Katherine Aitken (Mezzo) and Lizzie Holmes (Soprano) receive latest Audition Oracle Award

By Audition Oracle – Thu 14 Jun 2018 @ 9:00

We are thrilled to announce the May winners of the Audition Oracle Singers Preparation Award

Here at AO we fully understand the importance of up-to-date media and are delighted to offer Scottish Mezzo-soprano Katherine Aitken £300 funding for two days recording at the Royal Academy of Music. We’re also pleased to provide a further £300 award to Dorset soprano Lizze Holmes for coaching with Iain Burnside and video recording of her debut recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields in July and coaching on Cunegonde for Candide, which she will be performing this summer.

Audition Oracle Award winners Katherine Aitken and Lizzie Holmes


Katherine Aitken, Mezzo Soprano

Scottish mezzo-soprano Katherine Aitken is an honours graduate of the Royal College of Music, London. She has also a completed her Master of Arts (awarded a DipRAM for excellence) and Advanced Diploma in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying with Kathleen Livingstone and Gareth Hancock and where she was a member of the Academy Song Circle and a Kohn Foundation Bach scholar.

Katherine’s recent operatic experience includes Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro for English Touring Opera, Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Pippetto in Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma! for Opéra de Lyon and Caligola (L'Agrippina, Porpora) for Barber Opera. After completing her formal education, Katherine was a member of the Studio Opéra de Lyon where she performed the roles of L'Enfant in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges and Valetto in L’incoronazione di Poppea. Whilst at RAM, Katherine sung the roles of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and Mrs Kneebone in Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement. She also sung in numerous opera scenes including Annio in La Clemenza di Tito and the title role in Jonathan Dove's Adventures of Pinocchio. Other operatic roles include Siebel in Faust with Clonter Opera, and Cretan Woman (cover) in Idomeneo and Alto Soloist in Haydn's Creation for Garsington Opera.

On the concert platform, notable performances include Tippett’s A Child of our Time in Salisbury Cathedral, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem at St Martin-in-the-Fields and Mahler's 2nd Symphony at the Royal Academy of Music.

Upcoming engagements include reprising Tisbe (La Cenerentola, Rossini) for Opéra de Lyon in the Edinburgh International Festival. 

Katherine Aitken, Mezzo Soprano | Audition Oracle Singers Preparation Award


Lizzie Holmes, Soprano

Dorset soprano Lizzie Holmes graduated with Distinction from the Royal College of Music in 2014 (Masters of Performance as a Yvonne Wells Scholar). Prior to this she studied English Literature at Warwick University (BA hons); was awarded ‘Best Supporting Actor’ (National Student Drama Festival); toured nationally with Curious Directive’s Your Last Breath (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award) and trained for eight years in ballet and contemporary dance. Lizzie is a Concordia Foundation Artist and is grateful to the support of The Carne Trust.

Lizzie’s 2017/18 season: Mimi and Musetta in La bohème (Olivier Award Nominee 2018 ‘Best New Opera’, King’s Head Theatre at the Trafalgar Studios, West End); debut solo recitals at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Albert Hall and Bath Recitals; Cunegonde in Candide (Surrey Opera at the Minack Theatre); Stephano (cover) in Roméo et Juliette (Grange Park Opera); Amor in Orpheus & Eurydice (Opera in the City); Despina in Così fan tutte (Devon Opera); Mavis in A King’s Ransom (world premiere - Into Opera, Britten Sinfonia); Miss Wordsworth (cover) in Albert Herring (Inaugural Grange Festival); The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (The Bach Choir, Outreach Concert); Adina (cover) in L’elisir d’amore (Woodhouse Opera); Mum/RaRa in A Shoe Full of Stars (Gestalt Arts, supported by the International Opera Awards).

Other highlights: La Bergère in L'enfant et les sortilèges (RCMIOS); Florence in Burnside’s Journeying Boys (Britten Theatre); In 2014 Lizzie made her West End debut in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) performing the role of Madame Giry over 80 times; title role in The Coronation of Poppea (Ryedale Festival); Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro (Bloomsbury Opera); Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Pamina in The Magic Flute (both Opera Warwick, Warwick Arts Centre). Lizzie founded the recital platform DEBUT in 2015 and their monthly concert series, Debut Treehouse, was recently featured in Classical Music Magazine and Opera Now as “a great introduction to some of the best talent”.

Lizzie Holmes, Soprano | Audition Oracle Singers Preparation Award

Lizzie Holmes, Photo by Bill Knight