Students raise the roof at the Institute of Directors


Students from the Wales International Academy of Voice have been congratulated for a stunning performance at the Institute of Director’s Annual Director of the Year Awards recently.

Institute of Directors

Henry Ngan (tenor) sang the Neopolitan classic ‘O Sole Mio,’ while Joelene Griffith (soprano) gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ from Puccini’s La Rondine. Accompanied by the Academy’s Head of Music Jane Samuel, the pair finished their performance with ‘Brinidisi (The Drinking Song’ from La Traviata by Verdi.

Robert Lloyd Griffith, the Director of the Institute of Directors in Wales said; “They were wonderful! I had tears in my eyes at one point!”

Debbie Trotman, Administrator at the Institute of Directors, said: “Both singers were absolutely brilliant, with superb voices that had the audience spellbound.”

Jacqui Weatherburn, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the University who attended the event said: “This was an excellent event which saw at its finale Business and the Arts joined through world class performance. Although I have seen them on many occasions, I continue to be amazed by the calibre of our students and their performance skills.  Wales International Academy of Voice, bringing the best of the world to Wales and taking the best of Wales to the world!”

Institute of Directors

Born in Hong Kong, Henry Ngan graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and obtained his Master of Music in the Royal Northern College of Music. During his studies he received numerous scholarships including RNCM Scholarship Award, Sir Robert Black Trust Fund, Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir Scholarship, The Hong Kong Children’s Choir Scholarship and Michael Rippon Memorial Scholarship. He also frequently participated in the Hong Kong School Music Festival and was the overall champion in Hong Kong Youth Singing Festival receiving the “Ella Kiang Trophy” and “HKYSF Scholarship.” Operatic engagements include performances with companies in the UK, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Germany, Opera Hong Kong and Musica Viva HK. Roles include Spoletta (Tosca), Remendado (Carmen), Tamino & Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Camille (The Merry Widow), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Ruiz (Il trovatore), Starveling (The Midsummer Night’s Dream), Prologue (The Turn of the Screw), Lucano & Soldato (L’incoronazione di Poppea). He has also participated in many productions including La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, Giovanna d’Arco, Simon Boccanegra, Otello, La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci and La Fille du Régiment. He has also been chosen to perform in concert with Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli and The King’s Singers Concert.

Joelene Griffith holds a Master of Philosophy from The University of Newcastle Australia where she studied thanks to a full Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship. . Her operatic roles include Cherubino--The Marriage of Figaro, Alms Sister—Suor Angelica, Belinda--Dido and Aeneas, The Queen of the Night—The Magic Flute, Fiordiligi-Cosi fan Tutte and Amina-La Sonnambula. Joelene’s oratorio performances include Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio. She has sung with the Newcastle University Chamber Choir and has been a young artist with Pacific Opera, Australia, before coming to the UK to study at the Wales International Academy of Voice.

Under the leadership of Dennis O’Neill, The Academy is internationally renowned for its high level of specialised and individual tuition, creating a new, unique, generation of vocalists and accompanists to suit the ever changing demands of this fast paced industry. Students from Wales, the UK and across the world train at the Academy, which is continually seeking to extend its reach to all who wish to study the operatic art form to a level of excellence.  

Further Information

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