Category Archives: Previous soloists

Jonathan May

Jonathan sang with the choir during its Magnificat concert in January 2003.

Jonathan May, Bass-baritone

Jonathan May was born in Windsor and educated there and at Newcastle University. He then studied singing with Ellis Keeler at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he gained several scholarships as a post-graduate and member of the Opera Course. He also participated in Masterclasses at the Britten-Pears School with Martin Isepp and John Shirley-Quirk, and studied privately with Norman Bailey.

After working with Kent Opera, Jonathan joined the Royal Opera House Chorus, remaining there for three seasons, during which time he undertook numerous small roles including Hermann Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Venetian Guide Death in Venice. Other work during that period included Escamillo Carmen for Vivaldi Concertante, Geronte Manon Lescaut for Opera South and Basilio Barber of Seville for The Opera Company.

Jonathan left the Royal Opera House Chorus in 1992 and following a Wagner Faust and Ceprano Rigoletto for Opera Northern Ireland he attended the National Opera Studio on a Royal Opera House scholarship. During his time there he also sang three roles for the Royal Opera: Commissioner Madam Butterfly, Second Prisoner Fidelio and Fiorello Barber of Seville. In past seasons he has appeared with Bath and Wessex Opera: Grenvil La Traviata and Monterone Rigoletto; English Touring Opera: Dulcamara L’Elixir d’Amore, Colline La Boheme, Bartolo Barber of Seville, Papageno The Magic Flute; Opera Northern Ireland: Zaretsky Eugene Onegin and Masetto Don Giovanni; at Garsington as Peneios Daphne and Figaro Marriage of Figaro for Mid-Wales Opera and Commendatore Don Giovanni for the Civit Hills Festival.

In 1997 Jonathan made his debut with Welsh National Opera as Zuniga in their acclaimed production of Carmen. Subsequently other roles for WNO have included Monterone Rigoletto, Gorianchikov From the House of the Dead, Mr Flint Billy Budd, Horn Un ballo in Maschera and numerous understudies. His debut with Scottish Opera as Zuniga in 1999 was followed by Angelotti Tosca and he returned to Scottish Opera for the 2002 season singing the roles of Bonze in Madam Butterfly and Samual Taylor Colerdige in the world premier of Monster, a new opera by Sally Beamish. Future plans include Traveller Curlew River for Opera National de Rouen and Polonius Hamlet and a Richard Strauss role for the Royal Opera House. Concert performances have included Pulcinella with City of London Sinfonia, Glagolitic Mass with Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Angelotti in Tosca with Bournmouth Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem at the Albert Hall with Sir David Willcocks, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s Requiem, (English Haydn Festival, Messiah in Singapore, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius (Rochester Cathedral) and Berlioz’s Messe Solennelle at Dartington, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea for Huntingdon Choral Society.

You can read further detail on Jonathan’s personal website.

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    James Oxley

    James sang with the choir during its Magnificat concert in January 2003.

    James Oxley, Bass

    James Oxley studied at the Royal College of Music, at Oxford and privately with Rudolf Piernay. In 1994, he was awarded first prize at the renowned International Vocalisten Concours at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

    He made his London debut at St John’s, Smith Square, singing Britten’s Les Illuminations. Since then, he has appeared at all the major concert halls in London, at the Symphony Hall (Birmingham) and Philharmonic Hall (Liverpool) as well as at the Three Choirs Festival. His engagements have taken him to all the major European countries, especially to France where he has worked with Philippe Herreweghe, Hervé Niquet and Christophe Rousset. In 1996 he gave performances of Britten’s War Requiem in San Sebastian and Amiens. Further afield, he has sung in Tel Aviv in concerts of Bach, in Hong Kong and Singapore, and he sang Schumann’s Dichterliebe with the pianist David Owen Norris at the Huntington Festival in Australia. Last year he made his North American debut with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco.

    James sings regularly for Opéra de Rennes, his recent roles including Antinoüs in Faure’s Penelope, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Belmonte in Seraglio and Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). He has sung in two Strauss operas at Garsington: Die Liebe der Danaë and Intermezzo and sang the role of Lucano in ENO’s acclaimed Coronation of Poppea.

    His recent engagements include Acis & Galatea for Kent Opera, Rameau’s Pygmalion at the Cheltenham Festival, a broadcast of French baroque music from the Royal Chapel at Versailles and Verdi’s Requiem at Gloucester Cathedral. This year, he will give performances of Cosi fan Tutti for Opéra de Rennes and the Britten Seranade in Limerick, Dublin, and at the Sydney Opera House.

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      Katherine Manley

      Katherine sang with the choir during its Magnificat! concert in January 2003.

