Saturday 9 December 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Kippington, Sevenoaks
Our next concert is on Saturday 9 December at St. Mary’s Church, Kippington, Sevenoaks. This is a Christmas concert including John Rutter’s Magnificat, and music by Poulenc, Bach, Mendelssohn and more. The Magnificat is an uplifting piece, combining many colourful styles, from sections full of lively energy to moments of peaceful reflection; and it includes the lovely setting of the old English poem ‘Of a Rose’. Robin Walker will conduct and our organist for the evening will be Riccardo Bonci.
With Vivace and The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
Director of Music: Robin Walker
Born in Cremona, Monteverdi was a composer and court musician particularly known for books of madrigals and operas. His work transitions from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque melody including pioneering techniques such as bass continuo. The Vesperis in Festis Beata Mariae Vergine, more casually known as the Vespers of 1610, was his first sacred work in nearly 30 years reflecting a blend of both styles. In scale it represents one of the most ambitious works of religious music written before Bach. It is a large, complex and ground-breaking piece noted for its brilliance and power.
Special guest soloists will perform with The Cantate Choir and we will be joined by Vivace and The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble for what promises to be a wonderful evening.
Tickets cost £15. (concessions £7.50 U18s)
For more information and a link to book tickets, go to http://www.thespacesevenoaks.co.uk/whats-on/music/
The centrepiece of our summer concert was the Solstice of Light, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Cantata for tenor, choir and organ. Its fourteen movements form a poetic history of Orkney with beautiful melodic moments and some wonderful harmony. This highly evocative piece was performed as the long light of June lasted into the evening making it a very special occasion.
We also be presented a wonderful setting of Shakespeare’s song from Cymbeline, Fear No More, by Jonas Magnussen, being performed for the first time in the UK, as well as two pieces by New Zealand composer Paul Newton-Jackson.
We were joined by special guests, tenor William Searle and organist Ian Shaw. William performed a beautiful selection of English solo songs as well as the tenor role in Solstice of Light. Ian played an organ solo during the first part of the concert as well as performing the fantastic, virtuoso solo sections in Solstice of Light.
Strawberries and drinks were at 6.30pm in the Churchyard and the concert followed at 7.00pm.
Saturday March 4th 2017 – St. Martin’s Church, Brasted.
The choir performed a capella music full of melody and luscious harmony by Mendelssohn, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten, while our special guest soloist Philippa Mo played a range of pieces for the violin.
Two of Mendelssohn’s motets for eight-part choir opened the concert. Philippa then played two pieces for violin by German Romantic composer Rheinberger; she was accompanied on the organ by Robin Walker. Britten’s Five Flower Songs followed, fascinating settings of works by poets such as Herrick and Clare. Philippa then performed a new work by Frederick Frahm Grendel’s Soliloquy. Closing the first half was Sir Edward Elgar’s famous Nimrod, arranged for choir and set to the text Lux Aeterna.
The second half was a feast of Vaughan Williams, opening with The Lark Ascending. The choir then performed the composer’s Mass in G minor for double choir and soloists, a truly great work of the English 20th century choral tradition.
With guest conductor Riccardo Bonci and organist Iestyn Evans.
Our Christmas programme will feature carols, old and new. From Wassail song to Wishart, with Bach, Vaughan Williams and Rutter, and, of course, we hope you will join with us to sing our favourite carols together!
This year we are delighted to be performing with our very special guest soloist – Matilda Lloyd on trumpet. Matilda won the brass section of the BBC Musician of the year in 2014 and made her Proms solo debut this year with the BBC Philharmonic; she has also played with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for the Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall and she has appeared on In Tune on Radio 3. She works with a variety of orchestras and she currently reads music at Trinity College, Cambridge and studies the trumpet with Mark David, Head of Brass at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She will be joining us to perform many well-known carols and she will be playing solo pieces including Bach’s Concerto in D Major after Vivaldi.
For a glorious, sparkling start to the Christmas season do come and join us!
Tickets are £15 including refreshment and are available at Sevenoaks Bookshop or online and by phone from Brown Paper Tickets on www.bpt.me and 0800 411 8881. They will also available from members of the choir.
You can register to receive e-mail updates from the home page of this website.
