Here we give brief details and photos of some of the many singers who have contributed to Scottish Voices over the years. Some of these have their own websites with more extensive details:
Alison McNeill, Anne Lewis, Beth Taylor, Dorcas Owen, Frances Morrison-Allen, Grace Wain, Julia Daramy-Williams, Laura Margaret Smith, Lynn Bellamy, Taylor Wilson, as well the octet of mixed voices who recorded Graham Hair’s Lament for Hagia Sophia in April 2018. The latter included Rachel Thomas, Sally Carr, Lynn Bellamy, Ruth Kiang, Liam Bonthrone, Ted Black, Pedro Davoli Ometo and Will Forrest.
Alison McNeill, Soprano
Alison McNeill graduated with a Masters in Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and subsequently won the Andres Segovia-Morales Prize for Spanish Music in Santigo de Compostela (Spain), and was a finalist in several major singing competitions.
She has performed throughout the UK, Holland, Austria, Spain, America and Mexico as a soloist with prestigious groups including the RSNO, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, Ditirambo Baroque Ensemble, La Camaraderia Ensemble and the Celtic Folk Band Reely Jiggered. She has broadcast on Spanish and Mexican National Radio and TV, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 3 and a special programme on BBC Classics Unwrapped performing at the Big Guitar Weekend with duo partner Sasha Savaloni.
More information: www.alisonmcneill.com
Anne Lewis, Mezzo-Soprano
Anne studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has performed as a soloist in all the main oratorio repertoire, including ‘The Creation’, with both Sir Charles MacKerras and Sir Roger Norrington. She has performed and recorded with Cappella Nova, Scottish Voices, Dunedin Consort and Canty. Recordings include music by James MacMillan and other leading contemporary composers. With Scottish Voices she has toured America, and with Dunedin Consort performed ‘Messiah’ at the Noirlac and Chaise Dieu Festivals. In 2016, she toured Scotland with Cappella Nova in Lorimer production’s ‘Echoes and Traces’, which was reprised at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. With harpist Bill Taylor, she performs Scottish songs and airs for voice and harps. She enjoys teaching, directing and arranging for community choirs, and teaches classes in singing for health and wellbeing for Strathclyde University.
More information: annelewis.co.uk
Beth Taylor, Mezzo-soprano
Beth is a Scottish Mezzo-Soprano studied at the Royal Conservatoire and continued her studies on the Postgraduate programme with Iain Paton, as well as in masterclasses with Susan Graham, Sarah Connolly and Malcolm Martineau, supported by a Help Musicians UK Fleming award and the Stirlingshire Educational Trust.
She has collaborated with many of the UK’s foremost professional musicians, including Dunedin Consort, Genesis Sixteen and Kellie Consort. Operatic performances have included appearances in L’Isola Disabitata, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, La Traviata, Giulio Cesare, Handel). Beth has taken part in many festivals and competitions over the years and accolades have included winning the RCS Governor’s Recital Prize and high commendations in Scottish Song and Lieder Prizes.
Frances Morrison-Allen, Soprano
Frances Morrison-Allen was born in Aberdeen and studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Frances joined Scottish Opera in 1994 and has performed various roles with the company. She has also worked with Welsh National Opera Opera North and the BBC Singers. Frances works regularly with Scottish Voices with whom she has travelled to the USA and New Zealand.
Within the Education department of Scottish Opera Frances has performed in BabyO and SensoryO (opera for babies and toddlers) travelling to Abu Dhabi, London with plans for New York and New Zealand later in the year. Frances has a busy teaching and coaching schedule and is Music Director of the Killin Community Choir and the Scottish Opera Community Choir.
Katrina Nimmo, Soprano
Scottish Soprano Katrina studied under Wilma MacDougall as a postgraduate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before embarking on an eclectic career as a musician.
She joined the Band Service of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines in 2015 where she has undergone somewhat of a transformation: learning clarinet to compliment her musical capabilities and undergoing military training at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, to develop skills in fieldcraft and combat.Since joining the Band Service, she has performed a varied repertoire with the Massed Bands, from arias in Plymouth to folksong and Jackson 5 at the Royal Albert Hall.
When not studiously ruining clarinet studies and experimenting with various tuning systems, Katrina enjoys yoga and running and hopes to pursue courses in the instruction of both of these hobbies.
Julia Daramy-Williams, Soprano
Born in Singapore of African and Asian heritage, lyric soprano Julia Daramy-Williams trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Kathleen McKellar Ferguson, also taking masterclasses with Malcolm Martineau, Lisa Milne, Rachel Nicholls and Christoph Prégardien. Prizes have included the Norma Greig French Song Prize, and a subsequent performance of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death in the Sosnowiec Music Festival, Poland.
