The Soloists

We are very grateful to our talented soloists for their fantastic performances under very challenging conditions!

Elijah – Sir Thomas Allen

Photography by Sussie Ahlburg

Sir Thomas Allen is an established star of the great opera houses of the world. At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where in 2011 he celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debut with the company, he has sung over fifty roles. The same year he also celebrated the 30th anniversary of his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera in 17/18 for his acclaimed portrayal of Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow)

He’s particularly renowned for his Billy Budd, Pelléas, Eugene Onegin, Ulisse and Beckmesser, as well as the great Mozart roles of Count Almaviva, Don Alfonso, Papageno, Guglielmo and, of course, Don Giovanni. His recent engagements have included the title role in Gianni Schicchi for Los Angeles Opera and at the Spoleto Festival; the title role in Sweeney Todd, Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Prosdocimo (Il turco in Italia), Music Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), Peter (Hänsel und Gretel) and Don Alfonso at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Don Alfonso, Ulisse and Don Giovanni at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Faninal at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia; Eisenstein at the Glyndebourne Festival; Don Alfonso at the Dallas Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Salzburg Easter and Summer Festivals; Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen) at the San Francisco Opera and Beckmesser, Don Alfonso and Music Master at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Opera appearances in 2017 include Music Master (Ariadne auf Naxos) at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Roc in The Exterminating Angel (Thomas Adés) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Equally renowned on the concert platform, he appears in recital in the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, in Australia and America, and has appeared with the world’s great orchestras and conductors. The greatest part of his repertoire has been extensively recorded with such distinguished names as Solti, Levine, Marriner, Haitink, Rattle, Sawallisch and Muti.

He made a triumphant directing debut in 2003 with Albert Herring at the Royal College of Music and went on to direct critically acclaimed productions of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte for Samling Opera at The Sage, Gateshead.

He made an equally acclaimed U.S. directing debut with Le nozze di Figaro for Arizona Opera in 2006 and has since returned to direct Cosi at the Boston Lyric Opera and Don Pasquale at the Chicago Lyric Opera. He is a regular guest at Scottish Opera where his productions include The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and, most recently Don Giovanni.

He is Chancellor of Durham University. His many honours include the title of Bayerischer Kammersänger awarded by the Bayerische Staatsoper, an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Professor of the Royal College of Music, the Hambro Visiting Professorship of Opera Studies at Oxford University, Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, Fellowship of the University of Sunderland, M.A. from Newcastle University and a Doctorate of Music from Durham University and the University of Birmingham. In the New Year’s Honours of 1989 he was created a Commander of the British Empire and in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor. Among his proudest achievements is having a Channel Tunnel locomotive named after him; and most recently, being awarded the
Queen’s Medal for Music 2013.

Thomas Allen’s first book, ‘Foreign Parts – A Singer’s Journal’ was published in 1993. His film credits include ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ and ‘The Real Don Giovanni’.

