- Robert King,
- Julia Doyle,
- Hilary Summers,
- Joshua Ellicott,
- David Wilson-Johnson
George Frideric Handel composed the Messiah during his stay in Dublin, where the work had its premiere in 1742. In subsequent years the composer presented the work regularly at Easter. At the same time a tradition of performing the oratorio during the Advent season was established, which continues to this day. Robert King and his Consort have presented this work many times – to great success.
Georg Friedrich Händel: The Messiah HWV 56 - Oratory in 3 parts
The King's Consort
The King’s Consort is one of the world's leading period instrument orchestras. Founded in 1980 by Robert King, The King's Consort and its equally renowned Choir of The King's Consort have toured in five continents and appeared in almost every European country,...
The King’s Consort is one of the world's leading period instrument orchestras. Founded in 1980 by Robert King, The King's Consort and its equally renowned Choir of The King's Consort have toured in five continents and appeared in almost every European country, in Japan, Hong Kong and the Far East, as well as North and South America. With more than one hundred CDs in the catalogue, and more than one and a half million CD sales, The King's Consort is one of the world's most-recorded historical instrument orchestras.
For nearly four decades The King's Consort has presented an adventurous variety of repertoire, spanning from 1550 to the present day, in many of the greatest European concert halls. Highlights have included seven appearances at the BBC Proms, performances of the spectacular Coronation of King George II, the Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio, Bach's Mass in B Minor and St Matthew Passion and Mendelssohn Elijah widely across Britain and Europe, staged performances of Purcell The Fairy Queen in Spain and Britain, the opening concert of BBC TV's Purcell celebrations, and Mozart Requiem in the glorious Alhambra Palace in Granada. Other staged operas have included Handel Ottone in Japan and Britain, Handel Ezio at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and Purcell The Indian Queen in the historic theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany. Tours further afield have included concert and opera performances in Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, and across the USA and Canada.
TKC's highly-acclaimed recordings have won many international awards and sold over 1,500,000 copies. The orchestra is especially regarded for its many recordings of music by Handel and Purcell, but its catalogue also includes instrumental and choral music by composers from Albinoni to Zelenka, including Bach Mass in B Minor, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, and the massive Venetian reconstruction Lo Sposalizio. Twenty-five world-première recordings of Purcell's complete Odes, Solo Songs and Sacred Music established TKC as the world's leading performers of this composer's music. TKC is also renowned for its recordings of more than a dozen Handel oratorios and operas. Other CD projects include the much acclaimed Sacred Music of Monteverdi, ten volumes of Vivaldi's complete Sacred Music, a best-selling recording of The Coronation of King George, Handel's colourful Ode for St Cecilia, Michael Haydn Requiem (winner of BBC Music Magazine’s Best Choral Recording) and Mozart Sacred Music with soprano Carolyn Sampson.
TKC now records for the VIVAT label. An extravagant, critically acclaimed world-premiere recording of sacred music by Stanford and Parry, I was glad, was a Gramophone Awards finalist, and has been followed by discs of music by Couperin, Monteverdi, Handel arias with Iestyn Davies, two glorious discs of Purcell chamber music, Mendelssohn’s extraordinary reconstruction of Handel’s Israel in Ägypten and, most recently, a recording British Romantic choral masterpieces, A Voice from Heaven.
In the world of Hollywood the Choir of The King's Consort feature in the sound tracks of Ridley Scott's epic The Kingdom of Heaven, and in The Chronicles of Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Flushed Away and The Da Vinci Code.
Recently TKC has enjoyed major European tours of Bach St Matthew Passion, Handel Messiah and Bach Mass in B minor and The Coronation of King George, performed the Requiems of Mozart and Michael Haydn in Lucerne, Mendelssohn Paulus at Leipzig Gewandhaus and at Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Haydn The Creation at Flanders Festival, Handel Messiah widely across Europe, Finzi Dies Natalis and Britten Les Illuminations in Wigmore Hall and in France, Purcell The Fairy Queen, King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas in Theater an der Wien, Mendelssohn’s 1833 version of Handel Israel in Egypt at Leipzig Gewandhaus, alongside tours to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland.