After completing her Bachelors and Masters degrees, Julia studied at the Alexander Gibson Opera School with Stephen Robertson and Elizabeth McCormack, and the support of the RCS and Thomas & Margaret Roddan Trusts. Partial opera roles have included the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). Operatic engagements have included engagements with Scottish Opera, Edinburgh Opera Players, Cromarty Youth Opera) and the RCS/ENO. Concert engagements have included: Debussy’s Cinq Chansons de Baudelaire and Mozart’s Mass in C minor.
Laura Margaret Smith, Mezzo-soprano
Described as “a spirited young mezzo with a full, fearless voice. A name to watch” by Gramophone magazine, Scottish Mezzo-Soprano Laura Margaret Smith enjoys an exciting career performing in the UK and Europe. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Alexander Gibson Opera School and former Scottish Opera Robertson Scholarship Trust Emerging Artist, Laura now studies with Patricia MacMahon and has been a Samling Artist and Britten-Pears Young Artist, and was invited to participate in the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Italy with Dennis O’Neill, Richard Bonynge and Luciana Serra.
Laura’s other operatic performances have included in Lohengrin (Bayreuth Festival), Amahl, Amahl and the Night Visitors (Opera Bohemia), Inés de Castro (with Scottish Opera), La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera unwrapped), Macbeth (Scottish Opera Tour), the title role in Carmen (with Edinburgh Grand Opera), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Conservatoire/Scottish Opera), L’Incoronazione di Poppea, The rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring (Royal Conservatoire). Laura recently recorded the Brahms Alto & Viola songs for BBC Radio 3, and performed with duo partner, Geoffrey Tanti at the Yehudi Menuhin Centenary Concert in Kings Place, London.
Myrna Tennant, Mezzo-soprano
Originally from the Netherlands, Myrna studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Helen Lawson, graduating with First Class Honours.
Myrna has sung with RCS Voices at the St Magnus International Festival, the Aberdeen international Youth Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe, and participated in the Genesis Sixteen programme with Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan. Opera work has included the roles of ‘le petit vieillard’ in (L’enfant et les Sortilèges) Sandman (Hansel and Gretel), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and Galatea (Acis and Galatea) and the title role in Massenet’s Cinderella.
Myrna also enjoys performing in community settings, including placements at dementia wards in and around Glasgow, a workshop with primary school children, an intensive week course with Drake Music Scotland, and work with music, all aiming to increase opportunities in music settings for people with Additional Support Needs.
Taylor Wilson, Mezzo-soprano
Taylor Wilson has studied voice, opera studies and modern languages. She manages a busy career on the international operatic and concert platforms and is also a champion of new music (often written specifically for her voice). Taylor has featured on several albums, film soundtracks and acted in short films. Her latest recording, (Life Stories), features the one-woman opera, Silent Jack, a role created by Taylor and which has received much critical acclaim
Lucy Anderson, Soprano
Scottish soprano Lucy Anderson is the Robertson Trust Emerging Artist with Scottish Opera for the 18/19 season. She completed the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where principal roles included Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites), Magda (The Consul), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement) and Nella (Gianni Schicchi).
Lucy has received the Frances Collins Award, a Mary Gillespie Award, the Mary D Adams Scholarship and the Norma Greig French Song Prize, and has been generously supported by the Robertson Trust and the Caird Trust. She is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and has appeared as a soloist with the LSO in Barbican Hall. Future engagements include Countess Ceprano Rigoletto, the Opera Highlights Spring Tour and First Lady (cover) The Magic Flute, all with Scottish Opera.
Dorcas Owen, Mezzo-soprano
Dorcas was born in West Yorkshire and studied at Huddersfield Technical College School of Music and The Royal Scottish Conservatoire).
As a soloist she has performed with Many of Scotland’s finest musical ensembles such as The Scottish Ensemble, The Edinburgh Bach Society, The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, The Glasgow Chamber Choir, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the Edinburgh Quartet amongst others. Dorcas has sung as part of Scotland’s finest vocal ensembles such as Cappella Nova, Crafty Musick, The Dunedin Consort and Scottish Voices (with whom she has made several recordings and has performed with them in the USA, Cyprus and Portugal, as well as in Scotland).
Currently based in Edinburgh, Dorcas trains and directs a variety of vocal ensembles at George Watson’s College. Dorcas also regularly takes vocal workshops and adjudicates in singing competitions. She has also directed opera with several Scottish companies.
Lynn Bellamy, Mezzo-soprano
Lynn Bellamy is a graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she studied under Margaret Izatt. This summer, Lynn was an Emerging Artist with the Opera in the City Festival at the Bridewell Theatre in London, where she performed in Gluck’s Orpheo ed Eurydice, and took part in a public masterclass delivered by James Clutton. In 2019, Lynn looks forward to performing in Manon Lescaut and Un Ballo in Maschera with Opera Holland Park, and to touring the Canary Islands with Music Festivals at Sea.