Version 2Soprano – Helen Bailey

Middlesbrough-born Helen Bailey is a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, and Liverpool John Moores University. At RAM, she studied on both the postgraduate opera course and Vocal Studies Masters course under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ritchie. Her studies were generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust, The Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust, a Coutts bursary, and a D’Oyly Carte scholarship.
Helen appears regularly with several choral societies across the country including Bromley Oecumenical singers, Ember Choral Society, Sutton Valence Choral Society, Botley Choral Society, and The Seventy Singers.
In addition to her concert engagements, Helen performs regularly in staged opera productions. Operatic roles include Véronique (Le Docteur Miracle, Pop-Up Opera), Pamina (The Magic Flute, Ryedale Festival Opera), Elisetta (The Secret Marriage, British Youth Opera), Rosina (La Vera Costanza, Royal Academy Opera, conducted by Trevor Pinnock CBE), and the title role of Susannah (Hamstead Garden Opera). During 2015, Helen will make her debut with Operaview and Buxton Festival Opera.
Please see for more information about Helen’s upcoming performances.
21860239105_b983d1e40b_zAlto – Fiona Mackay
Mezzo-soprano Fiona Mackay studied music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and is a graduate of Royal Academy Opera, where she studied with Elizabeth Ritchie and Audrey Hyland.
During her studies at the Royal Academy, Fiona was generously supported by the Sickle Foundation, and was also a Bach Cantata Kohn scholar and a member of the Academy’s prestigious Song Circle.Fiona recently made her principal debut with Opera Holland Park as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw. Other recent highlights include singing the roles of Maman and La Libellule in a concert performance of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Stephane Denève and the BBC symphony orchestra, Rosina in Haydn’s La Vera Costanza conducted byTrevor Pinnock and Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin conducted by Jane Glover. She also performed the alto solos in Bach’s Magnificat at St John Smith Square and in the St John Passion at St Martin-in-the-fields.Other operatic roles include Second and Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Popova in Walton’s the Bear, Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Maurya in Riders to the Sea, conducted by Peter Robinson, Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, and Lady Bertram in the London première production of Dove’s Mansfield Park.Fiona’s solo concert work has included performances at the Spitalfields, Dartington, York and Bath Music Festivals, on BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, and with the City of London Sinfonia, Thames Chamber Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Her oratorio repertoire includes Elgar Sea Pictures, Verdi Requiem and Handel Messiah.Upcoming performances include Durufle Requiem in King’s College Chapel, and the role of La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica for Opera Holland Park.
Tenor -Andrew Hayman
Having spent his former years as variously Choral and Organ Scholars at Newport Cathedral, Monmouth School, and Wells Cathedral, Andrew arrived at Oxford in 2009, singing as an Academical Clerk in Magdalen College Choir, while studying for an undergraduate degree in Music, in which he achieved First Class honours. From there, he spent two years at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, before taking up his current place in Winchester Cathedral.Andrew is in frequent demand as a soloist; recent engagements have included Stainer’s Crucifixion, Schubert’s Winterreise, the roles of First Priest and First Armed Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules. Besides singing, Andrew can regularly be heard as an accompanist, both on the organ, and as a pianist, recently for recitals of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Britten’s Winter Words.In his spare time, Andrew is an avid sports fan, particularly following the fortunes of Chelsea, Welsh Rugby and any sort of cricket.

21237469864_f3147ae824_zBass – Andrew De Silva
Andrew was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1983. At the age of eight, Andrew was accepted into the Peterborough Cathedral Choir under the direction of Christopher Gower, during which time he boarded and studied at The King’s School, Peterborough. Throughout his time as a chorister and subsequently as Head Chorister, he appeared in concerts, television and radio broadcasts and on CDs, both in the choir and as a soloist.Andrew’s studies led him to read Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. During his time there, he was a bass Choral Scholar for the Chapel Choir, in addition to singing for both Rochester and Canterbury Cathedral choirs.
Having successfully completed his degree, Andrew moved back to Peterborough to take up his position as a Bass Lay Clerk in the Cathedral (under both Christopher Gower and Andrew Reid), and to begin his teaching career in a Primary School in the city, soon becoming a Deputy Headteacher. He also recorded several CDs with Peterborough Cathedral Choir, in addition to television and radio broadcasts, and has been on several tours to a variety of European destinations.Since September 2009, Andrew has sung as a Bass Lay Clerk for Winchester Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Andrew Lumsden, with whom he has recorded various CDs, broadcast live on BBC1 television and been part of the regular round of concerts and tours. Recently, Andrew recorded the Baritone solos from Faure’s Requiem for broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Good Friday.Andrew has studied singing with Stephen Roberts and Nicholas Powell, and has sung solos in concerts for numerous choral societies, in works including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Bach’s St John Passion, Brahms’ Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria to name but a few. He has also enjoyed performing as a soloist in venues across the UK, including Birmingham Symphony Hall, and has performed with many renowned orchestras, most recently with the BBC Concert Orchestra.In his ‘spare’ time, Andrew also enjoys singing with Manners Makyth Man, a quartet of present and former Lay Clerks from Winchester Cathedral, specialising in polyphony and close harmony arrangements of popular songs.