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Photo: Peter Mould

Helen May

Voice Type:

Soprano

Nationality:

British

Country:

United Kingdom

Languages (fluent):

English

Opera

Nerone (reprise)
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
Ensemble OrQuesta - Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone
2019
Galatea
Acis & Galatea (Handel)
Ensemble OrQuesta
2018
Calisto
La Calisto (Cavalli)
Woodhouse Opera & Ensemble OrQuesta
2017
Valletto
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
Hampstead Garden Opera
2017
Diane
Hippolyte et Aricie (Rameau)
Woodhouse Opera
2017
Nerone
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
Woodhouse Opera & Ensemble OrQuesta
2017
La Gloire, Melisse, La Bergere (reprise)
Armide (J.B. Lully)
Grimeborn Opera Festival - Arcola Theatre
2017
Giannetta
L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti)
Woodhouse Opera Festival
2017
Calisto
La Calisto (Cavalli)
Barefoot Opera
2016
La Gloire, Melisse, La Bergere
Armide (J.B. Lully)
Woodhouse Opera
2016
Barbarina
Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Ensemble OrQuesta
2016
Morgana
Alcina (Handel)
The New London Opera Players
2015
1st Lady
The Magic Flute (Mozart)
Secret Opera
2015

Operetta/G&S

Edith
Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2018
Yum-Yum
The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2018
Peep Bo
The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2017

Contemporary Opera

Aurora (cover)
Aurora (Noah Mosley)
Bury Court Opera
2019
Nimue
Merlin (Keith Beal)
Hastings Philharmonic
2018
Aisha (Cleo Cover)
Lizzie Strata's Sex Strike (R. Simmonds & D. Willcock)
Stanton St John Opera
2016
Ruth
The Three Wayfarers (John Whittaker)
Opera Anywhere
2015

Chorus

1st Soprano
The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2017
1st Soprano
H.M.S. Pinafore (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2017
1st Soprano
The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Opera Anywhere
2017
1st Soprano, semi chorus
Don Giovanni (Mozart)
Hampstead Garden Opera
2015
1st Soprano, semi chorus
L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti)
Barefoot Opera - Young Artists' Tour
2015
Soprano
Manon (Massenet)
Opera Coast
2015

Oratorio/Concerts

Soprano Soloist
Two Psalms (Gustav Holst)
Hastings Philharmonic
2017
Soprano Soloist
Dixit Dominus (Handel)
Epiphoni Consort, St Martin in the Fields
2017
Soprano Soloist
Mass in G (Franz Schubert)
Hastings Philharmonic
2017
Soprano Soloist
A Ceremony of Carols (Britten)
Churchill Music Festival, Epiphoni Consort
2016
Soprano Soloist
Opera in the Woods/Museum/Library (Varied)
Opera Anywhere Recital Series
2015
Soprano, semi chorus
'Mankind' Play (Incidental Music) (Various)
The Ephiphoni Consort
2015
Soprano Soloist
NHS Artlink Programme - Solo Recital (& Radio) (Various)
Churchill Hopsital, Oxford
2013
Soprano Soloist
Messiah (Handel)
Haslemere Chorus & Orchestra
2012
Soprano Soloist
Coronation Mass in C (Mozart)
Cardiff University Chamber Choir & Orchestra
2012
Soprano Soloist
Requiem (Fauré)
Cardiff University Chamber Choir & Orchestra
2012

Choral

Soprano Soloist
Serenade to Music (Ralph Vaughan-Williams)
Epiphoni Consort & Quire Voices of Santa Barbara
2016
Soprano Soloist
Bayeux (Orlando Gough)
Root 1066 Choral Festival 'Clash'
2016
Soprano Soloist
The Ecstasies Above (Tarik O'Regan)
Tribal Chamber Choir, RTE ConTempo Quartet
2016
Soprano Semi-Chorus
Hymn to the Virgin (Britten)
Tribal Chamber Choir
2016
Soprano 6
Spem in Alium (Tallis)
Brandenburg Choral Fest. St Martin in the Fields
2016
1st Soprano, semi chorus
Elijah (Mendelsohn)
The Bach Choir, London
2015
1st Soprano, semi chorus
Belshazzar's Feast (Walton)
The Bach Choir, London
2015
Soprano Soloist
Trois Chansons: 'Quant J'ai Ouy Le Tamborin' (Debussy)
The Cantus Ensemble
2014
Soprano Soloist
8 Chansons Francaises: 'Margoton Va Ta L'lau' (Poulenc)
The Cantus Ensemble
2014
Soprano 4
Spem in Alium (Tallis)
The Tallis Scholars
2012

Film/TV

Soprano Vocalist
APEX - Independant Film Trailer (James Thomas - META)
Numinous Pictures
2018

Discography

Soprano Soloist
'Suddenly Clouds of Snow' - CD Recording (R.Simmonds)
Musica Viva, Oxford
2017
1st Soprano
'Sudden Light' - CD Recording (David Bednall)
Epiphoni Consort
2016
1st Soprano
'Footprints' - CD Recording (Will Todd)
Wellensian Consort
2014

Covered Covered & Performed Scenes Premiere of New Work Concert

Independent 'Numinous Pictures' Film Trailer - Soundtrack. Composer James Thomas, Jan 2018.

