Handel's Messiah at the Sheldonian Theatre

Handal's Messiah at the Sheldonian Theatre. Orchestra: Music for Awhile directed by Margaret Faultless. Soloists: Jessica Cale (Soprano), Martha McLorinan (Mezzo Soprano), Jeremy Budd (Tenor), Hugo Herman-Wilson (Bass)

Saturday 10th December 2022

UCARE presents Handal's Messiah at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

Join us for a wonderful evening of music while also raising important funds for UCARE.

Music for Awhile

In 1996 Simon Whistler and Margaret Faultless decided to celebrate their love of a tiny church in its magical setting with a concert, inviting musician friends of international standing to perform. The church was All Saints', Alton Priors, and Music for Awhile was born.

Its annual focus remains the summer festival in the Vale of Pewsey but there are many other performances throughout the year, including a chamber series, which for many years was held at Conock Manor. Festival programmes have included performances of early English opera, masques and theatre music. Music for Awhile has premiered new editions of manuscript material from the British Library and has created new works combining music and poetry. The Cecil King Memorial Foundation and other sponsors, support a series of concerts in churches, fundraising for these historic buildings, as well as bringing professional music-making of the highest calibre to local communities. These chamber recitals give rise to adventurous programming, notably in creating arrangements of large-scale works for more intimate venues.

As well as recitals in churches, the larger MFA ensemble collaborates with choirs performing major choral works in venues such as Westminster Abbey, Wells Cathedral, Bath Abbey and tonight we are delighted to be performing in the iconic Sheldonian Theatre for such a good cause.

Margaret Faultless

Founder and Artistic Margaret of Music for Awhile Margaret Faultless has had a varied musical career, as leader of a West End Musical and the violinist in contemporary music ensembles but is best known as a specialist in historical performance practice.

She is a leader of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom she has performed all over the world: at Glyndebourne, the Lincoln Centre New York, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris, the Salzburg Festival and frequently at the South Bank in London. She was on the Board of Directors for many years and currently directs the OAE Experience scheme for young professionals. As a specialist, she has guest-led the LPO (London), the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston) and the Russian National Orchestra and has performed with, led and guest directing many of the best-known period instrument groups in Europe. Margaret was leader of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in their ten-year Bach cantata project, performing and recording every cantata. She was also a member of The London Haydn Quartet, whose CD of the Opus 9 quartets was hailed as “one of the great Haydn quartet recordings.”

A graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, she is Director of Performance at the Faculty of Music, and lectures and broadcasts on performance; her research interests include leadership and social interactions in Haydn, and Bach's notation for performers. An Honorary Fellow of Birmingham Conservatoire, Margaret is Head of Historical Performance at The Royal Academy of Music (and is currently a member of their Governing Body), is the recipient of the prestigious Honorary Memberbership of The Royal Academy of Music and has been made a Professor of the University of London.

Jessica Cale - Soprano

Welsh Soprano, Jessica Cale, is the 2020 First Prize winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Joint Audience prize winner at the London Handel Festival International Singing Competition.

In 2022, Jessica made her European and house debut at Teatro La Fenice playing 2nd Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. Jessica also made her role debut as Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro for Waterperry Opera Festival and has given recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival and at St Martin in the Fields.

Jessica is a graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio with an Artist Diploma in Opera and a Master of Performance with distinction. Jessica’s operatic roles whilst at the RCM include Rodelinda (Handel); Flaminia (Haydn’s Il mondo della luna), Susan (Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement) and Second Bridesmaid (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro).

Jessica has also performed Despina (Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte) and Serpetta (Mozart’s The Garden of Disguises) for Ryedale Festival Opera. Royal College of Music Opera Scenes include Blanche (Dialogues des Carmelites, Poulenc); Juliette (Romeo et Juliette, Gounod); Poppea (L’incoronazione de Poppea, Monteverdi); Tina (Flight, Dove); Musetta (La Boheme, Puccini); and Melisande (Pelleas et Melisande, Debussy). Jessica has participated in Masterclasses at the RCM with Dame Ann Murray, Gerald Finley, Edith Wiens and Roger Vignoles. On the concert platform, Jessica has performed under the batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Harry Christophers, Jonathan Cohen, Christian Curnyn, Ian Page and Brian Kay. Recent notable concert highlights have included Jessica’s debut at the Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall with The Mozartists, Porpora and Handel at Bilbao’s Musika Música Festival with Arcangelo, Handel’s Apollo e Dafne at the London Handel Festival, Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Schumann’s Manfred for Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Salzburg Festival, Purcell’s King Arthur and Fairy Queen for Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall and Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Berlin Philharmoniker. Jessica has performed as soprano soloist for recordings with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment of Bach’s St John Passion alongside Gerald Finley and Mark Padmore, and ‘Telling Tales with Telemann’ alongside Tabea Debus.

Jessica is proud to be an Associate Artist of The Mozartists, performing regularly with the group under the direction of Ian Page and participating in their educational outreach projects.

Martha McLorinan - Mezzo Soprano

Martha McLorinan trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she held a scholarship with the BBC, won the Margaret Tann Williams Prize, and graduated with first class honours.

She has won prizes at the Thelma King Award the Royal Over-Seas League, and now enjoys a varied career of oratorio, opera, consort work, session work and recitals.

