The nature of the ensemble demands particular skills from the singers, who, as well as being highly-respected soloists, bring with them a wealth of ensemble experience. The personnel is not fixed, but varies according to availability and the needs of particular projects. Singers who are associated with the group include (NB):

soprano



Elin Manahan Thomas - soprano Born and bred in Swansea, Elin Manahan Thomas graduated from Clare College Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, and is now fast coming to light as one of Wales's leading young sopranos. Elin was the first singer ever to record Bach's Alles mit Gott, a birthday ode written in 1713 and only discovered in 2005, while her début album, 'Eternal Light' (Universal Classics and Jazz) had tremendous success in the classical charts in 2007. Her recent concert performances include Bach's St Matthew Passion at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, (Jonathan) Harvey's 'Passion and Resurrection' at the Casa de Musica, Porto; Bach's St John Passion with Stephen Layton in St John Smith's Square; solo recitals in the Cheltenham, Chester and Canterbury Festivals; an evening of opera with the orchestra of WNO; Mendelssohn's Elijah with BBC NOW; Fauré Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Handel Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Weir King's Harald Saga for BBC Radio 3, in collaboration with the composer; Bach's Mass in B Minor with Huddersfield Choral Society; Vivaldi Gloria in the Snape Maltings with the CLS; Mozart concert arias with the Gabrieli Consort in the Barbican Hall; Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Peter Schreier in St John's Smith Square; Mozart's Mass in C Minor in King's College Chapel. In 2008 Elin performed the World Première of Sir John Tavener's Requiem in Liverpool Cathedral (also recorded for EMI) and in 2009 she made her début at the Wigmore Hall with the Academy of Ancient Music, was invited to perform in the Vatican on Easter Sunday, and appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Royal Flanders Ballet (not dancing!). She has performed in many of the world's leading venues, among them the Lincoln Center, New York; the San Francisco Symphony Hall; the Royal Albert Hall; Birmingham Symphony Hall; Westminster Abbey; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Palau de la Música, Barcelona; the Casa de Musica in Porto; and St Mark's, Venice.

On the opera stage Elin has played the part of Israelitish Woman in Handel's Samson (Buxton); Pamina (The Magic Flute, Mozart) at the Helix Theatre, Dublin and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) with OAE in the Queen Elizabeth Hall; The Governess (Turn of the Screw, Britten); Ninetta (La Finta Semplice, Mozart); Arminda (La Finta Giardiniera, Mozart); Despina (Cosí Fan Tutte, Mozart); Mermaid (Oberon, Weber) and Coryphée (Les Troyens, Berlioz) at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris; and Night/Nymph in the Armonico Consort's popular production of The Fairy Queen. On television, Elin recently appeared in BBC 2's Birth of British Music, singing ‘Dido's Lament' by Purcell, and in BBC 4's series Sacred Music, as well as Channel 4's How Music Works, presented by Howard Goodall.

(artist website / top of page)





Julia Doyle - soprano Born in the North of England, Julia Doyle gained a choral scholarship to Cambridge University before pursuing a career in singing. Having been in great demand as a consort singer with all of the UK's leading vocal ensembles for the last few years, (including I Fagiolini, winners of The Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Award 2006) Julia is fast establishing a reputation as a soloist specialising in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, both in the UK and across Europe with a busy schedule of tours, concerts and recording.

She has recently worked with Camerata Salzburg, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Britten Sinfonia, The Hanover Band, English Baroque Soloists and The English Concert under the batons of conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington and David Zinman. Recent debuts include Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Verona, Braunschweig and Pisa Cathedrals, The Salle Pleyel, Salle de concerts and Cité de la musique in Paris, Teatro Olympico Rome, The Sage Gateshead, St John's Smith Square, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Cadogan Hall and the Albert Hall at the BBC Proms. (artist website / top of page)






Gillian Keith - soprano Canadian soprano Gillian Keith was the winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in 2000. She is in great demand for performances in recital, oratorio and opera. She has earned praise particularly for her interpretations of Baroque music, and has recorded Handel's Gloria with John Eliot Gardiner on the Philips label. She is equally respected for her song performances and has recorded a disc of early Debussy chansons for the Deux-Elles label. Gillian has appeared in principal roles with English National Opera and Scottish Opera.

'And Keith certainly knew how to communicate. Her engagement with Shakespeare's words as they were new-born in Richard Strauss's setting of the Three Ophelia Songs was intense. And she played on her voice as on an instrument, shaping and colouring the melodic line in its every nuance.' - Hilary Finch, The Times. (artist website / top of page)



alto



Robin Blaze - alto Robin Blaze is now established in the front rank of interpreters of Purcell, Bach and Handel, and his busy schedule has taken him to Europe, South America, North America, Japan and Australia. He read Music at Magdalen College, Oxford and won a post-graduate scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he trained with assistance from the Countess of Munster Trust and is now a Professor of Vocal Studies.

