Pegasus Opera Mentoring Programme
A mentorship scheme for classical artists from African and Asian backgrounds
The participants will be invited to observe rehearsals and shadow established artists at the Festival 2022, and will be offered opportunities to perform for key artistic staff and receive feedback to aid their development.
Representatives from Glyndebourne will also attend Pegasus Opera auditions and showcases to help Glyndebourne spot emerging talent who can be encouraged to audition for the Glyndebourne Chorus, a proven launchpad for a professional career in opera.
Biraj Barkakaty is a native Londoner, currently living in Washington DC. He has played Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Aspen Music Festival, 3rd Israelite in Handel’s Esther with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, the title role in the world premiere of Cavalli’s Xerse with Ensemble OrQuesta, and Kenny Stiller in the world premiere of Keepers of the Light at the Nahant Music Festival in Boston.
He was recently a featured artist with Faces of Early Music America, and was an Alto Lay Clerk with the choirs of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and Washington National Cathedral.
Julienne Mahailet is a French soprano currently undertaking an Artist Masters in Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the guidance of Janice Chapman and Marcus Van Den Akker.
Current and future engagements for Julienne include performing at the Opera Gala with the Orchestra of St John, directed by John Lubbock, Suor Angelica in Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Sicily, and Rosalinde in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Germany.
Julia Daramy-Williams is an alumna of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she completed her training at bachelor’s and master’s levels, and at the Conservatoire’s Alexander Gibson Opera School.
Following her training, Julia was a member of the English National Opera Chorus for the 2019 – 2021 seasons, and performed in the Olivier Award-winning Porgy & Bess ensemble for both the English and Dutch National Opera companies.
Lofunu Ndou moved to England when she was six and began her musical training when she was eleven, being involved in the Peniel Place Gospel Choir led by Gareth Fuller as well as various vocal and instrumental groups within Malcolm Arnold Academy. She completed her BMus Vocal and Operatic course at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
She is now a member of St Chad’s Cathedral Choir under David Saint and also sings with the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir led by Paul Spicer and Jeffrey Skidmore. She joined the Chamber Choir and recorded a CD of music composed by John Joubert in June 2016.
About Pegasus Opera Company
Pegasus is a professional opera company with a family of widespread international artists, participants and supporters. We produce high-quality performances and balance this with a focus on artist development, with an eye to promoting the talents of emerging artists of African and Asian heritage and bringing this onto eminent platforms of note and significance.
For almost 30 years, Pegasus Opera Company has been the home for singers, composers, instrumentalists and directors predominantly, but not exclusively, from diverse African and Asian heritage.
Established in south London and grown from solid and credible roots, we still work out of our home in Brixton. The Company has held true to our founder Lloyd Newton’s credo of ‘harmony in diversity’. We have inspired many to love opera; and we celebrate the music of rich African, Asian and Caribbean diasporas whilst weaving into the fabric of the British performing arts, using creativity to challenge and advocate for positive change.