News & Views

Irish Tenor John Porter receives latest Audition Oracle Award

Audition OracleThu 22 Nov 2018 @ 18:00

This month we are delighted to announce Irish tenor John Porter as our latest Audition Oracle Singers Preparation Award winner. Audition Oracle are delighted to be able to contribute to John’s preparation of Anthony in Sweeney Todd with Northern Ireland Opera. Performances will take place in February of Next year. Book your tickets here!


John Porter, Tenor | Audition Oracle

John Porter - Tenor

Hailing from Donegal, Ireland, John is a graduate of Royal Academy Opera and University of Ulster. He currently studies under the tutelage of, Rosa Mannion, Catrin Wyn-Davies and Audrey Hyland. Also an alumnus of the Georg Solti Accademia and Les Azuriales, John has found professional advance as a former Young Artist for Garsington Opera and Northern Ireland Opera. More recently he was declared a finalist in Accademia Teatro alla Scala competition.

Operatic roles include: Rodolfo | La bohème, Nemorino | L’elisir d’amore, Basilio | Le nozze di Figaro, Nadir | The Pearl Fishers, Rinuccio | Gianni Schicchi, Beppe | Rita, Spoletta | Tosca and Ulysses | Ulysses, A Musical Odyssey (Laurence Roman; première) and opera scenes including: Bill | Flight, Graf Albert | Die tote Stadt, Pylade | Iphigénie en Tauride, Il Duca | Rigoletto and Alfred | Die Fledermaus. This season he has performed Tony | West Side Story for The Bath Festival, Pedrillo | Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Diva Opera, Kornélis | La princesse jaune for Northern Opera Group and Borsa | Rigoletto for Northern Ireland Opera whilst simultaneously covering Il Duca and looks forward to joining Northern Ireland Opera again to perform Anthony in their production of Sweeney Todd

On the concert platform, John has performed works including personal favouritesBach’s St John Passion; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. Also confident in recital John enjoys breathing life into characterful song cycles such as Schubert’s Schwanengesang, Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, and Finzi’s Til Earth Outwears.

John is grateful for the support he has received in his career thus far including that of The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, The Kathleen Trust, The Richard Lewis Jean Shanks Trust, The Nicholas Berwin Charitable Trust, and The International Opera Awards Foundation.


Further information about John can be found on his Audition Oracle Profile.



Meet our latest Audition Oracle award winner Llio Evans

Audition OracleSat 20 Oct 2018 @ 15:21

This month we are delighted to announce Welsh soprano Llio Evans as our latest Audition Oracle  singers preparation award winner. Llio has been a long standing member of Audition Oracle and we are delighted to be able to contribute to her preparation for future engagements. These include her debut with English Touring Opera as a Witch in Macbeth, understudying the role of Ilia, Idomeneo, and performing Cilla in their education project Waxwings. In the summer of 2019 Llio performs Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Longborough Festival Opera.
Llio Evans - soprano | Audition Oracle Award Winner

Llio Evans - soprano

Welsh soprano, Llio Evans, gained a first class honours degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before going on to study with Dennis O'Neill at the Wales International Academy of Voice. A winner of numerous awards including Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize, Dame Anne Evans Award, and the Russell Sheppard Intercollegiate Award, Llio is a British Youth Opera and Welsh National Youth Opera alumna and a former Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera where she was a recipient of the Leonard Ingrams Award.

Highlights in recent season include Celia, Iolanthe, for English National Opera; Iris, Semele, for Garsington Opera; and The Little One in the UK premiere of The Golden Dragon (Peter Eötvös) for Music Theatre Wales. She also sang the soprano solo in Janáček's The Danube, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and made her debut at the Royal Albert Hall as a soloist in the Festival of Welsh Male Voice Choirs.

Other roles include Musetta (Opera D’amore) Clorinda, La Cenerentola (HighTime Opera); Blonde, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Pop-Up Opera); Yum-Yum, The Mikado, Gretel, Hansel and Gretel (Co-Opera Co.) and Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro, and Pamina, The Magic Flute, (Opera’r Ddraig). She has also covered roles for Garsington Opera including Despina, Così fan tutte and Mimi, Vert-Vert.

A regular on the concert platform, highlights include Mendelssohn Elijah (St John's Smith Square, Three Choirs Festival with Philharmonia Orchestra), Bach Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Ensemble Cymru) and Arwel Hughes' Gweddi with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes for BBC Radio 3. Llio is also an accomplished recitalist having performed recitals for Garsington Opera, Cardiff Music Festival, Swansea Music Festival, Llandeilo Music Festival and Ensemble Cymru. Llio can be heard singing the role of Barbeon the Chandos recording of Arthur Sullivan's The Beauty Stone with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

In the current season Llio makes her debut with English Touring Opera as a Witch, Macbeth, understudies the role of Ilia, Idomeneo, and performs Cilla in their education project Waxwings. In the summer of 2019 perform Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Longborough Festival Opera.

Further information about Llio can be found on her personal website and on her Audition Oracle Profile. Llio is managed by Steven Swales Artist Management.


