As You Like It
Nicky Spence, tenor
Dylan Perez, piano
Internationally celebrated artists Nicky Spence (tenor) and Dylan Perez (piano) take us on a musical journey of Shakespeare Songs set by a diverse and eclectic range of composers from Purcell and Haydn, through to Britten, Quilter, Tippett and John Dankworth, via Bush and Schubert.
£20 (early bird) / £25
Hailed by the Daily Telegraph as ‘a voice of real distinction,’ Nicky Spence is fast emerging as ‘one of our brightest young tenors.’ An artist of great integrity, Nicky Spence’s unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty in his musicianship are steadfastly earning him a place at the top of the profession.
Highlights in Nicky’s 2018/19 season include Ein Hirt & Ein Junger Seemann in Tristan und Isolde for the Opéra national de Paris; Nikita in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at La Monnaie and also for the Opéra national de Lyon; Shipman in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan also for La Monnaie and Sergeant Johnny Strong in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel at the English National Opera. On the concert platform he will sing Bruckner’s Te Deum at La Monnaie, the title role in Act III of Parsifal with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder and Handel’s Messiah Internationally.
His recital appearances this season include Wigmore Hall, Milton Court, Middle Temple Hall and the Oxford Lieder, Leeds Lieder and Chiltern Arts Festivals. He will also give a series of performances of Janacek’s The Diary of One who Disappeared to mark its centenary and new recording due for release this year with Hyperion and pianist Julius Drake.
Nicky’s 2017/18 Season included two important debuts, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for From the House of the Dead, and at Teatro Real for Pirzel in Die Soldaten. Other highlights include Les Illuminations with the New World Symphony in Miami under Mark Wigglesworth, a recital tour of Janáček The Diary of one who Disappeared and further recital appearances at the Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival and Chiltern Festival, Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, projects with Geneva Camerata, the Myrthen Ensemble and the London Mozart Players, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Bach Choir, and the much anticipated release of the last volume in his Strauss Song Series with Roger Vignoles (Hyperion).
On the opera stage, Nicky created the role of Brian in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys at ENO, a role he reprised for his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013. Becoming a great exponent of Janáček’s music, Nicky will shortly record The Diary of the one who Disappeared with Julius Drake and has notably appeared in Jenůfa (La Monnaie, Brussels, ENO); Katya Kabanova (Seattle Opera, Opera Holland Park, London) and The Makropoulos Case (Oper Frankfurt).
Nicky’s other role successes include Alwa in Berg’s Lulu, David in Richard Jones’ Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg, Novice Billy Budd (ENO); Andres Wozzeck, ein junger mann Moses und Aron (Opéra de Paris); Tamino Die Zauberflöte directed by Sir Thomas Allen, Baron Lummer Intermezzo for Scottish Opera; Francesco Benvenuto Cellini (De Nederlandse Opera); Chevalier de la Force Les Dialogue des Carmelites for Grange Park Opera; Rodolphe Guillaume Tell (Welsh National Opera); Don Ottavio Don Giovanni (New Zealand Opera); and in concert: Mime Das Rheingold (Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder), Steuermann Der Fliegender Holländer (CBSO / Andris Nelsons), Iago Rossini’s Otello (Buxton Festival), Young Sailor Tristan und Isolde (BBCSSO / Donald Runnicles), and Courtois Leoncavallo’s Zaza (Opera Rara / Maurizio Benini).
Nicky appears internationally in concert and his recent repertoire has included Bruckner Te Deum (Atlanta Symphony / Donald Runnicles); Dvorak Saint Ludmila (Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder); Tippet A Child of Our Time (Auckland Philharmonic); Britten War Requiem (Berlin Konzerthaus); Britten Les Illuminations (Stavanger Symphony / Yan Pascal Tortelier); Beethoven 9th Symphony (Philharmonia); Bach Magnificat / G Minor Mass (BBC Proms / David Hill); Finzi Dies Natalis (BBCCO / David Hill); Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Royal Festival Hall); Elgar’s The Kingdom (Kings College, Cambridge); Bach’s B Minor Mass (Northern Sinfonia / Paul McCreesh); Mozart’s C Minor Mass (Cadogan Hall) and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with L’Orchestre Nationale d’Ile de France and at Wigmore Hall.
