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Johanna Harrison | Operosa

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Johanna Harrison

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Johanna Harrison

Singer/Mezzo

Before taking up her place at Oxford University to study English Literature and Language in 2011, Johanna Harrison was a specialist vocalist at Wells Cathedral School, one of the four music schools in the UK. For the large part of her time there she studied under Nigel Perrin (the original high voice of the King’s Singers) and enjoyed a close artistic partnership with frequent répétiteur, Christopher Finch, who conducted the Wellensian Consort to victory in BBC Choir of the Year 2010. She now trains with international soprano Isobel Buchanan.

In 2006, Johanna was chosen as one of the four girl finalists in BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year 2010, presented by Howard Goodall and broadcast nationally. Alongside this, she also performed solos in the world premiere of The Waters of Time, a contemporary cantata by Ronald Corp, and travelled to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to perform for Tony Blair with the Somerset County Youth Choir, which was again broadcast in the UK. Performances have included the soprano soloist roles in Duruflé’s Requiem (which involved sharing a stage with international cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber), Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light- A Requiem and the works of Scottish composer James Macmillan for the opening night of the Bath International Music Festival, a solo which was broadcast live on primetime BBC Radio 3, and introduced by Petroc Trelawney. Chorally, she has been asked to take on many projects, including the works of Bob Chilcott as a visiting artist with the Wellensian Consort (BBC Choir of the Year 2010) and for the Hyperion label under Matthew Owens. Additionally, she was part of the chamber choirs that performed Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and Messaien’s Trois Petites Liturgies de le Presence Divine alongside Matthew Owens and Joanna MacGregor OBE. Johanna has also performed alongside Dhafer Youssef, Jeanne Loriod, Philip Dukes, Margaret Faultless and her consort Music For Awhile, Dominic Peckham, Greg Beardsell, Penny Adie, Penny Dunscombe, Diego Masson, Nigel Perrin, Matthew Souter, Stephen Varcoe, Diego Masson and David Shipley, amongst many others. She has ongoing artistic relationships with several choirs that she takes solo work for, including the Exeter Festival Chorus, the Bath Camerata and A Handful of Singers.

Since arriving at Oxford, she has performed recitals as part of the New Chamber Opera Recital Series, and taken on the roles of Juno in Offenbach’s comic opera Orpheus in the Underworld, performed in the Sheldonian Theatre and Marcellina in Mozart’s iconic opera The Marriage of Figaro. In 2010, she attained one of the highest-marked diplomas in the county session, and subsequently is now an Associate of Trinity College London. Last term, she widely performed as a soloist in the Shakespeare Festival, including giving a solo recital of Stravinsky’s Three Shakespeare Songs in the Ashmolean; aside from this, she also undertook the principal lead in a ‘one-woman opera’ by Judith Weir called The Consolations of Scholarship (1985). After touring from Oxford to Cornwall with Schola Cantorum over the summer, directed by Jamie Burton, she made her directing debut in November with a performance of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, attracting wide acclaim. Recent projects have included the role of Juno in The Judgement of Paris (Eccles, 1702) and Sagredo/Marie de Medici in Philip Glass' opera Galileo Galilei, produced by the New Chamber Opera Studio. Future engagements include the performance of recently found and hardly-known Italian manuscripts from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.