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The Sir David Maddison Opera Prize 2022

June 24 @ 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm


We are delighted to announce The Sir David Maddison Opera Prize 2022 will be taking place on Friday 24 June 2022, in association with The Royal Northern College of Music.

Six Opera stars of the future will perform for Members and guests with the winner being awarded The Sir David Maddison Opera Prize 2022 and the designation of Athenaeum ‘Artiste In Residence’ for the next 12 months.

Join us between 6:30pm and 7:00pm in the Newsroom for a drinks reception ahead of the contest which will commence at 7:00pm. There will be an interval during which a two-course supper will be served in the Dining Room whilst the Judges’ deliberate. Following dinner attendees will return to the Newsroom for the prize giving and reprise performances of the winner and runner up in the contest

You can book tickets now via the Members’ Area of the website or through reception at £35.00 per person and are available on a first come first serve basis.

We are indebted this year to the generosity of several Athenaeum Proprietors for very kindly providing sponsorship for the event, HH Judge David Hodge QC and Mr David Holdsworth.

There now follows biographies of the RNCM Students contesting for this year’s Sir David Maddison Opera Prize.


Sam Snowden

Samuel Snowden is a Welsh Bass-Baritone studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, under the tuition of Quentin Hayes, supported by the Gwilym Gwalchmai Jones Award. Samuel’s operatic credits include Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro: Mozart – RNCM Opera), Mr Gobineau (The Medium: Menotti – RNCM Opera) Sergeant Meryll (The Yeomen of the Guard: Gilbert and Sullivan – Forbear! Theatre), Minskman (Flight: Dove – RNCM Opera), Samuel (Pirates of Penzance: Gilbert and Sullivan – RNCM Opera) Demas (The Pilgrims Progress: Vaughn-Williams – RNCM Opera) and chorus roles in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel, Handel’s Theodora and Bizet’s Carmen. In 2018 Samuel joined the chorus of Opera North in the UK premier of Kevin Puts Silent Night which was met with critical acclaim. Samuel is currently performing with Opera Holland Park’s chorus in their production of Eugene Onegin. Samuel will be performing the role of Luiz in Forbear! Theatre’s 2022 production of The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan at the International G&S festival in Buxton and Harrogate.

As a soloist, Samuel regularly performs in venues across Wales and the North West. Recently he has performed Bach’s B Minor Mass, Faure’s Requiem, Stainer’s Crucifixion and joined Wrexham Symphony Orchestra for their performance of Nielsen’s Third Symphony, Sinfonia Espasiva. In August 2018 Samuel performed in the first collaboration between the Nationals Youth Choir and Orchestra of Wales, under the baton of Maestro Carlo Rizzi, performing the bass solo in Bernstein’s Chicester Psalms. Samuel performed at the World Premier of Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus Colores at Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Samuel is also a founding member of Project6, a male sextet based in the North West. Recent performances include recitals at Whitworth Art Gallery, Royal Northern College of Music and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Samuel is a regular soloist and language coach for Welsh male voice choir, Johns’ Boys, conducted by award winning conductor Aled Philips, taking to the stage across the United Kingdom and across Europe. In 2019 Samuel and Johns’ Boys won the title of Choir of the World at Llangollen International Eisteddfod and featured at the Last Night of the Proms 2021.

In 2020, Samuel was awarded the Sir John Manduell Prize by the RNCM, recognising exceptional work undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Samuel raised £1500 for the Unbeatable Eva campaign by singing live on Facebook every night for 150 days with his family and also volunteered with PPE Hwb Wrecsam creating Face. Visors for members of the local community.


Sarah Winn

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Winn, recently completed her Graduate Certificate in Music Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the conservatorium studying under the guidance of Dr Margaret Schindler (Doctorate in Musical Arts). Upon the completion of her degree, Sarah was awarded the Linda Edith Allen award for having achieved the highest performance grade in her year level and the Doreen Ord & Lyceum Club Prize for Classical Voice.

