Harriet Astbury

Soloists, Soprano

Harriet Astbury: SopranoHarriet Astbury graduated from the University of Huddersfield with First Class Honours in Music and was awarded the Music Department Singing Prize. Harriet is a former member and soloist of the internationally renowned Cantamus Girls’ Choir and pupil of Pamela Cook MBE. During her 10 years as a member of the choir, Harriet performed extensively in Europe and Asia participating in international concerts and competitions. Some of these include the Maasmechelen Music Festival in Belgium, European Choir Games in Austria and The Voyage of Song competition in Malaysia and Singapore. She has also performed with the choir at St David’s Hall, Cardiff and at the BBC Proms at The Royal Albert Hall.

As part of a small ensemble, Harriet has performed operatic scenes of Mozart, Verdi and Bizet and was featured as a soloist on a broadcast for BBC Radio 3 as part of the University of Huddersfield Chamber Choir. She also holds the Michael Peake award for Outstanding Oratorio Performance. Harriet’s recent solo performances include Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Little Organ and Maria Theresa Masses. Past performances include the works of Finzi, Faure, Britten and Mozart.

Vanessa Bowers

Soloists, Soprano

Soprano Vanessa Bowers graduated with an MA with distinction in Opera Performance, at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff in 2013, having previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music and ENO’s Opera Works.  She recently sang the role of Tiny in Britten’s Paul Bunyan for Welsh National Youth Opera, for which she received critical acclaim.

Other recent roles include: Susanna, Galatea (Winterbourne Opera), Frasquita (St Magnus Festival) and Female Chorus (RWCMD). Future performances include the title role of Snegurochka by Rimsky Korsakov for UCOpera and Chorus with Garsington Opera Festival.

Philippa Boyle

Soloists, Soprano

Philippa Boyle trained in Rome, at Conservatorio “Santa Cecilia”, graduating with full marks and distinction, and Santa Cecilia Opera Studio (Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia), where she studied with world-renowned soprano Renata Scotto.  Prior to her studies in Italy, Philippa read Classics at Clare College, Cambridge, where she was a choral scholar.

Winner of the Emmy Destinn Young Singer Award for Czech opera and song, Philippa has performed at Aix-en-Provence Festival, Beijing Music Festival, Munich Opera Festival and Innsbruck Early Music Festival.

Opera roles include Tosca for King’s Head Theatre; Cathleen, Vaughan Williams Riders to the Sea (Wexford Festival Opera); cover Cockerel, Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen, semi-chorus, Brett Dean Hamlet (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Alice Ford, Verdi Falstaff;  Donna Anna, Don Giovanni; Giorgetta, Puccini Il Tabarro, Giunone, Cavalli La Calisto.

Oratorio engagements include Verdi Requiem (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Leeds Town Hall; King’s College, Cambridge; Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford; Southwark Cathedral, Fulda Cathedral, Germany); Beethoven Missa Solemnis (Snape Maltings, St Albans Cathedral); Britten War Requiem (Oxford Town Hall); Handel Messiah (York Minster; Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada, Spain). 

Abigail Broughton

Soloists, Soprano

Abigail BroughtonAbigail was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield and began singing when she was six. She attended the Minster School in Southwell and also became a principal soloist in the Cantamus Girls’ Choir before winning the title of Nottingham Young Musician of the year in 2009. Since then, she has continued to scale new heights. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2015 with a First-Class Honours degree and is currently enrolled on the Master of Arts course. Equally at home on the stage or in the recital room, Abigail is developing an impressive career at home and abroad. She made her Aldeburgh Festival debut in 2014 and has performed in a number of concert venues in the UK.  Last year she undertook a tour of concerts in Boston, New York, Leipzig and London in collaboration with the Juilliard School under the baton of Masaaki Suzuki.

Roger Bryan

Organist, Soloists

Roger Bryan, who lives and works in Newark, has had a distinguished career as a recitalist at home and abroad, performing with many leading orchestras. He has made an enormous contribution to musical life in the region. From 1992 until 2009, Roger was Master of the Song School at Newark. He was also for several years Musical Director of the Lincoln Chorale, Lincolnshire’s well-established chamber orchestra. He is currently Musical Director of Newark Choral Society and also of the Trent Chamber Academy, based on Newark’s internationally famous School of Violin Making. He was for many years the accompanist to the Bingham and District Choral Society, retiring from that role last year. Roger also has a considerable reputation as a choir trainer, conductor and teacher.

Colin Campbell

Baritone, Soloists

Colin Campbell is an established concert soloist and has appeared throughout the UK, in Europe, the U.S.A. and the Far East, in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Tavener.

International concert performances include the arias in Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions with Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert; Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Tampere, Finland and in Beijing, China (Chinese Premiere); Bach’s B Minor Mass in Japan and Korea with Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Beethoven’s Leonore at the Lincoln Center New York, the Salzburg Festival and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, also with Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem in Shanghai; and Marcel Dupré’s cantata De Profundis in Munich with the Bayerische Rundfunk and Marcello Viotti;

In the UK he has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Choir of King’s College Cambridge in Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. At the Queen Elizabeth Hall Colin has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and the City of London Sinfonia in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem.  At Westminster Cathedral he has appeared with the Bach Choir and the English Chamber Orchestra in Fauré’s Requiem and has performed Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Colin’s operatic repertoire is extensive and he has performed with Kent Opera, English Touring Opera, Welsh National Opera, Aix en Provence Festival, Bermuda Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

 

Stephen Cooper

Baritone, Soloists

Stephen Cooper: BaritoneStephen began his singing career as a choirboy, finishing runner-up in the national Choirboy of the Year Awards in 1978. His adult solo performances have included the title roles in Elijah and Eugene Onegin, and past recitals have included Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin at the Leicestershire Literature Festival. He has also commissioned a song/duet cycle setting of A Village Romeo and Juliet, with words by Radio 4’s Nigel Forde and music by Suffolk composer Jack Hawes. The first performances were given with soprano Caroline Palmer in 1993.

Stephen has been a member of Nottingham Bach Choir, conducted by Paul Hale, since 2001, and frequently takes solo roles in their concerts, including Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, performed at Southwell Minster in March 2012, and baritone soloist in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem in June 2013. Stephen is an Auxiliary Lay Clerk at Southwell Minster, and has joined the Minster Chorale as a soloist on a number of occasions, including Vaughan Williams’ Mystical Songs in 2014. In July 2016 Stephen will be accompanied by his father John in a Friday lunchtime recital at the Minster, which will include songs by George Butterworth, who died at The Somme in August 1916.

Richard Dowling

Soloists, Tenor

Richard Dowling is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music’s Opera Course, where he was privileged to perform the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and as a soloist in the Academy’s complete Bach cantatas series. He is now supported by Opera Prelude and regularly appears in their concerts and lectures.

He sang the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s ‘Cosi fan tutte’ with West Green Opera and, working with the inspirational Graham Vick, performed the role of the Sailor in Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’. He has sung the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s ‘Elisir d’amore’ with Jackdaws OperaPLUS. He has been a regular with Garsington Opera and amongst other roles performed as the Glassmaker in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ conducted by Steuart Bedford. He also sang the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ as a young artist with Mid Wales Opera.

He is also an experienced oratorio artist, engagements including Britten’s ‘Ballad of Heroes’ and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ in the Bridgewater Hall, Finzi’s ‘Dies Natalis’ in Brentwood Cathedral, Janacek’s ‘Otcenas’ in Gorton Monastery and the ‘Messiah’ in Lincoln Cathedral.

Marcus Farnsworth

Baritone, Soloists

Marcus Farnsworth: BaritoneMarcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition and has appeared in recital at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, La Monnaie, Brussels with Julius Drake; on a UK tour of Schubert Winterreise with James Baillieu; for Leeds Lieder with Graham Johnson and at Opéra de Lille with Simon Lepper. He has appeared many times at the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake and Graham Johnson, the Myrthen Ensemble and Joseph Middleton and with the Carducci Quartet.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season and beyond, he will sing and record Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony conducted by Martyn Brabbins and also Hubbard in Doctor Atomic conducted by John Adams, both with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other concerts include Ned Keene Peter Grimes at the Bergen Festival and Edinburgh International Festival with Edward Gardner, as well return invitations for recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London with James Baillieu and Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Joseph Middleton.

On the opera stage he will appear as Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour with the Aix en Provence Festival; Eddy in Turnage Greek for Boston Lyric Opera and Strephon in Iolanthe for English National Opera. Past roles include Guglielmo, English Clerk in Britten Death in Venice and Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd for ENO; Lance Corporal Lewis in the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Ian Bell for Welsh National Opera and Sid in Britten Albert Herring in concert with the BBC SO. Further afield Marcus has sung Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bergen National Opera and Kelvin in Fujikura Solaris in Paris, Lille and Lausanne;

He has also sung Britten War Requiem, Elgar The Apostles, Carmina Burana; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ, Brahms and Faure Requiems with orchestras including Adelaide Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin; BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish Symphony Orchestras conducted by François-Xavier Roth, Paul McCreesh, Claus Peter Flor; Bernard Labadie and Edward Gardner.

A strong supporter of contemporary composers, Marcus has sung many works by John Taverner, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher, Peter Maxwell Davies and David Sawer with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC SO and Aurora Ensemble and conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Nicolas Collon. For the 2017 BBC Proms, he will perform Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Sian Edwards.

Marcus has also sung Bach St John Passion (bass arias) with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach St Matthew and St John Passions (bass arias and Christus) with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and Monteverdi Vespers on tour with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Marcus graduated with a first class honours degree from Manchester University. He studied singing at and is an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music, London and is the founder and artistic director of the Southwell Music Festival

Carris Jones

Mezzo-Soprano, Soloists

Born in Surrey but largely raised in Southeast Asia, Carris Jones studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with a DipRam, the Academy’s highest performance award.

On the operatic stage, Carris has performed and covered roles at English National Opera, Iford Arts, Garsington Opera and Bury Court Opera. Carris made her Royal Festival Hall debut as Renee in the European premiere of Shostakovich’s Orango, with Esa Pekka-Salonen and the Philharmonia.

Carris’ concert  highlights include Britten Phaedra with members of the Philharmonia, Bach Magnificat for Laurence Cummings and the English Concert, and performances of Elgar Sea Pictures and Mahler Kindertotenlieder. As a consort singer, Carris has sung across five continents. She was a founder member of Stile Antico, and collaborated with Sting on his Dowland project, Songs from the Labyrinth.

In 2017, Carris joined the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, the first female Vicar Choral ever to be appointed.