La Scala di Seta



Conductor Maximilian Fane is founder and Musical Director of The New Generation Festival, and Artistic Director of the touring opera company Raucous Rossini. In 2017 summer Max conducted a tour of L'occasione fa il ladro across the UK and Italy as well as founding a new international opera festival in Florence. This festival saw performances of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Bruch's Violin Concerto at the Palazzo Corsini al Prato Gardens.

The past two years have seen Raucous Rossini perform Rossini's La cambiale di matrimonio, L'inganno felice, and Il Signor Bruschino, as well as various orchestral concerts, in the UK and Italy. Max recently also conducted L'elsir d'amore for Lyric Opera Berlin, and La Cenerentola for Kennet Opera. His recent orchestral repertoire includes: Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, Elgar's Serenade for Strings, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Beethoven's Mass in C, Schubert's Mass in G, Faure's Requiem, and Rossini's Variations for Small Orchestra and Clarinet.

Engagements in 2018 include Gluck’s Orfeo e Euridice in Florence, Piedmont and Milan, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in London, Rossini’s La Scala di Seta with Raucous Rossini, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Symphony No.5 with The New Generation Festival. Max participated in the Winter International Conducting Masterclass January 2018 with Moravian Philharmonic and Maestro Alim Shakh and studies conducting with Jonathan Brett.


Max is also Artistic Director of Westbourne Music in Glasgow, a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he studied voice and piano, and holds a Distinction MSc in Business and Management from the University of Strathclyde where he was the European Visionary Scholar and achieved a prize for his dissertation on strategy in the classical music industry. Max is very grateful to the support of Mrs Ailene Hunter.


Previous company appearances: L'inganno felice, Il Signor Bruschino

Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2015, Ben has held a busy freelance career. Ben is currently Principal Viola and Orchestra Manager for Raucous Rossini having teamed up with Max Fane in 2015. He is now looking forward to creating the orchestra for the New Generation Festival as Orchestra and Ensembles Manager, sourcing the best new orchestral musicians from across Europe. He has also recently been appointed as Orchestra and Ensembles Manager for the StudentFest 2017 at the Royal Northern College of Music. As a viola player Ben has played with orchestras including the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Glasgow New Music Exhibition, Opera Bohemia, and the Rogue Orchestra. Whilst at the Conservatoire, Ben was a keen and successful chamber musician, winning first prize in the Governors' Recital prize for Chamber music, the Mabel Glover String Quartet competition, the Dunbar Gerber Prize, and the Watson Forbes Solo Viola Prize. Ben was also a very keen orchestral musician, playing Principal Viola in the RCS Symphony, Chamber, Ballet, and Opera orchestras. He also took part in the Scottish Opera Mentoring Scheme, RSNO, and BBC SSO apprenticeship schemes. Ben has now begun his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music having accepted a place on the Masters course and will take part in the Liverpool Philharmonic Professional Experience Scheme. Ben plays on a viola made by David Milward in 2003.

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Company Debut as Giulia 

Born and raised in the Middle East, Yara is a Lebanese soprano currently living in London. Most recently, she was a young artist and ensemble member for critically acclaimed Mad King Suibhne in November 2017 at Lilian Baylis House as part of Helios Collective Formations supported by the ENO, and also in December at

Messum’s Gallery, Wiltshire (Bury Court Production). In 2017, she had two role debuts – Despina, (Cosi Fan Tutte) with Gregory Buchalter and Musetta (La Boheme) with Kamal Khan, in Sicily with the Mediterranean Opera Festival. She has also performed the role of Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) in 2016 at the Teatro Greco,

Palazzolo, Italy. Other stage experience include scenes of Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Gilda (Rigoletto), Lisette (La Rondine), Fortuna (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring) and La Fee (Cendrillion). In the future she will be performing at Leighton House Museum in an event that is part of the programme of the BBC Civilisations Festival. Yara will be joining the Royal Northern College of Manchester in September 2018 to study her Master’s of Music.


Playing Dorvil, previous company appearance as Don Eusebio.

British tenor Samuel Jenkins is an H R Taylor Trust Scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying under David Rendall. On stage, Samuel's opera roles have included Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Remendado (Carmen), and Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) with Edinburgh Studio Opera & William Conway; Coridon (Acis and Galatea) with Glasgow Opera Collective & John Butt; Don Eusebio (Rossini's L'Occasione fa il ladro) with Raucous Rossini & Maximilian Fane; and Acis (cover) in BarokOpera Amsterdam & Opéra-Louise’s touring production of Händel’s Acis and Galatea throughout the Netherlands. Most recently he has appeared as Ferrando (Così fan tutte) in RCM Opera Scenes, and Foreman in the world-premiere of Maeve McCarthy’s short opera John Henry, with Tête à Tête.


Samuel has performed solo and chorus roles in Purcell’s King Arthur, Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro and Bizet’s Carmen in Edinburgh; Donizetti’s L'Elisir D'Amore with New Generation Opera in Florence; Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at L'Opéra de Lausanne; and Händel’s Messiah at the Bristol Old Vic, directed by Tom Morris, with The English Concert & Harry Bicket.


As an oratorio soloist, Samuel has sung the Evangelist and tenor roles in Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium and Johannes-Passion; Mozart's Requiem; Haydn's Creation; and Händel's Dixit Dominus. Highlights have included appearing as the haute-contre soloist in Rameau's motet In Convertendo with Sospiro Baroque, and as tenor soloist in Händel's Messiah and Haydn's Nelson Mass with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir, Edinburgh.


