Philip Sheffield will be joined by Cecilia Osmond, Andrew Slater and Robert Ogden performing Handel’s “Messiah” from memory. Other soloists available will include Richard Edgar Wilson, Ben Bevan, Bertie Rice, Eileen Hulse and James Oldfield.
Lift your choral society performance with four soloists off copy and really telling the story of Handel’s masterpiece.
Listen to Philip singing “Every Valley” here with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Tenor Richard Edgar-Wilson is known internationally for his superb musicianship and for the quality of his voice. He has built his reputation as a Bach Evangelist, and is equally in demand for twentieth-century works, particularly the music of his fellow Suffolk native, Benjamin Britten.
Richard has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, orchestras and accompanists, performing music from the Renaissance through to the many compositions written especially for him. Renowned for his interpretations of Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart, he has performed in many of the world’s leading venues including La Scala, Palais Garnier and Amsterdam Concertgebouw (click on biography, reviews and repertoire lists for more details).
Winner of a Gramophone award, he has created roles in television and on film, including the award winning feature film Suffløsen. Richard’s extensive discography includes Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Die Schöne Müllerin, and works by Monteverdi, Bach, Britten and Bernard Herrmann amongst many others. To listen to samples from some of these discs, or to view a pdf of his complete discography, click here.
Cecilia Osmond – Soprano The Canadian-born soprano Cecilia Osmond is heard frequently as a soloist and as a member of elite vocal ensembles, such as The Cardinall’s Musick and The Tallis Scholars. She was educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School and Trinity College, Cambridge. During her postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music she was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Notable solo performances include the title role in Handel’s Theodora with Nicholas McGegan at the Spitalfields Festival, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh, Bach’s Matthew Passion with the Sixteen and Harry Christophers, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the London Mozart Players, and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in the City of London Festival with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir.
Cecilia can be heard on over fifty recordings, including solo appearances on award-winning discs with Polyphony and The King’s Consort. Her recent recordings include the critically acclaimed Bach Matthew Passion and Bach Mass in B Minor, performed with solo voices by the Dunedin Consort and Players under John Butt.
After an initial career as a teacher, Eileen studied at the National Opera Studio, was accepted by Y.C.A.T. and rapidly made her mark as one of Britain’s leading coloratura sopranos.
Eileen travelled extensively with the role of Flora, Turn of the Screw performing at the Fenice, Kirov, Bolshoi, and the Music Centre Los Angeles. She has also recorded the role for Collins Classics. Other more standard roles include Constanze and Blonde, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Queen of the Night and Pamina Magic Flute, Madame Herz, Der Schauspieldirector, Fiakermilli Arabella to name but a few. As well as classical opera Eileen has been very involved with contemporary opera roles. She performed to considerable critical acclaim the multiple roles of The Maid in Thomas Adès first opera Powder Her Face with the Vlaamse operaand was involved in the premiere of his second opera The Tempest with the stratospheric role Ariel. Other world premieres include Mother, Baa Baa Black Sheep,Michael Berkeley, 63 Dream Palace, von Bose and Higgelty Piggelty Pop, Knussen. Opera videos include Baa Baa Black Sheep with Opera North and Rusalka E.N.O.
Eileen has performed extensively on the concert platform both at home and abroad. She has appeared several times at the Proms, the first time singing Glière’s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting and returning to sing the equally stratospheric In Alium, John Tavener.She has since recorded both works. A work that Eileen has performed frequently in both its piano and orchestral versions is the cycle, Songs of the Fairytale Princess by Szymanowski, with orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle, Martyn Brabbins and Sian Edwards, each time recorded for radio. In the piano version she has performed them with John Constable, Paul Turner and Ian Burnside.
Robert Ogden was born in Harrogate, studied at King’s College, Cambridge, the RNCM where he was awarded the Curtis Gold Medal for Singing and the Netherlands Opera Studio in Amsterdam. Recently described by Opera Magazine as ‘a rare and exciting find’, Robert made his critically acclaimed debut as KREON/Medea (Rolf Liebermann) for Stadttheater Bern, Switzerland in 2001. Subsequent roles have included ANDRONICO/Tamerlano (Handel) and ANTONIO/Gesualdo (Craig Armstrong) for Scottish Opera, NIRENO/Giulio Cesare (Handel) for Norwegian National Opera, DELFA/Giasone (Cavalli) for Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Austria, PAGE/Sly (Wolf-Ferrari) alongside José Carreras and Sherrill Milnes and SHEPHERD/Tosca (Puccini) for the Washington Opera, U.S.A., the title roles in Orfeo (Glück) and Orlando (Handel) for Ryedale Festival, the covers of OBERON/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten) and the title role in Radamisto (Handel) for Opera North, PTOLOMEO/Giulio Cesare (Handel) for the Handel Opera Society and ATHAMUS/Semele (Handel) in the Teatru Manoel, Malta.
