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Glenn Kesby

Voice Type:

Countertenor

Nationality:

British, Australian

Country:

United Kingdom

Languages (fluent):

English

Opera

Giulio Caesar
Giulio Cesare (Handel)
Bury Court Opera
2018
Tirinto (in English)
Imeneo (Handel)
Llantilio Crossenny Festival, Baroque Encounter
2008
Tirinto (in English)
Imeneo (Handel)
Baroque Encounter, St John's Smith Square
2007
Apollo
Parnasso in Festa (Handel)
Baroque Encounter
2005
Spirit
Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)
Burghley Opera
2004
Silvio
Il Pastor Fido (Handel)
Harmonie Universelle
2004
Oberon
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten)
English National Opera Baylis
2004
Ruggiero
Alcina (Handel)
Handel Opera Society
2003
Adelberto
Ottone, re di Germania (Handel)
Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe, Germany
2002
Cupid
Venus and Adonis (Blow)
All Saints' Church, Blackheath
2001
Giulio Cesare (in English)
Giulio Cesare (Handel)
Handel Opera Society
2000
Rinaldo
Rinaldo (Handel)
Abbey Opera
1999

Contemporary Opera

Messenger / Herald
Lizzie Strata (Roger Simmonds)
Stanton St John Opera
2016
Ron
Shawna and Ron's Half Moon (Cashian, McQueen, Nicholson)
English National Opera Baylis - The Knack
2000

Early Music

Soloist
Stabat Mater (Pergolesi)
St George's Lutheran Church, London
2017
Soloist
A Baroque Birdcage (Various)
Festival of Chichester
2016
Soloist
A Feast for the Senses (Various)
Hurstpierpoint Festival
2015
Soloist
Handel and the Burlington Circle (Various)
1901 Arts Club
2014
1st Alto Chorus & soloist
Missa Brevis (Buxtehude)
Illustra, St John's College Chapel, Cambridge
2013
Soloist
Carneval Venetian Music (Various)
Chelsea Arts Club
2013
Soloist
Sun, Moon and Stars (various)
Palladium Baroque Festival, Malmö, Sweden
2012
Soloist
Stabat Mater (Vivaldi)
Hinde Street Methodist Church
2009
Soloist
Moralische Kantaten (Telemann)
Handel House Museum
2008
Tebro, soloist
O Come chiare e belle (Handel)
Baroque Encounter
2006
Soloist
Il duello amoroso (Handel)
Baroque Encounter
2006
Soloist
Stabat Mater (Pergolesi)
St James' Piccadilly
2000

Oratorio/Concerts

Soloist
St Matthew Passion (Bach)
East Grinstead Choral Society
2017
Soloist
Come ye sons of art (Purcell)
Harlow Chorus
2015
Soloist
Magnificat (Bach)
Harlow Chorus
2015
Soloist
Te Deum (Charpentier)
Harlow Chorus
2015
Soloist
Salve Regina (Haydn)
Wimbledon Chamber Choir
2014
Soloist
Nelson Mass (Haydn)
Wimbledon Chamber Choir
2014
Judas and Alto soloist
Brockes' Passion (English version by Neil Jenkins) (Handel)
East Grinstead Choral Society
2014
Judas and Alto Soloist
Brockes' Passion (English version by Neil Jenkins) (Handel)
London Orpheus Choir
2014
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
East London Chorus
2013
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
Holy Trinity Church, Hastings
2013
Soloist
Mass in B minor (Bach)
Wokingham Choral Society
2013
Soloist
St John Passion (Bach)
Kent Chorus
2013
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
East London Chorus
2012
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
East Malling Singers
2012
Soloist
St John Passion (Bach)
Collegium Laureatum, Cambridge
2012
Soloist
St Matthew Passion (Bach)
Halifax Choral Society
2007
Soloist
St John Passion (Bach)
Choros, Douai Abbey
2007
Soloist
Mass in B minor (Bach)
Collegium Laureatum, Cambridge
2006
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
Halifax Choral Society
2004
Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
Choros
2004
Soloist
Dixit Dominus (Handel)
Shipton Festival
2003
Soloist
Missa Brevis in G minor (Bach)
Shipton Festival
2003
Soloist
Welcome to all the pleasures (Purcell)
Shipton Festival
2003
Soloist
Coronation Mass (Mozart)
Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir
2002
Soloist
Come ye sons of art (Purcell)
Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir
2002
Israelitish Man and soloist
Judas Maccabaeus (Handel (arr. Mozart))
Halifax Choral Society
2002

