The soloists featured in the Intimate Voices recording of ‘Christmas Card Carols’ are Philippa Hyde, Eleanor Gregory, Joyce Tindsley Matthew Minter and James Berry, with the guest featured soloist Sasha Johnson Manning.
Philippa Hyde commenced her singing studies with Ann Lampard and continued under the tuition of David Johnston and Yvonne Minton CBE at the Royal Academy of Music. She graduated with the coveted Dip RAM in 1993. In 2001 she was awarded the ARAM, an honour granted to past students of the Academy who have achieved distinction in their profession.
Philippa’s career has taken her all over Europe and beyond, to many major concert venues and festivals, from Beijing to Helsinki. She regularly performs with many of the leading British Period orchestras and ensembles, such as the Academy of Ancient Music, Parley of Instruments, Canzona and her own ensemble, The Musicke Companye. She regularly performs on BBC Radios 2, 3, and 4.
An experienced recording artist, her discography includes the role of Semira in Arne’s Artaxerxes with The Parley of Music for Hyperion; French cantatas with London Baroque on the Bis label; Musical London c.1700 with The Parley of Instruments for Chandos; O Bone Jesu and Handel & Companye with The Musicke Companye for Intim Musik and the role of Adonis in Pepusch’s Venus and Adonis for The Harmonious Society of Tickle Fiddle Gentlemen on the Ramée label, which recently won the Preis Der Deutschen SchallplattenKritik for best operatic recording of 2016.
Eleanor Gregory grew up in Oxfordshire, and studied for a degree in Music at Manchester University. She stayed in Manchester for several years, singing as an oratorio soloist and for choirs such as Ex Cathedra and the BBC Daily Service Singers.Now based in South West London, Eleanor’s choral work includes singing for the BBC Singers, The Choir of the Age of Enlightenment and Stile Antico, along with services at the church of St Peter’s Eaton Square. She was a member of the festival choirs of the 2016 Southrepps Classical Music Festival and Southwell Music Festival.
She particularly enjoys early and baroque repertoire – a highlight of last summer being a prom of Bach’s Magnificat with the Academy of Ancient Music and BBC Singers – and has regularly been a soloist around the country for Bach’s B Minor Mass, and St John Passion, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Messiah, Monteverdi’s Vespers and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Notable exceptions to this include her involvement with Birmingham Opera Company’s award-winning world premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht, which saw her singing from the top of a giant yellow ladder in an abandoned warehouse.
During her time in Manchester she revisited the clarinet playing that introduced her to orchestral and classical music as a teenager, performing the role of Lucinda in an actor-musician production of Into the Woods at the RNCM. She was the soprano soloist for Folkestone Choral Society’s performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and sang as a member of the Sarum Consort in London and Salisbury for the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. When she is not singing, Eleanor teaches at Winchester College and enjoys camping and climbing mountains.
Joyce Tindsley was born in Lancashire and, after graduating with a BMus (Hons) from UCNW, Bangor, where she was taught by William Mathias, went on to the Royal Northern College of Music. There she studied with Barbara Robotham and Christopher Underwood, continuing her studies with Opera North’s Wyn Davies and Sally Burgess. Joyce has sung at the Wigmore Hall and in 2003 one of her recitals was filmed for inclusion in a documentary about Kathleen Ferrier. In 2009 Channel 4 filmed Joyce performing Handel’s Messiah for inclusion in a programme about the British choral tradition, and in 2010 she was the soloist in the live BBC Easter meditation from Salisbury Cathedral. Joyce has sung regularly for the BBC for over 25 years, as a member of the BBC Northern Singers, and latterly on Radio 4’s Daily Service, broadcasting live both as a member of the choir and as a soloist.
Concert engagements have included Duruflé’s Requiem at Manchester Cathedral, Elgar’s The Apostles at King’s College, Cambridge for Stephen Cleobury, Bach’s St John Passion with the English Haydn Orchestra, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the English Symphony Orchestra at Coventry Cathedral, and many performances as Mrs. Noye in Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde during Britten’s centenary year. Joyce was the classical soloist in the UK tour of Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater, singing in many venues including St.David’s Hall, Cardiff and York Minster, later performing the same work with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Joyce learned Old Church Slavonic for her
role in Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass at Guildford Cathedral for Christopher Herrick, happily returning to Latin for Verdi’s Requiem at Gorton Monastery and Rossini’s Stabat Mater for North Yorkshire Chorus. She sang Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Malvern Priory, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass for Sir David Willcocks at Coventry Cathedral, and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and Lichfield Cathedral.
Matthew Minter was educated at The Windsor Boys’ School where he excelled in Music. His undergraduate studies in Music were at Salford University, after which he continued to study singing with Nicholas Powell at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Renowned for his versatility as a soloist, Matthew is in demand throughout Britain and on the international concert platform where he has received critical acclaim for his communication, delivery, and clarity of text: “When Matthew Minter sang we were transported to a heavenly place.” Matthew works regularly with many of Britain’s leading orchestras, including The English Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and has had the privilege of working under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Richard Hickox and Sir David Willcocks. Recent concert appearances include Bach’s St John Passion, Dunbar; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Coventry Cathedral; Handel’s Messiah, Rugby School; Kodảly’s Missa Brevis, Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Mozart’s Requiem, St John Smiths’s Square; Orff’s Carmina Burana, Theatr Hafren Newtown; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Lighthouse Theatre Poole; Verdi’s Requiem, Guild Hall Plymouth.
Concert engagements during the coming season include Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 95, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Requiem. In 2013 Matthew premièred and recorded a Mass of Reverence and Devotion written especially for his voice by Daniel Gillingwater which continues to be enthusiastically received by audiences throughout the UK. Further career highlights to date include a gala concert performance for the current Prime Minister of Great Britain, singing at a private party for the Duchess of York and various members of the British Royal Family, and notably appearing on the BBC’s Top Gear programme performing O Sole Mio whilst being driven in a Maserati sports car by the seven time Formula1 world champion Michael Schumacher.
James Berry is a baritone based in Manchester. James began his musical training as a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral, before studying Religion and Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He subsequently studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, from which he has recently graduated with a master’s degree. James’s recent engagements include work with RNCM Opera, Manchester Opera Ensemble, Mananan Opera, and Bergen Nasjonale Opera. James is a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral, and in his spare time loves fell walking.
Sasha Johnson Manning studied singing, ʼcello and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. She began composing at the age of seven and has written many works for voices, including The Manchester Carols with the poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, which won the Jerusalem Award 2009 for its Christmas broadcast. The two also collaborated to create Daughters of Jerusalem, a work for narrator, soloists and ensemble for BBC Radio 4’s Good Friday Liturgy. In 2012, the BBC commissioned Sasha to compose The People’s Passion Mass which was performed by over 200 choirs throughout the country, and in parts of Europe, Africa and USA. Sasha has written many anthems, carols and songs, and was the composer-in-residence for the St Louis Chamber Chorus in Missouri for eight years culminating in a Requiem which was broadcast on Radio 3’s ‘The Choir’. She has composed for Emma Kirkby, Ciaron McFadden, John Turner, James Bowman, and London Baroque. As a singer, Sasha is a regular concert performer and sings for the BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service. She specialises in Early Music, and sings with Partita, a vocal and instrumental group with the Renaissance at its heart.