Robert King is widely acclaimed as one of the leading British conductors of his generation, enjoying for 36 years a dynamic career across the globe in an unusually varied range of repertoire spanning five centuries. The King’s Consort Born in...
Robert King is widely acclaimed as one of the leading British conductors of his generation, enjoying for 36 years a dynamic career across the globe in an unusually varied range of repertoire spanning five centuries.
The King’s Consort
Born in 1960 he was a chorister with the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, where his solo performances included a best-selling recording of Duruflé Requiem. Whilst at Cambridge University in 1980 he founded the period instrument orchestra and choir The King's Consort, with whom he has toured in almost every European country, North and South America and the Far East. He made his BBC Proms conducting début in 1991 and has since been invited a further seven times. He has made more than 100 recordings which have sold 1,500,000 CDs and won many international awards. He now records for the VIVAT label: his recent recording of Stanford and Parry was a Gramophone Awards finalist.
Robert King's busy international conducting schedule has seen performances in the USA with the New World, Seattle, Baltimore, Houston, Oregon, Detroit, Atlanta, National, Minnesota and Pacific Symphony Orchestras, in Canada with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy, in Scandinavia with the Bergen Philharmonic, the Danish National Radio, Stavanger, Malmö, Trondheim, Sondjelands, Norrköping, Århus, Aalborg and Iceland Symphony Orchestras, in Italy with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Verdi Milan, in Germany with the NDR and WDR Symphony Orchestras, the Hamburg Symphony and Munich Radio Orchestra, in Switzerland with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and RTSI Symphony, in France with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, in Holland with the Nederlands Kamerorkest, in Spain with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Real Filharmonia de Galicia and Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, and in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. King is also a noted choral conductor who has worked with the Nederlands Kamerkoor, Orfeo Catala, Orfeón Donostiarra, Swiss Radio Choir, Collegium Vocale Ghent and the BBC Singers. Operatic work has included Handel Ottone in Japan and the UK, Handel Ezio in Paris, Purcell The Indian Queen in the UK and Germany, Purcell The Fairy Queen in Spain and Britain and Gluck Armide for Buxton Festival.
Robert King's repertoire, besides especial acclaim for his interpretation of baroque music, also includes a wide spread of classical and early romantic works, both symphonic and choral, with a particular focus on the music of Mozart, Haydn and Mendelssohn, and a continuing specialisation in early twentieth century English composers, in particular the works of Vaughan Williams, Stanford and Parry.
King is widely regarded as a leading expert on the music of Henry Purcell: alongside extensive recording editions of the composer's music he was Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall's Purcell Tercentenary Festival and the author of 'the definitive biography' of the composer. He is a frequent broadcaster for the BBC, writing and presenting diverse programmes. In the world of film music King was a music consultant for Ridley Scott's epic Kingdom of Heaven and his harpsichord playing can be heard in the hit film Shrek 2; other Hollywood projects include work for The Chronicles of Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Flushed Away and, assisting award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, The Da Vinci Code.
Performances in 2017-18 include a major European tour of Handel Messiah, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with The Netherlands Bach Society, Requiem by both Mozart and Michael Haydn and a choral tour with ‘A Voice from Heaven’. His most recent CD recordings include sacred music by Stanford and Parry (a Gramophone awards finalist), a best-selling disc of Handel arias with Iestyn Davies, Couperin Trois Leçons de Ténèbres with Carolyn Sampson, Monteverdi Heaven and Earth, and two discs of chamber music by Purcell, all for the VIVAT label. Shortly to be released is a disc of music by British Romantics including Stanford, Parry, Howells and MacMillan.
Julia Doyle, Soprano
Originally from Lancaster, Julia studied Social and Political Sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before embarking on a singing career, and has since performed all over the world and become established as a specialist soprano in Baroque...
