Nurturing a New Generation of Singers
Charity Number: 1076508

About Us


John Tomlinson was born in Lancashire. He gained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music. He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Singer in 1991, 1998 and 2007 and in 2014 their Gold Medal.

John Tomlinson’s engagements include performances at La Scala, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Antwerp, and Bilbao and the Festivals of Bayreuth (where he sang for eighteen consecutive seasons), Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. He has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies. His repertoire includes Wotan DAS RHEINGOLD and DIE WALKÜRE, Wanderer SIEGFRIED, Hagen GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Titurel and Gurnemanz PARSIFAL, King Marke TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Heinrich LOHENGRIN, Hans Sachs DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Landgraf TANNHÄUSER, Sarastro DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, and Daland DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, Baron Ochs DER ROSENKAVALIER, Boromeo PALESTRINA, Orestes ELEKTRA, Moses MOSES UND ARON, Green Knight in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s GAWAIN, Claggart BILLY BUDD, Doctor WOZZECK, Rocco FIDELIO, King Philip and Grand Inquisitor DON CARLOS, Leporello and Commendatore DON GIOVANNI, Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr Miracle and Dapertutto LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Golaud and Arkel PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Boris Timofeyevich Ismailov LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK, Boris, Pimen and Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV, Ivan Susanin A LIFE FOR A TSAR, Fiesco SIMON BOCCANEGRA, Dosifey KHOVANSHCHINA, The General THE GAMBLER and Thomas á Becket MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL and title roles in BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, OBERTO, MOSE IN EGITTO, and the world premieres of Birtwistle’s THE MINOTAUR and Brett Dean’s LAST DAYS OF SOCRATES, and his HAMLET.

John Tomlinson has a large concert repertoire and has sung with all the leading British orchestras and in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Denmark and the U.S.A. He has made many recordings including Wotan, Wanderer, Hagen, Hans Sachs, Titurel, Don Alfonso COSI FAN TUTTE, Leporello, and title roles LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, Beethoven CHORAL SYMPHONY, MESSIAH, ACIS AND GALATEA and the Verdi REQUIEM. Videos include MARIA STUARDA, PETER GRIMES, GIULIO CESARE, RIGOLETTO, DAS RHEINGOLD, DIE WALKÜRE, SIEGFRIED and THE MINOTAUR.

Engagements in 2016 include Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV, Tiresius OEDIPUS and Ivan Yaklovlevich, Khosrev-Mirza, Newspaper Clerk and Doctor THE NOSE for Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Doctor Charles Conde in the world premiere of Thomas Ades’ THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL at Salzburg Festival, as well as concerts including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Berliner Philharmoniker and at Wigmore Hall. Future performances include further engagements for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Glyndebourne Festival.



Anne Evans, established as one of Britain’s most internationally successful singers, has appeared in opera and concert is most of the world’s major musical centres. She sang Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival with Daniel Barenboim from 1989 to 1992, performances which are available on CD and video released by Teldec. She also sang this role to great critical acclaim in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Covent Garden, Buenos Aires, Nice, Welsh National Opera, in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnanyi, and in semi-staged performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London with Bernard Haitink.

Anne Evans, a celebrated Isolde, sang the role in Berlin, Paris, Dresden, Brussels, for Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera, and at the Ravello Festival. Her performances of Leonore FIDELIO included the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Edinburgh Festival, and Stuttgart, and other notable engagements have included Sieglinde (San Francisco), Elisabeth TANNHÄUSER at the Metropolitan New York, the Marschallin DER ROSENKAVALIER in a new production for English National Opera, Ariadne ARIADNE AUF NAXOS at the Edinburgh Festival, Governess THE TURN OF THE SCREW at La Monnaie in Brussels (released on CD), and Madame Lidoine DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES at Glimmerglass.

In the concert hall she has sung with many of the world’s leading conductors and has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival. In August 2003 she sang excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras at the BBC Proms in what was to be her farewell public appearance. Anne Evans was made a Dame of the British Empire in June 2000.


MALCOLM RIVERS – Artistic Director

Born in Suffolk in 1937. Evacuated to Leicester in 1940 and educated at the Alderman Newton’s Grammar school. Leicester Cathedral chorister until three years service in the Royal Air Force from 1954 intervened. Salisbury Cathedral chorister during RAF service. Professionally trained at the Royal College of Music as a scholar where he performed three times as soloist for the Queen Mother and from where he was offered a scholarship for further studies at the Royal Opera House by Sir David Webster. During this time he also performed at the Royal Albert Hall as soloist under Sir Malcolm Sargent .

Following his success in Vienna as Macheath in a television film of John Gay’s A Beggar’s Opera he was acclaimed the English Fischer-Dieskau and offered a contract at the Royal Shakespeare Company to appear in the same work at The Aldwych, in addition to the Chester Miracle Plays alongside Dorothy Tutin, Virginia Mckenna, Elizabeth Spriggs, Diana Rigg, Doris Hare, Michael Williams, Ian Richardson and Derek Godfrey.

It was during this period that he was invited to audition to Benjamin Britten and subsequently was invited to join Britten’s English Opera Group at Aldeburgh performing under the auspices of the Royal Opera House. Britten roles of that period included Collatinus, Theseus, The Traveller, The Ferryman, The Astrologer and The Elder Brother, which was written for him. Many premieres of other works were performed at the Jubilee Hall and included William Walton’s The Bear, Lennox Berkeley’s The Castaway, and Gordon Crosse’s Grace of Todd.