Bass-baritone Trevor Eliot Bowes was born in Victoria, Canada and studied at the University of Toronto and RSAMD. He made his British debut as Trulove in The Rake’s Progress at the Aldeburgh Festival where he has also performed Purcell’s King Arthur and The Faerie Queen. Trevor has performed in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Hamburg as Fedro in Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow for Early Music Russia and in Strasbourg for Le Parlement de Musique. Concert performances include the Thief in Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the RSNO, Bach Cantatas under Helmuth Rilling in Toronto and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Trevor was formerly a full-time member of Opera North, where highlights include Talbot in Maria Stuarda opposite Sarah Connolly, and the drum-maker in Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. Recent engagements include Marschallin’s Footman/Boots in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne, Castro in La Fanciulla del West at English National Opera and a recording of Balfe’s Satanella (Arimanes) under Richard Bonynge to be released on Naxos in 2016. Trevor is now a full-time member of English National Opera.
Tom Randle began early studies in conducting and composition, but a scholarship to study voice soon meant a change in career direction. He made his début with the English National Opera as Tamino in The Magic Flute and has repeated the role with great success at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Hamburg, New Zealand and the Covent Garden Festival. Well known for his vivid and committed stage portrayals and a unique ability to embrace a wide variety of repertoire, Tom has emerged as one of the most exciting and versatile artists of his generation.
This Season, Tom Randle will partake in the world premiere of Marta, a new opera written by Wolfgang Mitterer, under the baton of Clement Power at Opéra de Lille followed by Die Soldaten with the Teatro Colon. Future engagements will include Elecktra with Berlin Staatsoper (co production with Aix) followed by Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Tom Randle made his Royal Opera House début as Essex in Phyllida Lloyd’s highly acclaimed production of Gloriana, which was later released as a feature film for BBC Television. Other appearances for the Royal Opera include Johnny Inkslinger in Paul Bunyan and the Fool in Gawain. Tom Randle is very active in the field of contemporary music with several world premières to his credit, many of which were written especially for him. This includes the role of Dionysus in John Buller’s opera The Bacchae for ENO, the world première of Peter Schat’s opera Symposium for the Netherlands Opera, and the world première of John Taverner’s oratorio The Apocalypse for the BBC Proms. He also created the role of Nunez in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Country of the Blind, written for the 50th Anniversary of the Aldeburgh Festival, and premiered and recorded Penderecki’s oratorio Credo for the Oregon Bach Festival. His intense portrayal of Judas in the world première of Birtwistle’s Last Supper under Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper Berlin (as well as Glyndebourne) won him outstanding critical acclaim.
Mr Randle devotes equal time to an active concert career, singing with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The London Symphony, Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, The English Concert with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Colin Davis, Myung-Whung Chung, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, Ghennadi Rozhdestvensky, Richard Hickox, Harry Christophers, Trevor Pinnock, and Ivan Fischer. Amongst his recordings are the title role in Handel’s Samson with Harry Christophers on Collins Classics, Vaughan Williams’ A Cotswold Romance with the London Symphony Orchestra and Hickox for Chandos (both premiere recordings) and orchestral works by Luigi Nono on the EMI label. Tom also appeared as Molqui in the ground-breaking film version of John Adams’ Death of Klinghoffer for Channel 4, released on DVD, and as Monostatos in Kenneth Branagh’s The Magic Flute.
As a composer, his works have been performed in the UK, Europe and the US, including the Buxton and Presteigne Festivals, Lille Opera and the Broad Stage concert hall in Los Angeles. His latest opera ‘A telephone Call’ premieres this spring with Second Movement, and will later form part of the Tètè Opera Festival.
Francesco performed with the Cantate Choir in the Handel’s Messiah in January 2016.
Francesco Ghelardini was born in Florence and has studied Singing with Kathleen Lafferty at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini, where he also studied Recorder with David Bellugi. He attended classes in baroque performance with Rossana Bertini, Jill Feldmann, Gloria Banditelli and Christophe Rousset.
He has sung with such recognized conductors as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Phillips, Andrew Lawrence-King, Alan Curtis and has been regularly invited to many leading festivals in Italy and abroad, such as Festival Monteverdiano di Cremona, Festival Pucciniano di Torre del Lago, Festival di Spoleto, Accademia Chigiana, Auditòrio Nacional de Musica de Madrid, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Milano Classica, Barocktage Stift Melk. He has sung the main part in Alessandro Melani’s Il Sacrificio d’Abel with Concerto Italiano under conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini at the early music festival Trigonale in Klagenfurt (Austria) and in Cuenca (Spain) at the Semàna Musica Religiosa. He has sung the title role in Carissimi’s Historia di Job at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and at Festival Barocco in Viterbo. In Florence at the Teatro della Pergola he has played the role of Amore Divino in A. Scarlatti’s Trionfo della Vergine SS with the baroque orchestra Il Rossignolo and the roles of Secrecy, Mopsa and Chinese Man in Purcell’s Fairy Queen at the Teatro Goldoni with Maggio Fiorentino Baroque Orchestra. Most recently he has been Cornelia in Scarlatti’s Il Trionfo dell’Onore at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa.
