British soprano Katherine Watson studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and was a member of Le Jardin des Voix. Katherine was a Young Artist with the Classical Opera Company and the recipient of the Glyndebourne John Christie award. Katherine appears regularly with Les Arts Florissants (William Christie and Paul Agnew), Les Concert d’Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm), Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet), Polyphony (Stephen Layton), The Sixteen (Harry Christopher), Ensemble Pygmalion (Raphaël Pichon), and Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset).
Katherine Watson read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from Trinity College, Cambridge. She won a place on William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix and has since sung extensively with Christie and Les Arts Florissants. Other awards have included a young artist award with the Classical Opera Company in 2011 and the 2012 Glyndebourne John Christie award. She has worked with a number of conductors including Paul Agnew, Harry Bickett, Harry Christophers, Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Cohen, Emmanuelle Haïm, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington and Christophe Rousset.
She made her debut at Glyndebourne as Fairy/Nymph The Fairy Queen (Cummings) and returned as Diana Hippolyte et Aricie (Christie). Other operatic roles have included Italienne/Phantome Médée (Haïm), Virtù/Damigella L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Cassandra La Didone in Caen, Luxembourg and Paris (Christie) and Phani Les Incas du Pérou.
Concerts with Christie include Iphis Jephtha in Paris, Moscow and Vienna and Diana Actéon and 2nd Woman Dido and Aeneas in New York. For Haïm she has sung Cleopatra’s arias from Giulio Cesare in Lille, a programme of Rameau arias in Frankfurt and a Monteverdi Gala at the Festspielhaus, Baden Baden. Other concerts include Bach’s Jauchzet Gott and Handel arias with Bickett and the English Concert, and with trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012, as well as a concert of Handel, Bach and Mozart with James Gilchrist, Kraemer and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Handel’s Apollo e Dafne with Cohen at Carnegie Hall, New York and more recently with Arcangelo at Zanker Hall, New York. As a Classical Opera Young Artist she performed the roles of Barbarina Le Nozze di Figaro, Celia Lucio Silla and Hyacinthus Apollo et Hyacinthus at Cadogan Hall.
Oratorio work includes Handel Messiah in Seville with the Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall and with Polyphony at St John’s Smith Square, Bach Christmas Oratorio on BBC Radio 3 with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music, Bach St John Passion, Haydn Nelson Mass and the Mozart Requiem with Layton, Bach B Minor Mass in Winchester Cathedral, Dixit Dominus in Lincoln Cathedral, and Mozart Exsultate Jubilate in Westminster Abbey.
In addition to her work in baroque repertoire, Katherine has performed Mahler 4th Symphony, Lutosławsky Chantesfleurset Chantesfables and Barber Knoxville – Summer of 1915 at St John’s Smith Square with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Symphonia Antarctica with Layton and the City of London Sinfonia and Britten Les Illuminations.
Her discography includes Bach Christmas Oratorio (Layton/OAE/Trinity College Choir), Caterina Oratorio di Santa Caterina (Headley), and a Hyperion recording in 2014 of Monteverdi madrigals with Cohen and Arcangelo. DVD recordings include Cassandra La Didone (Opus Arte) and Virtù/Damigella Poppea (EMI).
As a recitalist, Katherine has performed Mozart and Schubert songs in the Festspielhaus Baden Baden, songs by Alma Mahler in Hungary, and Schumann, Strauss, Poulenc and Messiaen songs in recitals in the UK.
Recent engagements include Scarlatti Christmas Cantata with Sir Roger Norrington, a programme of Monteverdi and a tour of Rameau arias in Asia, both with Haïm, a tour of the Christmas Oratorio with Rousset and of Rameau Grands Motets with Niquet and Christie, a programme of Grieg and Nielsen with the Hallé at Bridgewater Hall, Handel Solomon with Paul McCreesh in Wroclaw, Poland, Haydn Nelson Mass with the Britten Sinfonia at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, concerts of Charpentier with Le Concert d’Astree, Dardanus with Ensemble Pygmalion at Opera National de Bordeaux and at the Chapelle Royale, Château de Versailles and Iphis Jephta at the Beaune Festival.
This season, Katherine has performed the title role Theodora at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, in New York and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants and Telaire Castor et Pollux with Christian Curnyn (Wigmore Hall). She also stood in at the last minute as Creuse Médée and Alphise Boréades in Madrid for Les Arts Florissants. Future engagements include Messiah with Le Concert Spirituel (Brussels and Paris), Polyphony (St John’s Smith Square) and with La Risonanza (Halle and Thierache), Handel’s Samson in Dublin with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, title role Isbé at the Palace of Arts, Budapest and Mérope Persée in Metz and Paris, and Messiah with Les Arts Florissants on tour.
“Of course, only the most curmudgeonly of husbands could not be seduced by the exquisite soprano voice of Katherine Watson as Dalila. Constrained to Act II, she comes with an amende, only to be roughly rejected. I particularly enjoyed her aria “With plaintive notes and amorous moan”. Possessing an exquisite pronunciation and a pleasing projection, Watson wowed with the sweet sound of her voice. In her “Traitor to love” she showed a feistier side to her, though given such a delectable voice, it was difficult to think of her as truly treacherous.” Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack (January 2016)