Lynn regularly performs in concert, recently including Mozart’s Requiѐm Mass in D minor with St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Durufle’s Requiem with Strathaven Choral Society, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with Bridge of Weir Choral Society and the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Galloway Voices.
Stephanie Strachan, Soprano
Paisley born Soprano Stephanie Strachan is based in Glasgow, working under the tutelage of Clare Shearer. Her postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will culminate this Spring, by performing the role of Controller in the Alexander Gibson Opera School’s production of Dove’s Opera, Flight.
Stephanie has performed internationally in many of Scotland’s most prestigious ensembles; notable audiences include Chicago, Wyoming, Prague, Vienna, and Slovakia. She also enjoys performing more contemporary music, premiering Scottish composer Aileen Sweeney’s ‘Mare Nostrum’ with the Edinburgh Quartet last year as part of Refugee Festival Scotland, singing in the UK tours of Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and regularly recording as a session vocalist for Scottish based bands and projects.
Stephanie is Musical Director of the Scottish Police & Community Choir, and maintains a fierce passion for inclusivity within the arts. Alongside this work she is also a professional face & body painter, and airbrush artist. Previous clients include Scottish Opera, TRNSMT Festival, Harley Davidson, and the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
Soprano, Voice Leader & Educator
Ensemble April 2018
British soprano Rachel Thomas is currently studying for a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Prior to this, she read Music at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a choral scholar. In addition to her studies, she works as a freelance soloist and ensemble singer for groups in London and Scotland, and is a member of Glasgow Cathedral Choir.
Soprano Sally Carr was educated at St Mary’s Music School and is in her final year of the BMus degree at the University of Edinburgh. She studies singing with Susan Hamilton, and is the soprano choral scholar at Old Saint Paul’s. She has sung with a number of Scottish choirs and ensembles and is an alumna of the renowned UK young artist programme, Genesis Sixteen. She was recently awarded the Tovey Memorial Prize for the undergraduate student showing the highest potential in performance, promoted annually by the Reid School of Music.
Lynn Bellamy is a mezzo soprano and recent graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has participated in masterclasses given by Susan Graham and Malcolm Martineau, Rachel Nicholls, Patricia McMahon and Lisa Milne. Recent operatic roles include Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Filipyevna (Onegin) and Kate Julian (Owen Wingrave). Lynn has also recently taken part in a touring production of The Pearl Fishers with Opera Bohemia.
Mezzo-soprano, Ruth Kiang studied in Durham and was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. Based in London, she has a busy freelance career. She works with a wide variety of professional vocal ensembles, including: BBC Singers, Gabrieli Consort, Choir of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Polyphony, The Clerks and Sonoro. In addition, she is a session singer, regularly recording film soundtracks
Scottish tenor Liam Bonthrone studied a BMus at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Scott Johnson, and will take up postgraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in September 2018. At the RCS, Liam won the Leonie Kayser Prize for Singing and the Hugh S. Roberton Prize for Scottish Singing. Liam is the Kenneth McKellar Choral Scholar at Paisley Abbey, a member of RCS Voices, and frequently a guest member of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. He was the Evangelist in the recent Scottish Premier of Joubert’s St Mark Passion, and appears regularly as a recitalist in Scotland and beyond
Born and raised in London, tenor Ted Black is currently in his final year of undergraduate study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. While at RCS, Ted has enjoyed numerous competition successes, including first place in the Governors’ Recital Prizes in both singing and chamber music, and in the Jean Highgate Scholarship for Singing. Recent concert work includes the solos in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at the Edinburgh International Festival, under the baton of distinguished conductor Marin Alsop. In September, Ted will begin his postgraduate study on a full scholarship at the Royal College of Music, London.
Brazilian bass-baritone Pedro Ometto did his undergraduate studies at the São Paulo State University. He is currently studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has performed Opera and Oratorio at most of the important Brazilian venues, including the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Teatro Castro Alves, Palácio das Artes and the Sala São Paulo.
Hailing from West Yorkshire, bass baritone Will Frost (20) is on his way to finishing his third year undergrad. Singing in Opera Norths Tosca, BYO’s Don Giovanni and LYO Elise d’amor (Belcore) and Hansel und Gretel (Father) in the past. Most recently covering the bass role for RSNO’s Mozart Requiem, competing in the Junior Kathleen Ferrier and winning the Governors Chamber music prize in RCS. Currently projects include performing the bass role in a new Opera “Dirt” by Juta Pranulytė and Adonis in GOS’ production of John Blows Venus and Adonis.