For International Women's Day Festival 2020, Abigail Kelly (soprano), Flora McNicoll (cello) and I reunited to perform Chloe Knibbs' powerful music theatre piece exploring the theme of recovery and healing after experiencing sexual assault. Our performance was part of an event at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and afterwards I was delighted to stay and watch members of Choir with No Name Birmingham (with who I work regularly) perform songs they had written as part of a project called "In Her Shoes". Follow link for more info.
It was a great pleasure to perform the part of the "Methodist Minister's Daughter" in this wonderful melodrama set to music by the late Stuart Stevens, a wonderful composer who was taken from us too soon. The work was written entirely using 31-tone equal temperament to create new harmony, melody and texture; immersive soundscapes mixed with dramatic speech produce a music-theatre-opera mix. Thumb ensemble were on top form and the Conservatoire students who were part of it were fantastic. See link for more details. We performed it several years ago as part of the Shelagh Delaney Day at Salford Theatre with Stuart himself present. Lovely that the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire invited us to come and perform it again.
It will be two years since the last Music of Life Celebration Concert at Birmingham Town Hall, and if the last one is anything to go by this is an event not to be missed! We will be showcasing the singing and playing of students with disabilities from across the Midlands who receive tuition from or attend workshops provided by Music of Life Foundation. As regular workshop leaders for Music of Life, Suzzie Vango and I are particularly excited to be bringing in the rest of our all-female vocal quintet Papagena to join forces with the Music of Life Foundation choir. 6pm Thursday 25 June. Follow this link for tickets!
This Sunday 14 July I'm performing in a new opera by Michael Betteridge and Miranda Walker at the Cheltenham Music Festival. I play a single mother struggling to manage who moves to England to look after her father with her two children. The characters and their predicaments are very relatable. Please come along - tickets are free but you need to book. See here for more info.
I'm going to be playing the role of Carmen in a tour with Heritage opera! First performance in Stafford on July 1st. This one is the nearest to Birmingham so if any of my Brummy friends want to come see it, get booking your tickets now. Apparently the show will be finished in time to get the last train home and it's open air so bring a picnic! ♦️
For dates and tickets follow this link: Heritage Opera
Really looking forward to Jestering it up again in Waste Paper Opera's beautiful-crazy opera "i" - the first opera to contain neural network programming! Next week in Glasgow at the School of Art, and in London in May. Follow this link dates and tickets.
This weekend I've been at the Challow Park Studios with Papagena recording our Darkest Midnight album for release this autumn. We are lucky to have the amazing Adrian Peacock producing the album for us and are feeling very excited to hear the finished product! Our live performance on BBC Radio 3 for International Women's Day was a recent highlight, topped off by one of the songs from that performance getting chosen for BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Week! If you would like to come and see us live, we have gigs this summer including a week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Please see the Papagena website for details of gigs and more. Oh, we also had a photoshoot last week so you will soon be able to see my face in the group on the website - I am now officially part of the team! Loving working with these talented women! Here is a clip from a live performance of one of the songs from the forthcoming album.
I'm very excited to be joining the fantastic vocal group Papagena for their winter tour. Follow this link for details of dates and tickets. We're in Dorset today (25 November) and Oxfordshire tomorrow. Hope to see some of you there!
I had a little bit too much fun playing the Jester in Waste Paper Opera's latest offering from James Oldham and Klara Kofen! Thanks to Tête à Tête Festival for putting it on, and RADA studios for the wonderful space. There is talk of the show coming to Glasgow in 2018, and if it does I shall endeavour to post something here *before* it happens! In the meantime, if you missed it and want to see what all the fun was about, you can view it in full HERE!