His recordings, for labels like Opus111, Divox Antiqua and Tactus, include Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine for OPUS111 with Concerto Italiano and Cesti’s Le Disgrazie d’Amore for Hyperion with Auser Musici (The Courtier).
The Cantate Choir with orchestra ‘Vivace!’ and internationally renowned soloists gave a gala charity performance of this most wonderful of Oratorios to raise money for The Hospice in the Weald.
The Cantate Choir raised over £10,000 for Hospice in the Weald through it’s Gala Charity Concert on 23rd January 2016. This organisation provides the most outstanding palliative care to the terminally ill, and is heavily reliant on the generosity of the public, local businesses and organisations. Our guest of honour, Lord Sackville, introduced the concert.
The choir performed Handel’s masterpiece under the baton of Robin Walker accompanied by orchestra ‘Vivace!’ who played on period instruments. Cantate also welcomed internationally renowned soloists: soprano Gillian Keith, counter tenor Francesco Ghelardini, tenor Tom Randle and bass Trevor Eliot Bowes.
Linsay read for the choir during its A Gala Christmas concert in December 2014
Linsay trained at Aberystwyth University, earning a joint honours B.A. in English and Drama. She has participated in many amateur and semi-professional productions: plays, musicals, operas, cabarets and reviews. Highlights include Nellie Forbush in ‘South Pacific’, both Joyce Harper and Miss Gossage in different productions of ‘The Happiest Days of Your Life’ and Third Priest in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ – a professional production which she also choreographed (and understudied Caiaphas and Herod!). Linsay worked as a theatrical dresser and (briefly) wardrobe mistress at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.
Linsay has also worked in television as a Producer’s Assistant at Euston Films (productions including ‘Capital City’, ‘Selling Hitler’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon Attitudes’), P.A. to the Controller of Drama at London Weekend Television and a Drama Script Editor at the BBC (‘Silent Witness’ series 2 and ‘The Hello Girls’). She re-trained after having her two children and is now a primary school teacher who dabbles in voice-over work, when the opportunity arises.
Lawrence read for the choir during its A Gala Christmas concert in December 2014
Lawrence trained at Guildford School of Acting graduating in 1983. While working in Theatre and television, he was offered a job at Tonbridge School in 1989 as an Actor in Residence and this was to be the start of his longest run.
He continued to work as an Actor for the first few years whilst visiting Tonbridge to work with pupils and staff on a wide range of projects ranging from House Plays, GCSE and A Level performance work as well as major school productions. Eventually, having been asked to join the school as Head of Drama, Lawrence settled into the role of a school master and has been at Tonbridge ever since.
Theatre work includes: John Bull, Bristol Old Vic; Candida, Redgrave Theatre Farnham; Hay Fever, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford; Oklahoma!, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford; Married Love, Wyndhams Theatre West End.
Television includes: Selling Hitler, ITV; The Camomile Lawn, C4; Kavanagh QC, ITV. Voice over work includes Dick and Dom Diddy Movies! and The Slammer both for CBBC.
Mardi Brass performed with the choir in their Christmas concert in December 2014
Mardi Brass is a versatile and dynamic brass quintet which performs music in a plethora of musical styles spanning six centuries. Since its founding in 1992, the group has performed throughout Britain, thrilling audiences with its blend of music and humour.
Mardi Brass has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and made an appearance on BBC2’s Edinburgh Nights, playing for the Perrier Comedy Award presentation. Other broadcasts have included In Tune on BBC Radio 3, a cameo appearance on BBC1’s Panorama and numerous features on local radio stations. In 1993 Mardi Brass took part in ClassicFM’s first birthday celebrations. The group has performed at prestigious venues such as the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank and has undertaken several tours of Britain and the Channel Islands.
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts joined the Cantate Choir for its Spem in Alium concert in March 2014
Patron: Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Having celebrated its 30th birthday in 2012, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts (“the pre-eminent group of its kind” born 1982) continues in the same spirit as always: aiming to bring the sound of its noble instruments, through pan-European repertoire from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 21st century, attracting new audiences via recordings, radio, television and (best of the lot!) live performance.
