Daneman, Sophie


Sophie Daneman is particularly noted for performances of the Baroque repertoire, especially her regular collaboration with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie; among their many recordings together, three have been recent recipients of Gramophone Awards.

Recent engagements include the title role in Semele with Nicholas McGegan, Handel's L'Allegro with William Christie, her return to the Bavarian State Opera for Dido and Aeneas, and Handel's Cleopatra in Gottingen. She has sung Skellig (by Tod Machover) at The Sage, Gateshead, and both Haydn's Creation with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and Stabat Mater with Fabio Biondi. Engagements include a recital tour with Christianne Stotijn in Spain and the Netherlands, recitals with Ian Bostridge in London and Hohenems, Schoenberg's Quartet Op. 10 with the Tokyo String Quartet, and a tour of Lully's Atys with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.

Image Credit: 
Sandra Lousada

Bickley, Susan


Susan Bickley is firmly established as one of the most accomplished mezzo-sopranos of her generation, with a wide repertory encompassing the Baroque, the great 19th and 20th century dramatic roles as well as contemporary repertoire. In 2011 she received the Singer Award at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK.

Bickley has sung on many of the world’s great stages with conductors including Mark Elder, Ingo Metzmacher, Trevor Pinnock, Andrew Davis, Christian Curnyn, and Mark Wigglesworth. Recent opera highlights include appearances at Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National du Rhin, Opera Vlaanderen, Opéra de Paris, Glyndebourne, Staatsoper Berlin, Salzburg Festival, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Concert highlights include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, with Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, at Carnegie Hall, at the Salzburg Festival, multiple appearances with the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Proms, and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as many other major orchestras.

Image Credit: 
Julie Kim

Hulett, Benjamin



Benjamin Hulett has been hailed by the national press as one of the most promising young tenors of today. He studies with David Pollard and trained on the Opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and as a choral scholar at New College, Oxford.
On the concert platform he has appeared with Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Proms), the Orchestre des Champs Elysee and Philippe Herreweghe in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and he sang Handel arias with the MDR at the Handelfestspiele Halle and Leipzig Gewandhaus. Other highlights include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Herreweghe in Madrid, Mozart’s Requiem in Salzburg, Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Rome, Bach’s Weinachts-Oratorium with the Academy of Ancient Music under Hogwood in Munich, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the NDR Hannover, Purcell’s Fairy Queen under Bicket, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Britten songs with Jeffrey Tate in Turin and Les Illuminations for the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam.Amsterdam and Mozart arias with Sir Roger Norrington and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the 2006 BBC Proms. He has sung the role of Ferdinand in scenes from The Tempest for VARA Radio at the Concertgebouw,
His opera credits include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Mid Wales Opera, Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) with Grange Park Opera, Giocondo (La Pietra del ParagoneCurlewRiver) for New Chamber Opera and principal roles for Bampton Classical Opera, The Early Opera Company and Opera Restor’d. He made his debut with the Bavarian State Opera as Oronte (Alcina) and sang Arbace in Idomeneo with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi.) for Fribourg Opera and Opera Rennes, Madwoman (
He was a principal with the Hamburg State Opera over four seasons where his roles included Oronte (Alcina), Flute (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Jaquino (Fidelio), Arbace (Idomeneo), Steuermann (Der Fliegende Holländer), Arnalta/Lucano (L'incoronazione di Poppea), the Novice (Billy Budd), the Almoner (Dialogues des Carmelites), the Four Servants (Les Contes d’Hoffmann),Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) and Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte).
Forthcoming appearances include: debut with the Theater an der Wien, return to Hamburg as a guest artist for Tamino and Narraboth (Salome), debut with Opera North as Peter Quint in their new production of The Turn of the Screw and debut at the Salzburg Festival in the new production of Elektra.
Image Credit: 
Clive Barda

Williams, Roderick


Roderick Williams is active in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital, encompassing a repertoire from the baroque to world premieres.

He has enjoyed close associations with Opera North and Scottish Opera, and has also worked for English National Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. As at home in contemporary music as in the standard repertoire, he has taken roles in the world premieres of Sally Beamish's Monster (for Scottish Opera), David Sawer's From Morning to Midnight and Martin Butler's A Better Place (for English National Opera) and Alexander Knaifel's Alice in Wonderland and Michel van der Aa's After Life (for Netherlands Opera). Further contemporary roles include Jaufre Rudel in Saariaho's L'amour de loin (ENO), Eddie in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Greek (BBC) and roles in Tippett's The Knot Garden (Barbican) and Birtwistle's The Second Mrs Kong (Royal Festival Hall).

He has taken major roles in conductor Richard Hickox's semi-staged performances of opera, including Britten's Gloriana (Aldeburgh, 2003), Walton's Troilus and Cressida and most of the Vaughan Williams operas.  Other concert performances include Henze, Strauss, Stravinsky and Wagner (Donner in Das Rheingold for ENO).