He works with most of the distinguished conductors in the early music field - Christophers, Cleobury, Gardiner, Herreweghe, Hickox, Hogwood, Jacobs, King, Koopman, Kraemer, Leonhardt, McCreesh, McGegan, Mackerras, Pinnock and Suzuki. He has visited festivals in Ambronay, Beaune, Boston, Edinburgh, Halle, Iceland, Jerusalem, Innsbruck, Karlsruhe, Leipzig, Lucerne, Saintes and Utrecht. He regularly appears with The Academy of Ancient Music, Bach Collegium Japan, Collegium Vocale, The English Concert, The Gabrieli Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, RIAS Kammerchor and The Sixteen. Other engagements have included the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, La Chapelle Royale, City of London Sinfonia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, The Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Robin's opera engagements have included Athamas Semele at The Royal Opera House; Didymus Theodora for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Arsamenes Xerxes, Athamas Semele, Hamor Jephtha and Oberon A Midsummer Night's Dream for English National Opera, and Bertarido Rodelinda for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and at the Göttingen Handel Festival.

Chamber music is an important part of his musical life and Robin regularly joins forces with Concordia, Fretwork, Florilegium and The Palladian Ensemble. He has given recitals in Tenerife, at the Théâtre Grévin in Paris, in Karlsruhe, Innsbruck, Göttingen, at the York Early Music, West Cork International Chamber Music, Sherbourne and Gloucester Three Choirs Festivals, for BBC Radio 3 and at The Wigmore Hall.

With a fast-growing number of acclaimed recordings to his name Robin continues to enjoy fruitful relationships with BIS and Hyperion records. For BIS he is adding to their Cantata Cycle with Bach Collegium Japan and joined Carolyn Sampson for a disc of Handel Oratorio Duets with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Nicholas Kraemer. His projects with Hyperion have included recital discs of lute songs with Elizabeth Kenny, Byrd Consort Songs and Salve Regina, a programme of Italian Cantatas with The Parley of Instruments. Amongst his other recordings are Didymus in Theodora with The Gabrieli Consort and McCreesh for DG Archiv, and Purcell's Odes with Collegium Vocale Gent and Herreweghe for Harmonia Mundi. He also recorded Thomas Adès' The Lover in Winter for EMI. (artist website / top of page)





Dan Taylor - counter-tenor The countertenor Daniel Taylor is now one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world and recognized as "Canada's star countertenor...there is a sense of conviction and honesty that sets him apart from the others" (Globe and Mail). His debut at Glyndebourne in Handel's Theodora was greeted with critical praise and followed on his highly successful operatic debut in Jonathan Miller's production of Handel's Rodelinda.

He receives invitations from an ever-widening circle of the world's leading early and contemporary music ensembles, appearing in opera (Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, San Francisco, Rome, Welsh National Opera, Canadian Opera, Opera North and Munich), oratorio (Gabrieli Consort, Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Soloists, Bach Collegium Japan, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, Berlin Academie fur Alte Musik, Collegium vocale de Ghent, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music), symphonic works (Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Toronto, Rotterdam, Montreal), recital (Vienna Konzerthaus; Frick Collection, New York; Forbidden Concert Hall, Beijing; Lufthansa Baroque Festival and Wigmore Hall, London), and film (Podeswa's Five Senses for Fineline-winner at Cannes and also of a Genie). Chamber music also features prominently in his calendar and he regularly joins forces with the Berlin Academie fur Alte Musik and Fretwork.

Daniel Taylor has made more than 60 recordings, which include Bach Cantatas/Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner for Deutche Gramophone and SDG. Renaissance duets with James Bowman (BIS), Handel's Rinaldo with Bartoli /AAM/Hogwood (DECCA),Theodora with LAF/Christie (ERATO), Cantatas 'Before Bach' with Collegium Vocale de Ghent/Herrewege (Harmonia Mundi) Sakamoto's pop-opera Life with the Dalai Lama (SONY) and Bach Cantatas with the Bach Collegium Japan (BIS). Upcoming recordings include a CD/DVD at Maitrise Notre-Dame in Paris of the B minor Mass of J. S. Bach with John Nelson/L'ensemble Orchestral de Paris (for EMI) and Handel's Jephtha with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort for Deutsche Gramophone Archiv. (artist website / top of page)



tenor



Charles Daniels The tenor Charles Daniels' repertoire extends 1150 years from the ninth century to the present day. Born in Salisbury, he received his musical training at King's College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music in London where he studied under Edward Brooks.

