What is your favourite Sixteen anecdote?
George and his green pants? Jeremy forgetting his trousers? No wait let me think of one that isn’t a tenor/pants type story ummm…
What do you do to relax in your spare time?
Well I have two young and hyperactive boys at home and a very energetic husband, so, go on tour!
If you could perform in any venue, what / where would it be?
Ooh there are some incredible caves I went to once in New Zealand, lit up by glow worms. It had an enormous echo…That would be amazing.
Is there a piece you have fallen in love with since performing it with The Sixteen?
Wow which one to choose?! There are pieces I’ve come to know and love through the Sixteen like Brumel’s Missa Et ecce terraemotus (which gets me incredibly excited) or James Macmillan’s Miserere (which gets me incredibly emotional), and there are pieces I knew well in my pre-Sixteen existence, but which have really come to life for me since singing them for Harry, like Handel’s Messiah – I’d never enjoyed it quite so much before singing that with The Sixteen certainly.
What has been the most challenging piece of music you have ever performed?
Macmillan’s Stabat Mater – it’s so unbelievably intense and powerful and it takes a lot of concentration to do it justice. I concentrated so hard in Glasgow that I fainted onto Eamonn and Ben’s poor feet during page 77. Poulenc’s Figure humaine is also an intensely challenging, mind expanding and satisfying experience, and our performance of that in the Usher Hall a few Augusts ago will stay with me forever.
Does anyone in The Sixteen have any annoying or unusual habits?! If so, what is it?
Now that would be telling! I have to see these marvellous people almost every day! We are a fairly unusual and eclectic bunch, let’s leave it at that.
Do you have a party trick and if so, what is it?!
I’m always the last to leave…does that count? And I usually loiter by the crisps.
Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?
Well, I just met George Clooney this morning. Clang. He has directed a film I sang for and I shook his hand (I clung on way too tightly) and I laughed extremely loudly at all of his jokes. Other than that I was pretty cool. Oh no wait, I wasn’t. No not a bit. Still a bit out of breath actually.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a musician?
I was tempted to go down the writing/academia/journalism route when leaving university, so that’s possibly what I might have ended up doing had I inherited my musical genes from my mum’s side of the family.
What would your ultimate desert island disc be?
Tricky. Perhaps At the River by Groove Armada to get into the seaside relaxing vibe. Or Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, so I could spend a lot of time hearing all the patterns in it and end up in a hypnotic state that might help time pass more quickly. Or Carolyn Samson singing anything, so I could spend the time trying to emulate her.
What would you eat for your last supper?
Jerusalem artichokes. I’ve discovered them quite recently and feel I’ve wasted a lot of years not eating them. Yum. With a perfect steak and chips perhaps. And lots of great red wine..
And the obligatory question…What football team do you support?!
Now then, what is this ‘football’ ?? (Sorry, sacked, you say? Oh right. In that case, Arsenal. Whoever she is.)