ST JOHN PASSIONWe were delighted to welcome these incredible singers to form our nine-strong chamber choir for the St John Passion on Easter Monday, 2015
Elin Manahan Thomas – Soprano
Elin Manahan Thomas was born and bred in Swansea, and first studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Clare College, Cambridge, before turning to the world of music, and to performing and presenting. She is known for her interpretation of baroque music and made the world premiere recording of a newly-discovered Bach cantata in 2006 for Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Elin has also recorded and performed Handel with the Orchestra of the Sixteen, Vivaldi and Pergolesi with Florilegium, Dowland and Campion with David Miller (lute), Mozart with the AAM and she released her debut solo disc of baroque music with the OAE. In August 2012 Elin thrilled the world when she performed at the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in London before a global audience of one billion people.
Elin’s concert repertoire ranges from the renaissance to the contemporary, and she is known for both her innovative recital programmes, and her appearances with the greatest British orchestras, among them the RPO, LSO, Halle, BBC NOW and BBC Philharmonic. She received great acclaim for her ‘Pie Jesu’ on Naxos’ award-winning recording of the Rutter Requiem, and gave world premiere performances of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem (with the RLPO) and Love Duet (Manchester International Festival). She has also been the voice of an Audi advert, and a PS4 game! She has performed in Classic FM’s fifteenth birthday concert; on ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ for Radio Two; at Songs of Praise’s ‘The Big Sing’; was invited to perform in the Vatican on Easter Sunday; as well as appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Royal Flanders Ballet; and she made her BBC Proms debut in the Dr Who Prom, alongside Daleks! Elin is an Honorary Fellow at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Swansea University.
Alice Gribbin – Soprano
Alice Gribbin graduated from The Queen’s College, Oxford, where she was a choral scholar, with a degree in Music. She then completed “The Knack” at ENO Baylis, working with Mary King and Jonathan Dove.
Alice performs primarily as a consort performer, and appears regularly with many of Britain’s leading ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, I Fagiolini, The King’s Consort, The Academy of Ancient Music, Magnificat, Polyphony, Tenebrae, Britten Sinfonia Voices, and Ex Cathedra and The BBC Singers. She has appeared on several occasions as a soloist for the Goldsmiths Choral Union, both in London and abroad, performing Mendelssohn Hör Mein Bitten and Rutter Requiem in Barcelona, Handel Dixit Dominus, Beethoven Mass in C, Bach Mass in B minor and both St Matthew Passion and St John Passion in Cadogan Hall, London. Other solo engagements include Monteverdi 1610 Vespers for the Saarlouis Kantorei in Saarlouis and Saarbrucken which was broadcast on SWR as well as in Wells, Canterbury and Clifton cathedrals; Handel Messiah with the Paulist Boy Choristers of California in Los Angeles, also broadcast; Purcell The Faery Queen with Nicholas Kramer and the Raglan Baroque Players at Garsington; music by Bach and Handel with the City of London Sinfonia; Bach B Minor Mass and Handel Israel in Egypt with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir; Handel Acis and Galatea and Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Corelli Orchestra.
Alexandra Gibson – Mezzo-soprano
Alexandra Gibson studied at the Royal College of Music and is in great demand throughout Europe. She enjoys a busy career combining concerts, opera, broadcasts and recordings. Alexandra is particularly renowned for her interpretation of Baroque music. She has collaborated with many well known international orchestras and conductors including Harry Christophers and the Symphony of Harmony and Invention, Laurence Cummings and The London Handel Players, Emmanuelle Haim and Concert D’astree, Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Christian Curnyn and The Early Opera Company, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Trevor Pinnock and the English Consort, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Berlin Philharmonic, The Bardi Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music and The London Mozart Players. Recent appearances have included: Handel’s Joshua for The London Handel Festival, Mozart’s Requiem – Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) with Harry Christophers and the Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Bridgewater Hall, Mozart’s Requiem at the Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Handel’s Theodora (Irene), Barber Institute. Maxwell Davis’s Missa Super l’homme arme, BBC Radio 3. She has sung Bach’s B minor Mass – Pamplona/Cuenca (Spain). The title role in Dido and Aeneas. Mozart and Mendelssohn Lobgesang with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Barbican (London) Mahler 2nd Symphony, Diana in Carissimi’s La Calisto,( London), Polinesso Handel’s Ariodante (Early Opera Company), Cephise Rameau’s Pygmalion She is very active in ‘ the studio’ and has recorded for many of the Film Industry’s leading composers including: Danny Elfman, Rupert Gregson-Williams, Hans Zimmer, Nicholas Hooper, Craig Armstrong, James Newton Howard, Randy Newman to name only a few. She has also recorded for both Mainstream and Independent English Production Companies. Alexandra also enjoys her work with contemporary composers and was recently involved in the staged Premier of Gavin Bryar’s new commission, The Paper Nautilus (Theatre Cryptic/Paragon Ensemble) in Scotland and at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. She has also toured and been sole vocalist with the Birmingham Royal Ballet in their production of ‘Still life at the Penguin Café’.
