J.S. Bach Mass in B minor April 2009 - Soloists

Joanne Dexter - Soprano

Joanne Dexter Soprano

Born in Otley, West Yorkshire, Joanne studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow, where she was awarded the Sybil Tutton Scholarship and won the ‘Ye Cronies’ Opera Competition. After graduating she studied Italian at the University of Perugia.

For Opera North, Joanne has sung the roles of the First Lady Idomeneo, the Noble Orphan Der Rosenkavalier and Shepherd Boy Tosca and covered Carolina Secret Marriage, Shepherdess, Bat and Chair L’Enfant et les Sortileges and Papagena Die Zauberflöte. Joanne also sang the role of Pamina Die Zauberflöte at the Aix en Provence festival and Musetta La Boheme with English Touring Opera She has also played the Slave Girl Djamileh and Helene Une Education Manquée for Les Azuriales Opera at the Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden.

Her broadcasting and recital credits include Masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen (BBC2), a recital at the inaugural Leeds Lieder+ festival. Recordings include the First Lady Idomeneo for Chandos, conducted by David Parry.

Joanne’s extensive oratorio and concert repertoire includes Mozart concert arias with the Lakeland Sinfonia, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, the Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B Minor, Haydn’s The Seasons and Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Dixit Dominus, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Rutter’s Magnificat, and the world premiere of Alan Bullard’s Canticle of Freedom at Coventry Cathedral. Recently she has been soprano soloist in both oratorio and opera concerts with the English Northern Philharmonia. Future engagements include many concert and oratorio performances throughout the country.

Deborah Miles-Johnson Mezzo-soprano

Deborah Miles-Johnson Mezzo-Soprano

Deborah Miles-Johnson was born in London and now fulfils a busy and varied career in oratorio and the contemporary repertoire. Engagements in recent seasons have included Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles, which she has performed with both Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Andrew Davies, The Dream of Gerontius with the New Queen's Hall Orchestra under Matthew Best, Mendelssohn's Elijah in Toronto, Mozart's Mass in C minor at the Barbican, Verdi's Requiem at St George's Chapel, Windsor and Vivaldi's Gloria at the Albert Hall. Her performance of El Amor Brujo by De Falla with the New London Chamber Orchestra under Ronald Corp was broadcast by Classic FM. At the 2001 Proms she performed Haydn's Creation Mass with Andrew Parrott and the London Mozart Players. She toured Spain, Istanbul and Japan with the English Concert performing Bach's St Matthew Passion, a work she has also performed at the prestigious Bachwoche with Parrott and the Norsk Barokkorkester. She has visited Brazil with The Sixteen and took the lead role in Handel's Il Parnasso in Festa for the London Handel Society which was broadcast by the BBC.

A regular performer of the contemporary repertoire, Deborah sang Proença by John Buller for the BBC and premiered Brian Elias's Laments under Otaka. Other performances include Jean Barraque's ...au dela du hasard  in Vienna,  Satyagraha by Philip Glass and one of the secretaries in the first London performance of Nixon in China by John Adams with Kent Nagano and the LSO. She made her Wigmore Hall debut performing Upon Silence by George Benjamin with the viol group Fretwork.

Stephen Roberts Bass

Stephen Roberts Bass-Baritone

Stephen Roberts is one of Britain’s foremost concert and oratorio performers and a champion of the English choral tradition, having collaborated in particular with such conductors as Sir David Willcocks and Richard Hickox in many performances and recordings. Such recordings include Elgar’s Caractacus and The Apostles as well as Vaughan William’s A Sea Symphony, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Sir John Pritchard, and the prize winning recording of Dyson’s Canterbury Pilgrims for Chandos.

Concerts abroad have included a tour of Spain with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Libor Pesek in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony in Rome with Chailly, and Mahler’s Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen in Paris with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded and performed in many European capitals Penderecki’s St Luke Passion with the composer conducting, and Stravinsky’s Pribaoutki with David Atherton and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society.

Stephen also works with groups specialising in authentic performance techniques, and has taken part in many recordings and tours with such groups, including recently India, Japan and Sri Lanka with Pro Cantione Antiqua, and Mexico and Central America with the Amaryllis Consort, of which he is a founder member. He has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Nikolas Harnoncourt conducting, and toured France and Japan in Bach’s B Minor Mass with Rene Jacobs.

Stephen has recorded two CDs of English song by such composers as Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Butterworth and Parry. In addition, he has just had released a CD of Somervell’s song cycle Maud and songs by Sterndale Bennett, along with the first known recording of several early compositions by Herbert Howells.

Andrew King Tenor

Andrew King Tenor

Andrew King studied at St John’s College, Durham and King’s College, Cambridge. He is acknowledged as a leading interpreter of Renaissance and Baroque music and is much in demand as an oratorio singer. As a performer of contemporary music his world premières have included works by Judith Bingham, John Joubert, and Mark-Anthony Turnage (Leaving, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra).

His love of chamber music is exemplified by his work with the Consort of Musicke (since 1978), New London Consort, Pro Cantione Antiqua, and as the director of The Renaissance Ensemble. On stage he has performed throughout the world many early operas and masques. In 2007 he conducted acclaimed “period” performances of Locke’s Psyche for Birmingham Conservatoire. Apart from tutoring his individual singing pupils, he teaches the Historical Vocal Programme at Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University and has taught throughout Europe and the USA and at Summer Schools in England both at Dartington and West Dean.

Andrew performs extensively around the world and has made numerous recordings. He has recently completed a series of performances as Apollo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo conducted by Philip Pickett and directed by Jonathan Miller as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of this great opera. Engagements in early 2008 included Bach and Vivaldi in Australia, Purcell’s The Indian Queen in Paris, conducting Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea in Birmingham, performances of Bach’s St John Passion (Evangelist) in England, Bach’s Easter Oratorio in Strasbourg, and Biber’s Requiem in Krakow.