Sarah Ogden is currently undertaking postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Stuart MacIntyre. Since joining the College she has won the 2010 Bessie Cronshaw Song Cycle Competition and was a finalist in the 2011 Michael and Joyce Kennedy Strauss Prize, after which she was invited to give a recital to the Strauss Society. She has been awarded the Dame Eva Turner scholarship and was also selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2011 Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition.
Sarah has been selected to perform in Master Classes with Elly Ameling, Dame Felicity Palmer, Roger Vignoles, Anna Larsson and Julius Drake and was awarded a place on the distinguished 2011 Oxford Lieder Master Course. Although still studying, Sarah is already making a name for herself in the singing profession and will make her Wigmore Hall debut in April 2012 singing Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (Debussy) and The Island (Matthews).
As a soloist her highlights include; Dorabella Cosi fan tutte and The Countess The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler) with orchestra and performances as a soloist in Ripon and Wakefield Cathedrals, York Minster, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Huddersfield Town Hall where Sarah has shared the stage with the world renowned Black Dyke Brass Band and Julian Lloyd Webber.
Sarah regularly gives recitals and has sung many roles in choral works including; Mozart Mass in C Minor & Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Rossini Petite Messe Sollenelle and Handel Messiah. She has had many successes in competitions, including being awarded the title of Kirklees Young Musician 2006. As well as studying at the RNCM, Sarah is also the Musical Director of Hade Edge Community Choir and Denby Dale Ladies Choir.
Paula Sides was born in Cookeville, Tennesee, graduating with Honours in Music from Columbus State University. She studied on the opera course at the Royal College of Music, where she received the Tagor Gold Medal. Other prizes included the Karaviotis Prize at the Les Azuriales International Competition, the Coutts & Co. Award and the Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship, supported by a Clayton Award.
Operatic roles include Tosca, Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Atalanta (Xerxes), Clizia (Teseo), Emilia (Flavio), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), all for English Touring Opera; Norina (Don Pasquale), Gilda (Rigoletto), for Preggio Opera Festival, Italy; Atalanta (Handel Society); Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne) with Skipton Camerata; Mimi (La Boheme), Inez (Il Travatore) for Opus 1 Opera; Grasshopper (The Cunning Little Vixen) at RCM. Covers include Governess (Turn of the Screw) for Opera North and Ginevra (Ariodante) and Servilia (La Clemenza di Tito) for ETO.
Concert engagements include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 7th Symphony for Opera North and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Richard Farnes, Mozart Unwrapped (King’s Place with Roger Vignoles), City of Dreams (Philharmonia Orchestra concert series), Exultate Jubilate and Messiah with Skipton Camerata, Mozart Requiem for Thames Philharmonic Choir, Vivaldi Gloria in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Rossini Stabat Mater for Putney Choral Society, Brahms Requiem, Elijah for RCM and Carmina Burana with the London Gala Orchestra. She has also recorded a soundtrack to a Peroni advertisement for TV and cinemas.
Current season/future plans: Paula has just completed a spring tour singing the title role of Tosca for English Touring Opera, and her upcoming engagements include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the South Birmingham Sinfonia. She is delighted to be singing in Benjamin Britten's The Company of Heaven for HFCC this evening.
Paul Gibson is from Chorley, Lancashire and began singing at secondary school with The Rawstorne Singers and performed in all the major cathedrals in Britain.
After a 12 year career as a primary school teacher in 2000 he joined the full time chorus of Opera North. Roles with the company include Father (Hansel and Gretel), Ned Keane (Peter Grimes), Morales (Carmen), Yamadori (Madama Butterfly), Sir Roderick Murgatroyd (Ruddigore) and Happy (Fancuilla Del West).
In 2009 he sang at the opening of the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds and made his debut at the Bridgewater Hall in Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. He has often sung as a soloist with the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North, including Faure Requiem and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle. Last year he sang for HFCC in the Northern premiere of Paul Carr’s Seven Last Words from the Cross.
When not singing he can be seen plodding the streets of West Yorkshire and beyond in 10k and half-marathons, plays increasingly erratic golf and following the exploits of Burnley Football Club.