Originally from Lancaster, Julia studied Social and Political Sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before embarking on a singing career, and has since performed all over the world and become established as a specialist soprano in Baroque repertoire.
She has performed Bach St John Passion at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), and in Toronto (Tafelmusik), St Matthew Passion at Alice Tully Hall in New York (Philippe Hereweghe), Christmas Oratorio in Sydney and Melbourne with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (Richard Tognetti), BWV 202 with Music of the Baroque in Chicago (Nicholas Kraemer), BWV 199 with Bach Vereniging (Alfredo Bernadini), Mozart Exultate Jubilate at the Cité de la Musique in Paris (Arsys Bourgogne), & Mass in C Minor in Budapest (Györgi Vashegyi), Handel Occasional Oratorio at the Halle Handel Festival (English Concert), La Resurezzione at The Wigmore Hall (London Handel Orchestra), Messiah at The Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Richard Cooke) & The Palace of Versailles with the King’s Consort (Robert King), Apollo e Dafne with Concerto Copenhagen (Alfredo Bernadini), Haydn Nelson Mass in the Canary Islands with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Eamonn Dougan), Haydn Paukenmesse and Beethoven Symphony No.9 with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), and Haydn Creation in St Paul’s Cathedral with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Julia’s discography includes Handel Messiah with The Britten Sinfonia / Polyphony (Stephen Layton) and The Bethlehem Bach Choir (Greg Funfgeld), Israel in Egypt with Arsys Bourgogne (Pierre Cao) & L’Allegro with Koelner Kammerchor (Peter Neumann), Mendelssohn Israel in Egypt with The King’s Consort (Robert King), Bach Magnificat with Dunedin Consort (John Butt), & Bethlehem Bach Choir (Greg Funfgeld), BWV 107, BWV 9 & Mass in B Minor with J.S.Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), & Lutheran Masses with The Sixteen (Harry Christophers), Astro Nuevo: En Torno a Rabassa with Orquestra Barocca de Sevilla (Enrico Onofri) & Lutoslawski Dwadziesci Koled with BBC Symphony Orchestra (David Zinman).
Recent and future highlights include Mozart Mass in C Minor in Toronto with Tafelmusik, Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans at the Concertgebouw, Palace of Versailles and Theater an der Wien (The King’s Consort), Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo at Halle Handel Festival (Peter Neumann), St John Passion with the Orchestra of the 18th Century (Daniel Reuss) a Bach concert tour of Europe with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, a tour of Europe performing Messiah with The King’s Consort, performances at the Buxton Festival and recordings of Bach St John Passion with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), Messiah with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Handel Occasional Oratorio with Bayerische Rundfunk (Academie für Alte Music Berlin).
Hilary Summers, Alto
Born in South Wales, contralto Hilary Summers has recorded over forty CDs spanning works from the early baroque period to the present day and has sung in most of the major concert halls and opera houses of the world. Her three-octave range has excited...
Born in South Wales, contralto Hilary Summers has recorded over forty CDs spanning works from the early baroque period to the present day and has sung in most of the major concert halls and opera houses of the world.
Her three-octave range has excited the attention of many composers. She has sung in numerous world premières including George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill at the Bastille, Paris; Elliot Carter’s What Next at the Staatsoper, Berlin; Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in London and New York and Alice’s Adventures Under Ground with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in Los Angeles and with Britten Sinfonia in London; Peter Eotvos’ Le Balcon at the Aix Festival and Facing Goya and War Work by Michael Nyman.
Hilary worked closely with the iconic composer and conductor Pierre Boulez from 2004. With the Ensemble Intercontemporain, they recorded his masterwork Le marteau sans maître, for which she won a Grammy, and performed the piece worldwide. She also performed Le visage nuptial, Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Ligeti’s Aventures and Aventures nouvelles under his inspirational baton.
