- 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, selling in excess of one and a half million copies, The King's Consort is one of the world's most-recorded historical instrument orchestras. TKC now records for the VIVAT label.
For more than three decades The King's Consort, under Robert King's artistic direction, 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 dozens of composers from Albinoni to Zelenka, including Bach Mass in B Minor, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart Sacred Music, the Stabat Maters of Pergolesi, Astorga and Boccherini, 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, including the Vespers of 1610: this series follows the success of ten volumes of Vivaldi's complete Sacred Music. Similarly fêted have been the best-selling recordings of The Coronation of King George, Handel's colourful Ode for St Cecilia, the critically-acclaimed 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, where its repertoire includes discs by Stanford and Parry (a Gramophone Awards finalist), Couperin, Monteverdi, Handel and Purcell. Shortly to be released is a new recording of music by British Romantics including Stanford, Parry, Howells and MacMillan.
In the world of Hollywood the Choir of The King's Consort feature in the sound tracks of Ridley Scott's epic 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, performed the Requiems of Mozart and Michael Haydn in Lucerne and Cuenca, Mendelssohn Paulus at Leipzig Gewandhaus and Haydn The Creation for Flanders Festival, Finzi Dies Natalis and Britten Les Illuminations at Wigmore Hall and in France, Handel Ottone, Purcell The Fairy Queen and King Arthur in Theater an der Wien, recorded and performed Couperin Trois Leçons de Ténèbres widely, toured Handel La Resurrezione and Pergolesi Stabat Mater in France, and toured in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
2016-17 highlights include a major European tour of Handel Messiah, Monteverdi Vespers and Lo Sposalizio for Rheingau Festival, Vivaldi Juditha triumphans in Vienna, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Versailles, Bach Four Orchestral Suites in the UK and France, Purcell and Shakespeare widely across Spain, music by four Bachs in Ghent, alongside tours to Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
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 from Rameau to Rossini, Vivaldi to Vaughan Williams, Bach to...
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 from Rameau to Rossini, Vivaldi to Vaughan Williams, Bach to Beethoven, Handel to Howells, Fasch to Finzi, Purcell to Pärt, Gluck to Gubaidulina, Schütz to Saint-Saëns, Mozart to Mendelssohn and more besides.
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 almost every European country, North and South America and the Far East. He has made more than 100 recordings which have sold in excess of one and a half million CDs and won many international awards. He made his BBC Proms conducting début in 1991 and has since been invited a further seven times. Robert King now records for the VIVAT label. His best-selling recording of Stanford and Parry was a finalist in the 2013 Gramophone Awards.
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, Aarhus, Aalborg and Iceland Symphony Orchestras and the Jönköping Sinfonietta, 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 e Coro Ciudad 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, 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, notably 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 The 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 this season include concerts and tours in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, together with a series of new CDs for the VIVAT label.
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 Enlightement (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).
In the next twelve months Julia looks forward to performing 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) and making recordings of Bach St John Passion with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz) and Handel Occasional Oratorio with Bayerische Rundfunk (Academie für Alte Music Berlin).
Season 2016/2017 by courtesy of Groves Artists
Hilary Summers, Alto
Born in South Wales, contralto Hilary Summers studied at Reading University, the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera studio. She has recorded over forty CDs spanning works from the early baroque period to the present day and has sung in most of the...
Born in South Wales, contralto Hilary Summers studied at Reading University, the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera studio. She 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 with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in Los Angeles; 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 past 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.
Engagements in 2016/17 and beyond include the roles of Dormouse, White Queen and Cook in the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Underground with the LA Philharmonic in Los Angeles under Tom Ades, Mother Goose in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence under Daniel Harding, Diana Orsini in Ginastera’s Bomarzo at the Teatro Real, Madrid, and Boulez’s Le visage nuptial with the ORF Radiosymphonie Orchestra at the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as her debut appearance at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Season 2016/2017 by courtesy of maxinerobertson.com
Joshua Ellicott, Tenor
Lyric tenor Joshua Ellicott was born in Manchester and read music at York University before continuing his vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. There he won a full scholarship to study on the Postgraduate Vocal Study...
Lyric tenor Joshua Ellicott was born in Manchester and read music at York University before continuing his vocal studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. There he won a full scholarship to study on the Postgraduate Vocal Study and Opera courses. A milestone in his thriving international career came in 2006 when he won the prestigious International Vocal Competition in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. As well as the First Prize he claimed a further three prizes for song, opera and finest all-round musicianship. This puts him in a select band of previous winners which includes Thomas Hampson, Nelly Miricioiu and Sarah Connolly.
His career is now becoming as varied as it is distinguished with interests ranging from early music to contemporary repertoire and from recitals and concerts through to opera, performed with some of the finest ensembles and musicians.
