Jessica Cottis conducts soprano Claire Booth and The Nash Ensemble at Snape Maltings on Saturday, 5 June. Claire will give the first performance, in front of live audience, of Colin Matthews’ new song cycle, Seascapes, a Britten Pears Arts/Nash Ensemble co-commission. The work sets texts by English poet Sidney Keyes, who died at age 20 in World War II. The programme will also include Debussy’s cool and timeless Sonata for flute, viola and harp and Ravel’s bright and vibrant Introduction and Allegro. Jessica, who steps in for Martyn Brabbins, enjoys a continued working collaboration with Britten Pears/Aldeburgh, including her recent involvement with their Young Composer’s Course and Workshops.
“An actor-singer who can raise the dramatic heat as soon as she enters the stage” (Opera Now), “that most questing, resourceful and intelligent of sopranos” (Daily Telegraph), British soprano Claire Booth has been widely acclaimed for her “radiant, rapturous, wonderfully nuanced performances” and voice of “piercing purity [and] luscious richness” (The Scotsman). She is renowned for her breadth of repertoire, and for the vitality and musicianship that she brings to the operatic stage and concert platform, with a versatility that encompasses repertoire spanning from Monteverdi and Handel, through Rossini, Berg and Britten, to a fearless commitment to the music of the present day.
Recent highlights provided a perfect showcase for her multifaceted vocal skills and interests, including the title role in Handel’s Berenice for the Royal Opera House’s first production of the opera since it’s 1737 Covent Garden premiere, and Nitocris in Handel’s Belshazzar for the Grange Festival, critically acclaimed recordings of songs by Grieg and Percy Grainger, performances of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the City of Birmingham Symphony at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, George Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the world premiere of Alex Woolf’s A Feast in the Time of Plague for Grange Park Opera.
A charismatic and erudite figure on the podium, conductor Jessica Cottis has earned critical acclaim for her intellect, natural authority, and profound musicality. She brings dynamism, intensity and clarity of vision to all her performances. Jessica began her tenure Artistic Advisor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
Named ‘2019 Classical “Face to Watch”’ (The Times UK), she is much in demand on the concert circuit, working regularly with leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as numerous re-invitations annually to the prestigious BBC Proms.
A gifted communicator, Jessica works widely as an advocate for classical music. Described as a “cool, contained, super-articulate and engaging” in The Scotsman, she has filmed programmes for the ABC and BBC, and is a frequent contributor on BBC radio and television, commenting on a wide range of topics, from from opera to architecture, synaesthesia, the environment and acoustics. In 2020 she led a series of courses for emerging female conductors for the Royal Opera House.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit snapemaltings.co.uk
Photo (l:r): Claire Booth, photo credit – Gerard Collett; Jessica Cottis, photo credit: Kaupo Kikkas
Includes programme text from Snape Maltings’ programme note.