The group’s illustrious-sounding name is taken from Matthew Locke’s “five-part things for His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts” that were probably played during the coronation celebrations for King Charles II in 1661. Essentially a recital group comprising two cornetts, three sagbutts and chamber organ/harpsichord, HMSC often joins with singers and string players, and is frequently asked to take part in projects with choirs: Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, the BBC Singers, Ex Cathedra, the choirs of Trinity, King’s and St John’s Colleges, Cambridge, as well as those of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals, London.
Activities over the group’s thiry year history have been diverse, ranging from sound and vision recordings for the BBC comedy The Two Ronnies, to appearances in the Salzburg Festival, St. Mark’s, Venice, the Sydney Opera House and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.
Individual members of HMSC teach at conservatoires and universities throughout the UK and Europe and the group is often invited to give masterclasses and workshops as a part of its educational activities.
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts has more than twenty recordings to its credit, among them A Bach Album (Hyperion) which was honoured “recording of the year” in Gramophone Magazine, December 2002; and 2007 marked the launch of the group’s own recording label, sfzmusic. HMSC’s first recording with this new and exciting label, to most encouraging critical acclaim, was the complete instrumental works of Giovanni Battista Grillo; The Twelve Days of Christmas, Buccaneer, an Anglo-Spanish celebration, and Canzone per sonare, a collection of music by Giovanni Gabrieli and his contemporaries, have since followed. For His Majestys Pleasure, a 65 minute opera without words by the English composer Martyn Harry, was released in 2012.
In 2012 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts celebrated the life and inspirational work of Giovanni Gabrieli (died 1612) in a unique collaboration with Concerto Palatino and Ex Cathedra. This was marked with a new recording on Hyperion as well as performances in England and Germany and at the Edinburgh International Festival.
As a true and lasting celebration of HMSC’s first 30 years, For His Majestys Pleasure is the group’s first ever commission from a living composer, made possible by funding from the Performing Rights Society (UK). University of Oxford-based composer, Martyn Harry, has written this full-length work (c.65 minutes) for the group and playing it is, to quote founder member Jeremy West, “the most exciting single project that His Majestys has undertaken in its 30 year history”.
Ian Shaw studied at Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar of St John’s College. He was also a John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam and at Goldsmiths College in London. He has been Sub-Organist at Durham Cathedral and Director of Music at St Peter’s, Eaton Square.
As a pianist, he has worked with many companies including Opera North, Northern Ballet Theatre, English National Opera, BBC SSO and Scotish Opera, where he was responsible for eleven national tours. He has been repetiteur for Music Theatre Wales, whose production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek won the 2011 Theatre Award UK for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
Recent compositions include a song cycle for Rebecca Bottone, A Breath of Nothing, and a commission for Magdalen College, Oxford. His work has been described as ‘redoubtable’ by The Scotsman and ‘sometimes amusing’ by the Dean or Durham.
As a chorister at Sheffield Cathedral, Jemima Stephenson developed a fascination with the organ in choral accompaniment, the liturgy and solo performance. Now 23, Jemima is Assistant Director of Music and Sir George Thalben-Ball Memorial Organ Scholar at St Michael’s Cornhill whilst undertaking postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. This follows two years as Organ Scholar of Peterborough Cathedral, and three as an Organ Scholar at Queens’ College Cambridge.
Jemima currently studies organ with Susan Landale, having previously been a pupil of William Whitehead and David Sanger, and won prizes in both the Fellowship and Associateship diploma exams of the Royal College of Organists.
When not immersed in music, Jemima enjoys good food, good wine and taking other people’s dogs for walks.
Originally from west Wales, Iestyn was organ scholar of St Davids Cathedral before going up to The Queen’s College, Oxford where he read music. After graduating he was appointed Organ Scholar of Westminster Cathedral and subsequently of Westminster Abbey whilst completing a postgraduate performance course at the Royal Academy of Music.
Iestyn is now Assistant Director of Music at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Kensington and Organist of St Etheldreda’s Church, Ely Place and in January will be moving to St James’s Church, Spanish Place. He is also conductor of the Hill Singers Chamber Choir in Wimbledon.
Amongst his more eccentric performances was a complete cycle of the organ work of J.S. Bach within twenty four hours last year when he raised over £6,000 towards a school tour to America.