Tomorrow night (Sunday 11 December) you can catch me performing a few new songs with Leighton Hargreaves (violin), Aaron Diaz (trumpet) and Dan Wilkins (guitar) at The Catastrophe Club, Kitchen Garden Cafe. Leighton and I have been working together on this new material for some time and we’re very excited to give these songs their first outing! I will also be joining Hannah Molloy in backing singing for Micky Greaney in a few of his songs - it’s been several years since the three of us have sung together and rehearsals have been a joy. There are also loads of other great acts to see so come and join us! Doors open at 7pm. £9 in.
Next Saturday (17 December), together with Hannah Lawson I’m organising a charity gig at the Cuban Embassy at the Bull’s Head in Moseley to raise funds for A Drop in the Ocean. This is the charity my good friend Holly Thomas has been volunteering with for three months in Greece. Yet again there will be more great acts to see, and mince pies to eat, all while helping a really good cause. Holly will be at the gig to talk about the work she has been doing and to tell us where the money raised will be going. I’ll be singing some opera and other songs with the wonderful Melissa Morris at the piano. Please come along! There will be a farmer’s market and an arts and crafts market in the street outside so you can do some Christmas shopping while you’re here if you’re so inclined! 1-5pm. £5 minimum donation. If you can't come, please consider visiting their website http://www.drapenihavet.no/en/support/ and making a donation.
Other projects I’ve been involved in recently include a recital of songs by Purcell, Ives and Eisler for the Birmingham Conservatoire Tuesday Lunchtime series with James Keefe at the piano and Percy Purseglove’s piece Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms (a film of which I believe will be available to view on YouTube at some point) for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
We reached our crowdfunding target and we will be performing James Oldham's new opera for Tête à Tête and Cubitt Sessions at Lewis Cubitt Square, Handyside Street, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4UZ next Wednesday 10 August. The bar opens at 6pm, it starts at 7pm and it's FREE ENTRY so hope to see lots of you there! See here for more info on Cubitt Sessions
I'm performing in a new opera with Waste Paper Opera in London on August 10. It's free, so please come! And we need some money. Check out the video we made last week, and make a pledge. The rewards are amazing. I want some of them for myself! For as little as £1 you can have your name in the set design! Click here to visit our crowdfunding page! What are you waiting for?!
Next week is Refugee Week. A couple of weeks ago my flatmate was volunteering at a refugee camp in Athens. I’ve heard about and seen pictures of the conditions these traumatised people are living in, while fleeing from war in their home country. Their support and basic essentials are being provided almost entirely by volunteers. The programme Robin and I will perform in Bournville tomorrow contains music and words written by people who were once refugees themselves. The performers' fee is going to be donated to Leros Solidarity Network UK. This money is then passed on to the LSN in Leros, which uses the money to provide food, shelter and clothing for the refugees. If you feel able to donate money to this cause, please follow this link: Leros Solidarity Network UK
At 1pm this Friday 17 June I'll be giving a recital at Bournville Friends Meeting House with the fabulous Robin Bowman at the piano. I've had a wonderful time rehearsing with him this weekend we're really looking forward to performing a programme which I've had a lot of fun putting together. It will include Britten arrangements of folk songs and Purcell songs; songs from Schönberg's Das Buch der hängenden Gärten and from Hanns Eisler's Hollywood Liederbuch. There's lunch beforehand at 12. Hope to see some of you there!
A Stirchley based art organisation called The Centre Of Curious Sonic Investigation, led by artist Justin Wiggan, is working with Stirchley Baths to create a new artwork using sound, based around the themes of hope, transition and future and using the history and restoration of the baths as a starting point.
I will be singing at the Performance Event on Saturday 21 May 7.30pm
Get a ticket for £5 via Eventbrite
Experience a unique interactive performance of Advance with Feathers, a new artwork created for Stirchley. The live performance will take place at the newly restored Stirchley Baths, an Edwardian baths restored as a 21st century place for community activity.
On Wednesday 18 November at 8.30pm I will join Jack McNeill and Dave Le Page at Fletchers Bar Kings Heath, Birmingham to perform some beautiful music, including a brand new piece by composer Kirsty Devaney. Hope to see you there!
