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 below.

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

Hello Berlin

Greg has considered various possibilities for continuing his music education and one option that increasingly appealed to him 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 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.  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 to quickly enhance existing skills Greg decided to relocate to Berlin. An exploratory week there at the beginning of October 2017 saw the things that anyone needs to get sorted when relocating quickly fall into place. So, rather than coming back to the UK for a couple of months after his initial week, which had been his intention, Greg returned for just a few days and has been living in Berlin since mid October. Living somewhere completely new, especially outside of the structure of a university course, means having to quickly establish friendships and Greg has used music and his love of performing, joining a theatre group and a choir, to facilitate this.

As well then as working part time and continuing to learn German Greg has been busy with rehearsals and performances. The theatre group that he has joined staged a production where he found himself acting in German for an audience of native speakers, which was slightly anxiety elevating but very enjoyable. Also somewhat anxiety raising, but very exciting, was an opportunity to perform at the Konzerthaus at Stadtmitte, duetting with a new singing friend at a concert for the staff who work there; a knowledgeable audience well used to hearing top class voices.  Greg was also invited to join a local choir group and very quickly had to learn their Christmas concert programme that was performed without scores for an audience of some four hundred in one of Berlin’s beautiful churches. A somewhat slimmed down version of the concert was then performed a further three times in various care settings dotted around the city. The first few months then saw him performing even more than he did whilst at University. So far Greg is loving his new life in Germany.

Berlin Update

Greg has been fortunate enough to work with a raft of talented vocal teachers however, all of them have been based in the UK. He did consider making regular trips back to London to continue to take vocal lessons when contemplating his move to Germany but even with frequent and reasonably priced air fares this has not proved to be a viable option.

Since he moved to Berlin then Greg has worked with several vocal teachers and taken Master classes to continue to hone his vocal skills. One of those Greg is currently working with is the respected conductor, coach and repetiteur Tim Ribchester. The contacts that Greg has built up by exploring the tuition opportunities on offer in Berlin  also recently gave him the chance to sing for Dale Fundling, an American who has now made his home in Berlin. A chamber musician and accompanist Fundling found that his greatest passion was assisting singers and has spent more than twenty years working at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.  Fundling’s students perform on  leading opera stages including the world famous New York Metropolitan Opera, London’s Covent Garden and Milan’s La Scala.

Greg was thrilled to be offered the opportunity of becoming a student of Fundling and is even more delighted and grateful that his studies will be supported by the R E C Music Foundation that assists an international and diverse range of music projects as well as individual performers’ studies.

Greg lived in York from September 2014 to June 2017 whilst undertaking a Music Degree at the York University. A member of the elite Russell Group York is one of just six post-war universities that has appeared in the Times Higher Education ranking of the ‘World Top 100’ universities. The final year of Greg’s studies was full and demanding. One highlight 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. 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 Chis Cantatrix Sopranica. Greg sang the Countertenor vocal part for this complex modern piece.

For all completing their degrees there is the question of what to do next? Greg wishes to continue with his studies but first there were the Summer months to fill with music. In 2016 Greg attended a Summer School at Jesus College Cambridge hosted by Cambridge Early Music, a body that provides intensive study weeks in historically informed performance of early music. Greg was delighted to be personally 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 at Girton College; read about his time there on the Opera Courses page.

In August sang in an all male production of Tosca, which obviously involved a degree of gender fluidity for some  roles. Greg sang soprano with the chorus and was also a cover for the shepherd boy’s aria ‘Io de sospiri Mia’.  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.  

Also 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.

Less than a week after the initial contact Greg found himself in London at perhaps the premier recording studios in Europe, Metropolis. 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.

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.

 2017 News - Farewell York

Ready for the premiere performance of Tosca.

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

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.

Final dress rehearsal before the performance with the
Theatre Verdinbet Company