Alistair Ollerenshaw baritone is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Mark Wildman and Iain Ledingham, having previously studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he won the Schubert Prize and at the University of Leeds, during which he spent a year at the Franz Liszt Hochschule in Weimar.
Whilst at the Royal Academy, Alistair has taken part in public and private masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen, Dennis O’Neill CBE, Brindley Sherratt and Malcolm Martineau. He was a finalist in the prestigious Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award in 2011 and has performed the roles of Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda, Le Podestat in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle and the Lawyer in Williamson’s The Growing Castle in opera scenes as well as covering the role of Peachum in the Royal Academy Opera’s production of Kurt Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper.
Alistair performs extensively on the concert platform across the UK. His recent performances include Handel’s Messiah with the Manchester Camerata, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Brandenburg Sinfonia at St Martin in the Fields and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the London Symphony Chorus. Other repertoire includes Bach’s St John Passion, Monteverdi Vespers, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Rossini’s Petite Messe Sollenelle. Future engagements include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem for Birmingham Bach Choir under Paul Spicer and Mendelssohn’s Elijah for the Amersham Music Festival.
On the opera stage, Alistair has sung the roles of Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Leeds University), Pollux in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (The Yorke Trust) in addition to Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Father in Humperdink’s Hänsel and Gretel, Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Il Conte Robinson in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto and Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème (Royal Northern College of Music). In July he will be performing the role of Figaro in Winterbourne Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
Alistair is very grateful to be supported by The Josephine Baker Trust, Norman McCann Scholarship and the Royal Academy of Music.
Edward Ballard is currently on the Preparatory Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Glenville Hargreaves and Audrey Hyland. Born in London, Ed began singing as a Chorister at the Temple Church. He was subsequently a Choral Scholar in Clare College Choir and King’s College Choir in Cambridge.
Winner of the Marjorie Thomas Art of Song Prize, Ed is a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music Song Circle and performs as a soloist in the acclaimed Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series. He holds a Maidment Scholarship administered by the Musician’s Benevolent Fund, a Clumber Music Studio Scholarship administered by the Royal Academy of Music and is generously supported by The Kathleen Trust, The John Wates Charitable Trust, The Josephine Baker Trust and Christopher Ball.
Operatic roles include Count Almaviva, Guglielmo, Demetrius, Aeneas, Death in Holst’s Savitri and John the Butcher in Vaughan William’s Hugh the Drover. In summer 2012 he covered the lead role, Chao Lin, for British Youth Opera’s production of Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera and in summer 2013 he will be joining the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus for their production of Billy Budd. In concert, Ed has appeared with the Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of St Paul’s in St John’s, Smith Square, with the Orchestra of St John in King’s Place, with the Brandenburg Sinfonia in St James’ Piccadilly and with King’s College Choir in Chester Cathedral.
In Autumn 2013 Ed will take up a full scholarship to the Royal College of Music International Opera School, studying with Russell Smythe.
Iain was born in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and it is somewhat of a miracle that he is a singer at all. He was born with a congenital disorder resulting in under-developed larynx muscles – a rather useful set of muscles when it comes to singing. No one would have predicted that 26 years later he would have debuted on the opera stage, as Tito in Mozart’s Clemenza Di Tito for Hampstead Garden Opera and would now be studying on the prestigious Royal Academy Opera Course. Iain also recently graduated with distinction in his MA from the Academy and was awarded the Sir Thomas Armstrong Prize, and the Gabrowsky Connell Prize for outstanding performance.
Iain’s main experience lies in choral music, having been a Cathedral Lay Clerk at Aberdeen, Norwich, Wells and Christ Church Oxford. During his 12 years as part of the choral tradition he enjoyed going on tour to Norway, Malta, Germany, USA and South Africa. He also featured as a soloist with Wells Cathedral Choir on recordings of Kenneth Leighton’s World’s Desire and David Bednall’s Flame Celestial.
Becoming increasingly more in demand as an oratorio soloist, Iain has sung for many choirs and choral societies across the UK and Europe. Recent highlights include Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Handel’s The Messiah in Hamburg and Haydn’s Creation in Aberdeen Music Hall.
Iain is very proud of his Scottish roots and of his hugely supportive family, venturing home to do concerts as much as he can. He is also very proud to be studying with fellow Aberdeenshire tenor Dr Neil Mackie and fellow Scot Audrey Hyland.
Iain is currently supported by the Michael James Music Trust, Josephine Baker Trust, The Robertson Trust, The Sir James Caird Trust, The Royal Society of Musicians and The Alan and Jette Parker Scholarship.
