I am a soprano, specialising in the gnarly edges of contemporary classical music. Most of what I sing is brand-new; much of what I sing has been written especially for me. My repertoire spans works for solo voice, voice and electronics, voice and piano, voice and ensemble or, as co-founder of EXAUDI, works for vocal ensemble. I am also artistic director of eavesdropping, a series and a symposium in East London, and co-director of all that dust, a little independent label for new music.
The new season kicks off with two performances of works written for me by Rebecca Saunders, featured composer at the Lucerne Festival, and then the launch of a new project that celebrates the work of marine biologist, coservationist and author Rachel Carson at Musica Sacra in Maastricht and Oxford Lieder Festival. This season I am working closely with composers Lara Agar, Laurence Crane, Laura Bowler, Pascale Criton, Luke Nickel and Martin Smolka. Explore my SPECIAL PROJECTS page to find out more.
Recent highlights, which marked a pretty dramatic return to the stage, include a lot of Gesualdo with EXAUDI for Wigmore Hall and City University Summer Sounds, and a very meaty double-bill for Britten Pears Arts' summer programme: Samuel Beckett's Not I alongside Morton Feldman's Three Voices, performed three nights running for a small live audience in the Britten Studio, Snape Maltings. I don't normally share reviews, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime project so I was glad to see inky proof that I had actually pulled it off.
Running across the weekend also were late-night performances of To and Fro in Shadow – Beckett|Feldman, a pairing of Samuel Beckett's Not I and Morton Feldman's Three Voices devised and performed by the soprano Juliet Fraser, and directed by James Macdonald. The torrential outpouring of words in Beckett’s monologue with the auditorium in total darkness save for a single spotlight on Fraser’s mouth, was followed by the looping, mostly wordless repetitions of Feldman’s exquisite piece (composed as a memorial to two friends, the poet Frank O’Hara and the painter Philip Guston), in which a live voice combines with two pre-recorded versions of itself, in an ever shifting tapestry of sounds. Words (from an O’Hara poem) crystallise out of the textures as the piece goes on, but their meaning always seems just out of reach, the music unresolved. It was a quite tremendous tour de force by Fraser, every element perfectly executed; that the Feldman was mostly illuminated through the window at the back of the Britten Studio by the late-evening midsummer light, complete with a new crescent moon, only enhanced the magic. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian)