Available languages: EnglishBritish soprano Katherine Watson has been a rising figure on the British early music scene, working with several of the top conductors in the field. She has also amassed a choice résumé of performances of music of the 19th and 20th centuries. Watson attended Trinity College, Cambridge as a choral scholar, where she also took courses in Anglo-Saxon culture, and graduated in 2008. As an undergraduate she was already taking solos in choral works and performing with the Charpentier Consort, the Cambridge Clerkes, and the Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble. The following year her choice of career was set when she was admitted to the Baroque music training academy Le Jardin des Voix, operated by veteran Americo-French conductor William Christie. That led to an appearance in Purcell's The Fairy Queen at the 2012 Glyndebourne Festival, and she got more attention when she won the festival's John Christie Award. In 2015 Watson began to find bookings beyond Britain, appearing at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in the title role in Handel's Theodora, and returning to that theater two years later in the role of Giunone in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria. She made her debut at the BBC Proms in 2016 and has returned several times. Meanwhile, she was becoming more familiar to the British public through high-profile choral appearances including broadcasts of Handel's Messiah, HWV 56, and Bach's Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, on the BBC Radio 3 network. She also performed Mozart's solo motet Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, at Westminster Abbey, and her repertory extends as far forward as Mahler and Lutoslawski. Especially noteworthy is the wide range of early music conductors with whom Watson has worked. These include, in addition to Christie, Stephen Cleobury, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Layton, Jonathan Cohen, Paul Agnew, Emmanuelle Haim (with whom she toured East Asia in a program of Rameau arias), Harry Bicket, Roger Norrington, Laurence Cummings, and Philip Pickett. Watson has been a featured soloist on recordings of the Christmas Oratorio and other major choral works, and in 2019 she appeared on the pastiche recording L'Opéra des Opéras on the Alpha label.
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Opera - Verschenen op 4 januari 2019 | Alpha
With an offbeat cover that looks a little like a 1950s Hollywood movie poster, Hervé Niquet and his Concert Spirituel are offering up a dive into the world of French 17th and 18th century opera, with works by Mondonville, Rameau, Campra, Dauvergne, Francoeur, Leclair, Lully, Charpentier, Marais and rediscovered works by figures with some very Ancien Régime names such as François Colin de Blamont or Toussaint Bertin de la Doué. But behind this procession of names is Hervé Niquet's impish humour: he has cobbled together an imaginary opera to mark 30 years of the Concert Spirituel.He tells the story in his own, inimitable words: "Our story is very simple: a young lead, a courageous fop, loves a most beautiful princess. But an evil sorceress, jealous of this idyll, sets out to hurt our pair however she can. But my lord! Of course! That's exactly the story of an American show that I watched on Thursday afternoons when I was younger: Bewitched! I imagined a cover with a photo of our beloved trio and I showed it to our editor: everyone in the office burst out laughing. Katherine (Watson) alias Samantha, Karine (Deshayes) who plays Endora and Reinoud (van Mechelen) who becomes Darrin Stephens have all become used to my ways and they haven't taken umbrage at this comparison. See how simple the elements of opera are! And at the end of the day, this is the story of a thirty-year love affair with the Concert Spirituel. So: vive le pastiche, and vive Bewitched!Recorded in October 2017 at the Opéra Royal de Versailles in collaboration with the Versailles Baroque Music Centre and the Concert Spirituel, this imaginary opera is very much in keeping with the rules of an era when pasticci abounded and scores weren't set in stone but evolved to match opportunities and singers' personalities. Happy birthday, then, to the Concert Spirituel! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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