Sofia Larsson graduated with a first-class honours degree in Music from King’s College London in 2009 and completed the ENO Opera Works training programme in 2011. She currently holds the Draper’s Baroness de Turckheim vocal scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is on the preparatory opera course in her second year of an MA in vocal performance, studying with Philip Doghan and Audrey Hyland. Sofia is a member of Song Circle, with whom she recently performed at the Oxford Lieder Festival. Last year she won the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize and was awarded the Andrew Sykes Prize.
Operatic roles include Susanna (Marriage of Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Marzelline (Fidelio), Angelica (Orlando), Romilda (Xerxes) and Carolina (Il Matrimonio Segreto). Sofia regularly performs as a recitalist and oratorio soloist. Future concerts include the Bach Magnificat and Schubert Mass in G with the English Baroque Choir at St. John’s Smith Square and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Southern Sinfonia.
Sofia is very grateful to be supported by the Maaike McInnes Charitable Trust, the Cosman Keller Art and Music Trust, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Josephine Baker Trust.
Hazel Brooks read languages at Clare College, Cambridge. After graduation she studied violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she won various prizes including the Christopher Kite Memorial Prize and the Bankers Trust Pyramid Award, and she was a finalist in the international competitions in York and Antwerp.
As a baroque and classical violinist, Hazel works as a chamber recitalist as well as playing with some of the leading period-instrument orchestras. Recital venues have included the South Bank Centre in London and the Barcelona Early Music Festival. She has released a solo CD with harpsichordist David Pollock.
Also a medieval specialist, Hazel is in demand as a vielle (medieval fiddle) player throughout Europe and America. She is currently involved in an exciting project combining Western and Moroccan musicians in an attempt to recreate the music of medieval Spain.
Rose Setten, mezzo-soprano, is currently studying on the Masters course at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ritchie and Iain Leddingham. In 2010, Rose graduated with a 1st class BMus(Hons) degree from the Royal Northern College of Music, where she studied with Thomas Schulze. During her time at the RNCM, Rose took chorus roles in Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. She has also performed the roles of the Bridesmaid in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and The Bat in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges. In RNCM Opera Scenes, Rose has sung the roles of Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lady Dunmow in Berkley’s A Dinner Engagement and Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.
In 2004, Rose won the title of BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year and has appeared as a soloist on BBC television and radio, including Songs of Praise and the Daily Service. Since studying at RAM, Rose has performed in RAM Opera Scenes, including the role of Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto and Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring. Other appearances include recitals at the Garrick Club and solo performances at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, St. Martin in the Field’s and the Sage Centre, Gateshead.
Rose is looking forward to working at Opera Holland Park this summer and commencing her studies on the Opera Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September. Rose is very grateful to The Josephine Baker Trust and to Gordon Hine and the Sussex Opera and Ballet Society for supporting her studies.
Riccardo Bonci, who played the organ for the Cantate Choir’s O Magnum Mysterium concert in December 2008.
Born in Terni, Italy, Riccardo graduated in Piano (1997) and Organ (2002) from the Conservatoires of Terni and Perugia, having studied with F. Mastroianni, M.T. Gregorini, C. Brizi and W. Van de Pol. He also trained as Repetiteur and was awarded an European Diploma by the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto.
Riccardo has attended several masterclasses and seminars with some of the world’s most distinguished musicians (A. Delle Vigne, G. Leonhardt, J. Van Oortmerssen, L. Lohmann, D. Titterington, N. Kynaston, H. Deutsch, D. Chorzempa, D. Ponsford, J. O’Donnell, S.-V. Chaucefer-Choplin, R. Börger).
Riccardo graduated from the Postgraduate in Performance Organ course at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Distinction and also the award of DipRAM for the outstanding final recital, studying with D. Titterington and S. Landale. The Royal Academy of Music awarded him the PIDEM Organ Fellowship for the academic year 2005-2006.
Riccardo is currently Assistant Organist at St. Barnabas’ Church, Dulwich, and Choir Director at Alleyn’s Junior School.
