Katherine Watson graduated in 2008 in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from Trinity College, Cambridge where she was also a choral scholar. In 2009 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 Glyndebourne John Christie 2012 award. She has worked with a number of conductors including Stephen Layton, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Cohen, Paul Agnew, Emmanuelle Haim, Harry Bickett, Sir Roger Norrington, Laurence Cummings and Philip Pickett.
In 2012 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 Medee (Haim), Virtù/Damigella L’incoronazione di Poppea (Teatro Real, Madrid), and Cassandra La Didone (Caen, Luxembourg and Paris with Christie) as well as Phani Les Incas du Pérou.
Concerts with Christie include Iphis Jephtha (Paris, Moscow and Vienna) and Diana Actéon and 2nd Woman Dido and Aeneas (New York). For Haim she has sung Cleopatra’s arias from Giulio Cesare (Lille), a programme of Rameau arias (Frankfurt) and a Monteverdi Gala at the Festspielhaus, Baden Baden. Other recent 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/Icelandic Symphony Orchestra) and Handel’s Apollo e Dafne (Cohen/Carnegie Hall, New York). As a Classical Opera Young Artist she performed the roles of Barbarina, Celia Lucio Silla and Hyacinthus Apollo et Hyacinthus at Cadogan Hall.
Oratorio work includes Handel Messiah and Bach Christmas Oratorio (on Radio 3 with the OAE and AAM) and Bach St John Passion, Haydn Nelson Mass and the Mozart Requiem (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 Chantesfleurs et Chantesfables and Barber Knoxville – Summer of 1915 at St John’s Smith Square (Keable/Kensington Symphony Orchestra), Symphonia Antarctica (Layton/City of London Sinfonia) and Britten Les Illuminations (Williams).
Her discography includes Bach Christmas Oratorio (Layton/OAE/Trinity College Choir), and Caterina Oratorio di Santa Caterina (Headley) as well as DVD recordings of Cassandra La Didone (Opus Arte), and Virtù/Damigella Poppea (EMI). Forthcoming in 2014 is a Hyperion recording of Monteverdi madrigals with Cohen and Arcangelo.
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.
Future engagaments include Messiah in Bilbao and Seville, and with the Hallé orchestra in the Bridgewater Hall (Howarth). Other forthcoming engagements include a programme of Monteverdi, a tour of Rameau arias to the Far East and Rameau Castor et Pollux in Dijon (all with Haim), Apollo e Dafne in Chicago, and a tour of the Christmas Oratorio with Rousset and of Rameau Grands Motets (Niquet and Christie). Future plans for 2015 include playing the title role in Handel Theodora in the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Christie/Les Arts Florissants).
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to make sure you receive the most up to date version.
Email: Olivia Fitzsimons