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 (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 Haïm 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), Caterina Oratorio di Santa Caterina (Headley), and a Hyperion recording in 2014 of Monteverdi madrigals with Cohen and Arcangelo as well as DVD recordings of 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 Apollo e Dafne with Arcangelo at Zanker Hall, New York, Messiah in Seville with the Hallé orchestra at Bridgewater Hall (Howarth) and with Polyphony (Layton) at St John’s Smith Square, Scarlatti Christmas Cantata with Sir Roger Norrington, a programme of Monteverdi and a tour of Rameau arias in Asia (both with Haïm).
Forthcoming engagements include a tour of the Christmas Oratorio with Rousset and of Rameau Grands Motets (Niquet and Christie). Future plans for 2015 include concerts with the Hallé (Grieg and Nielsen), the Finnish Radio Symphony, Dardanus with Ensemble Pygmalion at Opéra National de Bordeaux and the title role in Handel Theodora in the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Christie/Les Arts Florissants).
She has established herself as one of the leading sopranos of the younger generation.
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Email: Olivia Fitzsimons