Anna Harvey

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Anna Harvey Mezzo-Soprano

Sheffield-born Mezzo-Soprano Anna Harvey is on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), studying under Elizabeth Ritchie and Iain Ledingham. A recent graduate in Music of Jesus College, Cambridge, Anna’s highlights on the concert platform include Mozart Requiem with the Hallé at The Bridgewater Hall, with the English Chamber Orchestra and at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Handel Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall and with the BBC Concert Orchestra and The Bach Choir (recorded for Radio 2), arias with the London Mozart Players at Fairfield Halls, Handel Israel in Egypt with Huddersfield Choral Society, the UK premiere of Loewe Passion Oratorio, and Bach Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion and B Minor Mass at St John’s Smith Square. Anna is a regular soloist in the Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series, recently working with Masaaki Suzuki and Iain Ledingham, and has performing the Alto Cantatas BWV 35, 169, 170 and 200. A member of Academy Song Circle, as a recitalist Anna has performed at venues including Kettle’s Yard, Southwark Cathedral, the Garrick Club and Wigmore Hall.

 

Anna is equally at home on the operatic stage, with recent and upcoming roles including Ariodante, Popova The Bear, La Zia Principessa Suor Angelica and Larina Eugene Onegin for Royal Academy Opera, Mrs Herring Albert Herring for Opera Holland Park Etcetera, Fairy Queen Iolanthe at Buxton Opera House, Jean The Choker at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2014, Lapák the Dog The Cunning Little Vixen for Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel for Garsington Opera at West Green House and Astron The Ice Break for Birmingham Opera Company.

 

Prizes include a Leonard Ingrams Foundation Award 2014 from Garsington Opera, RAM Major Van Someren-Godfrey Prize for English Song and Ludmilla Andrew Russian Song Prize, the London Mozart Players/Croydon Festival Prize, a Winchester Consort Prize at the Hampshire Singing Competition, Finalist in the LBS Bach Singers Prize and RAM Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award, and Semi-Finalist in The Kathleen Ferrier Award. In masterclasses Anna has worked on operatic repertoire with Ann Murray, Anne Howells, Susan Gritton, Susan McCulloch and Anthony Legge, Russian song with Gerald Finley and Phillip Thomas, and Lieder with Florian Boesch, Helmut Deutsh and Thomas Quasthoff (at the Schubertiade festival in Austria). Anna is grateful for the support of the Fordyce Scholarship, the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, the Patricia Kris Wolfe Award Help Musicians UK (Sybil Tutton Award), the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust, the Lilian Ada Foote Bursary, the Fulwood Educational Endowment, the Yorkshire Ladies’ Council of Education and the Josephine Baker Trust. For more information please see www.annaharveymezzo.com.

 

Q & A with Anna Harvey

When did you first hear opera?

The first opera I went to was Madame Butterfly in Sheffield City Hall with my friend from school and her Mum (this friend still regularly reminds me she was the once who introduced me to opera!).

 

Has musical success always come easily or have there been times of struggle?

There's a lot of disappointment in singing - you go to lots of auditions and you will only get some of them, or you'll get a couple of things and they clash so you have to decide what to go for. These disappointments and decisions can be difficult - you're often second guessing what something could lead to.

 

What do you do when you’re not singing?

I love the outdoors; going for runs and bike rides in the countryside, swimming in lakes and the sea (in summer!), going on occasional surfing or hiking trips with my brothers. I grew up in Sheffield so had the Peak District on my doorstep, and spent a lot of time in the Lake District during my childhood, so those are the places I feel most at home. I also love playing the violin and going to the theatre and art exhibitions, and I help to run the Sunday school at my church which is one of the highlights of my week.

 

Dream role? Favourite composer/opera?

I've played Ariodante which was a dream role, but I'd love to play the other big Handel trouser roles, Xerxes and Giulio Cesare. I also think Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito is one of the most conflicted and interesting characters in opera.

 

Which aria makes you the happiest to sing?

Dopo notte from Ariodante - it is all about joy and has these amazing coloratura runs which give you a real adrenaline rush when you sing them. It's the aria at the culmination of the opera and you know the audience are absolutely behind you.

 

Strangest costume you've had to wear on stage?

I had to wear big bushy sideburns, a moustache and a large leather codpiece when I played a (male!) dog last year!

 

Which singer has most inspired you?

Definitely Janet Baker - her beautiful voice, captivating stage presence and down-to-earth, grounded approach to the profession are inspirational.

 

 

 

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