They are Irish soprano Anna Devin, British baritone Daniel Grice, Korean tenor Ji Hyun Kim, New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard and Chinese baritone ZhengZhong Zhou.
The audition process for the selection of the Jette Parker Young Artists began in September 2009, with the Programme seeing a 40% increase in applications from last season. A final short-list of eleven singers auditioned on the main stage in front of a panel which included Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, Elaine Padmore, Director of Opera and Peter Katona, Director of Casting for The Royal Opera.
In addition Greek stage director Rodula Gaitanou will join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2010. Applications for the position of stage director have increased four-fold since 2003, with applications coming from 22 countries.
Two further Jette Parker Young Artists will be announced later in the season following auditions for music staff positions. Successful applicants will take up two of the following positions, Opera conductor, Opera répétiteur, Ballet conductor and Ballet pianist.
The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme supports the artistic development of young professional singers, conductors, directors and répétiteurs. The Young Artists are an international group of outstanding professionals at the start of their career who have undertaken formal training and have already worked with professional companies. They are not students but contracted salaried employees of the Royal Opera House.
Most of the Young Artists work at the Royal Opera House full-time over two years. They receive coaching in all opera disciplines and work on Royal Opera productions. There is no age limit for those on the Programme but when choosing the Young Artists the audition panel take into consideration the stage individuals have reached in their careers and where they will be in terms of career development and age after working for two years on the Programme.
Each artist works on productions for The Royal Opera, singing small roles, covering larger roles or joining the music or directing staff. The Young Artists work with the Programme’s Artistic Director David Gowland, Royal Opera music staff, a wide range of freelance music and language coaches and visiting singers, directors and conductors. Every facility of the Company is made available to them so that their talents are nurtured through total immersion in the life of the Royal Opera House.