He has made over sixty recordings as a soloist including Handel's Messiah with the Gabrieli Consort for Deutsche Grammophon, Dowland songs for EMI, The Beggar's Opera for Hyperion, Schütz' Christmas Story for Deutsche Grammophon, Haydn's St Cecilia Mass with the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra, Bach's Easter Oratorio with the Taverner Consort for EMI, Airs de Cour with Catherine King and Jacob Heringman, Handel Occasional songs with Emma Kirkby for SOMM records and more than twenty discs of Purcell's music.

Operatic roles have included Le Dieu de Sommeil in Lully's Atys for the Opéra de Paris and a leading role in Purcell's Fairy Queen in the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Concert engagements have included regular appearances at the BBC Promenade Concerts including Monteverdi's Vespers in 2004, Handel's Joshua (London Handel Festival, broadcast by BBC Radio 3), Dream of Gerontius in Warsaw, Mendelssohn's Elijah (Fribourg), Monteverdi's Orfeo with the Toronto Consort, the Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion (London, with the Academy of Ancient Music) and St Matthew Passion (Spain, The Sixteen), Luigi Nono's Canti di Vita e Amore (Edinburgh Festival), Michael Zev Gordon Song and Stravinsky Cantata (Spitalfields Festival), Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (St.Gallen), Cavalieri's Anima e Corpo (Schwäbische Gmünd), 16th century Tenor songs with Fretwork in Antwerp in the Flanders Festival, Finzi's Dies Natalis (Brinkburn Festival), Handel's Messiah (Brussels, Utrecht, Oslo, Madrid, London (Westminster Abbey, Barbican), Bogota, Lugano for Radio Svizzera Italiana), Bach's Magnificat with the English Concert in Spain, Handel's Esther in Hebrew in New York, Purcell's King Arthur and Handel's Messiah in Toronto with Tafelmusik and at the Musikverein, Vienna (Harnoncourt), Handel's Belshazzar at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Bach's St John Passion and B Minor Mass in Germany and Purcell's The Fairy Queen at the BBC Proms with The Gabrieli Consort under Paul McCreesh and the Première of Wojciech Kilar's Missa Pro Pace with the Warsaw Philharmonic. He has recently performed Bach Profane Cantatas on tour with Instant Pluriel in France, Messiah with the RSNO, Mass in B Minor with Ton Koopman for the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, St Matthew Passion for Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw with Sir Colin Davis, Dido & Aeneas and Guilty Night for Il Complesso Barocco and On Wenlock Edge at Corbridge Chamber Music Festival.

Engagements for the 2008/2009 season include Monteverdi Vespers in Leiden and for the Gabrieli Consort in Venice, Messiah with the Collegium Musicum Bergen, Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Netherlands Bach Society, Theodora at the London Handel Festival, Vespers of 1610 with the Toronto Consort, St Matthew Passion with Tafelmusik in Toronto and Elgar Light of Life with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. (artist website / top of page)





James Gilchrist - tenor James Gilchrist's concert appearances include Damon in Acis and Galatea at the Proms (Academy of Ancient Music/Paul Goodwin), Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra in their celebrated Bach Pilgrimage (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Europe - America), Tippett's The Knot Garden (Sir Andrew Davis/BBC Symphony Orchestra), Monteverdi Vespers and Messiah (The Sixteen/Japan), Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Ralph in HMS Pinafore (Scottish Chamber Orchestra), the title role in Judas Maccabeus, Septimius Theodora (Scottish Chamber Orchestra), Israel in Egypt (St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Collegium Vocale Gent and SCO), B Minor Mass (Semyon Bychkov/Turin and Santa Caecilia in Rome), Mozart Requiem (Seattle Symphony Orchestra), L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato and a televised performance of Berlioz L'enfance du Christ at the BBC Proms (Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra), Alexander's Feast in Salzburg, Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Ton Koopman and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, the Evangelist in the Bach/Mendelssohn St Matthew Passion with the OAE, a residency with the Nash Ensemble at Princeton University, Israel in Egypt on tour with Collegium Vocale, Messiah with both the San Francisco and the Detroit Symphony Orchestras, Mozart's C Minor Mass with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, Bach Cantatas with the Bach Collegium Japan, St Matthew Passion with North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and at Symphony Hall, Boston, St John Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Britten's Serenade at The Sage, Gateshead and The Seasons with the Handel & Haydn Society under Sir Roger Norrington at the BBC Proms.

James is a keen exponent of contemporary music and has performed in the world premieres of Knut Nystedt's Apocalypsis Joannis (Oslo Philharmonic), John Tavener's Total Eclipse (Academy of Ancient Music), which was also recorded, and Helen Ottaway's new commission for the Salisbury Festival, The Echoing Green.