On the concert platform, Samuel has given a shared recital of French mélodie with internationally-acclaimed pianist Roger Vignoles Royal College of Music; Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Alexander Oon; he has performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder with Duncan Appleby at the Edinburgh Festival; and presented programmes of English Song in the Aveyron region of France, and at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Gibraltar. Future plans include a recital of Schubert's Winterreise, a first performance of three unpublished songs by Jonathan Dove, and a set of restoration music for voice and lute as part of the Charles II: Art & Power exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.


In November and December 2018 Samuel will appear as Don Curzio in the RCM International Opera School production of Le Nozze di Figaro, directed by Sir Thomas Allen.



Company debut as Germano 

Aged 23, Baritone William Diggle has performed extensively both in the UK and internationally. Notable international engagements include: a recital in the Tsaritsyno Palace, Moscow, where he performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe; covered the role of Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti in the New Generation Festival, in Florence Italy 2017. He has Performed in Italian opera scenes in Liguria, Italy, where he played Belcore from L'elisir d'amore, Guglielmo from Cosi Fan Tutte, Riccardo from I puritani and the Count from Le Nozze Di Figaro.

Back in the UK, William played Bartley in a production of Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea; he also covered the role of Angelotti from Puccini’s Tosca, in Nevill Holt Opera, when he was a young artist of the company.

Whilst performing, William Diggle achieved a First with Honours in his Bachelor of Music degree at the Royal Academy of Music. In September 2017, William started his masters at the Royal College of Music, continuing his training under Russell Smythe, whilst at the Royal College of Music, William generously sponsored by the South Square Trust.

 William is looking forward to covering the role of Masetto in Don Giovanni at the New Generation Festival in Florence, Italy.


Company debut as Dormont

Having graduated as a choral scholar from St John’s College, Cambridge, Xavier moved to Moscow where he studied for a brief period with professor Pyetr Segeevich Gluboki. On his return to the UK he studied privately with Christine Cairns and has now won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he will be supported by Help Musicians UK and will learn with Tim Evans-Jones.

As a concert soloist Xavier has sung in Cathedrals and churches around England including Salisbury Ely and Winchester and in halls such as St John’s Smith Square. In student productions at Cambridge he played Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Monostatos (The Magic Flute) and Jephtha in a staging of Handel’s Jephtha. More recently he has toured northern Italy with the New Generation Festival playing the usually soprano role of Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice and played the sailor in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas also for NGF. In summer 2018 Xavier will perform in Don Giovanni in Florence for NGF, My Fair Lady in the Piedmont region of Italy and Rossini’s La Scala di Seta in Scotland, England and Italy.


Playing Belmote 

Previous company appearances: Bruschino Senior, Tarabotto, Mill, Don Parmenione 

Colin Murray is currently studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School with Scottish baritone George Gordon. Colin is an accomplished concert soloist and ensemble singer, and an alumnus of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. In 2014/15 he was the recipient of the ‘Rising Star Award’ from the John Mather charitable trust and is grateful to the trust for their support of his ongoing studies.  

Colin has performed in numerous opera productions during his time with the Conservatoire, performing Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Bartolo in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaroand Ford in Vaughan-Williams’ Sir John in Love. Outside the RCS, he has performed the role of Father in Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel, in the opening performance of the 2016 Saint Magnus Festival on Orkney, and Sprecher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Woodhouse Opera Festival in 2014.

Colin’s work as a concert soloist has seen him perform many iconic works, including Mozart and Faure’s Requiems, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Messiah. He made his debut as a soloist in the Edinburgh International Festival in a performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Sao Paulo Symphony orchestra under Marin Alsop, and in 2016 featured as a soloist for a recording of Stravinsky sacred works with the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh on the Delphian label. Colin is a passionate ensemble singer, working regularly with the RCS Voices and with choir of Paisley Abbey as a choral Scholar.


Playing Lucilla 

Past company roles: Ernestina 

Scottish mezzo-soprano Fiona Joice, is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, London (MA), under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ritchie and Audrey Hyland. Fiona recently sang as a soloist in the RAM/Kohn foundation Bach Cantata series and was commended in the Isobel Jay opera prize. She is a regular oratorio soloist with the Josephine Baker Trust performing all over the UK.

Fiona graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a First Class honours degree in music, where she studied with Kathleen McKellar Ferguson. In 2015 she won the prestigious Governors Recital Prize.

Recent operatic experience includes Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville (Leadingham Italy tour), Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (RAM opera scenes), L’innocente in Cilea’s L’arlesiana (RAM opera scenes), Virtu and Venere in Royal Academy Opera L'incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi (cover), Meg in Verdi’s Falstaff (RCS opera scenes), Frau Reich in Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (RCS Opera school – cover), Hippolyta in Britten’s Midsummer Night's Dream (RCS Opera school/Scottish Opera – cover).

On the concert platform Fiona has recently performed Handel Messiah, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart Requiem and Bach B Minor Mass. Fiona was selected for the female chorus in Der Freischütz by Von Weber and conducted by Sir Mark Elder. She also performed in a concert performance of Stravinsky’s The Rakes Progress, conducted by Sir Andrew Davies at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Performances this year include an afternoon recital at Glasgow’s House for an Art Lover (March), Durufle Requiem (April), Handel Messiah (April), Bach B Minor Mass (May) and a Vivaldi Gloria (May).

Fiona is immensely grateful to the Royal Academy of Music, the Robertson Trust, and the James Caird Travelling Scholarship Trust for their continued support.

Fiona has accepted a place at the Alexander Gibson Opera School, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and will begin in September 2017.

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