GREG PRITCHARD.countertenor

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Low Downs

Greg grew up in rural South Wales, an area of outstanding natural beauty. He is the middle of three sons and part of a large extended family. Living in the countryside made it easier for him to pursue a hobby that he still enjoys very much, time permitting, horse riding. He is a competent horseman having been taught by the sister of the Olympic champion David Broom. He has competed successfully in many equestrian events. When he was fortunate enough to own his own horse he enjoyed all that horse ownership entails, including early mornings mucking out at the stables. Although he enjoys his ‘creature comforts’ Greg finds pleasure in the great outdoors and walking; both energetic strolls around local ‘beauty spots’ and more demanding treks. Cycling and gym sessions are other ways that Greg uses to keep fit and active. The effects of old injuries that he has sustained in the past, including falls when show jumping, are kept in check with exercise. Core strength is especially important for a singer.

It is perhaps just as well that he is an active individual as one of his other great pleasures is undoubtedly food. He is a good cook and would rather cook himself a ‘proper’ meal than use convenience foods but he enjoys eating out also and will sample local dishes  where ever he travels to in the world enjoying cuisines from around the globe. Cakes and pastries are a particular favourite treat too. When Greg finished school he initially worked in a variety of hospitality settings. For some time he was the under manager of a restaurant in one of South Wales most prestigious  hotels meaning the he views the service he receives in restaurants with a knowledgeable eye.   

Before his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent Greg had been accepted on a scholarship to the famous Italia Conti stage school in London as a dance student, he attended ballet classes for a number of years when he was younger.  Unfortunately a change in personal circumstances meant that he was unable to take up the place. He has always enjoyed singing and as a child would sing along to recordings of a variety of performers who were famed for their high notes. As he moved through adolescence and into adulthood he was surprised to find  that he retained the ability to sing high and reach top notes even though his speaking voice naturally lowered. Greg’s love of music and performance stayed with him all the time he was working in hospitality. He sang when he could for small charity events and for a while joined a touring tribute band. He also took piano lessons and enjoyed composing his own pieces as well as rearranging the work of others.

A diverse variety of engagements followed his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. Greg auditioned for the role of Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago in London and accepted the lead role in a London staged music theatre production ‘Glambuster’. Sadly the production was hit by the financial recession that was affecting the UK economy at the time and the show was cancelled before it ever opened. Other offers that came post Britain’s Got Talent included included invitations to appear in a variety of opera productions, details of two that Greg was able to take part in CarMen and Tosca are available on other pages of this site. Another opera that Greg was offered the chance to perform in was the opera La Didone by Jommelli being sung as part of the London Handel Festival. Although this offer could not be worked in with other commitments he had initial work that he undertook for the piece afforded him an introduction to vocal coach Linda Hutchison with whom he had a happy collaboration for a number of years.

All of the opera work that Greg was able to perform has had to be worked in with the full time study that he had taken the decision to return to. Initially this study was local to him and he combined it with preparing students for their A.B.R.S.M. examinations teaching from a music shop in Chepstow. Whilst teaching Greg also become a member of the St Woolos Cathedral choir and sang with the choir for both their Friday Evensong and Sunday Morning Services The Cathedral has been a place of worship for some 1500 years and is the Metropolitan Cathedral for Wales.  The choir have been broadcast on both television and radio programmes. Greg also sung with the Llandaff Cathedral Choral Society.

Greg’s love of live performance led him  to apply for and be accepted onto a performance programme being offered by the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, commonly referred to as R.A.D.A. In January 2014 he attended a course at this world famous institution in preparation for taking the Shakespeare certificates that they offer. These certificates are for those with a passion for drama, who love exploring the English Language and the sheer enjoyment that can be gained through the performance of Shakespeare’s work.  Greg worked with R.A.D.A. tutors concentrating on a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet as a main focal point.  Students were introduced to techniques and exercises used to analyse Shakespeare’s text and prepare for performance. Some of the topics covered included iambic pentameter, rhyming scheme, antithesis and  imagery which help develop transferable skills in sight reading, confidence and communication.

From 2014 - 2017, Greg moved to York to attend the University of York where he successfully studied for his Music Degree. He lived on campus for the first year and then in student houses for the following two years. The music department at York University is consistently highly placed in league tables enjoying a top ten slot when Greg started his studies there. The City of York is beautiful and ancient and Greg enjoyed visiting many of its historical landmarks, museums and theatres during his time there.  The high number of visitors that come to the city meant that part time work in restaurants and hotels was always available for someone with his hospitality background when student loans needed to be supplemented. In his three years at York University Greg sang with choirs that belonged to the music department, including concerts in the magnificent Minster, smaller ensemble evenings organised by the Music Society, and at the National Centre for Early Music in a premiere performance of the Chamber Opera ‘La Purcelle’ that was part of the programme of performances put on for the York Spring Festival of Music.

The final year of Greg’s studies was a full and demanding with one highlight being 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. Another high point of the year was a module 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, a piece 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.

Since October 2017 Greg has been enjoying a new chapter in his life living in Berlin. If you would like to know more about what he has been doing there please see the Berlin page.

Rehearsing for a

York University

Music Society concert