As a recitalist, he has appeared with Malcolm Martineau, with Stephen Varcoe and Della Jones at St John's Smith Square, and with John Constable performing Britten Canticles, Quilter To Julia and Tippett The Heart's Assurance for the BBC. In his partnership with the pianist Anna Tilbrook, he has performed Schumann Liederkreis (op 24), Finzi Till Earth Outwears and Poulenc Metamorphoses for BBC Radio 3. James is also partnered regularly by the harpist Alison Nicholls and recently appeared in recital with the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall, and at the Bury St Edmunds Festival in a programme featuring a new commission by Alec Roth based on Vikram Seth's 'All You Who Sleep Tonight'. (artist website / top of page)



bass



Peter Harvey Peter Harvey arrived at Magdalen College, Oxford to study French and German, and though he soon afterwards changed course to music, a commitment to language has always remained at the heart of his singing. On leaving university he went on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, during which time he won prizes in a number of international singing competitions, including the Walther Grüner International Lieder Competition, the English Song Award, and the Peter Pears Award. Peter has made well over a hundred recordings in repertoire spanning eight centuries, with an emphasis on music from the High Baroque.

He performed Die Winterreise recently with Roger Vignoles in festivals in Cambridge and Lugo, Spain, and record the piece with fortepianist Gary Cooper earlier this year for Linn Records. He has given recitals in festivals in Ottawa, Dinard and Lausanne, and recorded Beethoven settings of Scottish folksongs with Jérôme Hantaï's fortepiano trio (for Naïve). Other recitals include early Lieder with Laurence Cummings, Mozart in Barcelona and a programme of Lute Songs and Lieder in London's Purcell Room with Matthew Wadsworth (lute and 19th century guitar) and Gary Cooper.

With the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, he was a key participant in the 'Bach Cantata Pilgrimage', recordings of which include the celebrated solo cantata Ich habe genug. More recently he has sung Bach cantatas in the Paris and Leipzig, and he sings Christus in the St John Passion this year in the BBC Proms. A long-standing soloist with Paul McCreesh's Gabrieli Consort, he sings Adam in their recent recording of Haydn's Creation, also appearing in recordings of St Matthew Passion (Bach), Solomon (Handel) and the Monteverdi Vespers (all Deutsche Grammophon) and in concerts including the Châtelet (Paris), Lincoln Center (New York) the Barbican (London). He has recorded much early Bach with the Purcell Quartet and Emma Kirkby (Chandos), and with London Baroque he recently issued a disc of Rameau's secular cantatas (BIS). He has appeared with the Sixteen (BBC Proms, Spain, Brazil) and sings regularly with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Ivan Fischer and Gustav Leonhardt, recently performing the St John Passion in London, Seoul and Tokyo. Peter sings often with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the St. David's Hall, Cardiff (Creation, Christmas Oratorio) and sang Schubert's Mass in Eb with the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Sir Colin Davis.

A fluent French speaker, Peter Harvey has worked for many continental groups, in particular the Chapelle Royale and Collegium Vocale of Ghent (Philippe Herreweghe), with whom he has made many recordings, including CPE Bach's Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu (Opéra Garnier, Paris). He has sung with Christophe Rousset's Les Talens Lyriques in the Opera at Versailles, whilst with Le Concert Spirituel, directed by Hervé Niquet, he has made countless recordings of the sacred repertoire of the French Baroque, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and King Arthur (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and Opéra Comique, Paris), and La Cambiale de Matrimonio (Slook) by Rossini. Recordings with Il Seminario Musicale and the French counter-tenor Gérard Lesne include such rarities as Scarlatti's oratorio Sedecia, and Galuppi's engaging Confitebor tibi Domine, and he has performed often with Jean-Claude Malgoire. His long association with the Swiss conductor Michel Corboz, has taken him throughout France, Switzerland and Japan (Mendelssohn's Elijah, Bach's Passions), and produced recordings including two versions of the Requiem by Fauré, the latest of which won a 'Choc de l'année' in Le Monde de la Musique.

The Netherlands Bach Society have recorded Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Christmas Oratorio and B minor Mass with Peter (recently performed at the Tanglewood Festival, USA), and also given the little known St John Passion by Georg Gebel in a televised performance at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, broadcast last Easter. With Ton Koopman he has performed Bach in the Musikverein (Vienna), Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Paris), in Verona and Rome. In Germany he sings with Berlin Radio Symphony Orchstra, La Stagione, Frankfurt (Athalia, Handel Festival, Halle), and with Frieder Bernius' Stuttgart Chamber Choir, with whom he records Messiah later this year.

He will sing Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic in Canada, where he also works with Tafelmusik and The Theatre of Early Music. He appeared with the Washington Bach Consort in May, and at Easter he had the great honour to sing the St. Matthew Passion with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Bernard Haitink's first performances of the work. (artist website / top of page)





NB:
These biographies are intended for information and interest and are not for publication. Please contact the artists' agents or the Magdalena Consort for up-to-date versions for use in programmes. (Back to top of page)