During her time at the conservatorium, she has performed the roles of Béatrice in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Bénédict, the Chinese Cup and The Dragonfly in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Aloès in Chabrier’s L’etoile, The Publican’s Wife in the world premiere of Paul Dean’s Dry River Run and covered Ramiro in La finta giardiniera. She performed excerpts from Puccini’s La rondine (Suzy), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Purcell’s Fairy-Queen.

Most recently she performed the role of Der Komponist in the Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos, where she was also a finalist in the Joyce and Michael Kennedy award for the singing of Strauss and the Frederic Cox award.

Engagements include performing as a guest soloist with the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra in the Brisbane Sings concert (2020), the Alto solo in Handel’s Messiah (2019) with the Queensland Choir and Sinfonia of St Andrews and as a guest soloist in the Noosa Alive Concert with the Noosa Orchestra (2019). She performed in Opera Queensland’s production of Peter Grimes during the Brisbane Festival (2018), as a guest soloist with the Queensland Choir (2018) during their Brisbane concert series and the Alto solo in Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Queensland Conservatorium Chorale (2018).

Sarah is very excited to be in her second year at the Royal Northern College of Music, completing a Master of Performance. This is generously supported by the Alice Orrell and A&N Kendall Award as well as the Maurice and Jean Buckley Award.


Joe Ashmore

Joe is a first-year masters student on the Vocal Studies and Opera programme at the Royal Northern College of Music, generously supported by The South Square Trust, where he obtained a first class honours degree at undergraduate level.

During his undergraduate degree, Joe took three chorus roles in RNCM operas, Offenbach’s ‘La Vie Parisienne’, Handel’s ‘Theodora’ and Massenet’s ‘Cendrillon’ which was nominated for best opera in the Manchester Theatre Awards. He was also cast as Mistrust in RNCM’s production of ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ by Vaughan-Williams in Spring 2019, directed by Jonathan Cocker and conducted by David Parry. Joe was also ‘Highly Recommended’ in the prestigious James Martin Oncken Song Prize. Most recently, Joe sang the role of the Witch of Endor in Handel’s ‘Saul’ as a guest soloist of the Academy Choir, Wimbledon, alongside renowned bass-baritone Christopher Purves.

In December 2021, Joe made his Bridgewater Hall debut with the RNCM Songsters when performing in a pre-concert performance of Scandinavian music. In March this year, Joe performed in a concert with the Songsters and Chamber Choir for International Women’s Day. Joe was also selected to represent the RNCM as part of a chorus travelling to Bergen, Norway to perform the world premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth’s Magnificat in April. Joe returned to the opera stage in June when he performed the role of Propser in Offenbach’s ‘La Vie Parisienne’ as part of RNCM Opera Scenes.


Sarah Prestwidge

Sarah Prestwidge is a young aboriginal Australian Soprano, studying a Master of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music, with a full ABRSM scholarship. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Education) from Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she was awarded numerous awards for her excellence. Sarah is also the recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship from the Australian Council for the Arts and a Tait Memorial Trust Awardee.

Sarah’s operatic highlights include, Arsena in The Gypsy Baron, Purran-Murnin in Buckley (Premier), Madam Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor, and Barbarina in Le Nozze Di Figaro. She was also looking forward to performing the roles of Josephine in H.M.S Pinafore and Tytania in Midsummer Night’s Dream throughout 2020. Since moving to the United Kingdom Sarah has performed Mrs. Paskova/Chocholka in The Cunning Little Vixen and Controller in Flight (RNCM), as well as The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Woodbridge Opera and Mrs. Anderssen/Nordstrom in A Little Night Music at Buxton Opera where she was a Young Artist this year. In the final year of her Master’s degree at the RNCM Sarah performed the roles of Zerbinetta in Ariadne Auf Naxos and Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro.

