2011 Susan Chilcott Scholar
Awarded: funding for further studies/career development
‘Enter Amneris, the vocally and dramatically excellent Magdalen Ashman’ (Roger Smith, Bachtrack International July 2013).
A recipient of a maximum scholarship from the Susan Chilcott Scholarships in 2011, Magdalen Ashman recently made her debut as Amneris at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. Born in London, she studied as a postgraduate at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the National Annie Ridyard Scholarship for Mezzo-sopranos.
Her roles include; Carmen for Blackheath Halls Opera, Mrs Noye (Noye’s Fludde) for the Ealing Autumn Festival, Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro) for Winslow Hall Opera and the creation of the role of Minister of Culture for the premiere of Domique le Gendre’s ‘Burial at Thebes’ at The Globe. For Opéra de Baugé she has performed the roles of Carmen, The Widow (The Widow of Ephesus), Nancy (Martha), Dido (Dido and Aeneas) and Amneris (Aida). She also covered the role of Sara in Opera Holland Park’s production of ‘Roberto Devereux’ conducted by Richard Bonynge. Her recording and concert work include; Alice (Robin Hood) for Naxos, Geisha (The Geisha) for Hyperion as well as the Verdi Requiem at Lincoln Cathedral, a recital at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Sea Pictures at Ealing Abbey and The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In 2010 Magdalen was awarded a Goodall Scholarship from The London Wagner Society and has appeared in masterclasses with David Syrus, Dame Anne Evans and Sir John Tomlinson. Her Wagner performances have since included, Venus (Tannhaüser) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) with The Northern Wagner Orchestra as well as Fricka (Die Walküre) and Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) with the Edinburgh Opera Players Orchestra. Following her performance as Fricka (Die Walküre) with The Rehearsal Orchestra in London, conducted by David Syrus, Wagner News commented; ‘Magdalen Ashman made Fricka a small lady with huge attitude….. her deep, full mezzo voice is simply marvellous.’ She covered Schwertleite and Grimgerde (Die Walküre) for Opera North’s critically acclaimed Ring Cycle in 2012 and appeared as Siegrune in the 2013 Wagner 200 Celebrations at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
(Last updated May 2014)
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DID YOU KNOW?
1830: Midsummer Night’s Dream is ‘very beautiful, and encored, but it is awfully, fearfully difficult, so much so that last Saturday morning Mendelssohn was SEVEN hours rehearsing.’