Looking forward to singing a programme of Handel, Schubert, Mahler, Poulenc and Barber at Portsmouth Music Club this Saturday at 7.30pm with the fabulous Simon Nicholls on piano. For address and ticket info see here.
On Wednesday November 18 come along to Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath, Birmingham where I'll be singing with Jack McNeill (Clarinet) and Dave Le Page (Violin). Watch this space for more info.
On Novermber 25 & 26 I'll join Thumb ensemble at Salford Arts Theatre with other singers and actors to perform Stuart Stevens' new work "All about and to a female artist" - text by Shelagh Delaney. More info here
Finally we have a venue for REQUIEM TO LET.
Come and see Michael Wolters' new BCMG commissioned work in collaboration with Stan's Cafe this coming weekend:
No 9 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham City Centre
Saturday 26 September 11am and 1pm: version for bass clarinet and electronics (performed by the wonderful Jack McNeill)
Saturday 26 Sep 4.30pm and Sunday 27 Sep12pm & 4.30pm: version for voice and electronics (performed by ME!)
More info here
Today I've been working with Michael Wolters in preparation for his new piece which I will be performing for BCMG on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September. See here for details. This is a free event with no ticket required; I hope to see lots of you there!
I'm looking forward to joining forces again next week with Syzygy Quartet for a private concert in Regents Park. While in London I will also be meeting with pianist Simon Nicholls to plan and rehearse for a recital including the music of Schubert, Poulenc and Barber at Portsmouth Music Club on 24 October. Feeling very grateful to be making music with such a talented bunch!
Next Saturday 4 July I'm going to be performing some of my favourite operatic arias with Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra. It's at Kidderminster Town Hall. Start time 7.30pm. Tickets: Balcony £10 Children £5 Downstairs £8 Concessions £7 Children under 14 Free downstairs if accompanied by an adult. Hope to see some of you there!
Frontiers Festival - Birmingham Conservatoire
£108 – Art Never Lies is a collaboration between Michael Wolters, Marcus Dross, Andy Ingamells, Paul Norman, Suzie Purkis, Fumiko Miyachi, George Kirkham, Jack McNeill, Joe Young, Victoria Farren and Oliver Clark.
The number 108 appears in Crying Freeman as the sinister society of 108 Dragons, Devil Hunter Yohko is the 108th generation demon slayer in her family and in Sekirei there are 108 beings called Sekirei which bond with humans. In Sands of Destruction there are 108 laws of robotics in clock town, 108 is the atomic number of Hassium. and there are 108 cards in a deck of UNO cards. In Homer’s Odyssey,the number of suitors coveting Penelope, wife of Odysseus, is 108 and there are 108 seats available to witness this event.
*A transaction fee is charged per ticket paid for online. Therefore tickets will be charged at £5.95 (£3.83) each. No transaction fee is applied to tickets sold at the venue.
At 1pm on 6 March 2015 Melissa Morris and I will give a recital of music by Handel, Schubert, Poulenc and Barber at Bournville Quaker Meeting House, Birmingham. I believe there's lunch available beforehand! See here for details.
I recently spent a week with English National Opera participating in a workshop of scenes from Tansy Davies and Nick Drake's new opera Between Worlds with director Deborah Warner and conductor Gerry Cornelius. It will be performed at the Barbican next year. See here for more details.
At the opening of Joanna Rajkowska's public art project I sang some new music by James Oldham with Waste Paper Opera Company. First we performed alongside the huge crystal which had been installed in the paving next to Erdington Library. Then we moved into the public swimming baths to give an operatic performance in the pool. That's right. You can see pics of the event here - though sadly none of me soaked from head to toe wearing an evening dress! Guess you had to be there...
Michael Wolters' short opera The Voyage is available on iTunes! It was a wonderful experience performing this piece with Stan's Cafe Theatre Company. You can see more information about this project along with some pics here.