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Zara is a recent graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music, achieving a first class Bachelor of Music (honours) in Vocal studies and Opera. She is now studying a Post-graduate Diploma of Education at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Outside her studies, Zara is passionate about promoting the Arts to young people and new audiences, hence founding the organisation Kickstart Opera. Through her teaching and development of Kickstart Opera, Zara was awarded the 2020 RNCM Entrepreneurship Award supported by the RNCM Principle Circle and YAMAHA UK.
In Manchester and the West Coast of Scotland, Zara has had the joy to teach in many educational settings. In Manchester she taught music and performance to children of all ages at Footlights Theatre, Media City. This year she has had the pleasure of working in small communities providing musical opportunities to children in the West of Scotland. Zara will continue this work with WK Sings this year creating musical experiences with the support of Craft Town Scotland.
As a performer, Zara has performed in multiple productions with the RNCM such as Massenet's Cendrillon, Humperdick's Hansel & Gretel, Puccini's Suor Angelica and Vaughan William's Pilgrim's Progress. Prior to RNCM, Zara performed in the BBC collaboration of Britten’s ‘Noyes Fludde’ with the Scottish BBC Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow City Halls and at Aberdeen Youth Festival with solo roles. Scottish Opera Connect saw performances in the chorus of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and premier of the gothic opera ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Calagri’.
Lowri joined the Kickstart Opera team in September 2019 and is a trained soprano from South Wales. She is a graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music and holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the Manchester Metropolitan University. She was involved in Kickstart Opera’s most recent production of The Magic Flute and is excited to be part of such a wonderful team!
Throughout her time in Manchester, Lowri has had the privilege to work in many different educational settings. Since 2018, she has been a visiting musician at The Seashell Trust and this year will be a guest music leader for the Olympias Music Foundation.
As a performer, Lowri has had the privilege to perform roles such as Cherubino from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as well as Dido from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. At the RNCM, Lowri was part of the opera chorus for many of the college’s productions. These include productions such as Suor Angelica by Puccini, Cendrillon by Massenet, and Les Dialogues des Carmelites by Poulenc.
Lowri is dedicated to ensuring that every child has access to a fulfilling musical education whilst also promoting opera to the younger generation!
Jasmin Allpress’s interests span broadly across the musical world, and she enjoys a varied career as a solo performer, chamber musician and pedagogue. Originally from Bath, she began playing the piano at six and continued her studies at Chetham's School of Music at sixteen, studying with Peter Lawson and Graham Caskie. Having spent three years studying with Frank Wibaut on the 'Joint Course', she has now graduated from the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music. She is now continuing her studies at the RNCM on the Continuing Professional Development course with Helen Krizos.
Performing highlights include John Ireland's piano concerto with the Manchester University Symphony Orchestra, playing for a pre-concert talk at Bridgewater Hall and masterclasses with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Joanna Macgregor. Last year she was delighted to be awarded both the Patricia Cunliffe award for Keyboard Studies and first prize in the Fergal O'Mahony competition at the RNCM.
As a chamber musician, Jasmin is the official pianist of the Larisa Trio who perform regularly across the UK. In 2019 they were invited to play to György Pauk in a masterclass at the Wigmore Hall as well as at the Leeds International Music Festival and Buxton Pavilion. With the trio, she has also had competition success, winning both the Christopher Rowland Ensemble of the Year and Weil prizes.