Martha McLorinan – Alto
Martha McLorinan grew up in Weston-super-Mare. As a teenager she was the leader of Weston Youth Orchestra and frequently sang with them in concert. She studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she received the Margaret Tann Williams prize and graduated with First Class Honours. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the judges’ discretionary prize at the Thelma King Awards and the ensemble prize from the Royal Over-Seas League. She has appeared as a soloist on numerous radio broadcasts, including singing Rachmaninov’s ‘Vespers’, Haydn’s ‘Creation’ and Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, all for BBC Radio 3. Operatic work has included playing the roles of The Notary’s Wife and Anna in Strauss’s ‘Intermezzo’ for Buxton Festival Opera and chorus work at Opera Holland Park. On the concert platform, Martha has performed as a soloist in Bach’s ‘St.Matthew Passion’ with Ex Cathedra and Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) at Birmingham Symphony Hall, and Brahms’ ‘Liebeslieder Waltzes’ at Kings Place with The Sixteen. Internationally, she has performed Durufle’s Requiem in Rouen with Tenebrae, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Bach’s Magnificat in Malta with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. For the last three years, she has sung at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Joby Talbot’s ballet Alice in Wonderland. She also regularly sings with consort groups such as The BBC Singers, The Cambridge Singers, The Tallis Scholars, Ensemble Plus Ultra, Alamire and The Eric Whitacre Singers. Future engagements include a return to Birmingham Symphony Hall to sing solos in Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ in April, and to sing Durufle’s ‘Requiem’, Copland’s ‘In The Beginning’ and Masseset’s ‘Pie Jesu’ in May. She will also return to Buxton to play Lotinka in Dvorak’s ‘The Jacobin’ in July, and sing the role of Storge in Handel’s ‘Jephtha in Maynooth’ for the US Berkshire Choral Festival in June.
Nicholas Mulroy – Tenor
Born in Liverpool. Nicholas Mulroy was a chorister at the Metropolitan Cathedral and studied Modern Languages at Cambridge and continued his postgraduate studies at the RAM.
Known primarily for his performances of Baroque music, he has enjoyed collaborations with many of the pre-eminent exponents of that repertoire: Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Butt OBE, Laurence Cummings, Jordi Savall, Marc Minkowski, Stephen Layton, Emmanuelle Haïm, Paul McCreesh and Richard Tognetti. He has sung with orchestras of Melbourne, Brussels, Auckland, Wroclaw, the BBC Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, the Britten Sinfonia, and recent highlights have included St John Passion in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Monteverdi Vespers in Versailles (also on DVD), Christmas Oratorio in Sydney Opera House with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Opéra de Paris.
On the operatic stage, he has sung in Toulouse, Paris, Glyndebourne, Lille and Dijon, and recently sang the title role of L’Orfeo in Australia to critical acclaim.
Other engagements include singing Britten’s complete Canticles at the Wigmore Hall on the occasion of the composer’s 100th birthday, Janacek’s Diary of one who Vanished for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and for the Philharmonia at the RFH, and a programme of great Schubert Lieder at the Wigmore Hall (also taken by BBC Radio 3). He has given recitals throughout Europe with regular partners John Reid, Iain Burnside, Eugene Asti (piano) and Elizabeth Kenny (lute).
Future plans include a tour of the USA with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, concerts in at the Wigmore Hall, and the role of Testo in Il Combattimento in Venice. Last year he was named an ARAM and is a Musician in Residence at Girton College, Cambridge.
Jeremy Budd – Tenor
Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Jeremy has become much in demand on the concert platform. Performances include, Haydn Seasons with Harry Christophers in Madrid, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor in San Francisco and New York with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, St. John Passion Arias for the Gurzenich Orchestra in Cologne, ‘Haute Contre’ in Purcell’s Ode on St .Cecilia’s Day in Paris and the Barbican with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and then with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort in Beaune and the Concertgebouw, the Roasting Swan in Carmina Burana for Birmingham Royal Ballet and also Jersey Philharmonic, the role of Damon in Acis and Galatea, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s Creation for Paul McCreesh, Purcell’s Dioclesian and Eccles’ Judgement of Paris in the Lufthansa Baroque Festival with Christian Curnyn. and Haydn’s Creation in the Swansea Festival. In 2008 Jeremy made his solo Proms debut in Bach’s St. John Passion with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and later that year made his Canadian debut with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy in Quebec and Montreal singing ‘haute contre’ in Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit, In Nativitatem Domini and Dupuy’s Au Milieu de la Nuit. Most recently Jeremy has performed Britten Serenade for Tenor,Horn and Strings with Harry Christophers in Granada,St Matthew Passion with Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Monteverdi Vespers with Paul McCreesh, Jeffrey Skidmore and again with Harry Christophers, St John Passion with Alexander Wiemann and Arion Baroque Orchestra in Canada and Messiah in Spain and Switzerland. Operatic engagements include a fully-staged St. John Passion in Paris and Orfeo in Lille with Emmanuelle Haim, the role of Pilade in Handel’s Oreste at the Linbury Studio Theatre, a fully staged performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with English Country Garden Opera, Chabrier’s L’Etoile at the Opera Comique in Paris with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Der Fliegender Hollander, Acis and Galatea, Aida, Manon and La Traviata with the Royal Opera House Chorus. Future solo engagements include, St Matthew Passion in Symphony Hall with Jeffrey Skidmore and with Ayr Choral Union, Carmina Burana with Birmingham Royal Ballet and, St John Passion with Sarah Tennent-Flowers, Purcell King Arthur with Paul McCreesh and Monteverdi Vespers with Harry Christophers. Recordings include, Saul and Monteverdi Vespers with Harry Christophers, a live recording of St Matthew Passion (Evangelist) with Jeffrey Skidmore and ExCathedra in Symphony Hall, St John Passion with Arion Baroque Orchestra and numerous others with groups such as Cardinall’s Musick, Monteverdi Choir, Gabrieli Consort, Tenebrae and The Sixteen.
