GREG PRITCHARD.countertenor

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Welcome, whether you have been following Greg since he first came to the attention of the media or have just ‘discovered’ him a good place to start will be the ‘Been there….’ page, and its sub-pages, where you will find some introductory facts and information on the range of performance activities that have been keeping him busy since he came to the attention of the public; including charity engagements, overseas appearances, a tour and television appearances.

Go to the ‘High Notes’ page for information on the high male voice. Also on this page Greg reveals what some of his all-time favourite pieces of classical music are. The ‘Low Downs’ page will provide visitors to this site with a range of information regarding other projects that have been keeping Greg busy. As well as biographical details the ‘Low Downs’ page has information on tutoring that Greg has done, film work, qualifications that he is undertaking, choirs that he has sung with, and information on an invitation to appear in a rarely performed opera in Mayfair.

Details of the range of music courses that Greg has attended in recent years can be found on the Opera Courses page and its sub-pages. He has been a member of the W.I.A.V. Saturday Academy and attended an International Opera course also affiliated to W.I.A.V. In September 2015 Greg completed an Opera Intensive Summer School course at the  National Opera Studio in London.  It was the second year that he had attended a Summer School at the National Opera Studio, previously he completed their Opera Intro. Summer School. The National Opera studio was established by the Arts Council in 1979 and since 2003 has had premises in Chapel Yard, Wandsworth. The Studio acts as a link between music colleges and the six main opera companies in the U.K. Last Summer Greg attended an intensive week long course taught by the Cambridge Early Music organisation and had a full bursary to return this year, read further details in the Summer News section below.

Performance contact details and a ‘Message for Greg’ box, which he really enjoys receiving, can be found on the ‘Contacts’ page.

Student Life

Year three of Greg’s studies was, like the first two years, full and demanding. One of the highlights of the year was the module that he undertook in the first term which culminated in a musical and theatrical spectacle celebrating the work of the renowned Irish author James Joyce entitled Portrait of the Artist. One of the concerts programme credits Greg received was as a composer/arranger for his input to a haunting version of The Last Rose of Summer, one of the pieces played for the audience in the foyer before the performances. He also danced in one of the scenes. His greatest input though was devising and appearing in two scenes, one in each half, where he appeared with two other male members of the cast as the ‘Museyroom’ ladies. The first half appearance of the Museyroom  ladies  afforded some much needed light relief in what was an otherwise somewhat intense and dark part one; a fact that was noted by a local press review that described the scene as something of a cross between Father Ted and Monty Python. Another highlight of Greg’s final year was a concert given by The Chimera Ensemble where part of the programme  included  Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica. Greg sang the Countertenor vocal part for this complex modern piece where at one point the Countertenor’s role involved producing high pitched notes from a part filled glass of water by circling the glass rim whilst singing equally high notes.

For all completing their degrees there is the question of what to do next? Greg wishes to continue his studies and has considered various possibilities for this. One option that increasingly appealed to Greg was to study in Europe, particularly Germany or Austria. An enquiry for more detailed information than was readily available on the internet to the Mozarteum University of Salzburg resulted in Greg being invited to go there and sing for the Head of Baroque studies. In January this year he flew out to a very, very cold Austria where he stayed for a couple of days before going onto Berlin. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in both Austria and Germany finding he liked the food and cultural experiences that both countries had to offer.  Greg also, as planned, sang for the Head of Baroque at the Mozarteum and was thrilled to receive a very positive response from the session; strengthening his commitment to the idea of continuing his studies in Europe. However, his German language skills at present are not of a standard that he would need for study at an advanced level. As living in a country is always one of the best ways to learn a new language or quickly enhance existing skills Greg decided to relocate to Berlin, one of the most vibrant capital cities of Europe, either at the end of 2017 or at the beginning of 2018. However, an exploratory week in Berlin in the first week in October led him to bring these plans forward when the things that anyone needs to get sorted when relocating quickly began to fall into place. So, rather than coming back to the UK for a couple of months after his initial week Greg returned for just a few days and has been living in Berlin since mid October; so far he is loving his new life.

Greg lived in the beautiful city of York from Septermber 20014 to June 2017 whilst undertaking a Music Degree at the University. A member of the elite Russell Group of universities the University of York is one of the success stories of higher education in the UK, and has been just one of six post-war universities that appeared in the Times Higher Education ranking of the ‘World Top 100’ universities. Greg is now, after briefly returning to his native Wales living in Germany, see the section below for more details. Whilst in York he frequently travelled to London for singing lessons and also to Cambridge for Summer Schools. In 2016 Greg attended a Summer School at Jesus College Cambridge hosted by Cambridge Early Music, a body that since 1993 has provided intensive study weeks in historically informed performance of early music. Greg was delighted to be personally invited to apply for a place this year also and  received a full bursary for attendance of the Monteverdi Legacy Summer School which took place the first week in August at Girton College; read about his time there on the Opera Courses page.

Greg also, in August, sang in an all male production of Tosca, which involved a degree of gender fluidity for some of the roles. Greg sang soprano with the chorus and was also a cover for the shepherd boy’s aria ‘Io de sospiri Mia’. Performances of Tosca took place in London on various dates throughout August. As part of his preparation for Tosca and other Summer recitals Greg continued to attend singing lessons with vocal coach Raymond Connell, a native Australian based in London. (Previously Greg has enjoyed three years of happy collaboration with vocal teacher Linda Hutchison.) Since living in the UK  Raymond has worked for both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and presently runs the Raymond Connell Singing Studio.  

More 2017 News

In the summer Greg was approached by an award winning music company with a commission; he was booked to record a piece, ‘The Window of Appearances’, from a modern opera by Glass where the main character is a Countertenor role. So, into an already busy schedule, he found himself having to speedily source a score and learn the aria as the company wanted to record it as quickly as possible for a project they were putting together.

Less than a week after the initial contact Greg found himself in London at perhaps the premier recording studios in Europe, Metropolis. The building that houses the studios is a Grade II listed former power station that was built in 1901; it was constructed substantially enough to protect nearby residents from noise and vibration ‘pollution’ produced by the enormous steam generators that the building originally housed. This exceptionally solid construction now benefits those recording inside, shielding them from the mayhem of present day London’s busy streetscape. Filled with the most up to date recording, mixing and remastering equipment artists and groups such as Queen, Michael Jackson, Lady GaGa, Amy Winehouse,, The Stone Roses, Adele, and Rihanna have all availed themselves of the studios facilities.

Commercial considerations mean that further details need to be ‘kept under wraps’. The image to the right was taken just as Greg ‘wrapped up’ the recording.

 2017 News

Ready for the premiere performance of Tosca.

Read the Tosca page for more information on this exciting production.

Whilst no further details can be made available of the recording that Greg made at Metropolis you can hear a recording of one of the arias he sang at a Summer recital, ‘O del mio dolce ardor’, from the opera Paride ed Elena by Gluck. The third and least performed of Gluck’s reform operas the story covers the events that occurred between the judgement of Paris (Paride) to the flight of Paris and Helen (Elena) to Troy. The opera premiered in November 1770 with the role of Paride being sung by Giuseppe Millico an Italian soprano castrato who performed lead roles for several of Gluck’s operas including Orfeo ed Euridice. In this aria Paride  declares his love for Elena singing that

The air which you breathe,

At last I will breathe -

a familiar and recurring sentiment expressed in songs of love by suitors across the centuries. Listen and enjoy the high notes.