In demand on the recital platform, Nicky sings reguarly with the Myrthen ensemble and enjoys collaboration with leading artists such as Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Graham Johnson, Sholto Kynoch, Iain Burnside, Simon Lepper and Joseph Middleton. His recital life brings him regularly to venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Purcell Room, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 5BMF, New York and Tonhalle, Zürich.
Nicky has also recorded prolifically and his discography includes the forthcoming final disc of Roger Vignoles’ Strauss Song Series (Hyperion), French Melodié, Shakespeare Settings (both with Martineau), Buxton Orr with Iain Burnside (Delphian), and works by Schumann, Wolf, Britten and world premieres of Jonathan Dove, Pavel Haas, Alun Hoddinott and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Scotland born, Nicky trained at the Guildhall School and the NOS and progressed to become one of the inaugural Harewood Artists at the ENO. Nicky is a Samling Artist, recently joining their team as a leader of young singers, and was nominated by the International Opera Awards for Young Singer of the Year in 2015 and was also one of ten artists included in the Times Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards celebrating the best up and coming young British talent from across the Arts industry.
Pianist Dylan Perez is a highly sought after recitalist, chamber musician and coach specialising in vocal repertoire. He graduated in 2018 with Distinction with an Artist Diploma and in 2016 with Distinction with an Artist Masters from the Guildhall School where he studied with Eugene Asti, Andrew West, Iain Burnside, Julius Drake, and Pamela Lidiard. Prior to relocating to London, he studied at the University of Michigan with Louis Nagel and Martin Katz.
Recently, he was awarded the Gerald Moore Prize for accompanists. He was also awarded the Paul Hamburger Prize for Accompaniment in association with a performance of Die schöne Müllerin, directed by Graham Johnson.
In February 2018, he won the Oxford Lieder Young Artist platform with contralto Jess Dandy.
Along with duo partner Iúnó Connolly, Dylan was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Das Lied International Song Competition in Heidelberg, Germany.
In April 2016, he was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier awards at Wigmore Hall where he, along with his duo partner mezzo soprano Bianca Andrew, received the Loveday Song Prize. He was a finalist in the competition again in 2017, and performed with Francesca Chiejina, Daniel Shelvey, and Eduard Mas Bacardit.
He has performed alongside the Prince Consort at the Wigmore Hall and in recital at other venues in London such as the Barbican, Milton Court Concert Hall, St. Martins-in-the-Fields, Cadogan Hall, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Dylan has performed in Pre-LSO concerts at the Barbican Hall and was featured in a BBC Proms Extra concert, broadcast live on Radio 3 from Imperial College. Recently, he was featured on a Radio 3 recital, performing songs by Richard Rodney Bennett with baritone Benson Wilson. He has also participated in the BBC Total Immersion series This Is Rattle in a concert curated by Thomas Ades.
He is an alumnus of the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria, where he performed in masterclasses for Julius Drake, Rudolf Jansen, Helmut Deutsch, and Elly Ameling. Dylan is also a Britten-Pears Young Artist and studied there with Christoph Pregardien, Julius Drake, and Richard Stokes.
He has attended SongFest on the Martin Katz Fellowship and the Aspen Music Festival as a student of Ann Schein. He was a participant in The Song Continues masterclass series at Carnegie Hall with Marilyn Horne, Jessye Norman, and Dalton Baldwin, and was subsequently invited to be a pianist for their residency in Paris.
Dylan has also played in masterclasses with Renee Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Dame Felicity Lott, and with Roger Vignoles, Brigitte Fassbaender, and Christian Gerhaher at Wigmore Hall.
Passionate about the voice, Dylan is closely associated with Prof. Janice Chapman at the Guildhall School where he plays for her lessons, learns about the mechanics of vocal technique, and amasses vast knowledge for coaching young and mature singers.
Dylan is the founder of re-sung, a London based song recital series that focuses on the connection between text and music, with special interest on creating new interpretations of masterworks and championing contemporary songs.
Dylan will be joining the Royal College of Music as a fellow in their celebrated Vocal Faculty this autumn.