'Mon père, il n'est pas.' - Poulenc, Dialogues de Carmélites'

Acis & Galatea

Grimeborn Opera Festival

Hampstead Garden Opera

La Calisto

L'incoronazione di Poppea

The Cockpit Theatre

Geraint Evans Recital Prize for Outstanding Vocal Performance - Cardiff University (2011)

David Lloyd Vocal Scholarship - Cardiff University (2009)

Special Provisions Music Place - Wells Cathedral School (2007)

Dikon Peschek Memorial Scholar - Wantage Parish Church (2006)

​'May's.... terrifically bolshy, punky, cocksure performance as Valletto... an amusing caricature of a roosterish teenage boy.' The Idle Woman, The Idle Woman Blog, 16/05/17 (2017)

'...Helen May was very effective in the small role of Mélisse in Act 4.' Owen Davies, Plays To See, 11/08/2017 (2017)

'….there was some impressive singing, notably from Helen May (Diane) ….. demonstrating excellent fluidity in (her) ornaments, and .. having the rare ability to sing a proper trill…' Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews, 10/07/17 (2017)

'May, whose passionate acting leading up to the seduction scene with Damigella (Conner) is more than credible and convincing.. the almost acrobatic dance sequences among the lovers, employed throughout the opera, is also especially captivating.' Dr Enza de Francisci, Plays To See, 02/06/17 (2017)

'Other singers that I liked from this cast were Ashley Adams, Phénice, Helen May, La Glorie/Mélisse, John Holland-Avery, Ubalde, and Matthew Morgan stepping aside from conducting to sing the role of Un Amant from on high.' Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews, 15/08/2017 (2017)

'Soprano Helen May filled the building with richly glowing tone, the top of the voice thrilling as it floated above the choir.' Dr Brian Hick, Lark Reviews, 05/11/2017 (2017)

'The audience will be able to welcome back the beautiful soprano voice of Helen May to sing with the choir..' Christopher Cormak, Rye News, 26/10/2017 (2017)

Master of Art (Voice)
Royal Academy of Music
2018–2020
Vocal LRSM
ABRSM
2014
Vocal Dip ABRSM
ABRSM
2013
BMus (Hons)
Cardiff University
2009–2012
Special Provisions Music Place
Wells Cathedral School
2007–2009

Oxford born, Helen currently lives and works in London. Having studied with Marcio da Silva, and previously with Jenny Miller, she looks forward to studying for a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music from September 2018.

Helen first developed her love of singing in choirs run by renowned vocal coach and composer Lin Marsh, and as the Peschek Memorial Vocal Scholar at Wantage Parish Church. She also trained in ballet, modern and tap dancing through the Tompsett School of Dance. At 15 Helen successfully auditioned as a Special Provisions Musician at Wells Cathedral School, one of the UK's five specialist music schools. She secured ABRSM Grade 8 in voice, saxophone, viola and piano, and A-levels in Music, English, and Drama & Theatre Studies. Helen's vocal studies developed under Nigel Perrin; she sang in the Chapel Choir, and became a founder member of the Wellensian Consort (winners of the BBC Choir of the Year 2010).

Subsequently Helen gained a David Lloyd Vocal Scholarship to study Music at Cardiff University; Helen Field and Sara Wallander-Ross became her vocal coaches. At Cardiff Helen was awarded the Geraint Evans Prize for outstanding recital performance, and performed regularly as a soloist with the Cardiff University Chamber Choir, including for Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Fauré's Requiem. Helen graduated with a 2:1, BMus (Hons) in 2012.

​Since graduating Helen has secured her DipABRSM (Distinction) and her LRSM. She has performed as a soloist for opera and oratorio in a range of venues, undertaking opera projects with Hampstead Garden Opera, Woodhouse Opera, Ensemble OrQuesta, New London Opera Players, OperaCoast, Opera Anywhere, Secret Opera, Barefoot Opera, and Stanton St John Opera, and oratorio engagements with Hastings Philharmonic and Haslemere Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Helen has also continued to develop her love of choral singing with The Epiphoni Consort and as a scholar of The Philharmonia Chorus, and still sings with the Wellensian Consort, including representing the UK in the semi-final of the 2013 EBU Competition, 'Let the People Sing'.

(Biography only to be reproduced with permission.)

Teaching: Helen's varied teaching roles have included: singing teacher at St Philomena's Catholic High School for Girls; Teaching and Learning Adviser at the Ballanta Academy of Music in Freetown, Sierra Leone (see Outreach); and Boarding House Assistant at Headington School, Oxford. Helen is also a fully qualified Gymboree teacher, trained to teach the unique combination of music and movement across all five developmental stages, from birth to five years.

Contact Helen May

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