Robert’s concert repertoire is extensive. He also performs frequently in recital from a wide repertoire that has included two world premières by Giles Swayne, has made several broadcasts on BBC, Australian, Japanese and German radio and recently sang recitals at the Concertgebouw and the Muziektheater, Amsterdam.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Messiah in Sandefjord, Norway, York Minster, Harrogate Royal Hall, Bradford St George’s Hall and Ripon Cathedral, an evening of works by Bach in Sheffield Cathedral, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater for Ryedale Festival and the world première of The Rosenhan Experiment (Tim Benjamin) at the South Bank Centre. Robert co-founded Landor Records in 2006, an award-winning independent classical label that has recorded some of the brightest names in classical music. He moved to Harrogate in 2009 to take up the position of Artistic Director of The Northern Aldborough Festival.
Andrew Slater was born in Cheshire and worked as a Physics teacher in Toxteth before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. He joined the Glyndebourne chorus in 1990 and was given the John Christie Award, which provided for a period of study at the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire.
He now works as a freelance soloist with the major UK opera companies and in Europe. Usually he plays somebody’s dad, a king or the bad guy; in fact as Golaud in Pelleas for Glyndebourne on tour he achieved all three! Occasional changes of fortune allow him to get the girl in some productions: Figaro in the BBCTV Figaro Live, Rochester in Michael Berkeley’s Jane Eyre for Music Theatre Wales and on Naxos and Don Annibale in Il Campanello at Les Azuriales Festival in Nice. Of course he murdered his wife as Wozzeck with Birmingham Opera Company, was back to being a king as Erimante in Cavalli’s Erismena for OTC in Dublin and enjoyed playing Faninal (a dad) Der Rosenkavalier with Scottish Opera.
Alongside this stage career, Andrew has developed links with a number of choirs around the country who regularly invite him to bring his particular zeal to their choral concerts, either performing together in oratorio or giving a solo recital between choir numbers.
He also finds time to teach part time at the University in Huddersfield and periodically take his turn minding the 3 children!
Benjamin Bevan won a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School, London and made his international début at Lausanne Opera in La Cenerentola.
He made his UK debut at Scottish Opera as MarcelloLa Bohème followed by return invitations to sing Fleville and Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chenierunder Sir Richard Armstrong and RiccardoI Puritani, Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon and Marcello in the revival of La Bohème under Francesco Corti. He made his debut at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing Henry Cuffe in Gloriana by Benjamin Britten.
Last season he made his debut at Welsh National Opera in two new productions: singing Lescaut in Boulevard Solitude by Henze followed by Roderick Usher in Usher House by Getty.
Recent performances include Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki and with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Three Choirs Festival.
Current and future engagements include SpeakerDie Zauberflöte at The Royal Opera House, NotaryIntermezzo for Garsington Opera, performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under John Butt, Bach’s St John Passion with the Hanover Band and the City of London Choir, and Messiah with the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Paul McCreesh
Oratorio and opera singer James Oldfield trained at Trinity College, Cambridge and at the Royal College of Music, London. In July 2009, he completed an Artist Diploma in Opera at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. James’ awards and scholarships included the Eric Joseph Shilling Prize for Opera, the RCM Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship, the inaugural Independent Opera/Royal College of Music Scholarship (2008), a Sybil Tutton Award administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and the 2010 Leonard Ingrams Award from Garsington Opera.
In 2010 James made his professional debut with Garsington Opera as Figaro in ‘Le nozze di Figaro’, and since then has performed with Gothenburg Opera (Nick Shadow in ‘The Rake’s Progress’), The Royal Opera House (Ludd in ‘Ludd & Isis’) and Opera North (Achilla in Handel ‘Giulio Cesare’). As a seasoned concert soloist, he has performed with the Hallé, RTE Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, London Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Northern Sinfonia. James’ debut with the Huddersfield Choral Society (Handel ‘Messiah’) was released as a live recording by Signum Records.
Robert Rice studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and at the Royal Academy of Music under Mark Wildman, Thereafter continuing with Richard Smart and Sheila Barnes. Recent concerts have included Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the CBSO in Birmingham Symphony Hall, the role of Farasmane in Handel’s Radamisto for The English Concert in London, Birmingham and Paris, and Bach’s St John Passion in Sandefjord, Norway. In recital he collaborates with guitarist Erich Schachtner, and with pianist Will Vann, most recently at York’s Late Music Festival.
Robert has worked extensively onstage in contemporary music, creating roles in operas by Judith Bingham and Nigel Osborne among others. A skilled arranger of vocal music in many genres, he is published by Novello & Co. Ltd.