Helen Charlston

Mezzo-soprano

"As a poised Lucinda, Helen Charlston’s distinctive mezzo stood out."

Rebecca Franks, The Times

"The highlight is Helen Charlston’s mesmerising delivery of ‘Leget Euch’."

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone

"Helen Charlston used her glinting tone to demonstrate the remarkable expressiveness of Telemann’s recitatives."

John Allison, The Telegraph

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Acclaimed for her musical interpretation, presence and “warmly distinctive tone” (The Telegraph), Helen Charlston is quickly cementing herself as a key performer in the next generation of British singers. Helen won first prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and was a finalist in the Hurn Court Opera Competition.

This season Helen makes debuts with the Academy of Ancient Music, Cambridge Handel Opera Company, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, as well as joining Fretwork for a solo recital programme at Wigmore Hall and York Early Music Christmas Festival. She premieres the full role of Anna in the newly completed opera Blue Electric by Tom Smail, and will continue her commissioning project of lute songs with duo partner Toby Carr.

Recent concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Paul McCreesh, her debut at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, a worldwide tour of Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, performances as part of Barbican Sound Unbound 2019, and solo recitals at York Early Music Festival, London Handel Festival, Händel-festspiele Halle, Korčula Baroque Festival, Leicester International Music Festival and Fitzrovia Festival.

Operatic roles include Messaggera & Prosperpina L’Orfeo, First Witch Dido and Aeneas, Olga Eugene Onegin, Florence Pike Albert Herring, Ino Semele, Sara Tobias and the Angel, and Dinah Trouble in Tahiti. Helen created the role of Dido in the premiere of a new chamber opera based on Virgil’s writings about Dido: Dido is Dead, by young composer Rhiannon Randle.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Handel Venceslao (Lucinda), Opera Settecento

London Handel Festival (April 2019)

As a poised Lucinda, Helen Charlston’s distinctive mezzo stood out

Rebecca Franks, The Times

Helen Charlston as Lucinda revealed a mezzo-soprano whose fullness was complemented by a pleasing edge.

Sam Smith, MusicOMH

Helen Charlston expressed steadiness and determination that helped, at least at the musical level, to make sense of her motivations.

Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

Bach St John Passion, Polyphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

St John’s Smith Square (April 2019)

Helen Charlston has a remarkable technique and dignified presence, and her singing of ‘Von den Stricken meiner Sünden’ gave a fine example of both.

Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH

Bach Cantatas Nos 106 & 182, Amici Voices, CDA68275

(February 2019)

The highlight is Helen Charlston’s mesmerising delivery of ‘Leget Euch’… lovingly accompanied by the flautist Ashley Solomon.

Jonathan Freeman Attwood, Gramophone

Helen Charlston Opera Repertoire

Britten

Albert Herring (Florence Pike)
Rape of Lucretia (Bianca)

Bernstein

Trouble in Tahiti (Dinah)

Dove

Tobias and the Angel (Sara)

Eccles

Semele (Juno)

Handel

Semele (Ino)
Venceslao (Lucinda)

Monteverdi

Ballo delle ingrate (Venere)
Il ritorno d'ulisse in patria (Penelope)
L’Orfeo (Messaggera / Proserpina)

Purcell

Dido and Aeneas (First Witch)

Rhiannon Randle

Dido is Dead (Dido) premiere

Tchaikovsky

Eugene Onegin (Olga)

Tom Smail

Blue Electric (Anna) premiere

Helen Charlston Baroque Recital Material

Byrd

Songs with Viol Consort:
Come to me grief forever
Lulla Lullaby
O God that guides the cheerful Sun Out of the Orient Crystal Skies
Thou, poet’s friend
With Lillies White
Wretched Albinius
Ye Sacred Muses (Tallis is dead)

Handel

Solo Cantatas (continuo only):
Ho Fuggito Amor
Nel Dolce Tempo
Stanco di pui soffrire

Solo Cantata (with obbligato instrument):
Mi Palpitar il Cor

Duet Cantatas:
Fronda Leggiera
Sono liete fortunato
Tanti Strali al sen mi schocchi
+ Various operatic arias

Monteverdi

Lamento d’Arianna
Lettera Amoroso
Si dolce tormento
Voglio di vita uscir

Purcell

Bess of Bedlam
Dido’s Lament
Fly Swift Ye Hours
I love and I must
If Music be the Food of Love
O Solitude
What a sad fate

Strozzi

Il Romeo
L’eraclito Amoroso

Telemann

Ihr Völker Hort

Helen Charlston Song/Lieder Repertoire

Berg

Sieben frühe Lieder
Vier Gesänge (Op. 2)

Brahms

Various, including:
An eine Äolsharfe
Die Mainnacht
Feldeinsamkeit
Im Garten am Seegestade
O kühler Wald
Ständchen
Von ewiger Liebe

Britten

Charm of Lullabies
Various folksong settings

Elgar

Sea Pictures (with orchestra and piano)

Haydn

Arianna a Naxos

Schubert

Various, including
Das Fischermadchen
Der Doppelgänger
Der Fischer
Des Fischers Liebesgluck
Die Forelle
Erlafsee
Fischerweise
Lachen und Weinen
Liebhaber in allen gestalten
Meeres Stille
Nacht und Träume
Romanze

Schumann

Frauenliebe und -leben (Op. 42)
Gedichte von Maria Stuart (op. 135)

Clara Schumann

Die gute Nacht, die ich sage dir
Die Stille Lotusblume
Liebst du um Schonheit

Tchaikovsky

Again as before alond
Lullaby in the Storm
My genius, my angel, my friend
None by the Lonely Heart Serenade

Helen Charlston Oratorio Repertoire

J.S. Bach

B Minor Mass
Cantatas: BWV 4, 34, 40, 41, 43, 52, 54, 64, 82, 106, 109, 133, 134, 161, 170, 182
Christmas Oratorio (English and German)
Easter Oratorio
Magnificat in D
Mass in A major
Matthew Passion
St John Passion (English and German)

Beethoven

Symphony No. 9

Buxtehude

Membra jesu nostri

Durufle

Requiem

Dvorak

Stabat Mater

Handel

Dixit Dominus Nisi Dominus
Israel in Egypt
Jephtha
Messiah

Haydn

Harmoniemesse
Nelson Mass
Paukenmesse
Stabat Mater
St Nicholas Mass

Mendelssohn

Elijah
Lobgesang (Symphony No. 2)

Mozart

Coronation Mass
Requiem
Solemn Vespers
Vesperae solennes de Dominica

Pergolesi

Stabat Mater

Rutter

Feel the Spirit

Scarlatti

Missa para o Santissimo Natal

Stravinsky

Cantata
Les Noces
Mass

Tippett

A Child of our Time

Vivaldi

Gloria

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