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.

Cahill, Teresa


Teresa Cahill was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Her early life was troubled; when she was five years old, her father died and at seven she was diagnosed with TB and spent two years in a sanatorium. She joined the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and in her first year won the coveted John Christie award. Her solo debut there was as the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote and she also sang in La Calisto and Ariadne auf Naxos, returning later as Alice Ford in Falstaff.

In over a hundred performances at Covent Garden, other roles at Covent Garden included Lisa in La Sonnambula, Xenia in Boris Godunov, First Rhinemaiden and the Woodbird in the Ring, leading Flower Maidens in Parsifal, and 1st Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes in front of the composer. She also took part in the world premiere of Henze’s We Come to the River.

Opera performances elsewhere include Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for Scottish Opera, Cavalli’s L’Egisto at La Fenice in Venice also with Scottish Opera, Don Giovanni in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and Falstaff in Philadelphia USA. She has sung in Figaro (Countess) for Opera North, and both Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman and Pauline Leclerc in David Blake’s opera Toussaint for ENO. She also sang Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Tatiana) and Beethoven’s Fidelio (Leonore) for Kent Opera under the direction of Jonathan Miller. TV South made a series of programmes about the Fidelio production, one of which was devoted entirely to her role in the opera throughout the rehearsals leading up to the first night.

She has also sung the role of Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring with the English Opera group at the Aldeburgh Festival, in the presence of the composer.

Mirfin, Tim

The English bass, Timothy (Tim) Mirfin, graduated in Law from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was also a choral scholar. He studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music as a postgraduate scholar, followed by the National Opera Studio. As a principal artist for Welsh National Opera from 2001 to 2003, Tim Mirfin sang Don Pedro in Beatrice and Benedict, Publio in La Clemenza di Tito, Don Ferrando in L.v. Beethoven’s Leonore, Angelotti in Tosca, The Parson in The Cunning Little Vixen and Colline in La Boheme. Roles elsewhere have included Argante in George Frideric Handel’s Rinaldo for Grange Park Opera; Figaro in Le Nozze de Figaro under Sir Colin Davis; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Aldeburgh Festival and in 2003/4, Collatinus (Rape of Lucretia) for Opera East, Sarastro (The Magic Flute) with Scottish Opera, Selim (Il Turco in Italia) at Buxton Festival and Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos for WNO.

Summers, Hilary


A true contralto with a wide vocal range, she has excited the attention of many contemporary composers.  In 1999 she created the role of Stella in Elliot Carter’s opera What Next? for the Staatsoper unter den Linden conducted by Daniel Barenboim;  she has subsequently performed this work under Peter Eötvös, Oliver Knussen and Kent Nagano.  She created the role of Irma in Eötvös’s opera Le Balcon at the 2002 Aix en Provence Festival and toured with the production in Europe.  Since 2002 she has performed Boulez's Le marteau sans maître throughout Europe with the Ensemble Intercontemporain under the direction of Boulez himself as well as with several other ensembles and conductors, most recently at the 2012 BBC Proms under Franz-Xavier Roth;  she recorded the work with Boulez on Deutsche Grammophon to much critical acclaim and a Grammy Award. As part of the celebrations of the composer’s 80th birthday she performed Le visage nuptial under his direction with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Chicago.

In Britain she has forged a special relationship with the composer Michael Nyman, recording several of his film scores and touring the world with the Michael Nyman Band.  She also works frequently with the composer Joby Talbot and sings on his soundtrack to the film The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and television series The League of Gentlemen. Hilary has also made a considerable name for herself as a fine interpreter of the Baroque repertoire, and sings regularly with many of Europe’s leading early instrument orchestras. These have included Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, and The English Concert directed by Andrew Manze.  

Operatically, Hilary is destined to play statuesque Handelian heroes such as Giulio Cesare or the god Mars (Legrenzi’s Il divisione del mondo) but occasionally has fun with such roles as the dominatrix Mescalina (Ligeti’s Le grande macabre), the Amazon Hippolyta (Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) or the bearded Baba the Turk (Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress).  Other roles include the earth mother Gaea in Strauss’ Daphne and Mrs Sedley in Britten’s Peter Grimes (for Glyndebourne Festival Opera). She has played the role of the Washerwoman in Rob Zuidham’s Rages d’amour at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam and sang Hippolyta for the Teatro Real, Madrid.   In 2006 she sang in the first performances of George Benjamin’s opera Into the Little Hill in Paris and has since performed it in New York and throughout Europe. She created the role of Miss Prism in Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest, in concert performances and at the ROH Linbury Studio in 2013.

Image Credit: 
Claire Newman-Williams

Winter, Louise

Louise Winter was born in Preston, Lancashire, and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. She made her début in 1982 with Glyndebourne Touring Opera as Dorabella Così fan tutte and subsequently sang Tisbe La Cenerentola, Zerlina Don Giovanni, and Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia for the company. Her most recent roles include Marcellina (Royal Opera House), Wife in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek with Music Theatre Wales at the Linbury Studio Theatre and on tour in the UK and Korea, Kabanicha Katya Kabanova (Longborough Festival) and Madame de la Haltière Cendrillon (Blackheath Concert Halls). She created the role of Susan in Huw Watkins In the Locked Room (a co-production between Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera), and gave the world premiere of Charlotte Bray’s Out of the Ruins for mezzo-soprano, youth chorus and orchestra at a Gala Concert for the Royal Opera House in February 2015.

