Marienella Phillips & Sarah Vella

Marienella Phillips & Sarah Vella - Voice & Piano Duo

Mezzo-soprano Marienella Phillips studies at the RWCMD David Seligman Opera School and is taught by Anne Mason. In 2018 she graduated from RWCMD with a Master’s in Music Performance and in 2016 from the University of Bristol with both a Bachelor’s (Hons) and Master’s degrees in Music. There she specialised in Musicology and Electronic Composition while studying vocally with Angela Hickey and Patricia Rozario OBE.

Starting in musical theatre and choral music, it was at university where Marienella found opera through Bristol Operatic Society. She directed their 2015 production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and has been dedicated to the art form since. She has sung with the Welsh National Youth Opera and soon after moving to Cardiff received a Choral Scholarship from the BBC National Chorus of Wales with whom she has performed in various locations around Wales including St David’s Hall and live on BBC Radio 3.

Operatic roles include Second Boy (The Magic Flute, RWCMD) and Prince Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus, Opera’r Ddraig). With a strong interest in contemporary works, she originated the roles of Strength and Love in Arcana: Part One and Part Two with Little Rooms Productions, Bristol. In 2019, her roles will include Nancy Waters (Albert Herring, RWCMD), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro, Somerset Opera) and Mrs Charlton (Dead Man Walking, Welsh National Opera).

On the concert platform, Marienella performs regularly as a guest soloist for various choirs as well as solo recitalist. Her concert repertoire has featured Schubert’s Der hirt auf dem felsen, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, Granados’ Canciones Amatorias and Britten’s On this Isle. She also enjoys performing different genres including musical theatre and jazz.

Marienella is grateful for the support of the Jenkins Phillips Scholarship, The Leverhulme Trust and private donors.

Pianist and repetiteur Sarah Vella started studying piano with Dr. Charlene Farrugia (LRAM) under whose tutorship she obtained her LLCM and LRSM Diplomas. Sarah has given various solo and chamber recitals/performances in several distinguished venues, including Robert Sammut Hall, St. James Cavalier, Sala Isouard, Palazzo De la Salle, Palazzo Pereira, Villa Bologna, residence of the Italian Embassy, Complesso S. Pietro in Gubbio (Italy) among others.

During the 11th edition of the International Spring Orchestra Festival (ISOF), Sarah was appointed as repetiteur for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) Chorus in preparation for ‘Beethoven’s 9th symphony.’ Since then, Sarah has acted as a repetiteur for several other MPO and Malta Youth Orchestra (MYO) productions, notably MYO’s ‘Opera Antagonisti,’ held as part of the Ziguzajg Festival. She has also performed with the MPO in a number of concerts, playing the celesta/ keyboard. Sarah is currently also a member of the MYO.

Sarah has participated in masterclasses by well-known pianists, including Franco Fodera, Yuri Didenko, Roland Conil, Veronique Conil, Jean Dubé, Vincenzo Balzani and Patrizia Gallo.

Sarah is currently studying for a two-year Master’s degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, under the tutorship of Professor Michael Young. She is grateful for the support of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, the Janatha Stubbs Foundation and is also a recipient the Malta Arts Scholarship and a scholarship from the RWCMD.

Download a sample repertoire list and see them perform together on YouTube.