Various/Mixed

Isaac
Abraham and Isaac - Canticle II (Britten)
Independent
2012

Covered Covered & Performed Scenes Premiere of New Work Concert

Ombra mai fu - Handel Serse

Glenn

"Needless to say, the evening's music was of an incredibly high standard, with countertenor Kesby, keyboardist Claire Williams, recorder player Lauren Brant, and guest performer David Beaney alternating between the recorder and flute. Kesby's resonant countertenor really succeeded in bringing the various vocal pieces to life: his performance was at once technically excellent and sensitive to the character of the music, employing a great range of different timbres. Prime examples of this were the last two arias of the first half. Handel's 'Ombra cara' from Radamisto was full of emotion, in which Kesby fully captured Radamisto's despair. This was contrasted completely with the high, virtuosic character of 'Sento la gioia' from Amadigi." - Hannah Templeton, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2014)

"Among so many musical bonbons, Telemann's cantatas offered something rather more substantial but even the earnestness of Kesby's coloratura couldn't obscure the tongue-in-cheek morality of works that exhort us to drink, gamble and worse, so long as we do so in moderation." - Alexandra Coughlan, The New Statesman

The Knack (Mary King, Rufus Norris, Maxine Braham, Leah Hausman)
English National Opera Baylis
1999–2000

Glenn Kesby made his professional singing debut at the 25th Handel Festival in Karlsruhe, Germany, where he played Adelberto in Handel’s Ottone, conducted by Charles Farncombe CBE. Since then, he has played several lead opera roles including Julius Caesar and Ruggiero in Alcina for the Handel Opera Society, Rinaldo at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, Apollo in Parnasso in Festa, and Tirinto in Imeneo with Baroque Encounter at St John’s, Smith Square.

Other opera roles have included Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ENO Baylis), Silvio in Handel’s Il Pastor Fido (Harmonie Universelle), Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Spirit in Dido and Aeneas (Burghley Opera), and Venus in a concert performance of Pepusch’s Venus and Adonis for the Handel House Museum. Glenn was delighted to be part of the Stanton St John Opera performances of a new work Lizzie Strata – Make Love, or War? by Roger Simmonds and David Willcock.

Glenn was a soloist for the modern-world premiere performance of the rediscovered Mozart orchestration of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus for John Pryce-Jones and the Halifax Choral Society, broadcast on BBC TV and on Trio Arts Channel (USA). He was also selected as a soloist for the first performances of the new English version by Neil Jenkins of Handel’s Brockes’ Passion.

His other concerts have incorporated much of the main repertoire for counter tenor including Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah with the Halifax Choral Society, and also with Choros and Oxford Sinfonia, the first performance of a Bach Passion (St John) at Douai Abbey, Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Cambridge and Reading, Purcell’s Come ye sons of art away and Mozart’s Coronation Mass for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee at St Alban’s Cathedral, and both Vivaldi’s and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. His performances have contributed to festivals around the UK including the Chichester, Chelsea, Rye, Shipton, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Edinburgh Fringe and Pennine Spring festivals, lute songs at Hampton Court Palace, St John’s College Chapel in Cambridge, and arias for counter tenor, oboe and orchestra in London and Brighton.

In recital Glenn has performed at St John’s, Smith Square, the National Portrait and Dulwich Picture galleries, Banqueting House, Handel & Hendrix in London (formerly Handel House Museum), and most recently at Brunswick House. He has performed in Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Cyprus, Ireland, France and his native Australia. Although, unsurprisingly, he specialises in music from the baroque period, his repertoire extends well beyond early music and he has given recitals of Finzi’s Let us garlands bring, Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, and Britten’s canticle Abraham and Isaac.

In 2004, Glenn established the early music ensemble, Baroque Encounter, to explore two main avenues of performance: costumed period performances of baroque theatrical works; and more intimate chamber music mostly in the form of a trio of counter tenor voice, recorder and harpsichord.

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