"…the outstanding Joshua Ellicott."
"Joshua Ellicott…musical distinction, emotional precision and a keen dramatic urgency."
The Boston Globe
"…the magnificent tenor Joshua Ellicott."
"The outstanding tenor Joshua Ellicott is one of the most distinguished Evangelists of the day."
Joshua Ellicott represents an extraordinary talent, effortlessly crossing genre from Song to Opera to Concert repertoire with his sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful, lyric tenor voice. His versatile musicianship is apparent in the wide range of repertoire in which he excels and the comprehensive list of conductors and ensembles with whom he works.
Described by the Wiener Zeitung as ‘the magnificent tenor’ for his performance with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Purcell’s Fairy Queen he has also been described by the New York Times as a “stand out in an excellent cast” for his portrayal of Andres in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia and Esa Pekka Salonen at the Lincoln Centre New York.
Joshua was born in Manchester and is a graduate of the University of York where he read music. From there he progressed to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied singing, aided by a full scholarship. A landmark in his developing career came in 2006 when he was the overall winner of the International Vocal Concours in ‘s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, as well as taking four of the remaining nine prizes for song, musical interpretation and opera.
Joshua’s international career now sees him travel to the premier concert halls of the world with some of the finest artists of this generation. In the field of early music he has worked with; Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Concentus Musicus Wien), Sir Roger Norrington (Zurich Chamber Orchestra), Harry Bicket (The English Concert), Harry Christophers (The Sixteen, Boston Handel and Haydn Society), Robert King (The King’s Consort), Paul McCreesh (The Gabrieli Consort, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra), Bernard Labadie (OAE), Emmanuelle Haim (Le Concert d’Astree) and has developed a particular affinity with the works of Bach, Handel and Monteverdi and within that a special love for the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions. Such is the flexibility of Joshua’s voice that he is also able to meet the stylistic demands of later repertoire and he has been privileged to work with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding and Esa Pekka Salonen in works as varied as Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) to The Seven Deadly Sins (Kurt Weill) and Wozzeck (Berg). Orchestras include the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, The Philharmonia, The Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Brabants Orkest, RTE Symphony, Ulster Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra.
Song is another important feature of Joshua’s artistry and his care for the text, allied to his beautiful and carefully modulated vocal production, allows for the most moving and engaging of performances. One of the greatest successes of recent years has been a programme devised around the First World War letters of Josh’s Great Uncle Jack in which through his dramatic readings of letters and interspersed song, audiences have been left deeply moved. A particularly special performance took place this year at the Cologne Early Music Festival where some of the letters were translated into German and read by Joshua.
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From Your Ever-Loving Son Jack
Cheltenham Festival, Parabola Arts Centre (July 2016)
From Your Ever-Loving Son Jack, performed by the tenor Joshua Ellicott and the pianist Simon Lepper, was a sequence of songs and extracts from letters home written by the singer’s great-uncle during his tragically brief First World War enlistment. In a redoubtable Lancashire accent, Ellicott warmly conveyed the soldier’s resolute cheerfulness — that innocence agonising to think of — and intermittently burst into song, whether the high art of Frank Bridge’s late, searing Humbert Wolfe setting, Journey’s End, or Haydn Wood’s sentimentally appealing Roses of Picardy. His vocal power and diversity of repertoire were alike impressive.
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times
Handel Samson, Handel and Haydn Society
Boston Symphony Hall (April 2014)
“...with tenor Joshua Ellicott's forceful performance shining like the brightest of ornaments on the hood of a gleaming, well-oiled machine. Ellicott didn't just fill Symphony Hall with his incandescent, seemingly effortless sound; he also broke many a hardened heart with his compelling take on this tortured text.
As noted, tenor Ellicott was nothing less than riveting, delivering a fierce, keening power that sometimes conjured Milton's own rhetorical voice, as well as literally the darkest depths of despair (in the terrifying "Total eclipse") or the harshest heights of rage ("Why does the God of Israel sleep?"). Finally, of course, Samson finds God's light, as well as a transcendent calm - which Ellicott also captured exquisitely as Samson made his way toward his doom in the temple of the Philistines.
– The Hub Review
Joshua Ellicott’s dramatic tenor had the persuasive power to arouse our sense of pity. After an orchestral ritornello, his first aria began with the chilling words “Total eclipse,” sung without accompaniment here and each time they reappeared. The opening words of the rage aria “Why does the God of Israel sleep?” were again sung unaccompanied. In the fulminations that followed, Ellicott’s voice had theforce and the flexibility to handle extensive coloratura passages with conviction.
Bach St John Passion, Zurich Chamber Orchestra
BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall (July 2014)
The aria ‘Erwäge wie sein blutgefärbter Rücken’ (which contemplates Christ’s wounded body) showed how expressive he could be.
The Daily Telegraph
…the outstanding Joshua Ellicott…
Bach St Matthew Passion, Handel and Haydn Society
Boston Symphony Hall (March 2012)
Deservedly huge cheers at the end of the night went to Joshua Ellicot...musical distinction, emotional precision and a keen dramatic urgency.
The Boston Globe