Alice Rose Privett graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011 with the Concert Recital Diploma; her operatic roles include Poppea L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Longborough Festival Opera Young Artists), Belinda Dido and Anaeus (Ad Parnassum, Venice), and First Bridesmaid/cover of Susanna Nozze di Figaro (BYO). During her undergraduate course at the GSMD she has had the benefit of working with Elijah Moshinsky, Sarah Walker, Eugene Asti and Iain Burnside (in the premiere of his play Unknown Doors in the Barbican Pit Theatre). She has also participated in masterclasses with Rudolph Piernay in Salzburg, Edith Wiens at GSMD and Joan Dornemann at the IVAI programme (Tel Aviv). Alice is a keen recitalist, and after taking part in a recital of Messiaen’s complete songs at The Forge in London was awarded the Tracey Chadwell Memorial Prize for work in contemporary song. In competition she has won the first prize in the Susan Longfield Award (2011) and in the Royal Overseas League (2011) with the ensemble ‘Cries of London’. Upcoming roles this year include Papagena/ cover of Pamina (Longborough Festival Opera) and Pamina (The Complete Singer). She currently studies with Lillian Watson and Jonathan Papp at the RAM.
As a former Lichfield Cathedral chorister, Tim Lawrence was introduced to classical singing at a very early age which has helped him to develop into a fine singing musician. After being awarded a music scholarship at King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, he achieved his LLCM Diploma in singing performance under the guidance of Coral Gould and was subsequently awarded an Open Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London where he currently studies with Dr. Neil Mackie CBE, and coaches with Iain Ledingham.
Tim is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most promising young tenors of his generation, with an increasingly busy concert schedule in the oratorio and recital circuit. Recent solo performances have included Bach’s Magnificat, B Minor Mass, St. Matthew and St. John Passions and Christmas Oratorio, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Jephtha, Samson and Saul, and Stanford’s Requiem. Highlights have included Haydn’s Nelson Mass with David Hill and The Bach Choir as well as Kenneth Leighton’s Columba Mea, under Paul Spicer, both performances at St. John’s Smith Square in London.
In 2011, Tim was accepted onto the Genesis Sixteen scheme, a training programme run by The Sixteen and Harry Christophers which aims to nurture the next generation of talented young voices.
Tim is generously supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, the John Taylor Memorial Trust Fund and the Adah Rogalsky Scholarship fund.
Kathryn Walker, a music graduate from the University of Birmingham, is studying voice with Elizabeth Ritchie at the Royal Academy of Music. Opera roles include Tormentilla (The Poisoned Kiss/Vaughan Williams), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus/Strauss) for University of Birmingham Summer Festival Opera, Juno (Semele/Handel) for Hampstead Garden Opera. She is currently working of the role of the Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte/Mozart) with Royal Academy Opera and cover Bircenna (Cajo Fabricio/Hasse) with Ensemble Serse. Kathryn was described as “…a powerful talent to watch. Wonderfully even throughout, her singing has particularly rich lower tones, and she has a highly impressive stage-persona” (Christopher Morley, Opera Magazine) for her performance as Tormentilla. Kathryn is also a member of Song Circle at the Royal Academy of Music, and she is grateful for the support if the Josephine Baker and the Lucille Graham trusts.
Leo is a countertenor with performing experience including baroque oratorio, 19th century German lied and contemporary opera. He read Chemical Engineering with an Organ Scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and then held the position of Lay Clerk at St John’s College, Cambridge. Leo is currently studying with Michael Chance, Elizabeth Ritchie and Iain Ledingham on the MA course, where he is a soloist for the Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series and is a member of Song Circle. He is grateful to be supported by the Countess of Munster Trust, the St John’s College Choir Association and the Josephine Baker Trust.
Leo has formed a duo with pianist Cecily Lock, with whom he won the 2011 Sir Arthur Bliss prize with a programme of songs by Bliss, Britten and Anthony Powers. Leo and Cecily are keen on performing contemporary song cycles and recently performed Anthony Powers’ High Windows in Oxford and in the Major Van Someren-Godfery Prize 2011 (Commended). In other competitions, Leo was runner-up in the 2010 Blyth-Buesst operatic prize, a semi-finalist in the London Bach Society’s Singers Prize 2010 and a semi-finalist in the singer’s section of the Royal Overseas League Arts music competition 2012.
Leo has performed in venues including St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Ely Cathedral, with instrument ensembles including the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Brandenburg Sinfonia. His performed concert works include Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion, Himmelfahrts-Oratorium BWV 11 and Magnificat BWV 243 and various Cantatas, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Mozart’s Requiem, Purcell’s Come ye sons of art, Pergolesi’s Magnificat and Stabat Mater, Greene’s Ode to St Cecelia, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Orff’s Carmina Burana.
In operatic roles, Leo has sung the role of Boss in Kim Ashton’s chamber opera The boy, the forest and the desert and excerpts in the title role of Handel’s Flavio, Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda, Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight.