      Katherine Manley, Soprano

      Born in 1979, Katherine Manley began her musical training at Leicester Arts In Education. Here she participated in various ensembles and choirs such as the Leicester Bach Choir and the Chanterelles, performing in venues including the Royal Albert hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

      For four years from 1997 she was scholar studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she was chosen as the young singer to represent the college in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary. She has appeared in master classes with Benjamin Luxon, Roger Vignoles and recently with Sarah Walker. She took part of college opera performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Bizet’s Carmen.

      Katherine is now continuing her postgraduate training on the Diploma Course at the Royal College of Music.

      As a soloist Katherine has worked with both amateur and professional performances of oratorio and as a member of the RSAMD Chamber Choir performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Forthcoming engagements include work with Opera Holland Park, and singing in Händel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and an orchestral recital in Cambridge of Britten’s Les Illuminations.

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        William Purefoy

        William sang with the choir during its Magnificat! concert in January 2003.

        William Purefoy, Countertenor

        A graduate of Magdalen College Oxford, William attended the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he received the John Clifford Pettican Award and was a finalist in the 1997 Gold Medal Competition. In 1995 he was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and a winner of the NFMS Young Concert Artists Award, and in 1997 won the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He studies with David Pollard.

        Operatic work has included Truth (The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit Barry) Almeida Opera, Coridon (Acis and Galatea Handel) New Kent Opera, Sir Philip Sydney (Angel Magick John Harle/David Pountney) Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms, Ernesto (Il Mondo Della Luna Haydn) Garsington, Ensemble Countertenor 1 (Orfeo Monteverdi) English National Opera, Arsace (Partenope Handel) Covent Garden Festival, Buxton Festival and Aldeburgh Proms, Endimion (La Calisto Cavalli) Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Orfeo (Gluck) St Endellion Festival, Ptolemy (Giulio Cesare Handel) St John’s Smith Square and Shepherd/Huntsman (Venus and Adonis Blow) Globe Theatre.

        In concert he has sung with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the King’s Consort, the New London Consort, the Musicians of the Globe, the Hanover Band, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Purcell Quartet, Concordia, La Cetra, the BBC Concert Orchestra (Friday Night Is Music Night), I Fagiolini and Cantabile. He has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and the Purcell Room as well as in Innsbruck, Graz, Passau, Brezice and Radjovlica. This year, he will be appearing in a BBC documentary about William Shakespeare.

        He has recorded Rosey Blood (Sederunt) (Terror and Magnificence, John Harle)Decca Argo, Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day and David’s Lamentation Over Saul and Jonathan (Boyce, Hanover Band) ASV Gaudeamus, Mass in G Minor (Vaughan Williams, Richard Hickox) Chandos, a Purcell recording (Orchestra of the Golden Age) Naxos and a recital for the 1998 Innsbruck Festival CD.

        For further biographical information, visit William’s personal website.

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          Benedikte Moes

          Benedikte sang with the choir during its performance of Poulenc’s Gloria in November 2002.

          Benedikte Moes, Soprano

          Benedikte Moes was born in Denmark and began her training at the age of 12, singing with the Girls’ Choir of Radio Denmark.

          A graduate and rising star from the Royal Acadamy of Music, Benedikte Moes has given concerts throughout England and Europe, worked with Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, and sung in masterclasses with Nicolai Gedda, Robert Tear, Marjorie Thomas and Paul Sperry. She has also worked intensively with Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge at the Britten-Pears School in Snape.

          In 2001 Benedikte performed the role of Mimi in Clonter Opera’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme.

          Her oratorio performances have included Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, as well as Brahms’ Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Harmony Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rutter’s Gloria and Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat. Forthcoming engagements include touring with Scottish Opera in 2003.

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            Steven Grahl

            Steven Grahl played with the choir during its performance of Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit and Poulenc’s Gloria in November 2002.

            Steven Grahl, Organ

            Steven Grahl’s musical training began as a chorister at Derby Cathedral, where he was later sixth-form organ scholar. Following a similar gap-year position at Norwich Cathedral, he won the organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, combining reading for a music degree with playing for the daily chapel services. Whilst at Oxford, Steven played for several broadcasts, directed the chamber choir Musica Beata, and also conducted concerts given by the Academical Clerks of Magdalen College. Following his Final Organ recital, Steven was awarded the Betts Organ Scholarship for further study, and graduated with a 2:1 in Music in June 2001.

            Having been Assistant Organist at St Marylebone Parish Church, Steven is now Director of Music there, where he has responsibility for the 10-voice professional choir and Rieger Organ. He combines this position with a postgraduate scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, studying the organ with David Titterington.

            In early 2002, Steven won the Limpus and Dixon prizes in his FRCO examination, and was recently awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medallion.

            Steven has played in masterclasses given by Andrea Marcon, Kei Moito, and Marie-Clarie Alain, among others, and recent recitals have included St Michael’s Cornhill, Lincoln Minster, Bath Abbey, Norwich Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral.

            Steven is much in demand as an accompanist on both the organ and the piano, and in addition to his freelance work is accompanist to The Chiltern Choir. Other interests include singing and jazz piano.

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