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The distinct voices of Henry Purcell and Claudio Monteverdi

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International countertenor Andrew Watts takes a look at the some of the works of Purcell and Monteverdi from the point of view of the singer and how the singer responds to the demands of the composer and how to best achieve a rounded vocal and stylistic performance of their music. Extracts will include music from Monteverdi’s “ L’incoronazione di Poppea” and “Orfeo” and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas”, King Arthur; and song arrangements by Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten of Purcell’s  “Sweeter than Roses” and “If Music be the Food of Love (3rd Version).

andrew watts

Andrew Watts was born in Middlesex and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. His operatic engagements include appearances with the Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Welsh National Opera, and BBC Proms, as well as throughout Europe including Milan, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Madrid, Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence. His repertoire includes Arsamenes XERXES, title role ORLANDO, Ottone AGRIPPINA, Nero and Nutrice L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, Oberon A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Orestes LA BELLE HÈLÈNE, Prince Go-Go LE GRAND MACABRE and many world premieres including Snake Priestess in Harrison Birtwistle’s THE MINOTAUR, Cherubino in Elena Langer’s FIGARO GETS A DIVORCE,
White Rabbit and March Hare in Unsuk Chin’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND and Olga Neuwirth’s LOST HIGHWAY.

Recent engagements include Baba the Turk THE RAKE’S PROGRESS for Stanislavsky Theatre, Moscow, Edgar in Reimann’s LEAR for Opéra de Paris and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Queequeq in Judith Weir’s THE OUTCAST for Wien Modern, Skorpionmensch in Jörg Widmann’s BABYLON for Berlin Staatsoper, Orestes LA BELLE HÈLÈNE for Hamburg Staatsoper and Edgar in Aribert Reimann’s LEAR for, along with concerts including for London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, Nomi Songs for Klangforum Vienna and Ensemble Intercontemporain, Paris and recitals at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Wigmore Hall which marked the release of his CD, A Countertenor Songbook, on the NMC label. Future performances include his debut for Théatre du Châtelet and
returns to English National Opera, Berlin, Munich, Madrid and concerts in Berlin, Stockholm and for BBCSO.

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