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Handel Messiah Soloists

Zoe Brookshaw – Soprano

Zoë graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2008, where she was a Choral Scholar and studied Theology. She was awarded a place on the Monteverdi Choir Apprenticeship Scheme and since the end of her apprenticeship in 2009 has performed and toured extensively with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, both in the choir, and as a soloist. Her choral and consort training has also enabled her to sing for many esteemed conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Harry Christophers, Stephen Layton, Lawrence Cummings, Philippe Herreweghe and Paul McCreesh.

Zoë is a member of a number of small consorts. She has recently made her Wigmore Hall debut with Arcangelo under the directorship of Jonathan Cohen and is also a regular member of Solomon’s Knot, a collective of musicians which performs baroque repertoire from memory and without a conductor! Recent consort appearances have included concerts with Die Kolner Akademie, The Marian Consort, La Nuova Musica and a tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment directed by Mark Padmore. In recent years Zoë has begun to develop her career as a soloist, specialising in Baroque oratorio, and has performed in many of Europe’s greatest concert halls, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, the Berlin Philharmonie, Cité de la Musique, St John’s Smith Square, The Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings, Milton Court, Saffron Hall and Cadogan Hall. Opera credits include chorus in productions of Carmen and Le Freyschuetz at L’Opera Comique in Paris. In 2012 Zoë was a soloist in Purcell’s Fairy Queen under the directorship of Paul McCreesh. She has also recently made her debut with I Fagiolini playing the part of Eurydice in Orfeo.

Tim Mead – Counter Tenor

Tim read music as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge before winning a number of scholarships to continue his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music. His virtuosic performances have drawn much international attention, to the extent that he is now recognised as one of the finest across the generations of counter-tenors.

Engagements over the last season included the world premiere of Theo Loevendie’s Slinz at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bach’s B Minor Mass with The English Concert, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with The Gabrieil Consort at the Aix Festival, Handel’s Messiah with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society and the Academy of Ancient Music, a solo recital in Rome, the title role in the Philip Glass opera Akhnaten while the highlight of the present season is his role debut as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen Opera.

He now spends much of his professional life on the operatic stage and recent highlights include Goffredo Rinaldo at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Endimione La Calisto at Bayerische Staatoper, Voice of Apollo in Deborah Warner’s production of Death in Venice at ENO, Angel 1/Boy in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Theatre du Capitol Toulouse and Tolomeo in Julius Ceasar at ENO.

An exceptionally busy concert artist, he has sung many oratorios with some of the great ensemble of the world including Handel Messiah with the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bach Christmas Oratorio with Les Arts Florissants, Bach Magnificat with Le Concett d’Astree, Bach St Matthew Passion with the London Handel Festival, Handel Theodora with The English Concert, Handel Solomon with Akademie fur Alte Muisk, Handel Judas Maccabeus with the OAE (at the BBC Proms), Handel Susanna with the Early Opera Company and Handel Esther with the Dunedin Consort.

Tim’s substantial discography includes Bach St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass (Gramophone Editors Choice with Arcangelo), the Handel oratorios including Messiah.

Joshua Ellicott – Tenor

Tenor Joshua Ellicott was born in Manchester and read Music at York University before continuing his vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Highlights in his 2015/16 season include the roles of Lucano & Secondo Soldato/Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr; Messiah concerts with the Hallé Orchestra under Laurence Cummings and with the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Harry Bicket; St Matthew Passion with the Sixteen under Harry Christophers; and Rachmaninov The Bells at King’s College Cambridge under Stephen Cleobury.

Other notable appearances have included the Johannes Passion at the BBC Proms (Zurich Chamber Orchestra/Norrington), Purcell’sThe Fairy Queen at the Styriarte Festival Graz (Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt), Monteverdi’s Vespers on tour (Le Concert d`Astrée/Haïm), Schubert’s Mass in E flat at the Festival de Saint-Denis (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Harding) and concert performances of Wozzeck and Tristan and Isolde(Philharmonia Orchestra/Salonen), Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sinsand Wagner’s Parsifal (Hallé Orchestra/Elder), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (OAE/Labadie) and Handel’s Theodora (Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Montgomery).

On the opera stage, he appears regularly with Opera North where his roles have included Jaquino Fidelio, Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Richard Dauntless Ruddigore and Sergei in Shostakovich’s Paradise Moscow.

William Gaunt – Bass

William Gaunt began his musical education as a chorister at Ripon Cathedral, later gaining music and academic scholarships to Uppingham School, before becoming a Choral Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he read for a degree in Classics.

Recent solo performances have included Bach St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Handel Messiah, Acis and Galatea and Samson, Monteverdi Vespers, Haydn Missa in Angustiis ‘Nelson Mass’ with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and Stephen Cleobury, Purcell Come, ye Sons of Art, and the rôle of Arioch Handel Belshazzar with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Charles Mackerras at the 2008 Proms.

William also has a busy schedule as a choral and consort singer. As well as his regular duties as a member of the Choir of Westminster Cathedral, he performs and records with noteworthy groups including Tenebrae, The Sixteen, Polyphony, The Gabrieli Consort, Gallicantus, The BBC Singers, Ex Cathedra, and The Binchois Consort.

Future engagements include Mozart Requiem and Spatzenmesse, and the role of Christus in Bach St John Passion with the Choir of Christ Church, Oxford.