Cathy Bell studied English and Medieval Literature at Cambridge and singing as a postgraduate at Birmingham Conservatoire. She is a former CREAR Scholar and was a member of the Handel House Talent Scheme 2014-15. Baroque music continues to be a particular specialism: in the current season she has made solo debuts at the Valletta International Baroque Festival as Venus in Pepusch Venus and Adonis, and at the Barbican as Second Witch in Purcell Dido and Aeneas with the Academy of Ancient Music.
Cathy particularly enjoys her work as an oratorio and concert soloist, with recent highlights including Bach Mass in B minor with Cantemus at Dora Stoutzker Hall in Cardiff; Bach St John Passion with Leicester Bach Choir; Vivaldi Gloria at Bath Abbey; A. Scarlatti Salve regina at Wells Cathedral; Vivaldi Introduzione e Gloria for Montgomeryshire County Music Festival; Handel Messiah at Cadogan Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields; CPE Bach Magnificat with Nottingham Harmonic Choir; Mendelssohn Elijah with the Bach Choir at the Royal Festival Hall; Rachmaninov Vespers at the St Magnus International Festival in Orkney and with several groups including Britten Sinfonia, Wimbledon Choral Society and the Oxford Bach Choir; and several London recitals of baroque music at the Handel House and the Wallace Collection.
Opera roles include a reprisal of Second Witch (Purcell Dido and Aeneas) in Norway this summer; Carmen for Barefoot Opera; Arsamenes (Handel Xerxes) for Hampstead Garden Opera; Russian Nanny (Britten Death in Venice) for Garsington Opera; Third Lady/Third Boy (Mozart Die Zauberflöte) for Diva Opera and the Palestine Mozart Festival; Arasse (Hasse Siroe) for the London Handel Festival; and roles in contemporary operas for Tête à Tête, Grimeborn and WNO MAX. Chorus work includes Scottish Opera, Garsington, Grange Park, Bergen Nasjonale Opera and the festivals in Aix-en-Provence and Beijing.
Cathy also works regularly with groups including the BBC Singers, the Academy of Ancient Music, Philharmonia Voices, Sonoro, the Dunedin Consort, the Clerks’ Group and EXAUDI, and sings for film and video game recording sessions with London Voices, RSVP Voices and the Pinewood Singers. She lives in London with her husband Jon Stainsby, also a singer, and their daughter Rosie, born in 2016.