Sarah has sung in orchestral works including, Orff’s Carmina Burana as a soprano soloist and Cheetham’s Eumeralla. She has also performed extensively for corporate events such as, Merivale Sydney, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Holland America Line, International Towers Sydney, the Australian Rural Fire Brigade and those at the Utzon Room of Sydney Opera House.

Over the years, Sarah has been mentored by Deborah Cheetham at Short Black Opera, where she has worked as a Soprano and Music educator. From 2018 to 2020, she was also a Young Artist in Pacific Opera, during which time she was awarded a Prue Kennard study grant. In 2019, Sarah studied in an intensive program with Bel Canto Opera, Munich, which was generously sponsored by the Wagner Society NSW. Since moving to the United Kingdom, Sarah has enjoyed working at Buxton Opera as a Young Artist and being involved in workshops with Opera North and British Youth Opera, of which she successfully auditioned for.

Additionally, Sarah is a trained classroom Music teacher with proficient/qualified teacher status and an experienced singing teacher.


Olivia Tringham

Originally from Merseyside, Olivia is a Soprano currently studying with Linda Richardson at the Royal Northern College of Music. At the RNCM, Olivia played Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, La Suora Infermiera in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Sally in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, Fanny Price in Dove’s Mansfield Park and Prima Donna in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. This year she has also performed opera scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff and Britten’s Turn of the Screw, was a finalist in the Frederick Cox Competition 2022 and has been chosen for a number concerts, such as the world premier of Wrigglesworth’s Magnificat with the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Norway. Olivia has a natural draw to character driven music and particularly enjoys tackling musically challenging repertoire.

Professionally, Olivia was a 2021 Buxton International Festival Young Artist, performing as Mrs Segstrom in A Little Night Music by Sondhiem and in a range of concerts. Olivia was also due to be a part of the Wexford Festival Opera 2020 Chorus with a step-out role in Catalani’s Edmea and roles in their pocket operas, but this festival was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. In summer 2022, Olivia will Join Grange Park Opera for Verdi’s Otello, The Flying Dutchman by Wagner, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and the Excursions of Mr Broucek by Janacek.

During the pandemic, Olivia founded the independent opera company ALLO Opera, with the aim of giving Young Artists performance opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. ALLO Opera have produced a series of recorded virtual Galas, opera scenes and a live, fully staged version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni recorded in July 2021, in which Olivia played Donna Elvira. ALLO Opera has built an online community of young artists and are trying to re-write the way that young artists portray themselves online. www.oliviarosetringham.co.uk


Morgana Warren-Jones

Morgana Warren-Jones is a mezzo-soprano from North Wales, currently studying for a Master of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Hilary Summers. She previously read Music at the University of Leeds and spent a year studying voice at the Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg.

This year Morgana will perform the roles of Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (RNCM), Vava in Shostakovich’s Cherry Town, Moscow (WNO Youth Company), cover the role of Coll in Anna Appleby’s Drought (RNCM & BBC Philharmonic), and will be a chorus member for Rossini’s La donna del lago (Buxton International Festival Young Artist). She recently performed the role of Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe (RNCM opera scenes) and is delighted to have won the RNCM’s prestigious Frederic Cox Award for Singing in February.

In 2021, Morgana was a finalist in the MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year competition and performed the title role in Menotti’s The Medium (RNCM). Other highlights included singing the roles of Medoro in Orlando and Mercédès in Carmen (RNCM opera scenes), gaining a place on the Opera North Chorus mentoring programme and performing with the RNCM Songsters, the college’s most accomplished performers of song repertoire.

Morgana was previously a Serena Fenwick Young Artist for British Youth Opera and a member of the Glyndebourne Academy. Enthusiastic about making music available and accessible to all; Morgana conducts Monton Voices community choir in Eccles and has been a workshop leader for Welsh National Opera since 2018.




June 24
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Category:


The Athenaeum Liverpool
Church Alley
Liverpool, L1 3DD United Kingdom
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