A regular soloist with leading European period instrument ensembles, she has a close rapport with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company with whom she has recorded Handel’s Semele, Partenope, Flavio, Serse, and Il trionfo del tempo. Other baroque highlights include Handel’s Orlando (Medoro in Robert Carson’s production with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants); Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Sorceress in Deborah Warner’s production with Les Arts Florissants) and Handel’s Admeto (Trasimede with Christophe Rousset and Les Talons Lyriques at the Sydney Opera House).
Hilary sings internationally on the concert platform in a variety of repertoire from Bach to Birtwistle and has given over one hundred performances of Handel’s Messiah. Other favourite concert works include Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Mahler’s Symphonies 2 and 3.
Operatic roles include Sorceress; Juno; Cornelia; Polinesso; Amadigi; Tisbe (La Cenerentola); Gaea (Daphne); Geneviève (Pelléas); Baba the Turk/Mother Goose; Hippolyta; Mrs Sedley; Bianca; Mescalina (Le Grand Macabre); Tiger Lily/Mrs Darling (Peter Pan); Miss Prism.
Film soundtracks include The Claim and The Libertine by Michael Nyman, The Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Son of Rambo and the BBC TV series The League of Gentlemen by Joby Talbot.
Recent and future highlights include Mother Goose in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and Netherlands Opera, Diana Orsini in Ginastera’s Bomarzo at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with Christian Curnyn and Early Opera Company, concerts with ORF Radiosymphoni Orhestra, The King’s Consort, La Serenissima and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. In the 18/19 season her she will make her debut appearance at Teatro alla Scala, Milan singing the role of ‘Nell’ in the world premiere of Kurtag’s Fin de Partie.
Joshua Ellicott, Tenor
Joshua Ellicott's sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful lyric tenor voice and versatile musicianship are apparent in the wide range of repertoire in which he excels, from sang to opera to concert, and the list of conductors and ensembles with whom he works....
Joshua Ellicott's sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful lyric tenor voice and versatile musicianship are apparent in the wide range of repertoire in which he excels, from sang to opera to concert, and the list of conductors and ensembles with whom he works.
Described by the Wiener Zeitung as 'the magnificent tenor' for his performance with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Purcell's Fairy Queen he has also been described by the New York Times as a "stand out in an excellent cast" for his portrayal of Andres in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia and Esa Pekka Salonen at the Lincoln Centre New York.
Joshua was born in Manchester and is a graduate of the University of York where he read music. From there he progressed to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied singing, aided by a full scholarship. A landmark in his developing career came in 2006 when he was the overall winner of the International Vocal Concours in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, as well as taking four of the remaining nine prizes for song, musical interpretation and opera.
Joshua's international career now sees him travel to the premier concert halls of the world with some of the finest artists of this generation. In the field of early music he has worked with Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Concentus Musicus Wien), Sir Roger Norrington (Zurich Chamber Orchestral, Harry Bicket (The English Concert), Harry Christophers (The Sixteen, Boston Handel and Haydn Society), Robert King (The King's Consort), Paul McCreesh (The Gabrieli Consort, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra), Bernard Labadie (OAE), Emmanuel Haim (Le Concert d'Astree) and has developed a particular affinity with the works of Bach, Handel and Monteverdi and within that a special love for the role of the Evangelist in Bach's Passions. Joshua also enjoys interpreting later repertoire and he has been privileged to work with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding and Esa Pekka Salonen in works as varied as Parsifal and Tristan und lsolde (Wagner) to The Seven Deadly Sins (Kurt Weill) and Wozzeck (Berg). Orchestras include the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, The Philharmonia, The Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Brabants Orkest, RTE Symphony, Ulster Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra.
Song is another important feature of Joshua's artistry. One of the greatest successes of recent years has been a programme devised around the First World War Letters of Josh's Great Uncle Jack in which through his dramatic readings of letters and interspersed song, audiences have been left deeply moved. A particularly special performance took place this year at the Cologne Early Music Festival where some of the letters were translated into German and read by Joshua.
