Elin Manahan Thomas In Conversation with Harry Christophers
Join us 'live on Zoom' as soprano Elin Manahan Thomas interviews Founder and Conductor of The Sixteen, Harry Christophers, followed by a short audience Q&A.
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Harry Christophers stands among today’s great champions of choral music. In partnership with The Sixteen, he has set benchmark standards for the performance of everything from late medieval polyphony to important new works by contemporary composers.
Under his leadership The Sixteen has established its hugely successful annual Choral Pilgrimage, created the Sacred Music series for BBC television, and developed an acclaimed period-instrument orchestra. Highlights of their recent work include an Artist Residency at Wigmore Hall, a large-scale tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Fifth Symphony at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival and a live-streamed performance of MacMillan’s Stabat mater from the Sistine Chapel. Their future projects, meanwhile, comprise a new series devoted to Purcell and an ongoing survey of Handel’s dramatic oratorios.
Harry Christophers has served as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society since 2008, is Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Granada Orchestra and has worked as guest conductor with, among others, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie. Christophers’ extensive commitment to opera has embraced productions for English National Opera and Lisbon Opera and work with the Granada, Buxton and Grange festivals.
He recently collaborated with BBC Radio 3 presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch to produce a book entitled A New Heaven: Choral Conversations in celebration of the group’s 40thanniversary.
Harry Christophers was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours list. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and has Honorary Doctorates in Music from the Universities of Leicester, Northumbria, Canterbury Christ Church and Kent.
Elin Manahan Thomas
Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation. Since releasing her début album ‘Eternal Light’ in 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals, and with leading orchestras and conductors. Perhaps most famously known for her performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, and her performance of baroque masterpieces - such as Handel's Eternal Source of Light Divine at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. Elin is equally at home performing classical and contemporary works.
In 2008 Elin gave the World Première of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem in Liverpool Cathedral (also recorded for EMI), and later premiered his Love Duet at the Manchester International Festival in 2013. Elin sang in the premiere of Karl Jenkin’s ‘Cantata Memoria’ in October 2016, written to commemorate the Aberfan disaster 50 years earlier; the piece was also released on Deutsche Gramophon records.
Alongside concert performances, Elin is also known for her presenting work. She has been twice nominated for a BAFTA Cymru (Best Newcomer, Best Presenter) and has presented for BBC 4 (The Proms) and BBC 2 Wales (Proms in the Park). Elin regularly presents for Radio Cymru, and was a presenter on Radio Three's Early Music Late, on Sunday evenings.
Performance starts: 8:30pm