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Opera At The Athenaeum

October 11, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm


Friday 11 October, 6:30pm for 7:00pm
Opera At The Athenaeum

We are delighted to announce the next ‘Opera At The Athenaeum’! Following on from our last two concerts our new President has commissioned David Cox to produce a third Opera Concert which will be performed on Friday, 11 October. The evening’s performance will once again feature some of the best-loved and most memorable arias from the world of Opera. Nick Hardy (Tenor) returns by popular demand and will be joined by Heather Heighway (Soprano), David Cane (Baritone) and the special guest appearance of Molly Barker (Mezzo-Soprano), the winner of the recent inaugural Sir David Maddison Opera Prize. These fantastic artistes will be accompanied on the Athenaeum Kemble piano by the renowned Composer and concert pianist Jason Ellis. So for another evening to long remember, please join us once again for an evening of OPERA AT THE ATHENAEUM on Friday, 11 October.

£33.50 per person, including two-course dinner, reception drink


Nick Hardy (tenor)

Nick Hardy has worked as a freelance opera chorister with Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Wexford Festival Opera, and Buxton Festival Opera. For London Festival Opera he has appeared as a principal in opera galas in Italy, Germany and Spain. For Scottish Opera and Buxton Festival he has had minor roles and major covers, whilst for semi-professional companies (including the Ahmadi Music Group, Kuwait) he has over 20 credits in major lyric and helden roles. As an oratorio soloist he has appeared throughout the UK and in France in major works by, amongst others, Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Elgar, Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Stanford, Tippett & Verdi. He has taught singing for Shrewsbury School, Birkenhead School, Liverpool College, and The Hammond Theatre School, Chester. He has performed at The Theatre Arts Academy in St Petersburg, and is also a member of Waiters That Sing, specialising in society weddings around the north-west. He is the founder and director of Liverpool Italian Opera Co., and conductor of Wirral Community Choir. Recent and forthcoming appearances in 2019 include War & Peace with WNO at ROH Covent Garden, Götterdämmerung at Usher Hall for Edinburgh International Festival, Aida with Opera North at Birmingham Symphony Hall and other major venues, and gala concerts for London Festival Opera in Lancashire, Cheshire and The Midlands.


Heather Heighway (soprano)

Chester-born Heather Heighway graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with first class honours in 2013. She now studies Music Therapy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where Ruby Philogene is her vocal tutor.

Whilst at the Conservatoire Heather was involved in many of their productions, playing a Fox Cub in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Since leaving, Heather has played Susanna (Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro), Adèle (Strauss’ Die Fledermaus), Olympia (Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman), Tatyana (Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – for which she won both the district and regional NODA awards), Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Heather sings regularly with Heritage Opera, playing Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. Heather has also performed with Flat Pack Music as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote and the Countess in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

Heather was the Chester Young Musician of the Year in 2011. Whilst at the Conservatoire, Heather won the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize, gained second place in the Edwards Brooks English Song Prize and was a finalist in the Mario Lanza Opera Prize. Heather was also awarded the Ella Cheshire Scholarship and the Gordon Clinton English Song Prize.

Heather has been the soprano soloist in several choral works Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Haydn’s Creation and Bach’s Saint John Passion.

Heather is thankful for the support of the Aspinwall Educational Trust, The Mario Lanza Foundation, the Split Infinitive Trust and the Guildhall Scholarship Scheme.


Molly Barker (mezzo soprano)

Molly Barker is from Nottinghamshire, now living in the Peak District. She has just completed a two-year masters degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying under the tutorage of Hilary Summers, and looks forward to returning for a further year of study later this year. She has been generously supported by the Michael Kennedy Award, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Drake Calleja trust and the Annie Ridyard Scholarship awarded by the RNCM.

Molly is a newcomer to the professional singing world, having performed in her first opera in Summer 2018 in the chorus of Tisbe, with La Serenissima at the Buxton Opera House. Since then she has played the role of La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica (Puccini) and Zita in Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), in the RNCM winter productions.This year she has performed with the Birmingham Opera Company in their production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Shostakovich) and again at the Buxton International Festival in a new opera called the Orphans of Koombu. She looks forward to returning to the RNCM in September and performing the role of Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmelites (Poulenc).

Alongside music, Molly maintains a strong interest in agriculture, having undertaken an undergraduate degree in Countryside Management at the University of Derby, Buxton. Alongside her current studies she still enjoys time spent with the dairy cows and keeping up to date with all the latest agricultural gossip.


David Cane (baritone)

David Cane began singing as a boy chorister in Leicester Cathedral and continued to sing there when his voice had broken.  Subsequently he spent a year as a choral scholar singing in the choir of Gloucester Cathedral.  Following this, he studied for a degree in Theology at the University of Cambridge whilst singing as a choral scholar at Kings College.

During his time at Kings, David took part in several International tours, CD and DVD recordings and TV and Radio broadcasts, including the famous ‘Nine lessons and Carols’ service broadcast globally on Christmas Eve.

David has recently completed three years of postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he gratefully received the support of the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.   Whilst at the RNCM, David won the ‘Bessie Cronshaw/Frost Brownson Song Cycle Competition’ and has been a finalist for the ‘Frederick Cox Award for Singing’ and the ‘Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the singing of Strauss’   He was given the ‘Brigette Fassbaender Award for Lieder’   David is currently continuing his studies with Peter Wilson.

Recent concert performances as a soloist include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozarts Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Bach’s and Bach’s Magnificat.  On stage David has played the roles of ‘Death’ in Holst’s Savitri, ‘David’ in Sondheim’s Company, ‘Starveling’ in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Bob’ in a production of The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, ‘Abraham Kaplan’ in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and ‘Don Alfonso’ in the RNCM’s  2016 production of Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart.  More recently, David has played the roles of Masetto in Rocket Opera’s production of ‘Don Giovanni’, Lord Dunmow in Manchester Opera Ensemble’s production of Lennox Berkeley’s ‘A dinner engagement’, Schaunard in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’, Count Almaviva  in Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, and Papageno in ‘The Magic Flute’
for Flat Pack Music.  David created the roles of ‘Hans’ and ‘Cobbler’ in a new opera by Adam Gorb at the RNCM, ‘Path to Heaven’ directed by Stefan Janski in  2018.

David is also currently undertaking a PhD in musicology at the Royal Northern College of Music where he is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral studentship.


Jason Ellis

Jason was born in Yorkshire and is a graduate of Leeds College of Music and Liverpool University where he trained in classical & romantic piano performance, composition, orchestration and arranging and is also an Associate of the Trinity College London (Piano Recital).

At the piano, Jason is able to give fresh and exciting performances of most styles of music. Whether he is performing in a Solo piano recital or providing suitable ambience in the local piano bar – the aim is to take care with each note channel his passion for the music into every performance. The music of Beethoven is his passion along with a sprinkling of Bach and Mozart!

Jason has been involved with choral music since accompanying the Liverpool University Singers during his studies and in 2013 Jason founded the Mersey Wave Choir. He directs and accompanies many community music groups across Merseyside and since 2010 has been the principal accompanist to the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir. Since 2014 Jason can be regularly found at the piano at the Liverpool Empire Theatre and accompanying various concerts, competitions and festivals in the Merseyside area. Jason performs regularly on the concert platform as a soloist and accompanist, composes and creates musical arrangements and transcriptions on a freelance basis.


October 11, 2019
6:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Event Category:


The Athenaeum Liverpool
Church Alley
Liverpool, L1 3DD United Kingdom
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+44 151 709 7770