James Neville

James Neville

James Neville developed his love of singing as a chorister in Cardiff, and now combines a career in professional music alongside his role in senior educational management. As an undergraduate, James read Modern History at Magdalen College Oxford, where he was an Academical Clerk in the College’s Grammy-nominated Choir. He went on to complete an MPhil at the University of Cambridge where he was a Choral Scholar in the world-famous King’s College Choir and featured in the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast to an estimated audience of 120 million. As a countertenor soloist, James has gone on to sing in venues ranging from the Royal Albert Hall to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Working with some of the UK’s leading conductors and ensembles, his solo engagements have included Bach B Minor Mass (Gloucester and Llandaff cathedrals), Bach Christmas Oratorio (Cambridge University Concert Hall), Bach Magnificat (Reading University Great Hall), Bach St John Passion (Hereford, Norwich and Ripon cathedrals), Bach St Matthew Passion (Colston Hall and Hereford Cathedral), Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chester Town Hall), Handel Israel in Egypt (Birmingham Town Hall, St Albans Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields), Handel Judas Maccabaeus (King’s College Chapel), Handel Messiah (Wells Cathedral, Colston Hall and York Minster), Handel Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Llandaff Cathedral), Monteverdi Vespers (Amsterdam Concertgebouw), Mozart Requiem (Rochester Cathedral) and Vivaldi Gloria (St David’s Hall, Bruges and Ghent cathedrals) and he is delighted to be singing Handel Messiah with Stour Singers in May this year.

James also directs The Neville Consort, one of the Midland’s finest vocal ensembles, specialising in one-voice-per-part performances of European sacred music: www.facebook.com/nevilleconsort

William Burn

William Burn trained as a choral scholar at King’s College, London. As a bass-baritone, he is in demand as a performer of oratorio and consort music from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. William has performed many oratorio roles, including the Bach Passions, Messiah, Judas Maccabeus, The Creation (most recently for Sir Nicholas McGegan at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall), Elijah, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, the Dvorak Te Deum, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and the Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, Faure and Duruflé. Staged operatic performances include Dido and Aeneas, Acis and Galatea, Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, and Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley as part of the Ross on Wye International Festival.

A particular area of interest is for song and Lieder, with recent programmes including Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Opus 24 and 39 cycles, Richard Rodney Bennett’s Songs Before Sleep, Wolf’s Michaelangelolieder and Quilter’s Seven Elizabethan Lyrics. This year his recital programmes have included Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad at Southwell Minster and Dichterliebe in Derby Cathedral.

William is the artistic director of The Nottingham Baroque Soloists, whose repertoire includes cantatas by Bach, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. He studies with Lynne Wayman.

William also works as a translator and subtitler from German, specialising in academia and the social sciences. His recent work includes reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council and reports on human rights issues in Germany. He also provides English-language translations for the German Federal Government Press Agency. As a subtitler he specialises in documentaries for Arte, including work on hip hop culture and human rights.

Natalie Montakhab

Natalie Montakhab

Soprano Natalie Montakhab studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the RSAMD Opera school. She made her English National Opera debut as Angelina Trial by Jury and at Welsh National Opera, going on as the cover in the role of Gretel Hänsel und Gretel. She sang Marzelline Fidelio under Edward Gardner and the English National Opera orchestra.

Recent and future opera highlights include understudying Alice Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Will Todd at WNO, Zerlina Don Giovanni at Saffron Hall and recording Mozart arias with the London Mozart Players. Recent and future oratorio highlights include Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Messe Solennelle.

Most frequently performed operatic roles include Vixen Příhody lišky Bystroušky, Musetta La Boheme, Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, Karolka Jenufa and Yum Yum The Mikado.

Conductors she has worked with include Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Lotar Koenigs, Martin Fitzpatrick, Stéphane Denève, Ilan Volkov, Christian Curnyn, Laurence Cummings and Masaaki Suzuki. Most recently, Natalie has sung Messiah at Worcester Cathedral and Judas Maccabeus with the Plymouth Philharmonic Choir at the Plymouth Guildhall.

Natalie lives in Hampshire with her husband and three small children.

Matthew Minter

Matthew Minter

Having studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music, the critically acclaimed English tenor soloist Matthew Minter is in demand throughout Britain and on the international concert platform.

Matthew works regularly with many of Britain’s leading orchestras, including The English Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has had the privilege of working under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, and Sir David Willcocks and he has performed at a number of the most prestigious venues including the Bridgewater Hall, the Barbican Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Concertgebouw.

Away from the oratorio concert platform, Matthew has made numerous broadcasts as a soloist for BBC radio and television. He has performed extensively with the BBC Singers over the past 25 years and was a member of the Netherlands Radio Choir for almost five years. Matthew continues to work with many other vocal ensembles, recording for radio, television and film. Matthew is currently a Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral where he enjoys singing on a daily basis.

Selected career highlights to date include a gala concert performance in the presence of a former British Prime Minister, singing at a private party for members of the British Royal Family, and notably appearing on BBC’s Top Gear performing O Sole Mio whilst being driven in a Maserati sports car by the seven-time Formula1 world champion Michael Schumacher!