Lee Bisset

Lee Bisset, soprano, who would have been singing her first Brünnhilde in Die Walküre for Longborough this summer, is in lockdown with her family at home in Sussex. She had a Zoom conversation with our Stage Manager Nick Fowler, which is available here:

Apologies for the occasional glitches – internet connection was a bit unreliable.

Lee also sent us a video of her and her husband, conductor David Angus, performing Wagner’s Träume from the Wesendonck Lieder, available here:

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Pauls Putnins

Pauls Putnins, who would of course have been understudying Wotan in the Longborough Die Walküre at the moment, is in lockdown in Riga, Latvia, in order to look after his parents. He and Nick Fowler, Mastersingers Stage Manager, had a Zoom conversation on Thursday 28th May, which Nick recorded, and is available here:

An extract from the concert for Latvian National Radio, of Pauls singing Wotan’s Abendlich strahlt from Das Rheingold, is available here:


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Neil Howlett Tribute

A personal tribute from our Artistic Director Malcolm Rivers to former ENO principal baritone and esteemed voice coach and teacher Neil Howlett, who died on 21st May 2020, aged 85, after a long illness.

Neil Howlett
From the time I first met Neil during rehearsals and performances for the world premiere of Gordon Crosse’s “The Grace of Todd” in the Jubilee Hall at Aldeburgh, and thereafter at Sadlers Wells, I knew that he was a force to be reckoned with. He was singing Lance Corporal Shard, and Robert Tear and I were mere privates . He relished the authority the role gave him and immediately impressed himself on the opera world with an amazingly rich and beautiful baritone and natural stage presence – to be with him always; most notably as far as I am concerned during the tenures we both enjoyed at ENO from the early 70s until late 80s when we both left the company – he to Academia and me to Musical Theatre.
During that time his repertoire was astonishing. His Verdi singing was the most accomplished I had heard from a British baritone since Glossop and in particular his Iago, Gerard and Scarpia were unique in the beauty of tone and legato that he brought to such dramatic roles. In addition the contemporary repertoire was also where his talent was awesome. Later in his career when he added Wagner roles to his repertoire he was equally impressive. At Mastersingers he was our first Wotan and relished coming to this role whilst coaching at our musical institutions. So much was passed on from him to the younger artists in our system by the majesty of his singing and his willingness to guide and encourage “from the wings” with boundless energy and generosity. He undertook lectures and Masterclasses for us in London, Aldeburgh and The Rodd at Presteigne that were beneficial to many who went on to international careers. Particularly informative was his lecture on the five different types of tenor voice (not including character tenor) required to sing Wagner.
He was distinguished, unique and a wonderful colleague and friend to us all in the world of opera . I doubt we shall hear his like again and we are all deeply indebted to him.

Neil coaching Andy Rees and Stuart Pendred at The Rodd, Presteigne 2010
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February Newsletter


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December Newsletter


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October 20, 2019

Siegfried Act 3

part of  Project Valhalla: The English Ring

The Rehearsal Orchestra with conductor Anthony Legge

Henry Wood Hall,
Trinity Church Square, London SE1 4HU

Open rehearsal 2.30pm, run-through 6pm
Sung in Andrew Porter’s English translation

Erda – Rhonda Browne
The Wanderer – Pauls Putnins
Siegfried – Jonathan Stoughton
Brünnhilde – Lee Bisset

Tickets £20 (student concessions £5)
via Mike Morgan: mikegmorgan65@gmail  01494 514252

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Dame Felicity Palmer

The second event of Project Valhalla: The English Ring brings one of the UK’s most celebrated and lauded sopranos Dame Felicity Palmer to give a public workshop on the Norns’ scene from the Prologue to The Twilight of the Gods, sung in Andrew Porter’s celebrated translation.

With Christie Cook, Harriet Williams and Mariya Krywaniuk

Head of Music Kelvin Lim

April 13, 2019, 2pm to 5pm

St. Cyprian’s, Glentworth St. London NW1 6AX Nearest tube: Baker Street; buses 139 & 189

Tickets £12 via Mike Morgan: mikegmorgan65@gmail  01494 514252

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Siegfried Act 2 with Sir John Tomlinson

January 12, 2019

The launch of Project Valhalla: The English Ring

Workshop on Act 2 of Siegfried with Sir John, featuring Freddie Tong, Pauls Putnins, Elliot Goldie, William Wallace and Paul Goodwin Groen. Sung in Andrew Porter’s translation, originally made for ENO

Tickets by donation on the door.

Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street Hammersmith, London W6 (opposite Ravenscourt Park tube)  2pm – 6pm

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Carole Rees Award 2019

This year´s Carole Rees Award was presented to Pauls Putnins by Longborough’s Music Director Anthony Negus at the Rehearsal Orchestra event on October 20th 2019, to further his studies in the Wagnerian repertoire.

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Peter West Award 2019

This year´s Peter West award was presented to Rhonda Browne by Longborough’s Music Director Anthony Negus at the Rehearsal Orchestra event on October 20, 2019.

The award is given in honour of the memory of photographer, devoted Wagnerian and long-standing supporter of Mastersingers Peter West, by his daughter Karen to allow a developing Wagner artist to pay for coaching and mentoring.

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