Robert Davies – Bass
Born in Colchester, Robert studied at the University of Sheffield and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before embarking on a solo career, both on the opera stage and concert platform.
Robert has sung under the baton of such distinguished conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Emanuelle Haim, Sir Mark Elder, Richard Hickox, Edward Gardner and Robin Ticciati. With a wide concert repertoire, performances include Monteverdi Vespers in St Mark’s, Venice; Handel Messiah in St. David’s Hall, Cardiff; Orff Carmina Burana in the Barbican, London; Haydn Creation in Cadogan Hall, London; Brahms Requiem in Coventry, Westminster and Worcester Cathedrals; Mozart Mass in CMinor in Duomo, Pisa; Mendelssohn Elijah; Elgar The Kingdom; Bach St John Passion in St John’s, Smith Square and Theatre du Champs-Elysees, Paris (OAE); Mozart Requiem; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle; Britten War Requiem and Elgar Caractacus.
As well as his opera and concert work, Robert is in demand as a consort singer. He regularly performs with the Dunedin Consort and has been featured as consort soloist with the Gabrieli Consort (Elijah, BBC Proms 2011). He also specialises in educational projects. He works very closely with the OAE and has premiered several works for the Derby based orchestra, Sinfonia Viva.
Recent and future engagements include the World Premier of Goode’s Blitz Requiem in St Paul’s Cathedral, London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (recorded live for Classic FM), Handel Messiah (Llandeilo Festival), recitals of Finzi and Vaughan Williams in Lincoln and Sussex, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Faure Requiem in Wells Cathedral and Handel Messiah in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Chelmsford Cathedral. Recordings include Monteverdi Vespers with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Handel Esther and Bach St John Passion with the Dunedin Consort and future releases of a live concert recording of Haydn Creation (ORF Alte Musik/Steinaecker) and Patrick Hawes ‘Angel’ (Decca).
Matthew Brook – Bass
Matthew Brook has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America and the Far East, and has worked extensively with conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, Sir Charles Mackerras, Harry Christophers, Christophe Rousset, Paul McCreesh and Sir Mark Elder, and many orchestras and groups including the Philharmonia, LSO, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort & Players, the Sixteen, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, the Hallé Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester, Zurich, Collegium Vocale Gent, and the City of London Sinfonia.
Matthew’s recordings include Counsel Trial By Jury and Friar Tuck in Sullivan’s Ivanhoe with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Chandos Records); Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Hyperion); a Gramophone Award-winning recording of Handel’s original Dublin score of Messiah, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Esther, all with the Dunedin Consort (Linn Records); and Il Re di Scozia in Handel’s Ariodante with Il Complesso Barocco and Joyce DiDonato in the title role (EMI/Virgin).
Recent and future highlights include recordings of Rameau’s Anacreon with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Zebul Jephtha with the Sixteen, and a Gramophone Award-winning Mozart Requiem with the Dunedin Consort; performances of Bach’s St John Passion with the Monteverdi Choir and with Soli Deo Gloria in Chicago with John Nelson; Mozart’s Requiem with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra with Ludovic Morlot and Handel’s Messiah with I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano and at the Washington National Cathedral; Haydn’s Creation with BBC NOW and the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston; Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony with the Hallé; Valens Theodora with Early Music Vancouver; and the world premiere of Barry Guy’s “Time Passing” with Camerata Zurich.
William Kendall – The Evangelist
WILLIAM KENDALL was born in London. His father was a naval architect and his mother was a professional pianist. He gained a music scholarship at The King’s School, Canterbury, and a Choral Scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge, reading Music.
He has appeared on concert and recital platforms worldwide, including at the festivals in Innsbruck, New York’s Lincoln Centre, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam and the Far East.
He has worked extensively with the LSO, The Philharmonia and BBC Orchestras. William has collaborated with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner in over ninety concerts and 10 recordings, including “The Gramophone” choice for best recording (for Deutsche Grammophon) in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. His operatic appearances include “Leonore” (Beethoven) and Iphigenie en Tauride” (Gluck) as well as Die Meistersinger in Edinburgh.
William has recently performed as the Evangelist in the Bach “Passions” including for Sir Roger Norrington. He is a keen classic motorcyclist, collector of maps and appreciates languages.