Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2019 Southwell Music Festival.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming soprano Jennifer Clark to the Southwell Music Festival.”
My name is Jen Clark and I’m based in Tring, Hertfordshire. I’m a freelance soprano with a primary focus on opera, having sung with WNO, The Grange Festival and Bury Court Opera among others, though I also do a lot of oratorio and consort work. I tend to play children, fairies and the occasional comic heroine – kid roles and high notes, really – which I love! I’ve just finished a really interesting season with The Grange Festival in collaboration with The Sixteen, staging Handel’s ‘Belshazzar’ for the first time in the UK, which was a groundbreaking and rewarding project.
This is my first year at Southwell and I’m really excited about taking part in some fantastic music-making. I expect Handel will be the highlight for me this year, though I’ve rather enjoyed preparing two particularly cheeky Britten duets – ‘Soldier won’t you marry me’ and ‘The Deaf Woman’s Courtship’. They’re bursting with character and have a playfulness that I really like. I’m also looking forward to getting to know ‘Israel in Egypt’, and to singing some arias from ‘Messiah’, ‘Jeptha’ and ‘Acis and Galatea’.
There are a few interesting firsts for me this year – my first Prom, Berlioz ‘L’Enfance du Christ’ with Britten Sinfonia Voices, and my first Mabel (in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.) I’ve always been drawn to comic soprano roles and this one has been on my list for some time, so I’m particularly looking forward to exploring it. In the spring, I’ll be making my company debut with Opera North, singing Flora in Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw.’ The role is an old favourite – I sang it first in Budapest, and again earlier this year at Bury Court, so it will be interesting to revisit it in a new production.