Category Archives: Alto

Leo Tomita

Leo, sang Alto for the Cantate Choir during it’s performance of J S Bach’s B minor mass in March 2012.

Leo Tomita, Alto

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.

Owen Willetts

Owen sang with the choir during its Handel’s Messiah concert in March 2009.

Owen Willetts, Alto

Owen began singing as a choral scholar at Lichfield Cathedral. He then went on study at the Royal Academy of Music, where he spent four years studying with Noelle Barker, Iain Leadingham and David Lowe.

Owen has worked on the concert stage with many of the leading names in historical performance, including John Elliot Gardiner, Emmanuelle Haim, Laurence Cummings, Richard Egar and Christian Curnyn. With the Irish Baroque Orchestra Owen has performed Vivaldi and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Bach’s St. John Passion.

In opera, Owen has performed the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Laurence Cummings and the Royal Academy Opera and for the Rekjavik Summer Opera; Anfinomus and Humano Fragilitata for Graham Vick and the Birmingham Opera Company, and covered the role of Pastore Uno for Emmanulle Haim in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Owen performed the role of Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto, for the Iford Festival, with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company. Owen covered the role of The Innocent in Harrison Birtwistle’s new opera The Minotaur, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and again at the ROH, the role of Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto. For the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Owen covered the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronzione di Poppea. Again with Emmanuelle Haim, he performed Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, which toured France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This Summer Owen will cover the role of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and will sing the role of Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione de Poppea for Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company.