Martha has extensive experience on the concert platform across both the UK and Europe. Solo highlights include Bach’s Passions at Birmingham Symphony Hall (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), St. Matthew Passion at St. John’s Cathedral, Malta (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/John Butt), Handel’s Messiah at Birmingham Symphony Hall (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Halsey) and at Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (The Academy of Ancient Music/Nigel Short), Bach’s Magnificat at St. John’s Cathedral, Malta (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/James Burton) and at the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig (Solomon’s Knot), Bach’s B Minor Mass (The Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh) at Kloster Eberbach as part of the Rheingau Musik Festival, Rachmaninov’s Vespers at Gloucester Cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes at Kings Place (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers), and Handel’s Jephtha (Storge) in Maynooth, Ireland (US Berkshire International Choral Festival/Joseph Cullen). She has toured Holland singing Haydn’s Harmoniemesse (The Sixteen and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century/Harry Christophers), toured Russia singing Bach’s St. John Passion (The Taverner Consort and Players/Andrew Parrott), and toured Luxembourg and Spain singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Le Concert Lorrain/Andrew Parrott). At the Aldeburgh Festival, she has performed Bach’s Magnificat (Les Siecles and London Voices/Francois Xavier-Roth) at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and at the Barbican Festival she has performed Copland’s In The Beginning and MacMillan’s Seven Angels (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore) at St. Giles’, Cripplegate.

She is also a regular soloist with the Feinstein Ensemble singing Bach cantatas at Kings Place and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Martha’s operatic roles include The Notary’s Wife and Anna (cover) in Strauss’s Intermezzo and Lotinka in Dvorak’s The Jacobin for Buxton Festival Opera, Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms (La Nuova Musica/David Bates), First Witch at the Royal Festival Hall (London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Roger Norrington), and Sorceress at Birmingham Town Hall (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore). She has played Proserpina and La Messaggera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (i fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth) at the Cheltenham and Swidnica festivals, and Mrs.Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde for a community project in Somerset.

She has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 singing Third Lady in excerpts of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Charles Hazelwood’s Discovering Music programme. As a consort singer, her work with Tenebrae has taken her to The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she sang in a quartet of female voices for Joby Talbot’s ballet Alice in Wonderland. She is a regular singer with single voice ensembles i fagiolini, Ensemble Plus Ultra and Alamire. Martha features as a soloist on various recordings. Highlights include Garcia’s Missa Pastoril (Brazilian Adventures, Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), and Tenbrae’s recording of Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers (Music of the Spheres, Tenebrae/Nigel Short), which was nominated for a Grammy. She has also recorded the role of Page in Bob Chilcott’s Wenceslas (West London Chorus/Hilary Campbell), and she can be heard singing numerous songs by William Byrd with Fretwork (including his famous lullaby) on Byrd 1588: Psalmes, Sonets and Songs of sadnes and pietie (Alamire/David Skinner). She recently recorded Byrd 1589, which will be released next year. Future plans include recording Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Music and David Bates for release on Pentatone, and recording The Garden Path, a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and string quartet by Alec Roth with the Sacconi Quartet.

Jeremy Budd - Tenor

Born in Hertfordshire, Jeremy started out as a Chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral in London before going to study at the Royal Academy of Music.

Since finishing his studies he has been much in demand on the concert platform particularly for his Baroque repertoire. Jeremy has worked with many of the foremost conductors in this field including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Harry Christophers CBE, Masaaki Suzuki, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Charles Mackerras, Paul McCreesh, John Butt, Bernard Labadie, Emmanuelle Haim, Jeffrey Skidmore and David Clegg.

Recent performances have included a tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with The Sixteen, a tour of the USA with Tenebrae and Nigel Short performing their famed interpretation of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, and abridged performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in collaboration with Streetwise Opera, the Evangelist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Gabrieli Consort, Monteverdi Madrigals with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen in Saffron Hall, Purcell’s King Arthur and Fairy Queen with Paul McCreesh. He has also performed Gibbons Verse Anthems with Fretwork.

Much of this repertoire he has also committed to recording and his discography is numerous. Future engagements include trips to the the USA with Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society, Purcell Odes in Israel with the Gabrieli Consort, Handel with Arcangelo and Wigmore performances with both The Sixteen and Tenebrae.

Hugo Herman-Wilson - Bass

Hugo Herman-Wilson studied at King’s College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music.

He won the Audience Prize in the 2017 Somerset Song Prize, received the Maidment Award from Help Musicians in both 2016 and 2018 and was a Britten-Pears Young Artist for the successive years of 2017-2019.

He is a member of the 11th edition of Le Jardin des Voix, the young artist programme of William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants.

Recent highlights include the roles of Monsieur Presto (Les Mamaelles de Tiresias, cover) and The Notary (Don Pasquale, cover) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Micha (The Bartered Bride, cover) for Garsington Opera, Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata) and Masetto (Don Giovanni, cover) for Nevill Holt Opera, Marcello and Scarpia (La Boheme, Tosca), both staged in contemporary one-hour adaptations with Opera Undone at Trafalgar Studios, the role of Mr Jedermann (Scoring a Century, written by David Blake and Keith Warner) for British Youth Opera, and a recital of songs and duets by Purcell and Lawes with soprano Charlotte Bowden for the Aldeburgh Festival.

As part of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio, Hugo performed the roles of Blazes/Second Office (The Lighthouse), Peter Quince (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Polifemo (Acis and Galatea).