Hutton & Shenfield Choral Society
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Born in Southend-on-Sea, Alexandra Kidgell read music at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge where she was Senior Choral Exhibitioner.  She completed her post-graduate studies with Distinction at the Royal Academy of Music, where, among other prizes, she was awarded the prestigious DipRAM for an outstanding final recital.  She was a finalist in the 2013 LBS Bach Singers’ Prize, and in the Royal Overseas League Music Competition.  She is also a Britten Pears Young Artist.

Alexandra has appeared as a soloist throughout the UK and Europe.  Recent and forthcoming highlights include Bach Magnificat on a national tour with The Sixteen, Durante Requiem and Pergolesi Stabat Mater in the Oxford Early Music Festival, a recording of Durante Requiem with the choir of Christ Church College, Oxford, Mozart Exultate, jubilate and Mass in C minor in Chelmsford Cathedral, Bach Mass in B minor at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with The Feinstein Ensemble, Handel Messiah in Wells Cathedral, Christchurch Priory and Bath Abbey.  In summer 2014 and autumn 2015 Alexandra appeared on stage at the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as part of the small cast of Thomas Tallis, a new play with music, to wide critical acclaim.

Alexandra is a member of The Sixteen, and continues to enjoy working with many of Europe’s other leading ensembles, including the The Tallis Scholars and Gabrieli Consort.


FRANCES BOURNE - mezzo-soprano

Frances studied at Trinity College‚ Cambridge and The Royal Academy of Music‚ where she won many of  the singing prizes.

Recent engagements include Fox The Cunning Little Vixen and Olga Eugene Onegin for Grange Park Opera‚ Waltraute in Nationale Reisopera’s Ring Cycle‚ Gymnasiast/Groom/Theater-Garderobiere Lulu‚ Annio La Clemenza di Tito and Amando Le Grand Macabre‚ all at La Monnaie in Brussels; Amando at English National Opera and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires‚ Karl Jenkins The Armed Man (Royal Albert Hall)‚ Mercedes Carmen‚ Mother Goose The Rake’s Progress and Tippet A Child of our Time at the St Endellion Festival. Further operatic appearances include Hansel Hansel and Gretel‚ Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Stéphano Roméo et Juliette and Louhi in Dove Swanhunter (Operating North)‚ Cherubino (GrangePark Opera)‚ Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park)‚ Pitti Sing The Mikado and Jane in the premiere of Micha Hamel Snow White (Reisopera)‚ Sorceress Dido and Aeneas and Puck in Weber Oberon under Sir John Eliot Gardiner‚ Junon in Charpentier Acteon (Aldeburgh with Emmanuelle Haïm)‚ Handel Oreste (Linbury‚ Covent Garden)‚ Irene Tamerlano for the 20th anniversary of the Cambridge Handel Opera Group and the central role in Rachel Portman The Water Diviner’s Tale (BBC Proms).

In great demand on the concert platform Frances has sung with many of Europe’s leading conductors‚ including Andrew Manze‚ Sir Neville Marriner‚ Sir Roger Norrington and Trevor Pinnock. Notable concert and oratorio appearances include St. Matthew Passion Mozart C minor mass and Bach B minor mass (Gloucester Cathedral)‚ Messiah (CBSO and with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen)‚ Beethoven’s Mass in C (Worcester Cathedral)‚ Mozart’s Requiem (Harrogate Choral Society)‚ Dream of Gerontius (Tiverton)‚ Elgar The Musicmakers (Ware Choral Society)‚ Tippett A Child Of Our Time (Huddersfield Choral Society)‚ Pergolesi Stabat Mater (Hanover Band)‚ Dvorak Stabat Mater (Winchester Cathedral) and Judith Weir’s The Consolations of Scholarship with Kokoro. She has also appeared with the Northern Sinfonia‚ the City of London Sinfonia‚ the English Chamber Orchestra London Symphony Chorus‚ and at the Three Choirs Festival and recently performed a New Year’s Eve Gala with the Manchester Camerata featuring works from The Truth about Love.

Recordings include Mozart Requiem (European Chamber Orchestra)‚ Copland In the Beginning (Gloucester Cathedral Choir)‚ Bach Cantata 148 and Puck Oberon both with Gardiner‚ and her debut solo CD‚ The Truth about Love‚ a collection of cabaret songs by Britten‚ Martinu and Weill (Sony BMG Masterworks).


Richard Rowntree is a leading oratorio and consort singer who enjoys a busy schedule as a freelance performer.  Richard studied voice, viola and piano at Trinity College of Music, London.  On leaving college, Richard became a tenor Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral, a post he held from 1999 – 2007 when he joined the choir of the London Oratory, with whom he sung for almost six years, leaving in 2013.

Richard is greatly in demand as a consort singer and regularly appears with many of the country’s leading groups including The Monteverdi Choir, The Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, The King’s Consort,  Tallis Scholars, Tenebrae, I Fagiolini, The Clerke’s Group, The English Concert, Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, Retrospect Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia Voices, The Cambridge Singers, The London Handel Festival, Ex Cathedra, Concert d’Astree, The Armonico Consort, Ensemble Oculum, and The Philharmonia Voices.  Richard has recorded for English National Opera and The Early Opera Company. One of his ‘lighter’ engagements over the last few years was recording on one of the ‘Go Compare’ advertisements, as well as several Sony PlayStation game soundtracks.

As a soloist, Richard has appeared with The Gabrieli Consort in London, Paris, Rome and at the 2011 BBC Proms.  Richard made his solo debut at The Wigmore Hall with Retrospect Ensemble in 2010 and made a return visit, again with Retrospect Ensemble, in 2011.  Richard also made his solo debut with The English Concert at St John’s, Smith Square, London in December 2011.

Richard is a much sought-after soloist for an increasing number of choral societies throughout the UK and abroad.   Richard’s extensive oratorio repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Bach St John and St Matthew Passions (both as Evangelist and aria soloist), Bach Christmas Oratorio and B Minor Mass, Mendelssohn Elijah, Stainer Crucifixion, Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart Requiem and Haydn Creation and Seasons to name but a few.  In 2011, Richard performed the tenor solos in Verdi Requiem, alongside Sir Willard White.

Recent engagements have included tours to Malta with The English Concert, Germany and the USA with The Monteverdi Choir, making his debut at Carnegie Hall, New York and in Australia with The Australian Chamber Orchestra, including his debut at Sydney Opera House in 2013.

Richard also holds the post of Head of Singing at Bryanston School and spends the other few free hours in his week as the Junior Boys’ House Parent at Forres Sandle Manor School in the New Forest.

Chelmsford Cathedral is served by a traditional choir of boys and men whose prime responsibility is to maintain a pattern of regular choral services from week to week. The choristers are drawn from a variety of local schools and come to the Cathedral for practices and services five days a week during school term time and over the religious festivals of Christmas and Easter. They are joined by Lay Clerks, Choral Scholars, and Singing Men who sing at all of the choral services where the full choir is needed.

In the last three years the Cathedral Choir has twice broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and twice has sung for Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. The Cathedral Choir, along with the Cathedral Girls’ Choir, plays an integral role in the Cathedral’s concert series and in recent years programmes have included Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Handel’s Messiah, and concerts with the King’s Singers and The Band of HM Royal Marines.

The Cathedral choristers also perform concerts of music for upper voices, enjoying collaborations with other cathedrals in the region. They are also in demand for concerts including works by Bach: St Matthew Passion, Britten: Saint Nicolas, and Carl Orff: Carmina Burana. They took part in a production of Britten’s opera Owen Wingrave at the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals in 2014; this year they return to Aldeburgh to appear as the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.