Sofia Niklasson, soprano
Sofia Niklasson is a Swedish soprano, mainly performing in the baroque genre and in contemporary music. She received her education at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm 1999-2004, where she studied with the baroque singer Susanne Rydén. At the Royal College she also studied piano.
Throughout her childhood, she sang in the choirs of her parents, both of whom were church musicians. Sofia has performed with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Rebaroque, and KammarensembleN. She also sings in performances throughout Sweden of religious works, such as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and B minor Mass, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. With the internationally renowned percussion group Kroumata she has performed Steve Reich’s Drumming in Rome, Paris, Stockholm and Reykjavik . This is the first time Sofia will perform in the UK but not the first time she has worked with Richard Cooke. They collaborated in the Brahms Requiem in Dala Järna, Sweden, in 2007.
Sofia is a devoted ensemble singer and member of the Swedish Radio Choir and the Swedish Harmony of Voices. She is also an enthusiastic piano teacher and accompanist.’
Charles Rice, bass
Charles Rice studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has just finished his studies at National Opera Studio. Charles is grateful for the support of Opera North, a Worshipful Company of Musicians Allcard Award, the William Allen Charitable Trust, The Kathleen Trust, The Kohn Foundation Vocal Scholarship and The Josephine Baker Trust. Charles was a finalist at Les Azuriales Young Artists Competition 2009 in France and winner of the Garsington Prize 2009.
Recent opera engagements include Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca for Grange Park Opera, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with Jane Glover and John Cox, and the Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring, both for Royal Academy Opera. Last summer Charles sang the Cat in Stravinsky’s Renard for the Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artist Programme. He has covered Cavaliere Die Ripafratta in Martinu’s Mirandolina for Garsington Opera, and also sung the roles of James in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance at Buxton, Saretski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at Iford Arts and Falke in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus for Alternative Opera.
Recent concert engagements include Orff’s Carmina Burana for The Philharmonia Chorus, Haydn’s The Seasons for Dulwich Choral Society, the Mustique Opera Gala, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Brahms Requiem for Sleaford Choral Society, Schubert’s Mass in C minor for Leamington Spa, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at Guildford Cathedral.
Future engagements include Morales in Bizet’s Carmen for Raymond Gubbay at the Royal Albert Hall, Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring for English Touring Opera and Ned Keene in his Peter Grimes for both The Aldeburgh Festival and Opéra de Toulon and Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall.
Charles attended Kings School here in Canterbury, where he was head boy.