KATIE BRAY mezzo soprano
Thursday 14 January 2021
FREE to watch, donations gratefully received (suggested donation £10 per concert or £25 for the series)
Henry Purcell, arr. Benjamin Britten
She never told her love
Three songs from the Italienisches Liederbuch
Henry Purcell, arr. Benjamin Britten
A Morning Hymn
A New Ground
Song of the dry orange tree
O your eyes are dark and beautiful
Je ne t’aime pas
Night and Day
I Got Rhythm
I could have danced all night
Viewing link: youtu.be/scZq9WolBSk
Katie Bray, winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, gives the opening recital of the BMC/KCMS 2021 virtual concert series. Her compelling and eclectic programme includes a selection of the repertoire which she performed in Cardiff, covering four centuries of song writing. She is accompanied by her duo partner, critically acclaimed and prize winning pianist William Vann.
Other recitals in this series
11 Feb 2021
Simone Alessandro Tavoni piano
Winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at Cardiff Singer of the World 2019, British mezzo-soprano Katie Bray has become known for her magnetic stage presence and gleaming, expressive tone.
Recent roles for Opera North include Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varvara Katya Kabanova, Louis XV Chair/Female Cat/Owl L’enfant et les sortilèges, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana, and Nancy Albert Herring and she has also sung for Irish National Opera (title role, Griselda) English National Opera, (Daughter Akhnaten and The Way Back Home), Scottish Opera (Lucilla La Scala di seta), Welsh National Opera (Zerlina, Don Giovanni), Garsington Opera (Zulma L’Italiana in Algeri and Zaida Il turco in Italia), Opera Holland Park (Mallika Lakmé), English Touring Opera (Zenobia Radamisto, Minerva Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Satirino La Calisto) and at the Grimeborn Festival (Charlotte Werther). She also recently performed in a staged cabaret of 'songs banned by the Nazis', Effigies of Wickedness, at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, in collaboration with English National Opera.
Equally at home on the concert platform, Katie Bray has performed in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, and the Holywell Music Room and she appears regularly in the London English Song Festival, where she directed concerts at Wilton’s Music Hall, as well as at the Oxford Lieder Festival for which she recorded a disc of Schumann songs with Sholto Kynoch. Other recent highlights include a semi-staged version of Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch with Christopher Glynn and Roderick Williams at Milton Court Concert Hall and Ryedale Festival, and the premiere of new monodrama Frida with the East London Music Group.
Katie Bray is particularly noted for baroque repertoire and has appeared with Barokksolistene and Bjarte Eike, Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, La Nuova Musica, Ludus Baroque, London Handel Orchestra and Laurence Cummings, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, and Spira Mirabilis. She has also appeared with orchestras including the Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Chambre de Paris, and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.
The 2020/21 season will include role debuts as Siebel Faust for Welsh National Opera, and Isolier Le Comte Ory for Garsington Opera. Other highlights include Judas Maccabaeus with RIAS Kammerchor, and concerts with the Dunedin Consort, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bach Choir, The English Concert, and at the Oxford Lieder Festival. Further ahead, Katie will make her role debut as Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia for Potsdamer Winteroper.
Katie Bray graduated as a Karaviotis Scholar from the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded the Principal's Prize and won First Prize in the Richard Lewis Singing
A multiple-prize winning and critically acclaimed conductor and accompanist, William Vann is equally at home on the podium or at the piano. Gramophone, reviewing Purer than Pearl, Albion Records' 2016 disc of Vaughan Williams song, reserved “a special word of praise for William Vann’s deft pianism”; his recent revival of Hubert Parry’s oratorio Judith at Royal Festival Hall “was an unalloyed triumph for William Vann… he had complete command of the score and evident belief in the music” (Seen and Head International). His studio recording of Judith was released on Chandos Records in March 2020 and was subsequently shortlisted in the 2020 Gramophone Awards. William is the founder and Artistic Director of the London English Song Festival and the Director of Music at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Born in Bedford, he was a Chorister at King’s College, Cambridge and a Music Scholar at Bedford School. He subsequently read law and took up a choral scholarship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was taught the piano by Peter Uppard, and studied piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music with Malcolm Martineau and Colin Stone.
His many prizes for piano accompaniment include the Wigmore Song Competition Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo (with Johnny Herford), the Gerald Moore award, the Royal Overseas League Accompanists’ Award, a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust award, the Concordia-Serena Nevill Prize, the Association of English Singers and Speakers Accompanist Prize, the Great Elm Awards Accompanist Prize, the Sir Henry Richardson Scholarship and the Hodgson Fellowship in piano accompaniment at the RAM.
William has collaborated across the world with a vast array of singers and instrumentalists, among them Sir Thomas Allen CBE, Mary Bevan, Katie Bray, Allan Clayton, Sarah Fox, James Gilchrist, Thomas Gould, Guy Johnston, Jennifer Johnston, Jack Liebeck, Aoife Miskelly, Ann Murray DBE, Matthew Rose, Kathryn Rudge, Brindley Sherratt, Nicky Spence, Toby Spence, Andrew Staples, Henry Waddington, Kitty Whately, Roderick Williams, the Benyounes and Navarra Quartets, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music and the London Mozart Players. Recent performances have included appearances at Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Royal Opera House, Sage, Gateshead and St John’s, Smith Square, at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Oxford Lieder and Machynlleth Festivals, the Northern Ireland Festival of Voice (broadcast on Radio 3) and abroad in France, Germany (on live ZDF television), Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa (National Arts Festival) and Sweden. His discography includes recordings with Albion, Champs Hill, Chandos, Delphian, Etcetera, Navona and SOMM, including a recent ground-breaking four-disc set of Vaughan Williams folk song settings on Albion with Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence, Roderick Williams and Jack Liebeck.
In addition to his performances of standard song repertoire, he has also either commissioned or given the first performances of new English songs and song cycles by several English composers, including Christian Alexander, Joseph Atkins, Martin Eastwood, Ian Venables, David Nield and Graham Ross (the latter two at Wigmore Hall). He recently conducted Roderick Williams and the London Mozart Players performing his own arrangement for chamber orchestra of George Butterworth’s Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad.
He is an Associate of the RAM, Musical Director of Dulwich Choral Society, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, a Trustee of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society, a Samling Artist, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Co-Chairman of Kensington and Chelsea Music Society, the Artistic Director of Bedford Music Club, the Guest Conductor of the English Chamber Choir and a regular conductor and vocal coach at the Dartington and Oxenfoord International Summer Schools.