Lloyd Roberts, Jeffrey

Lloyd Roberts
Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts was born in Wales and read music at Lancaster University before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music with Barbara Robotham, where he received awards from the Wolfson Foundation, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Peter Moores Foundation. Concerts have included Martinu’s Epic of Gilgamesh with the CBSO and Sir Simon Rattle, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins and the Mahagonny Songspiel at the BBC Proms, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings in Denmark, Molqui The Death of Klinghoffer and Bartok Cantata Profana with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dream of Gerontius with the BBC Philharmonic and Vassily Sinaisky, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra with Matthias Bamert, Beethoven Symphony No 9 with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona and Birtwistle’s Angel Fighter with MusikFabrik in Leipzig. He has worked regularly with Opera North, English National Opera, Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Birmingham Opera Company, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, Grange Park Opera and Opera Holland Park. He made his debut in Salzburg in 2010 singing Erik in Die fliegende Höllander at the Salzburg Landestheater. He has sung at the Cheltenham Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms, most recently with the UK premiere of Birtwistle Angel Fighter in 2011, a commercial recording of which has recently been released.

Sherratt, Brindley

Highlights in Brindley Sherratt's 2015/16 season include Doctor Wozzeck in his debut for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Arkel Pelléas et Mélisande in his debut for the Opernhaus Zurich, Gremin Eugene Onegin at Covent Garden and Geronte de Revoir in a new production of Manon Lescaut at the Metropolitan Opera. Notable career highlights include Sarastro at the Vienna State Opera. the Netherlands Opera and at Covent Garden; Claggart Billy Budd at the Glyndebourne Festival, the BBC Proms and in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Sparafucile Rigoletto at Covent Garden, Rocco Fidelio at the Glyndebourne Festival; Bottom A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence; Balducci Benvenuto Cellini at the Salzburg Festival; Pogner Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg for the Welsh National Opera and at the BBC Proms; Filippo Don Carlo for Opera North and Pimen Boris Godunov and Fiesco Simon Boccanegra at the English National Opera.

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.

de Ridder, Andre

de Ridder
André de Ridder is a German conductor of classical music mainly working in Great Britain. De Ridder studied conducting with Leopold Hager at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna and with Sir Colin Davis at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The conductor is equally engaged in different genres of music, be it pop, electronic music or opera, ancient music or contemporary compositions. He performs regularly at leading festivals such as the BBC Promenade Concerts or the Edinburgh International Festival, the Holland Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Manchester International Festival or at the Sydney Festival.


NMC - Robert Saxton: The Wandering Jew

  • Total duration: 102'35
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Saxton's epic opera merges Christian and Jewish tradition in the myth of the eternal outsider, the Wandering Jew.

The action shuttles through space and time, beginning in a Nazi death camp, going back to Jerusalem during the Roman occupation, then forward to Córdoba in the 11th century and to the Venice carnival in the 18th, and including confrontations with Faust, Mephistopheles, Odin and Kundry en route. Guardian

Commissioned for broadcast by BBC Radio 3, the work features soloists including Roderick Williams, Tim Mirfin, Teresa Cahill and Brindley Sherratt; the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andre de Ridder; and post-production from Antony Pitts.


Wandering Jew        Roderick Williams baritone
Jesus/Beggar          Tim Mirfin baritone
Widowed Mother     Teresa Cahill soprano
Fortune Teller           Hilary Summers mezzo-soprano
Kundry                       Louise Winter mezzo-soprano
Faust                          Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts tenor
Mephistopheles       Brindley Sherratt bass
Odin                            Graeme Danby bass
Old Man                     Jeremy White bass

Showman                Simon Paisley Day
Widowed Mother (spoken)  Jennie Stoller
Child 1                     Lydia Kalian
Child 2                     Rudi Goodman

Solo roles (members of BBC Singers)
Cantor                     Stephen Charlesworth
Old Man                   Andrew Murgatroyd
Young Woman       Rebecca Lodge
Guard                       Robert Johnston         
3 Roman Soldiers  Michael Bundy, Charles Gibbs, Adrian Peacock      
Angels of Conscience  Elizabeth Poole, Olivia Robinson, Alison Smart

Sound design        Antony Pitts, Artem Vassiliev





'This project blew me away ... Saxton's tonal (or modal) musical language ranges from the cinematic spectacular to rapt spirituality' The Times (*****)

'The performance is first rate … a major undertaking that has been realised with great care' Guardian

"Baritone Roderick Williams is impressive in the title role" BBC Music Magazine

"His considerable technique and imagnation make for writing of compelling melody (though not always in the conventional sense) and of richly organic background texture." The Observer

'A near-exemplary presentation of a work that offers much of the substance in it's treatment of an age-old yet continually relevant narrative, and which anyone at all interested in English-language opera needs to hear' International Record Review

'Delicately coloured and lyrical, more meditation than opera' The Observer


Released with support from the Peter Moores Foundation.

Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


The Wandering Jew was recorded for BBC Radio 3 at BBC Maida Vale Studio 1 on 18-19 December 2008 and 12-16 October 2009.

Recording Producer           ANN MCKAY   
Recording/ Editing Engineer    NEIL PEMBERTON
Assistant Recording Engineer     ADELE CONLIN

Sound treatment            ANTONY PITTS, ARTEM VASSILIEV

BBC SO Leader             ANNA COLMAN

Executive Producer         COLIN MATTHEWS

CD & booklet design by FRANCOIS HALL

The Wandering Jew is published by G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen- und Musikverlag GmbH München.

(P) 2011 BBC. The copyright in the recording is owned by the BBC.
The BBC word mark and logo and Radio 3 logo are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and used under licence.
BBC Logo © BBC 2007
© 2011 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC D170
Release Date:
13 June 2011