GREG PRITCHARD.countertenor

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Berlin


After completing his music degree at the Russell group University of York, which he attended from 2014 - 2017, Greg considered various possibilities for continuing his music education. One option that increasingly appealed to him was to study in Europe, particularly Germany or Austria. In January 2017 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. However, he knew his German language skills were not of a standard that he  would need for study at an advanced level. He decided to relocate to Berlin, a young vibrant city, and originally had planned to go in January 2018. However, things that anyone initially needs to get ‘sorted’ when relocating quickly fell into place during a further exploratory trip to the city at the beginning of October 2017, he brought his plans forward and has been living in Germany’s capital for over a year now.


One of the things that anyone moving to somewhere completely new, especially when the move is not in the first instance part of attending a university, is to build up a circle of friends. Fortunately this is something that Greg’s sociable nature makes reasonably easy for him. He used his love of performance initially to meet new people and joined a theatre group and a choir. The image to the right is of him wrapped up warmly against the cold of his first Berlin winter just before singing a Christmas Concert with the choir in one of Berlin’s beautiful churches.


A particularly busy end to 2018 sadly left no time for community group activities. After initially using on line resources and of course day to day life in a German speaking city for extending and improving his German language skills Greg enrolled at a private language school in September and commenced an intensive study programme for the intermediate language competency qualifications recognised by the German government. He has also started teaching part time at one of Berlin’s International Schools, where his native English speaker status is an important asset; he teaches sessions involving story, music and movement with young students which he is enjoying very much. Greg did find the time to perform one professional engagement in the lead up to Christmas after he was approached to sing at a private Christmas party in Berlin for some of the Doctors who work in the city


To read more about his life in Berlin please see the Berlin page.






















The aria‘ O del mio dolce ardor’ is from the opera Paride ed Elena by Gluck; the plot of which 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. In the 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.


Pied-a-terre

For a period in September 2018 it seemed as if Greg might have had a uproot himself all over again and relocate to Paris. He was thrilled to be one of just a few chosen from hundreds of applicants to be called to audition for the Opera Bastille in Paris for a role in an opera that they will be staging next year in 2019, Les Indes galantes, an opéra-ballet composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau that premiered in Paris in 1735. Greg studied ballet for an extended period of time when he was younger, perhaps then it was  his dual talent in both singing and dance that occasioned his being called for audition. Rameau composed both for the entertainment of King Louis XV and for the public. Les Indes galantes was written for public entertainment, integrating instrumental, vocal, and dance elements. Hybrid works of this type, which preferably had an exotic setting, sumptuous costumes and sets, and elaborate stage machinery were popular during the Baroque period.

For the audition Greg had to prepare a solo piece of his own choosing to be sung in French and also learn part of the libretto from one of the scenes in the Second Act of the opera. He decided that he would spend almost a week in Paris to give himself the chance to settle in before the audition and to allow for some time for tourist type activity after it was completed. He attended the audition very conscious that just being called to audition for one of the world’s great opera houses was an enormous achievement. He was pleased with his delivery of his solo aria and was very happy to be asked to place himself in a position of prominence for the group choreography element of the audition. Unfortunately, this part of the process also highlighted for himself and others that his technical French was not perhaps going to be of a standard needed to take direction in a French production when some translation of the moves the auditionees were being asked to perform was necessary.  He was disappointed then, but not altogether surprised when a few days after returning to Berlin he was informed that he had not been selected…c’est la vie. Greg took the image to the right, the entrance for performers and, as is so often the case, slightly less grand than the entrance for the public.


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 may 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.


If you delight in Greg’s high notes why not listen to the recording below of one of the arias he performed for a summer recital in 2017.   If you would like to find some biographical details on Greg then the ‘Low Downs’ page will provide visitors to this site with some background information on him . As well as biographical details the ‘Low Downs’ page has information on tutoring that Greg has done, 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.  


In the summer of 2016 Greg attended an intensive week long course taught by the Cambridge Early Music organisation and had a full bursary to return in 2017. In 2016 Greg had attended a Summer School at Jesus College Cambridge hosted by Cambridge Early Music who provide intensive study weeks in historically informed performance of early music. He was invited to apply for a place in 2017 also and received a full bursary for attendance of the Monteverdi Legacy Summer School which took place the first week in August 2017 at Girton College; read about his time there on the Opera Courses page.


Also In August 2017 Greg sang in an all male production of Tosca. Greg sang soprano with the chorus and was also a cover for the shepherd boy’s aria ‘Io de sospiri Mia’.  Tosca was the second all male opera production that Greg had performed in - the previous year he played the title role in an all male production of CarMen. Further details of both of these productions can be found on the CarMen and Tosca pages of this website.


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



Back to Wales

Greg has not entirely deserted the UK since his move to Berlin and whilst he determinedly stayed and celebrated both his December birthday and Christmas in Berlin in 2017, searching in vain for somewhere that served a traditional roast Turkey dinner, he did return to the UK towards the end of January 2018. He visited to see family and friends and collect additional personal belongings and clothing that he had not been able to pack when first relocating several months earlier. By this time he had found himself a small self contained flat rather than the house share he initially stayed at and so he had a little more space for his belongings.


He was also delighted to accept an invitation to appear, at the end of October 2018, at a charity event for the Terrence Higgins Trust Wales. He was one of a number of performers appearing at their fifth Annual Gala Dinner which this year was entitled Night at the Opera; the gala is one the major fund raising events of the year organised by the charity. The prestigious event was held at the Cardiff Hilton. Greg is very familiar with the establishment; at one time he worked there. Greg was happy to support a charity that does such important work, the image is of him singing on the night. Enjoying the opportunity to, on this occasion, be amongst those entertaining rather than serving the guests.


After spending his first Christmas in Germany in Berlin Greg took the decision to return home for Christmas in  2018. Study commitments meant that he had to cut things very fine and he did not return to the UK until Christmas Eve.


A nice problem that his returning to Wales always causes is that he gets more invitations for ‘catch ups’ than time will allow for and this was especially the case with a Christmas visit.


The picture opposite is of him having a quiet drink at home after a hectic evening out.


Not much chance of down time over the festive period then - he will certainly be in need of some in 2019 if all of his plans for the year work out as he hopes they will.