Later in his career Malcolm also performed other Britten roles such as Mr. Flint in Billy Budd in Barcelona and Tel Aviv and Mountjoy in Gloriana at The English National Opera, where Malcolm served a tenure of 20 years as a contract artist and as a guest.

Roles at ENO included, most notably, Alberich in the Goodall Ring Cycles, Escamillo, Caspar, Graf Lysiart, Alfio, Telramund, Kayama Yesaemon, Pizarro, Scarpia, Mazeppa, Budivoj, Albert, Dolochov, the Father in the Bartered Bride, Di Candia, Klingsor, Kothner and Melot, mostly under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Reginald Goodall and Sir Mark Elder.

Guest appearances at the Royal Opera House were as Alberich (Maestro Haitink), Antenor (Troilus and Cressida), Sid (Fanciulla with Domingo and Zubin Mehta), and Geisterbote in Frau ohne Schatten. Both Fanciulla and Troilus were international recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and EMI.

Throughout this very productive period of his career Malcolm also served for ten years in the very first West Coast Ring Cycles in the USA as Alberich under the great George London’s direction in Seattle to huge acclaim and later for a further five years at Arizona Opera in the same role. Other USA appearances were as Scarpia with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Alfie Dolittle in Portland, Omaha and Houston, Dolokhov in War and Peace at The Metropolitan Opera NY, The Pirate King and Pooh Bah in Orange County, Germont Pere in Seattle, and Mountjoy in New Orleans.

European Opera houses where he has sung major roles including Alberich and Pizarro are: Barcelona, Marseille, Rouen, Paris, Teatro San Carlo Napoli, La Fenice Venice, Florence, Tel Aviv, St. Gallen, Basle, Bergen, Drottningholm, Trondheim, Vienna and Osnabruck.

Malcolm has also spent considerable time in West End Theatres in Musical Theatre and Gilbert and Sullivan. In particular two years at the Savoy as the Pirate King, Pooh Booh and The Mikado for D’Oyly Carte Opera in additon to M.Firmin in The Phantom of the Opera, Mr. Molokov in Abba’s musical CHESS, Alfie Doolittle in My Fair Lady and The Judge in Sweeney Todd at Sadler’s Wells for Opera North, for whom he has also sung major roles in Leeds and on tour including Caspar and Favel in Rebecca .

Major recordings: Pacific Overtures (Sondheim, ENO), Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado (D’Oyly carte), Fanciulla del West (ROH Mehta), Otello (Elder, ENO), Troilus and Cressida (ROH, Foster), Burning Fiery Furnace (Britten, EMI), Iernin (George Lloyd, BBC), John Socman (George Lloyd, BBC). DVDs: Billy Budd, Rigoletto, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Otello.



David Edwards is a freelance director, writer and presenter. He was born in London and graduated in Classics from Cambridge University. David has directed opera around the world: in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, London (where he staged ten revivals for The Royal Opera), Milan, Vienna, Singapore and regularly in Tokyo at the New National Theatre where he taught on the Young Artists’ program for over a decade. In 2017 he curated a weekend of events entitled CULTURE AND THE THIRD REICH featuring renowned academics and performers at University College, London. David directed HANSEL AND GRETEL for the Celebrate Voice Festival in the Medieval Hall, Salisbury and lectured on VISUAL DESIGN IN CONTEMPORARY OPERA  at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. He will return to NAFA in 2018 as Artistic Director of a project celebrating the Academy’s 80th anniversary with a contemporary staging of DIE FLEDERMAUS. In 2018 David also directs a new production of FALSTAFF in Denver for Opera Colorado. In 2016 he directed PÉLLEAS ET MÉLISANDE with the LA Philharmonic and FAITH – Stravinsky’s late religious music with the Philharmonia, both conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Mendelssohn/Shakespeare) in Middle Temple Hall, CARMEN for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and TOSCA at Chiswick House, London. Recent projects have included IL PRIGIONIERO (Dallapiccola), DIE WALKÜRE (Act 3), PÉLLEAS ET MÉLISANDE and BORIS GODUNOV (scenes) with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the RFH, London; FIDELIO, RIGOLETTO and THE MERRY WIDOW in Singapore, TOSCA, LA TRAVIATA and LES CONTES d’HOFFMANN for Diva Opera touring the U.K. and Europe, CURLEW RIVER in Japan, DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and Roussel’s PADMAVATI in Bordeaux, DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Britten) in Portland, LA RONDINE with Oberlin in Italy, DAS RHEINGOLD and DIE WALKÜRE for Secret Opera and Edward Lambert’s THE CATFISH CONUNDRUM and OPERA WITH A TITLE for the Tete-a-Tete Festival of new opera in London. David was Artistic Director of INSIDE THE RING, a series of special events that ran concurrently with Longborough Festival Opera’s RING cycle, in summer 2013 and at Aldeburgh in 2014 he curated a weekend of events entitled APRES LE DÉLUGE on the theme of early 20th century music and art. His original scripts have been performed in London, Aldeburgh, Eastbourne and Presteigne (Wagner & Berlioz, Verdi in Venice, Wagner, Britten & the Sea, From Bayreuth to Busseto, Verdi’s Singers on Record, Verdi’s Trills, Wagner in Exile, Nolan and the Stage, Wagner’s Elements, Breaking The Ring, An Operatic Bestiary, Wagner and the Dream King, Bayreuth or Bust, Gluck at 300, Time Becomes Space – Act 3 of Parsifal, Gustav Mahler and opera staging). David has been Production Director for Mastersingers since 2004.