King, Mary


Mary's career has encompassed a wide range of roles, including that of performer, teacher, coach and most recently broadcaster and writer. A popular and highly experienced mezzo soprano, Mary has worked with leading conductors and numerous orchestras across the world, and has made a particular feature of the contemporary classical repertoire.

Mary's versatility as a performer has allowed her career to encompass a wide range of vocal genres, from opera, oratorio, chamber music and recital through to musical theatre and straight plays.

She has had a long involvement with outreach and teaching, working with all the major companies in the UK as well as running training programmes both at home and abroad. During Mary's long association with English National Opera, she devised and ran a highly successful performance skills course, 'The Knack', for eleven years, and between 2004 and 2006 she was also an Artistic Associate for the company.

In September 2006, Mary became Head of Singing at Millennium Performing Arts Ltd., now based in new premises in Woolwich, South East London. In November of the same year, she was also appointed Director of Voicelab, a new initiative at London's Southbank Centre. From casting for professional projects to creating and training numerous choirs and small ensembles, Mary is at the heart of vocal activity at the Southbank Centre, encouraging vocal talent in all its manifestations.

Wyn-Rogers, Catherine


Catherine Wyn-Rogers appears with the major British orchestras and at the Three Choirs, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals and at the BBC Proms. She appears regularly on the opera stage and has worked with Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, English National Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Netherlands Opera, Bordeaux Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and is a regular guest with the Royal Opera and Bavarian State Opera. 

She has appeared in Gotterdammerung at the Royal Opera House, as Filipyevna in ENO's Eugene Onegin, and  in Peter Grimes for the Royal Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the New National Theatre Tokyo, and in her debut with La Scala, Milan.

BBC Singers

BBC Singers
The BBC Singers is Britain’s only full-time professional chamber choir and a group with an international reputation. Established in 1924, the versatility of this virtuoso 24-voice ensemble is second-to-none, and this flexibility makes the Singers both an important resource in the broadcast music-making of the BBC and a significant presence in British musical life. The BBC Singers’ breadth of repertoire is unsurpassed by any other choral group, singing everything from Renaissance music to the latest contemporary scores, and their unrivalled expertise with the latter has brought about creative relationships with some of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries. At home on the concert platform as much as in the recording studio, the BBC Singers also regularly work with the BBC’s own orchestras, a wide range of period instrument and contemporary music ensembles, and with a host of internationally-renowned conductors. The group’s rapidly expanding education programme now embraces regular outreach work with school children, youth choirs, the amateur choral community, and young professional composers, singers and conductors. The BBC Singers have a unique place on the British concert scene: a world-class choral ensemble committed to sharing their enthusiasm and creative expertise with audiences and performers, amateurs and professionals, young and old, across the nation and throughout the whole spectrum of the choral community.
Image Credit: 
John Wood

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

Brabbins, Martyn

Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.

Otaka, Tadaaki

In recognition of his outstanding services to music in the UK, Tadaaki Otaka received an honorary CBE and is also holder of the Suntory Medal, the highest musical award in his native Japan.  He was Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra for twenty years, and in 1987 he was made Music Director of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, before becoming their Conductor Laureate in 1996. Principal Conductor and Music Adviser of the Sapporo Symphony, he also founded Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo in 1995 and has toured with both ensembles in Europe. In 2010, Maestro Otaka becomes Principal Guest Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He will also become Designate Artistic Director at the New National Theatre,Tokyo in 2010 where he is currently both Artistic Consultant and Acting Artistic Director.
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Elias's acclaimed settings of the anguished poetry of exiled Russian author Irina Ratushinskaya are coupled with Laments, which sets traditional folk texts of loss and mourning in the nearly extinct Sicilian-Greek dialect, Grico.


'Shot through with furious dark passion'   The Sunday Times


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recording date: 17-19  December 1997 (Ratushinskaya Songs), 26 November 1999 (Laments)

Recording venue: BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London (Ratushinskaya Songs), Royal Festival Hall, London (Ratushinskaya Songs),

Engineers: Mike Clements (Ratushinskaya Songs), Neil Pemberton
Producers: Colin Matthews (Ratushinskaya Songs), Ann McKay

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 2000 NMC Recordings Ltd

Chester Novello
Catalogue number:
NMC D064
Release Date:
1 November 2000