Nicholas, played organ for the Cantate Choir during it’s performance of Durufle’s Requiem in November 2011.
Nicholas O’Neill was born in Cheltenham in 1970, and currently lives in London, where he works as a composer and musician. In 1992 he was unanimously awarded first prize in the Norwich Festival Composition Competition. He won the Gregynog Young Composers’ Award in 1993, shared the Barbara Johnstone Composition Prize in 1995, and has been shortlisted for the Cornelius Cardew, Purcell, Oare String Orchestra, William Mathias and Vocalis composition awards. His music has been performed at the Leeds Festival of Contemporary Music, the Norwich and London Festivals of Contemporary Church Music and broadcast on Classic FM. He has recently been awarded the American Guild of Organists-Marilyn Mason Award 2012 for his Festive Voluntary.
Formerly head of Musical Techniques at Trinity College of Music, Organist to Brighton College and St. George’s RC Cathedral, Southwark, he is Associate Music Director of the Occam Singers, Chorus Master of the Parliament Choir and the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, President of Cantores Salicium and Associate Director of Music at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington. He also lectures for Birkbeck, University of London. Nick is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Saint Cecilia, on whose advisory panel he sits. He is also the Academy’s first Composer in Residence and has recently been appointed to the same post with the Parliament Choir.
By night Nick is keyboardist with rock band JEBO, who released their second album, Settle Up Or Settle Down last year. This and their critically acclaimed first album Sinking Without You are available from iTunes and Amazon.
James was born in Newport, South Wales and studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. He is currently studying with Cathy Pope and Robert Lloyd.
James made his English National Opera debut performing Lord Krishna/Parsi Rustomji Satyagraha by Philip Glass and joined the ENO Young Singers Programme for the 2007/2008 season. His roles have included Mercury/Lictor/3rd Seneca Friend L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Bogdanowitsch The Merry Widow, Notary Der Rosenkavalier, Ormonte Partenope, Nikitich Boris Godunov, Speaker Die Zauberflöte, Ceprano Rigoletto and Sciarrone Tosca. As an associate artist with Welsh National Opera, James performed Un Moine Don Carlos and Second Armed Man Die Zauberflöte. For Glyndebourne Festival Opera he performed Pinellino Gianni Schicchi, (broadcast on BBC TV and performed at the Proms) and Erster Priester/Zweiter geharnischter Mann Die Zauberflöte. For Glyndebourne on Tour he sang Doctor Pelléas et Mélisande and Doctor Grenvil La Traviata. Other roles include Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor and Seneca L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Iford Festival, Colline La Bohème for Opera Theatre Company, High Priest in Dvorák’s Vanda for University College Opera, Bartolo/Antonio Le Nozze di Figaro for the Classical Opera Company and Leporello Don Giovanni, Cambridge Touring Opera.
Recent concert engagements include Messiah with the RSNO and Christus St John Passion at Bath Abbey. Engagements outside the UK have included Israel in Egypt, Pagano I Lombardi and Silva Ernani at Dortmund’s Konzerthaus.
Suzanna was born in Essex, and began study as a scientist, gaining first a degree in Biology from Kings College, London and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Science. In 1993 she went to study at the Royal Academy of Music and graduated in 1996 with a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Voice. For the past 15 years, she has worked as a freelance Soprano. Oratorio repertoire includes Dyson Hierusalem, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate and Rutter Requiem with the London Choral Society directed by Ronald Corp. She has also sung the dramatic oratorio role of the Virgin Mary, in Honneger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, with the Crouch End Festival Chorus, directed by David Temple. Operatic roles include Ludmilla in Smetena’s Bartered Bride, for Almaviva Opera and Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas on tour in Catalonia, directed by Nigel Rogers.
Suzanna has been the featured artist with the North London Philharmonia directed by Ronald Rappoport, with whom she performed six Richard Strauss Orchestral Songs.
She has sung in masterclasses for Nicolai Gedda, Robert Tear, Jill Gomez, Valerie Masterson and Nigel Rogers.
She has given many recitals and concert tours for the Council for Music in Hospitals throughout England, working regularly with Accordionist, Janet Beale.
Suzanna sings regularly with the Alexander Marks String Quartet in Merseyside, Lancashire, and has recently performed as guest artist with Occassional Strings. She gives regular song recitals in Hertfordshire.
a Sevenoaks-based choral group seeking to achieve the highest possible standards of performance from the sung repertoire