Christopher Watson studied music at Exeter University, and after spending a number of years as a Lay Clerk in the choirs of Durham Cathedral and then Christ Church, Oxford, he moved to London in 1997 when he was appointed as Lay Clerk in the choir of Westminster Cathedral. With the cathedral choirs he has sung in a great many successful concerts and highly acclaimed recordings and at the same time has established a reputation as one of the most sought after tenors in the Early Music field.
As a soloist he is particularly interested in the Baroque repertoire, and he has become well known for his informed and intelligent performances of the part of the Evangelist in the great baroque settings of The Passion by Bach and his contemporaries. Recent performances include the Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion in Christ Church Oxford, Durham and Canterbury Cathedrals and The Cathedral Church of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, the arias in the St John Passion for the Norwich Philharmonic Society, Bach’s B Minor Mass for the Northampton Bach Choir, Monteverdi’s Vespers in Lichfield Cathedral, Handel’s Messiah in Hereford Cathedral and Sherborne Abbey, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus in Bath Abbey.
His repertoire also covers Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Britten’s St Nicolas, and upcoming performances include the role of Pilate in Arvo Part’s Passio in Gloucester Cathedral, and the extensive tenor solos in Sir John Tavener’s all night vigil The Veil Of The Temple, in The Oude Kerk in Amsterdam as part of the Holland Festival.
Christopher has a great deal of international experience as a consort singer – he is a member of Tenebrae and the Gramophone Award winning ensembles The Clerks’ Group and The Binchois Consort, sings regularly with Polyphony, Ex Cathedra, Collegium Vocale of Gent, The Cardinall’s Musick, The King’s Consort and The Sixteen, and has made more than 100 appearances with The Tallis Scholars.
As a recitalist he has explored much of the Twentieth Century English repertoire, in particular songs by Howells, Finzi and Warlock and successfully presents fascinating and entertaining programmes