He is an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at Wigmore Hall, at many festivals, and on Radio 3, where he has appeared on Iain Burnside's 'Voices' programme.  His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos, and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio.

Burnside, Iain

Iain Burnside enjoys a unique reputation as pianist and broadcaster, forged through his commitment to the song repertoire and his collaborations with leading international singers. In recent seasons such artists have included Galina Gorchakova, Ailish Tynan, Lisa Milne, Rebecca Evans, Joan Rodgers, Susan Gritton and Yvonne Kenny; Susan Bickley, Ann Murray and Sarah Connolly; John Mark Ainsley, Mark Padmore and Andrew Kennedy; Roderick Williams, Christopher Maltman and Bryn Terfel.
His wide recording portfolio reflects Iain’s passion for British music and has recently included the ground-breaking project, The NMC Songbook.
Acclaimed as a programmer, Iain has devised a number of innovative recitals combining music and poetry, presented with huge success in Brussels and Barcelona with the collaboration of actors such as Fiona Shaw and Simon Russell Beale. His professorial position at London’s Guildhall School has been expanded to include a directorial role, staging specially conceived programmes with student singers and pianists. He has given masterclasses throughout Europe, at New York’s Juilliard School and the Banff Centre, Canada.
Iain’s broadcasting career covers both Radio and TV and has been honoured with a Sony Radio Award. Following BBC Radio3’s Voices, he now presents his own Sunday morning programme Iain Burnside. Television includes The Proms, Cardiff Singer of the World, Leeds International Piano Competition and BBC Young Musician of the Year.

Coates, Oliver


Oliver Coates is a cellist, composer and producer based in London. In the past year he has performed solo shows in China, Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Australia, and made his New York debut at Le Poisson Rouge. He was the first cellist to be awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award, in 2011, following previous winners including Gustavo Dudamel and Colin Currie, and is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2009 playing Britten, Rachmaninoff and Beethoven with Danny Driver, and has performed in a cello-piano recital partnership with Driver for 16 years. In the last few seasons, he has performed concertos with Britten Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Neojiba Youth Orchestra of Bahia in Brazil, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and London Contemporary Orchestra. He has played as principal cello with Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Contemporary Orchestra, and currently devotes all of his time to solo and chamber music, and to writing all kinds of music.

He has released records on Prah Recordings and Slip, and collaborates with Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead (on The Master and There Will Be Blood), Mica Levi (on Under the Skin) and the visual artist Lawrence Lek (on the award-winning video piece Unreal Estate). With Lek, he presented the world premiere of a new work, QE3, at the Glasgow International festival in April. His new LP, Upstepping, came out on Prah in May 2016, he programmed the Southbank Centre’s DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival and released a collaborative record with Mica Levi on Slip/Warp.

His playing has been described as “world class” (The Guardian), “virtuosity in the extreme” (Seen & Heard), “remarkable ... reminiscent of a young Tortelier or Rostropovich” (broadcaster Henry Kelly) and “mind-blowing ... masterly in every way” (composer Anthony Gilbert).

Image Credit: 
Phil Sharp
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This new recording spans five decades of Bennett's song-writing. It couples some of his most accessible and lyrical pieces - including the melodic Songs Before Sleep, performed by Roderick Williams and the 1920s dance rhythms of A History of the Thé Dansant - with the dramatic and rarely-performed Tom O'Bedlam's Song for tenor and cello, written for Peter Pears. The disc is completed with the enchanting A Garland for Marjory Fleming, setting the poems of an 8-year old Scottish girl writing in 1811.


Sophie Daneman soprano
Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Hulett tenor
Roderick Williams baritone
Oliver Coates cello
Iain Burnside piano



'What a treat this is! ... Another NMC gem to snap up without any further ado.'  Gramophone

'Performances are uniformly excellent; this is a beautifully judged and planned disc, an undiluted pleasure. 5 stars' The Guardian

'Roderick Williams infuses Songs Before Sleep with just the right dark warmth' BBC Music Magazine

'This is the kind of relaxed, accessible yet sophisticated music that gives Richard Rodney Bennett such broad appeal.' New Classics


The works on this disc were recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk on 17 June and 14-15 November 2009, and 13 January 2010.

Recording Engineer         PETER NEWBLE
Recording Producer        JEREMY HAYES
Digital Editing and Mastering    JENNIFER HOWELLS

Executive Producer         COLIN MATTHEWS

Cover image: Collage by Richard Rodney Bennett (untitled)
CD & booklet design by FRANCOIS HALL

The songs on this disc are published by Novello & Co. Ltd, with the exception of Tom O'Bedlam's Song, published by Mills Music.

(P) 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd

Chester Novello
Catalogue number:
NMC D155
Release Date:
6 September 2010