Recent performances include a gala concert with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Purcell’s Fairy Queen with the Gabrieli Consort under Paul McCreesh; Schubert’s Mass in E flat with Daniel Harding at the St Denis Festival; Handel’s Saul with the Sixteen in Versailles and the Evangelist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion for the Boston Handel & Haydn Society, both under Harry Christophers; Handel Arias with the English Concert and Harry Bicket; Shepherd and Sailor (Tristan und Isolde) with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Handel Messiah and Bach St Matthew Passion tours with The King’s Consort; a staged St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Mozart Requiem in Japan with Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Handel L' Allegro with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, and Handel Theodora with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra both under Kenneth Montgomery; Birtwistle's The Last Supper with Elgar Howarth and the London Sinfonietta; St Matthew Passion with Harry Bicket and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven's Choral Fantasia with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Roger Norrington at the Last Night of the Proms; and Howells Stabat Mater with the Brabants Orkest and David Atherton.
Future concert plans include the role of Andres (Wozzeck) in a tour taking in L.A., New York and Berkeley with the Philharmonia under Salonen, Beethoven 9 concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Barbican Centre and Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and a Monteverdi Vespers European tour under Emmanuelle Haim.
No stranger to the opera stage, he has worked regularly with Opera North, most recently as Richard Dauntless in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. Other roles there have included Jaquino (Fidelio), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Sergei (Paradise Moscow). He appeared as Pedrillo (Die Entführung) for English Touring Opera, Der Narr (Wozzeck) for La Monnaie Brussels and he has also worked with Scottish Opera. 2013 sees Joshua’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut, as Basilio in Marriage of Figaro under Sir John Elliot Gardiner.
THIS BIOGRAPHY IS AVAILABLE BY COURTESY OF THE PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA
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, where he won many prizes including the Dove Prize for most distinguished...
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, where he won many prizes including the Dove Prize for most distinguished student. In the early days he sang in the choirs of St Margaret's Westminster (Richard Hickox), The London Oratory, (John Hoban) the BBC Singers (John Poole) and the Monteverdi Choir (John Eliot Gardiner.) Since then, over a career already spanning forty years, he has been a guest of the major opera houses and orchestras and festivals worldwide. He has sung under the most distinguished conductors including David Atherton, Pierre Boulez, Frans Brüggen, Sir Colin and Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Carlo-Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Gustav Leonhardt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Kenneth Montgomery, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and Evgeny Svetlanov.
He made his operatic debut at Covent Garden in Henze's We Come to the River in 1976 and sang regularly there over twenty-one years in a wide range of roles including Billy Budd, Le Rossignol, L'Enfant et les Sortilleges, Boris Godunov, Turandot, Werther, Die Zauberflöte, Arianna, Cosí fan tutte. He also sang in Peter Grimes (Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid), Billy Budd (ENO, ROH, Opera Bastille), La Damnation de Faust (Turin, Tanglewood), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Amsterdam, Paris), Die Zauberflöte (Opera Garnier), Tristan und Isolde ( London, Monte Carlo), Ariadne auf Naxos (Paris),Punch and Judy, Die Gluckliche Hand, Von Heute auf Morgen, Les Troyens, Les Indes Galantes (Amsterdam) Rameau's Les Boreades (Salzburg Festival), Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (Opéra Comique), The Lighthouse (Edinburgh Festival), 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).
His most memorable concerts have been Mahler 8 with the NYO under Rattle, Tippett's King Priam under David Atherton 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 and Haydn's Seasons under Rattle, plus The Creation (educational projects in Amsterdam and Paris) 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.
Discography: Over 200 CDs including Tubular Bells and Ommadawn (Mike Oldfield), the film Give my regards to Broad Street (The Beatles), and more traditionally works of Bach ( Cantatas with Leonhardt, B minor Mass with Giulini) Beethoven (Fidelio with Mackerras), Stravinsky (Knussen), Schoenberg (Knussen and Robert Craft), Ravel (L'Heure Espagnole, L'Enfant et les Sortilleges with Previn), Frank Martin's Jedermann Monologues (Matthias Bamert). Mahler 8 with Simon Rattle. Since student days he has worked with the pianist David Owen Norris and together they have recorded many recitals including Schubert's Winterreise, songs by Finzi and Quilter and many first performances of works written for them ( Michael Berkeley, Edward Cowie, Trevor Hold, Lutoslawski, Tippett) and Stravinsky and Tschaikowsky.
In 2006 he decided to retire from the operatic stage and his last performances were the title roles in Tippett's King Priam (Nationale Reisopera and BBC Proms), Albeniz's Merlin (Teatro Real Madrid), Shostakovitch's The Nose under Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (Netherlands Opera) and Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise (Edinburgh Festival).
Recent concert projects included a tour with Sir Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment of Schumann's Paradies und die Peri as well as tours with Frans Bruggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century singing Die Schöpfung and Beethoven's 9th Symphony. He sang performances of La Damnation de Faust with Charles Dutoit with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. the Sydney Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Philharmonia and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He recently recorded Romeo et Juliette (Berlioz) with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He sang Elias in Strasbourg under David Hill, the title role in Owen Wingrave in Tapiola with Stefan Asbury, Tippett's A Child of our Time with Sir Andrew Davis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius under Vladimir Ashkenazy with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
He is very proud of his long standing musical collaborations with Charles Dutoit and future plans include more performances of Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole with the Boston Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
David Wilson-Johnson teaches in Amsterdam and London and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
He lives between houses in Amsterdam, Lincolnshire and the Dordogne valley.
Season 2016/2017 by courtesy of Rayfield Allied