Music The Sherling Studio 55 minutes


Emily Gray, mezzo-soprano
& Nicole Johnson, piano accompaniment
Voice and piano duo recital.

Emily Gray:

Emily studied with Linda Hirst and Robert Bottriell at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where, in 2017, she graduated with a First-Class BMus (Hons) in Vocal Performance.  She took leading roles in two operas there - creating the role of Madge in Stephen McNeff's Banished with Jessica Cottis, and singing Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Nicolas Kraemer.  Both performances saw Emily singled out in the national press as “one to watch”. Fiona Maddocks wrote in the Guardian and Observer that Emily was a performer who “stood out as already knowing how to use her dramatic and vocal skills to the utmost.” Since graduating in July 2017, Emily has performed as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, St. Paul's, Kings Place, and the Purcell Room.  Her recent opera debuts include the role of Lady Bertram in Jonathan Dove's Mansfield Park for Waterperry Opera Festival and the role of Mrs Grose in Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw for Bury Court Opera.  She also spent the summer at Grange Park Festival. Further highlights for 2019 include another performance at the Royal Albert Hall as the mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, appearing as the alto soloist at Lincoln’s Cathedral in Elijah and reprising the role of Lady Bertram for Waterperry’s 2019 season. 

Emily has received many accolades including being the recipient of the City Livery Club Prize for Excellence, receiving the Christopher Ball Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the John Kerr Award for English Song in March 2018 and, later that year in June, winning the second prize in the AESS Patricia Routledge English Song Competition. Emily performed at the London Song Festival in November 2018 with her duo partner, Nicole Johnson.  She was a young artist in Leeds Lieder 2016 and toured with Catherine Bott playing a young Jane Austen, in John Morrison’s ‘A History of England’. Emily also achieved success at an earlier age when she was named BBC Radio 2 Choir Girl of the Year 2000.  She went on to record the album ‘Passiontide’ for Naxos to critical acclaim, and has since released solo tracks under Chandos Movies and Divine Art Recordings Group.  


Nicole Johnson:

Nicole is a Yorkshire-born pianist and accompanist, recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Master’s degree in Piano Accompaniment. She gained a First-Class BMus (Hons) degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Classical Piano in 2017, where she was awarded the Dave Gosling Prize for Piano Accompaniment.

Nicole works extensively with vocalists and woodwind players, and has played for masterclasses with Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau and Iain Burnside amongst others. In June 2018, she was awarded the Accompanist’s Prize at the Association of English Speakers and Singers, sponsored by Patricia Routledge and won 2nd place at the John Kerr English song competition (February 2018) with mezzo-soprano Emily Gray. Nicole is a regular repetiteur for composer Louis Mander, whose operas have been performed at the Arcola Theatre, Kings Place, and the Oslo Opera House. She also enjoys coaching musical theatre, and works regularly with the London Studio Centre. Nicole is a strong advocate of musical outreach and education projects, and has an extensive private teaching practice in South London. 

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