GABRIELLA DI LACCIO - SOPRANO
Winner of the “ Air Europa Classical Act of the Year Award 2013”, Gabriella Di Laccio enjoys an international career that spans the genres of opera, oratorio and chamber music.
Especially known for her virtuoso voice and much sought after in Baroque music she is also a devoted recitalist, researcher and a regular performer of Contemporary music and less well-known repertoire by South American composers.
Highly praised as a performer, Gabriella is recognised for bringing great intensity to her performances, introducing new and old repertoire with great expression and charisma. She has appeared on a number of major concerts platforms including Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, Banqueting House, Whitehall, Megaron Opera House (Athens) and Théâtre des Variétés (Monaco) amongst others. On the operatic and concert stage she has performed with conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras, Jean Claude Malgoire, Laurence Cummings, Rodolfo Richter as well as collaborating with Amaryllis Consort, Florilegium, Il Festino, Concerto Strumentale, Musica Antiqua Clio, Ensemble Di Profundis and Baroque Orchestra of Mercosur.
Gabriella was born in Brazil and shares both Italian and Brazilian nacionalities. She graduated in Brazil and continued her studies at the Royal College of Music, London, where she was also granted Peter Pears and Richard III Prize.
JAMES AKERS - GUITAR
James Akers was born in Scotland and as a child began playing rock and blues guitar before attempting jazz and finally settling on classical music. Largely self-taught, before entering higher education, he studied guitar and began playing the lute with Rob MacKillop at Napier University before transferring to the Royal College of Music with Jakob Lindberg.
Following a Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music, James began a varied career as a soloist, accompanist, continuo player, session and theatre musician. He has performed with leading artists and ensembles including:Alison Balsom, Dame Emma Kirkby, I Fagiolini, Fretwork, the Dunedin Consort, The Scottish, English and Irish Chamber Orchestras.Major opera companies: English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Innsbruck Festival Opera and ventured into indie rock fusion with Damon Albarn.
He has performed on several film and television soundtracks and numerous theatrical stages, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
James has released two solo recordings, the most recent being, The Soldier’s Return, a collection of 19th century guitar music inspired by Scotland and given recitals throughout Europe of lute and early guitar music. Jamie is a lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.