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Middlesbrough-born soprano, Helen Bailey, enjoys a busy schedule of opera, oratorio, and recital engagements. She is a graduate of Royal Academy Opera, where she studied under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ritchie and Jonathan Papp, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, The Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust, a Coutts bursary, and a D'Oyly Carte scholarship. She recently received the inaugural Buxton Festival Young Artists Bursary, generously supported by the Directors Circle, to be awarded annually to an outstanding member of the Buxton Festival Chorus.
After graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a First class degree in English Literature and Cultural History, Helen trained and worked as a secondary school teacher, before completing two postgraduate diplomas at Trinity College of Music. She then studied on the Vocal Studies Masters course at The Royal Academy of Music, supported by the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust and the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Foundation, during which time she received a distinction for the LRAM vocal teaching diploma.
Helen's operatic roles include Dama (Macbeth, Verdi: Buxton International Festival Opera), Leonore (cover, Beethoven: Leonore, Buxton Festival Opera), Lucio Cinna (cover, Mozart: Lucio Silla, Buxton International Festival Opera), Giovanna (cover, Verdi: Giovanna d'arco, Buxton Festival Opera), Véronique (Bizet: Le Docteur Miracle, Pop-Up Opera), Rosina (Haydn: La Vera Costanza, Royal Academy Opera, cond. Trevor Pinnock CBE), Aunt Norris (Dove: Mansfield Park, Royal Academy Opera), Cathleen (Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea, Royal Academy Opera), First Lady/Papagena (Mozart: The Magic Flute, Bath International Festival Opera), Belinda (Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Blackheath Halls Opera), Giannetta (Donizetti: The Elixir of Love, Blackheath Halls Opera), Waltraute (Wagner: Die Walküre, St. Endellion Festival, cond. Martyn Brabbins), Vitellia (Mozart: The Clemency of Titus, Hampstead Garden Opera), First Lady (Mozart: The Magic Flute, Hampstead Garden Opera), Susannah (Floyd: Susannah, Hampstead Garden Opera), Fiordiligi (cover, Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte, Jackdaws' Opera Plus), Micaëla (Bizet: Carmen, Mean Time Opera), Countess (Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, OperaGold), Frantik/Mrs Pasek/Cock (Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen, Ryedale Festival Opera), Anne Truelove (Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress, Trinity College of Music), and chorus/puppeteer in the world premiere of Peter Maxwell Davis' Kommilitonen! (The Royal Academy of Music).
In addition to full roles, Helen has performed in fully-staged operatic excerpts, singing Governess (Britten: Turn of the screw), Musetta (Puccini: La Bohéme), Marzelline (Beethoven: Fidelio), Rosalinde (Strauss: Die Fledermaus), Antonia (Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann), and Suzel (Mascagni: L'Amico Fritz) for Royal Academy Opera/Royal Academy of Music; and Juno (Cavalli: La Calisto), Mimi (Puccini: La Bohéme), and Nerone (Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea) for Trinity College of Music.
Helen has appeared with many choral societies across the country in works such as Bach's Magnificat and B minor mass, Beethoven's Mass in C, Requiems by Brahms, Chilcott, Duruflé, Fauré, Mozart, and Rutter, Britten's The Company of Heaven, Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Elgar's The Spirit of England, Handel's The Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Haydn's The Creation, 'Nelson' Mass, and Paukenmesse, Jenkins' Mass for Peace, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Hear my prayer, and Lobgesang, Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate!, Mass in C minor, and Missa Brevis, Orff's Carmina Burana, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Poulenc's Gloria, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Rutter's Gloria and Magnificat, Schubert's Mass in A flat major, Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony, and the world premiere of Wurtz's Message From The Soul.
Concert performances include a New Year's Eve Operetta matinee at St. Martin in the Fields, an opera gala with Wokingham Choral Society, Messiaen's Trois Melodies, Barber's Hermit Songs (in the ORNC, Greenwich), Chausson's Chanson Perpetuelle (as part of Trinity College of Music's French Chamber Music Festival), Britten's On This Island, and Britten's Our Hunting Fathers (conducted by James Judd with the TCM Symphony Orchestra).
Helen was a finalist in the 2013 Association of English Singers and Speakers competition, was awarded Highly Commended in the RAM's prestigious Isabel Jay Operatic prize 2012, and was the recipient of the Ernest Butcher prize 2011.
In addition to performing in masterclasses with Susan Bullock, John Copley, Robin Leggate, Dennis O'Neill CBE, and the late Robert Tear CBE, Helen recently attended the North Sea Vocal Academy in Denmark, where she received tuition from Audrey Hyland and Ryland Davies.
Forthcoming engagements ...
...include covering the role of Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda for Opera Up Close.