2023 Summer Festival Artistic Directors: Joely Koos and Rachel Nicholls



Joely Koos

Joely has established herself as a versatile and compelling performer, pursuing a varied musical career as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. Joely has appeared at numerous music festivals and is committed to championing new cello works. This year she will be premiering a new work by Jeremy Sams where she sings and plays at the Whittington festival, presenting a new cello/piano work by Gianluca Castelli at the Solent music festival and featuring as soloist at central London's Fitzfest.

Appearing as principal with the English Symphony Orchestra, co-principal with the City of London Sintonia and the London Chamber Orchestra, Joely is also regularly invited as guest principal with many orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Bournemouth Symphony.

She can also be heard on many well known film soundtracks and albums and won a Grammy for her contribution on 'Back to Black’.

Joely is professor of Cello at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and teaches at Eton College. She runs her summer cello course "Cello Dynamo" and is regularly invited to give masterclasses at various schools and conservatoires and for the London Cello Society.



Rachel Nicholls 

Rachel Nicholls is now widely recognised as one of the most exciting dramatic sopranos of her generation.

Following her debut at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden/ Parsifal, she has sung a wide repertoire of baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire in opera and concert throughout the UK and Europe and beyond, including the Edinburgh Festival and BBC Proms, and forged a close relationship with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, with whom she made several recordings. Other conductors with whom she has worked include Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington, Martyn Brabbins, Richard Hickox, Ryan Wigglesworth, Valery Gergiev, Daniele Gatti and Gianandrea Noseda.

She first came to notice as a dramatic soprano with her highly acclaimed performances as Brünnhilde  for Longborough Festival Opera, culminating in complete Ring Cycles in 2013, followed by Isolde / Tristan und Isolde in 2015.  In 2013 she sang Senta / Die fliegende Hollander for Scottish Opera and in 2014 Leonore / Fidelio for the Bergen National Opera. Since then she has appeared all over the world, specialising in roles by Wagner and Richard Strauss. 

Rachel enjoys working with and mentoring young musicians. She is a regular coach at the National Opera Studio and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as working with the emerging artists at St Endellion.

Rachel has been a regular St Endellion contributor for over 20 years. At the festival she has sung everything from shepherds (Tanhäuser, Jenufa) to the Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung and Strauss's Four Last Songs. She has notably sight-read two operatic leading roles in the performances of A Midsummer Marriage (Jenifer) and The Rake’s Progress (Anne Trulove) when colleagues have been indisposed. She is absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of Joint Artistic Director for 2024 and 2025.