About the Masterclass

Get up close and personal with some of the world’s greatest artists in this intimate afternoon of song and opera. The Samling Artist Programme Masterclass offers you the chance to go behind the scenes of classical music and find out what goes into making a truly great performance. You’ll see the stars of the future refining their artistry in a wide range of repertoire under the guidance of leaders including celebrated Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin and Samling Artist pianist James Baillieu.

This unique afternoon comes at the end of an intensive residential week at Marchmont House for the six singers and two pianists who have been selected for this world-renowned programme. They join a global family of 395 Samling Artists, who can be seen in opera houses and concert halls across the world. Don’t miss your chance to say ‘I heard them first’.

Samling Artist Programme Masterclass, Marchmont House. Photo credit: Mark Pinder

Event Timing

1.30 – 4.45 Six twenty-minute masterclasses, with a 30 minute interval. Ticket includes tea, coffee and home-made cakes served during the interval.

Return transport from Berwick-upon-Tweed station is available at an additional charge and can be booked with your ticket and departs Berwick-Upon-Tweed railway station 12.35 (Meeting trains arriving 12.25 from Edinburgh and 12.21 from Newcastle) but please note, this service is available to anyone looking to come from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, and not just those travelling by train.

The return service connects with trains leaving 17.43 to Edinburgh and 17.50 to Newcastle

Samling Artist Programme masterclasses at Marchmont. Top: Samling Artists Michael Pandya and Beth Moxon. Bottom: Actor Alex Hassell with Samling Artist Steven van der Linden.

The Samling Artists

Charlotte Bowden, soprano
Hannah Crocker, soprano
Alexandra Achillea Pouta, mezzo-soprano
Hugo Brady, tenor
Michael Lafferty, tenor
Felix Gygli, baritone
Zany Denyer, piano
Daniel Peter Silcock, piano

‍With staff pianist Samling Artist Jo Ramadan

The Leaders

Marie McLaughlin, soprano

Distinguished Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin has enjoyed more than four decades of performance at the highest international level. Over that time, she has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Sir Antonio Pappano, Leonard Bernstein and Giuseppe Sinopoli, and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris and Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. Her substantial discography includes Zerlina Don Giovanni with Sir Neville Marriner for Philips; Despina Così fan tutte with James Levine for Deutsche Grammophon and Micaëla Carmen and Violetta La traviata under Bernard Haitink

James Baillieu, pianist

James is one of the leading song and chamber music pianists of his generation. He appears at the world’s most distinguished concert halls with artists including Samling Artist Benjamin Appl, Jamie Barton, Ian Bostridge, Allan Clayton, Annette Dasch, Lise Davidsen, Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Pretty Yende and has presented his own series at Wigmore Hall. James is a Senior Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, a coach for the Jette Parker Artist Program at the Royal Opera House and head of the Song Program at the Atelier Lyrique of the Verbier Festival Academy and has led masterclasses across the world.

Susannah Waters, writer and director

Susannah turned to writing and directing after a successful ten-year career as an opera singer. Her first music theatre piece, The Regina Monologues was commissioned by the Covent Garden Festival. She has directed opera productions for Glyndebourne, Brighton Festival, Opera Rara and Finnish National Opera and ran her own production company The Paddock, devising and producing theatre, dance and opera projects. With Samling Institute she led two large-scale education projects at Sage Gateshead, creating and directing youth versions of Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. She has also published two novels and is a creative writing coach.

Jo Ramadan, Samling Artist Staff Pianist

Jo was a chorister at Chapel Royal St James’s Palace and studied at Durham University and subsequently at the Royal College of Music with John Blakely and Roger Vignoles. Recent projects include Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master forL’elisir d’amore British Youth Opera with Southbank Sinfonia, Assistant Conductor at Drottningholm Festival for Handel Ariodante and at Grange Festival for Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jo is accompanist and professor of vocal repertoire at the Royal College of Music; Assistant Conductor with The Mozartists; Director of Music at St Vedast Foster Lane; conductor and tutor at Oxenfoord International Summer School and a regular leader at Samling Academy.

About the Samling Institute


Samling Institute for Young Artists Northumberland-based Samling Institute for Young Artists is widely recognised as a leading global authority in the training of young voices. Since 1996, we have nurtured and inspired hundreds of young singers and pianists setting them on the road to success through programmes led by world-renowned opera singers, conductors, song specialists, accompanists, coaches and actors.

Samling Artist Programme provides intensive residential masterclass weeks, performance and professional development opportunities to early-career singers and piano accompanists. It offers a crucial bridge at what for many can be a difficult and insecure period between formal education and professional life. There are now 387 Samling Artists, from every continent, many of whom have subsequently forged impressive international careers. Frequently our Samling Artists tell us that their experience with us is often the most enduring, formative and transformative training they have received.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

Our cancellation period is 14 days in advance.

We will happily offer a refund or a credit for a later date before then, please do get in touch.

Should we cancel the event for any reason you will receive a complete refund.

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