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Spring Concert: The Complete Haydn Masses Series 4

- New Hall, Winchester College

Haydn Kleine Orgelmesse (Little Organ Mass)
Haydn Violin Concerto No.1
Haydn Theresienmesse (Marie Therese Mass)

Anna Dennis (soprano)
Bethany Horak-Hallett (mezzo-soprano)
Laurence Kilsby (tenor)
Brian McAlea (bass)
James Toll (violin)

David Thomas (conductor)

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Soloists:

Anna Dennis

Described by The Times as a “delectable soprano and a serene, ever-sentient presence”, Anna studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Notable concert performance have included Britten’s War Requiem at the Berlin Philharmonie, a programme of Russian operatic arias with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, roles in all three Monteverdi operas in John Eliot Gardiner’s world tour of the trilogy, Thomas Ades’ Life Story accompanied by the composer at the Lincoln Centre’s White Light Festival in New York, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the OAE under the baton of Masaaki Suzuki, and Bach Cantatas with Les Violons du Roi in Quebec and Montreal conducted by Jonathan Cohen.

Her BBC Proms appearance include performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Recent operatic roles include: Paride in Gluck’s Paride ed Helena and Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride (both for the Burnberg Internationale Gluck Festspiele), Katherine Dee in Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee for English National Opera, Emira in Handel’s Siroe and Rosmene in Handel’s Imeneo (both conducted by Laurence Cummings for Gottingen Handel Festspiele), Besi in Andrea Chenier for Opera North, Ilia in Idomineo, directed by Graham Vick for Birmingham Opera Company, Queen of the Night in Magic Flute for Clarion Society New York, and the Strawberry Seller and Strolling Players in Britten’s Death in Venice at La Scala, Milan.

A keen interpreter of contemporary music, Anna has created roles in premieres of Francisco Coll’s Cafe Kafka for the Royal Opera House/Opera North/Aldeburgh, Jonath Dove’s The Walk From The Garden (Salisbury Festival) and The Enchanted Pig at the Young Vic. Her recordings include Rameau’s Anacreon of 1754 with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Handel’s Siroe and Joshua with Laurence Cummings, Couperin’s Lemons de Tenebrae with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo and a cd of Russian composer Elena Langer’s chamber works, Landscape with Three People, on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Bethany Horak-Hallett

Mezzo soprano Bethany Horak-Hallett was educated at Leeds University where she gained a BA Hons in Music and an MA specialising in Historically Informed Performance Technique. She recently complete a Masters in Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with the generous support of the Noble Award. Bethany is currently an OAE Rising Star for their 2019-21 seasons, making her Royal Festival Hall, Theatre des Champs-Elysses and Kings Place debuts so far in the scheme. She joined the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet for their 2019 season, and recently recorded the role of Cupid in John Eccles’ Semele with the Academy of Ancient Music and Cambridge Early Opera.

Recent engagements include first prize in the 2019 Normandy International Music Competition Concours Corneille in association with La Poems Harmonique. She made her Glyndebourne debut as Kitchen Boy in Dvorak’s Rusalka and also covered the role of Siren in Handel’s Rinaldo. She subsequently made her Berlin Philharmonic debut as Kitchen Boy with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in their concert performance of Rusalka, conducted by Robin Ticciati. She returned to the Brighton Early Music Festival to perform the roles of Juno and Ino in Handel’s Semele, and toured extensively with Collegium Vocale Gent as part of their Brahms Schicksalslied project. Last season’s highlights include her role debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Merry Opera, lining Iford Arts as A Young Artistic for Bernstein’s Candide, and the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus for their 2018 and 2019 seasons. Alongside pianist Paolo Rinaldo she won the prestigious Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Competition, also feature as a Brighton Early Music Festival Young Artist, playing Cupid in Blow’s Venus and Adonis, and Venere in Monteverdi’s Il ball delle ingrate.

Laurence Kilsby

Laurence is currently an ABRSM Scholar supported by the Victoria Robey Scholarship at the Royal College of Music, under the tutelage of Timothy Evans-Jones. He is the winner of the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers and recently competed in the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition. In coming seasons he will make stage debuts with the Nederlandse Reisopera and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Laurence began his formal training as a chorister with the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, and won the title of BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year in 2009, subsequently making his solo debit at the Royal Albert Hall. He appears as a treble soloist on a number of recording, including the Grammy nominated album, Handel’s L’Allegro, Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Gabrieli Consort, conducted by Paul McCreesh.

Amongst his recent engagements is Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Masaaki Suzuki, Peter Sellars’ staging of Bach’s St John Passion conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, Handel’s Messiah at Nevill Holt Opera, Mozart’s Requiem at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Bach’s B Minor Mass at St John’s, Smith Square and Handel’s Esther at the Wigmore Hall for the London Handel Festival. His operatic work includes Bud/Phoebus in The Fairy Queen for Waterperry Opera Festival, Lucano in L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Longborough Festival Opera, the Post Office Clerk in Kommilitonen for Welsh National Opera and Apollo/Pastore/Spirito in L’Orfeo for Nederlandish Reisopera. He has appeared in masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Sarah Connolly, Roderick Williams, Kathryn Harries and James Gilchrist and has given recitals at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin and at the Cheltenham Music Festival.

Brian McAlea

Northern Irish baritone Brian McAlea read music at the University of Oxford and sang with the Choir of New College. He subsequently won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied under Robert Dean and graduated with Distinction. He won the Audience Prize at NI Opera’s Glenarm Festival of Voice Opera Competition 2019, is currently a BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council Young Musicians’ Platform Award recipient, and is supported by Exitex Ltd.

Highlights as a concert soloist include Handel’s Messiah (Irish Baroque Orchestra; Instruments of Time and Truth) and Israel in Egypt (Oxford Early Music Festival); Mozart’s Requiem (The Ulster Orchestra); Bach’s St John Passion (Sestina/East Cork Early Music Festival; The Oxford Bach Soloists); B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem; Haydn’s The Creation (Oxford Orpheus), Seasonsand Nelson Mass; MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross (The Britten Sinfonia); and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. Operatic roles include Endimione in La Calisto (Longborough Festival Opera); Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nevill Holt Opera); Minister in Iphigénie en Tauride (The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment); Liberto in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Loughborough Festival Opera); Tobias Mill in La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Northern Ireland Opera Studio) and Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas (Sestina).

Brian's cover roles include Zuniga in Carmen (The Grange Festival) and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Nevill Holt Opera). Brian has performed on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster, most recently in a live broadcast with the Ulster Orchestra for BBC Northern Ireland, and earlier this year, recorded Mohammed Fairouz’s Anything Can Happen with Signum Records for Seamus Heaney’s 80th Birthday. He has also performed with some of the most notable ensembles in the UK and Ireland including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, the Early Opera Company, the Dunedin Consort, Britten Sinfonia Voices, and Chamber Choir Ireland. He is a founding member of the Northern Irish early music ensemble Sestina.