In the 2017/18 season, highlights include a tour of Handel's Messiah with The King's Consort, the UK premiere of George Walker's Lilacs with the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgårds, Handel's Solomon with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Peter Dijkstra, and the Evangelist in a staged production of Bach's St John Passion at Teatro Arriaga, Spain.
David Wilson-Johnson, Baritone
The British baritone David Wilson-Johnson was born in Northampton, studied Modern Languages at St Catharine's College, Cambridge and singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Over a career already spanning thirty years he has been a guest of the major...
The British baritone David Wilson-Johnson was born in Northampton, studied Modern Languages at St Catharine's College, Cambridge and singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Over a career already spanning thirty years he has been a guest of the major opera houses and orchestras and festivals worldwide. He has sung under many distinguished conductors including Pierre Boulez, Frans Brüggen, Carlo-Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Gustav Leonhardt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Kenneth Montgomery, André Previn and Sir Simon Rattle.
Opera repertoire includes Le Rossignol, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, Boris Godunov, Turandot, Werther and Die Zauberflöte, Arianna, Cosí fan tutte (all at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Peter Grimes (Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid), Billy Budd (ENO, ROH, Opera Bastille), La Damnation de Faust (Berlin, Turin, Tanglewood), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Amsterdam and Opera Garnier), Die Zauberflöte (Opera Garnier), Tristan und lsolde (Monte Carlo), Rameau's Les Boreades (Salzburg Festival), Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (Opéra Comique), Sir Michael Tippett's A Midsummer Marriage (TV film) and the title role in Messiaen's St François d'Assise (London, BBCTV, Lyon, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York and Edinburgh Festival).
Concert repertoire includes Parsifal, Mahler Symphony No. 8 with the NYO under Rattle at the BBC Proms, Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers under Knussen at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole and Brahms Requiem under Previn in Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh and Oslo, Haydn's Seasons and Schumann's Paradies an die Peri under Rattle, plus The Creation with Brüggen, Britten's Death in Venice under Montgomery and Enescu's Oedipe at the Holland Festival. He sang Beethoven's Ninth under Leonard Slatkin at the Last Night of the Proms in 2001 after the events of 9/11 to a worldwide audience of 340 million.
His discography includes Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield) as part of Angel Choir and Bootleg Chorus, the film Goodbye to Broad Street (The Beatles), and more traditionally works of Bach (Leonhardt and Giulini) Beethoven (Mackerras), Stravinsky, Schoenberg (Knussen), Ravel (Previn), Frank Martin's Jedermann Monologues, Schubert's Winterreise and songs by Finzi and Quilter on GMN.
In recent years he has sung title roles in Tippett's King Priam (Nationale Reisopera and BBC Proms), Albeniz's Merlin (Teatro Real Madrid), Shostakovich's The Nose under Rozhdestvensky (Netherlands Opera), and Britten's Owen Wingrave under Stefan Asbury.
David Wilson-Johnson taught for 21 years at the Summer School Ferrandou in the Dordogne. He now divides his time between houses in Amsterdam and France.
Recent and future highlights include Elias in Strasbourg under Holliger, A Child of our Time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with the Philadelphia Orchestra and La Damnation de Faust with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both with Charles Dutoit, The Creation with Brüggen and the New Japan Philharmonic, Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Daniele Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and later with Philippe Herreweghe, Haydn's Harmoniemesse with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischen Rundfunks Orchestra, Haydn's L'lsola Disabitata at the lttingen Whitsun Festival, Peter Grimes at the Teatro Regio Turin, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with the Orchestre de La Suisse Romande, Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, MaxwellDavies' Taverner with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Athalia with Paul Goodwin and the Basel Kammerorchester, Handel's Messiah with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen in Paris, Bach's St Matthew Passion with the King's Consort, Stravinsky's Threni and Tavener's The Whale with David Atherton and the London Sinfonietta, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen at the BBC Proms, and Ravel's L'heure Espagnole with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.