Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Polly May’s wide repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present day, with an emphasis on contemporary music. Having read Music at Edinburgh University, she went on to study singing at Trinity College of Music.

Her concert appearances include her BBC Prom debut in 2012 as a twin in Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien with BBCSO under Knussen, and the same piece with Knussen at the opening of the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014. She makes regular visits to the Cheltenham Festival, where she has sung in Rachmaninov’s Vespers with the Huddersfield Choral Society under Martyn Brabbins, taken the role of Mrs Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and was a featured Young Artist in 2002. She has also appeared at the Three Choirs, Aldeburgh, St Magnus, Windsor and Brighton festivals.

Her concert repertoire includes Mahler’s Second and Third Symphonies and Rückert-Lieder, Berg’s Seven Early Songs, Britten’s Phaedra, Falla’s Siete canciones popolares españolas and El amor brujo, and Berlioz’s Cléopâtre. She has sung in performances of Handel’s Messiah on New Year’s Day at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Mozart’s Requiem with the BBC Philharmonic under Brabbins, Haydn’s ‘Nelson’ Mass under Charles Mackerras and Bach’s Mass in B minor. In opera she has sung Nero (The Coronation of Poppea) and Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Brabbins.

She performs much new music as a soloist and has worked with Endymion, the Camberwell Composers’ Collective, the British Music Information Centre and the Manson Ensemble under James MacMillan, as well as working with vocal ensemble Exaudi. She has also worked alongside composers at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Polly May’s debut CD, Songs from the Exotic (Delphian Records) with the pianist Lucy Walker, features music by Falla, Rodrigo, Berio and Judith Weir.

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