St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals

Claire Seaton - soprano, and Matthew Morley - piano

Friday, 16 September at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection

Claire Seaton - soprano, and Matthew Morley - piano

Jonathan Dove

     Five Am'rous sighs

Benjamin Britten

      On This Island         

             Let the florid music praise
             Now the leaves are falling fast
             As it is, plenty

Folksongs arr. Britten

                The trees they grow so high
                The Bonny Earl o'Moray
                There's none to soothe
                O Waly, Waly
                The Salley Gardens
                Sweet Polly Oliver

Born in Wolverhampton, Claire Seaton studied at the Birmingham School of Music, at the Royal Academy of Music with Rae Woodland and Kenneth Bowen, and subsequently with Linda Esther-Grey. She joined Kent Opera during her final year at the Academy, was awarded the Wessex Glyndebourne Association Prize in 1998 and in 1999 made her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut singing the role of Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito). Further engagements at Glyndebourne included covering the roles of Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) and the Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), followed by contracts with Opera de Lyon and Opera Europa.

One of the country's most adaptable sopranos, Claire also enjoys remarkable success in the early music field where she has worked with ensembles such as The Tallis Scholars and the Gabrieli Consort, with whom she made her BBC Proms debut in Handel's Dixit Dominus and is known for her performances of the soprano solos in Allegri's Miserere.

Claire's oratorio experience is extremely broad and she is particularly renowned for her performances of Verdi's Requiem, Brahms' Requiem and Mozart's C Minor Mass. Her recent repertoire has ranged from regularly performed favourites such as Verdi's Requiem and Mozart's Requiem to less common works such as Symanowski's Stabat Mater and Elgar's The Light of Life.

In addition to recording the Allegri Claire's discography includes the role of  The Believer in Rutland Boughton's Bethlehem for Naxos, Brahm's Deutsche Requiem with Jeremy Backhouse and the Vasari Singers for Guild, and the world premiere of Jonathan Dove's The far theatricals of day with Nicholas Cleobury. Claire has also recorded the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the counter tenor Andrew Watts.

Claire recently created the role of Matriarch for the world premiere of Paul Mealor's cantata The Farthest Shore with the BBC singers, broadcast live on Radio 3 from St David's Cathedral.

Matthew Morley studied the organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Bowers-Broadbent and Virginia Black, and continued his post-graduate studies as a piano accompanist with the Geoffrey Pratley and the late Alex Kelly, winning all the Academy's accompaniment prizes. He was first appointed to St Bride's in 1991 as our H J C Stevens Organ Scholar. and in addition to playing the wonderful Compton organ in our services, he conducts the St Bride's Orchestra, directs our Come and Sing workshops, edits the live service recordings for the Listen Again feature on the St Bride's website, is the producer of our St Bride's Live record label, and provides many of the bespoke 'pop' arrangements for the choir.

Outside St Bride's he works as a chorus-master and repetiteur with some of our country's top professional and amateur choral groups, including The BBC Singers, English National Opera, Opera Holland Park, London Voices, Voicelab, Brighton Festival Chorus, Guildford Choral Society and Vivace Chorus. He is also the Chorus Director for the Buxton Festival, and Music Director of ITN's Office Choir.