Tenor David Horton Awarded Audition Oracle Bursary

Audition OracleThu 20 Sep 2018 @ 7:45

Our latest Audition Oracle Singers Preparation Award goes to tenor David Horton to support his preparation of the lead tenor role for C. V. Stanford’s rarely performed opera The Travelling Companion with New Sussex Opera later this year. The performances include a professional debut at both Cadogan Hall and Saffron Hall, as well as a world premiere recording of the piece.
David Horton - tenor | Audition Oracle Bursary

David Horton - Tenor

Tenor David Horton hails from Devon and is a recent graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). During his time there, he studied under the tutelage of Scott Johnson and was a grateful recipient of a scholarship from the RCS Trust. Previous training includes a BMus Hons from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and a year spent in Sydney, Australia, studying under Dr Rowena Cowley.
Earlier this season David received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the title role in Candide with Iford Arts/Opera Della Luna. Other recent roles include Henry Crawford for Waterperry Opera’s production of Mansfield Park, Vandedendur/King Theodorefor West Green House's new production of Candide, Moon/King of the East, The Enchanted Pig (Hampstead Garden Opera); The Lover/The Friend/The Preacher, The Vanishing Bridegroom (British Youth Opera); Eisenstein, Die Fledermaus (RCS Opera); Tristan, Le Vin Herbé (RCS Opera) and a number of roles in English Eccentrics (British Youth Opera). Upcoming engagements include the role of Defendant in Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and John in Stanford's The Travelling Companion with New Sussex Opera.
David has performed in a number of British and world premieres, most notably the UK Premiere of Kurt Schwertzik’s Shal-i-mar which was performed with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra.  He also played Magician 1 in Henry McPherson’s opera Ūhte, recorded and filmed in conjunction with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Martyn Brabbins and premiered at the RCS Plug Festival 2016.
On the concert stage David has performed across Britain, most recently singing the eponymous St Nicholas in the work by Benjamin Britten with Cupar Choral Society and the tenor solos in Mozart’s Requiem at the Hargrave Music Festival. Whilst studying in Scotland, David also performed the tenor solos in Bach’s Magnificat and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society (GCCS) and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra.  Earlier this year David performed his debut Handel’s Messiah with GCCS at Glasgow Cathedral and was resident tenor soloist for a number of Bach Cantatas with Ludus Baroque in Edinburgh conducted by Richard Neville-Towle. Upcoming engagements include the tenor solos in Haydn's Nelson Mass at the Hargrave Festival, alongside the Hargrave Festival Chorus.

Further information about David can be found on his personal website and on his Audition Oracle Profile. David is managed by Mark Kendall Artist Management

Audition Oracle is committed to supporting opera, choral and classical singers in all aspects of their career. Throughout 2018 Audition Oracle are awarding a minimum of £300/month to individual singers in order to help them turn up to their next professional engagement fully prepared. 


Katherine Liggins: Five things I learnt at BYO

Audition OracleSat 8 Sep 2018 @ 9:00

Earlier this week we visited the The Peacock Theatre to catch British Youth Opera's opening night of The Rake's Progress. BYO are a fantastic organisation providing excellent training and performance opportunities to young singers and emerging artists. Earlier this summer soprano Katherine Liggins joined them for a week of workshops. Here she tells us about the experience.

Katherine Liggins - soprano | Audition Oracle

Last week I attended an excellent workshop with British Youth Opera led by Mark Hathaway and Rob Bottriell, with movement sessions led by Maria Koripas. The focus of the week was improvisation and characterisation. Each singer in the group (there were seven of us) brought two arias to work on. We also worked on staging a chorus from Mozart’s Idomeneo, and we did some straight acting using a few scenes from Shakespeare.

These are the top five (of many!) things I learnt:


1. Say it as it is!

While it is necessary to have a word-for-word, accurate translation of your arias, it is also important to have an idea of how you as a person would deliver each line of text in your native language. When people found a sentence in English that summed up a particular phrase and said it how they would in real life, it became much more realistic and relatable when they then went back to singing the foreign text.

2. Expression

Expression is not just in the face. The whole body is involved, with your core taking the lead. An audience member sat in the back row is unlikely to be able to read your facial expression particularly clearly, so using your body is the only way you’re going to reach them. It is incredible how much can be communicated with the body when you leave the face out of it completely!

3. Different sets of ears

It is so important to have different people listen to and critique your singing, especially if you are a current or recent music college student. It gave me a different perspective on my own singing, and highlighted some areas that people at college hadn’t necessarily picked up on before. Or perhaps it was hearing similar points expressed differently by someone new that helped me to better understand what they were getting at.


4. Improvising

Improvising can be terrifying, but it is also much more freeing to walk on stage without a plan of what you’re going to do in each aria. When you start improvising you are being more spontaneous and infinitely more believable than if you were to decide exactly what you are going to do before you do it. And it’s actually way more fun and rewarding!

5. Direction

Thinking about how an aria might be directed in a full production is useful when you are preparing to stand and sing it in a recital or audition setting. If the scene has other characters in it, this is especially useful as it means you have a clear idea of where those characters are in relation to you. This doesn’t mean you can’t still improvise and be spontaneous: in fact, it gives you more confidence to take risks in performance because you have a deeper knowledge of the drama of the scene.

Those are just a few things that really resonated with me. It was a seriously inspirational week, and I would encourage every young singer to audition!


Katherine Liggins, soprano


Details regarding the 2019 application process will be announced in October  -


Audition Oracle Testimonial: Alexandra Stenson - Soprano

Audition OracleTue 28 Aug 2018 @ 12:15

This weeks Audition Oracle review comes from soprano Alexandra Stenson

Alexandra Stenson - Soprano | Audition Oracle Testimonial

"I have been lucky to get many auditions through Audition Oracle, including the role of Tatyana with Opera Up Close." Alexandra Stenson - Soprano


Want to hear more from Alexandra? Attend her latest song recital at Milton Court Concert Hall on the 14th of September.


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