Brighton, Buxton, Chester, Chichester, Edinburgh Fringe, Newbury, Swansea and Three Choirs, and at venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St John's Smith Square and Wigmore Hall. Simon has appeared on Radio 2, Classic FM, BBC Wales and Japanese television. He frequently performs on BBC Radio 3. Recent broadcasts have included recitals with New Generations Artists Sally Matthews and Ailish Tynan (BBC Singer of the World in Cardiff Song Prizewinner) a recital of Dichterliebe with Jared Holt from the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and a performance of Die Schöne Müllerin from Gresford Church, Wales and an English Song recital with Roderick Williams.

Simon has recorded a CD of Debussy’s early songs with the soprano Gillian Keith on the Deux-Elles label. Recent engagements have included recitals at the Wigmore Hall with Karen Cargill, Andrew Kennedy, James Rutherford and Ailish Tynan, a recital with tenor Edgaras Montvidas at the Vilnius Festival, Lithuania and at the City of London Festival with Sally Matthews. Simon performed last season in China, France, New Zealand and Switzerland. He also toured the Baltic states with London Winds and the baritone Stephan Loges. Future engagements include recitals with Sally Matthews and Kate Royal at the Wigmore Hall, with Andrew Kennedy at the Bridgewater Hall and throughout Great Britain with the classical saxophonist Sarah Field and cellist Gemma Rosefield. Simon is an official accompanist for the BBC Singer of the World in Cardiff Competition.

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