January
Vuyani Mlinde - PMF Scholar
South African bass Vuyani Mlinde trained at the Free State Musicon, South Africa and then for 2005/07 at the Royal College of Music, supported by Peter Moores Foundation. In 2006 he sang Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera. In the 2007-8 season at ROH, he made his mainstage debut singing 2nd armed man in Die Zauberflöte, followed by Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Cappadocian in Salome and a Flemish deputy in Don Carlo. He gave a recital, including songs by Schubert and Schumann in the Crush Room of the ROH on 23 June in ROH2's Free Monday lunchtime concert series. In September, 2008 he made his role debut at short notice singing Jake Wallace in Piero Faggioni's production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

The Telegraph
‘A beautifully blended sextet of Flemish deputies was among the evening's several minor pleasures.’

The Times
'The real vocal star of the evening is the mighty basso profundo of Vuyani Mlinde as an awesome Commendatore. Mlinde's first name means "rejoice"; and he had rather more to be happy about
in Eugene Onegin, where he appeared as a twinkly-eyed Prince Gremin.'
South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza studied at the South African College of Music and the Royal College of Music, where she was supported by Peter Moores Foundation. She was a member of the Cape Town Opera Studio and was voted Best Performer of the Year by the Friends of Cape Town Opera in 2003. In May 2007 she sang the pivotal role of Concepción in Ravel’s L'heure espagnole for the Royal College of Music's Benjamin Britten International Opera School. In September 2007 she made her Royal Opera debut as a Flowermaiden/Voice from Above in Parsifal, followed by Slave in Salome, Innocent in The Minotaur and Tebaldo in Verdi's Don Carlo. In November 2008 she will sing the role of Sandman in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

The Independent on Sunday
'As Tebaldo, Pumeza Matshikiza is touchingly uninhibited.'

The Independent
‘Matshikiza's long-limbed, sexually rapacious, copper-voiced Concepción was outstanding.’

The Times
Reviewing Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House showcase

‘... my top tip? The seriously impressive South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, as wise and witty as Capriccio's knowing Countess as she was giddy and girly as little Barbarina in Figaro... I can't wait for her Susanna.’
Alice Coote and Rosalind Plowright - former PMF scholars and now highly regarded artists - are Hansel and Gertrude (the Mother) in Richard Jones's production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera.

Conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, with Christine Schäfer as Gretel and Philip Langridge as the Witch, this production has been selected as The Met’s live, high-definition performance transmission to cinemas around the world on 1 January 2008.

The Observer
'transmitted live in crystalline, high- definition video with all-enveloping surround sound... Watching it in the cinema was like having not just the best seat at the Met but all the best seats simultaneously.'

The Los Angeles Times
‘The Met's experiment of merging film with live performance has created a new art form.’
Pumeza Matshikiza - PMF Scholar
PMF Scholars at the Met
March
The premiere of Birtwistle's The Minotaur
The BBC has recorded The Minotaur for relay on Saturday 31 May 2008 and Opus Arte (now part of the Royal Opera House) has filmed the performances for future release on DVD. The press seemed to be in agreement that this new opera is ‘a dramatic tour de force’.

Evening Standard
'Blood-drenched and sorrowful, majestic and raw, Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur, commissioned by the Royal Opera House and given its world premiere last night, plunders the extremes of human nature in music of coruscating, storming beauty.'

The Guardian
'It is a dramatic tour de force for Tomlinson, who handles it superbly and gives eloquence to a creature who can articulate his thoughts only in his dreams... The production is an outstanding achievement for all concerned, and performances of the smaller roles are just as impressive as those by Tomlinson, Rice and Reuter; words are wonderfully clear, and Birtwistle's vocal lines are made to seem the most naturally expressive things in the world.'

PMF funded the production of scores and, as a prelude to the premiere, support was given for the revival of the production of Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy by The Music Theatre of Wales.

Opera Magazine
(the) 'production has been widely praised, not least by the work's own composer and librettist, who both thought it truer to their intentions than any other staging hitherto.'
May
RPS Awards
Audience Development

'The jury felt that effective engagement with a growing public was most outstandingly demonstrated by Birmingham Opera Company, whose performances of La traviata attracted very diverse audiences of close on 10,000, many new to opera, transforming pre-conceptions and attitudes and galvanising local support in the process.’

Jean Nicholson, General Manager of Birmingham Opera Company wrote to PMF, 'we are the proud recipients of the RPS Award for Audience Development for La Traviata which we could not have done had it not been for the Peter Moores Foundation’s support. So a very big thank you to you all.'

In December 2007 there were fears that the Arts Council grant for Birmingham Opera would not be renewed.

The Times
‘The withdrawal of Birmingham Opera’s grant is a tragedy. Year after year I travel to Brum in the hope of being provoked, disturbed, exhilarated and refreshed by Graham Vick’s company and its unique, community-based approach to opera.’

However, the Arts Council and West Midlands Arts Board decided to continue funding Birmingham Opera which PMF has supported for some years.

Singer

‘John Tomlinson’s Wotan in the Royal Opera House Ring Cycle was remarkable for its artistry, its humanity and its physical and emotional strength. His generosity of spirit inspired both audiences and colleagues and it is for these qualities that we make the Singer award to him for an unprecedented third time.’

BBC Radio 3 Listeners Award

Christine Brewer ‘a singer with a radiant voice and a wonderfully warm stage personality’.
July
The "lost" Goodall Mastersingers is released by Chandos
For the first time ever, the BBC Radio live broadcast of Reginald Goodall conducting The Mastersingers in February, 1968, is now available on Chandos Opera in English in a re-mastered 4-CD set. The production at Sadlers Wells was staged to commemorate the centenary of the opera's first performance in Munich on 21 June, 1868.

Gramophone
'(Goodall) was at last acknowledged as the great Wagnerian he undoubtedly was when he conducted Mastersingers at the old Sadler's Wells in 1968 to the acclaim of critics and public alike.'

Peter Moores
‘The resounding success of Reggie Goodall’s Mastersingers led to his conducting an ‘English’ Ring at the London Coliseum in the 1970s. That Ring started me recording opera in English. So I am thrilled that we have been able to add The Mastersingers to our Opera in English catalogue - now offering more than fifty operas - alongside Goodall’s Ring.’
November
Reiginald Goodall celebrated at the Coliseum
With the recent release of Goodall’s The Mastersingers joining The Goodall Ring on the Chandos Opera in English label, Peter Moores Foundation decided to celebrate this extraordinary musician and investigate why he was such a consummate Wagnerian. The Genius of Valhalla – a celebration of the great Wagnerian conductor Reginald Goodall took place at the London Coliseum on 23 November 2008.

The event was chaired by Humphrey Burton, and a panel joined him on stage, peopled by those who knew and worked with Reginald Goodall: Norman Bailey, Margaret Curphey, Dame Anne Evans, John Lucas, Sir Brian McMaster, Anthony Negus and Nicholas Payne.
April
Mozart's Così fan tutte on Chandos Opera in English
The new Così fan tutte not only has a British cast with excellent Mozartian credentials: Sir Thomas Allen, Lesley Garrett, Christopher Maltman, Diana Montague,Toby Spence and Janice Watson, but also, one of the finest interpreters of Mozart in the world, Sir Charles Mackerras and the 'remarkable institution' the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.