The Singer:

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Hilary performing songs by Montsalvatge during 'Poetry International 1998' in the Doelen in Rotterdam, together with the accompanist, Kelvin Grout. (photo private collection)


Hilary singing Verdi's 'La Traviata' at the Trompenburg Gardens & Arboratum in Rotterdam.The pianist is Jacco Lamfers. (photo private collection)I

Hilary first became actively engaged with music at secondary school: 'Dartington Hall' in Devon, England, starting to sing and play the piano and flute at thirteen. She made her debut as a soprano soloist at eighteen, singing Händel's Messiah. She went on to study singing and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Marjorie Thomas, Flora Nielsen and John Carol-Case, Rex Stephens, Clara Taylor and Alexander Kelly. During her study, she worked together with Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Anthony Lewis, Steuart Bedford and Lesley Garrett and was directed by a number of internationally-renowned directors from Covent Garden and The English National Opera in operas by Britten, Mozart, Purcell and Puccini and by Gian-Carlo Menotti in a production of his own opera: 'The Consul'. She also won the Ernest Butcher, Isobel Jay, Rutson and Fred Walker Prizes for Singing and Opera.

After graduating, she moved to The Netherlands and was accepted into The Dutch Chamber Choir, where she sang for three years. After a while, she was regularly appearing as a soloist with all the leading orchestras and choirs of the country in the major concert halls: Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Doelen in Rotterdam, Dr. Anton Philipszaal in The Hague and Vredenburg in Utrecht. She was invited to sing Diepenbrock in the Holland Festival with Hans Vonk and on tour with the Dutch Dance Theatre, singing Wagner's 'Wesendonk Lieder'. She made a number of recordings with the Dutch Radio Orchestras, conducted by Sergiú Commissiona, Jean Fournet and Kenneth Montgomery and also regularly performed in Belgium, e.g. singing Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis' at the Festival of Flanders, in France in the Notre Dame in Paris and in Monaco, in Germany (Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Cologne), in Austria in the Bösendorfersaal and Musikverein in Vienna and in Finland with the Helsinki Philharmonic.

In 1993, she was the soprano soloist in one of the best sold C.D.’s of Händel’s 'Messiah' in The Netherlands and, in 1994, she was invited to sing in Britten’s 'War Requiem' during the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem. From 1999 onwards, she made a number of recital tours in Scotland and Ireland, together with the pianist, Jacco Lamfers, with whom she also made a C.D. of songs by Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Lamfers in the year 2000.

In 2002, Hilary was invited by Prof. David Harold Cox, the Head of the Music Department of University College Cork in Ireland to take up a post there, teaching Vocal Studies, Art-Song and Opera. He also asked her to perform his song cycle: 'Willow Leaves', together with the pianist, Conor Linehan, and they later recorded it for the C.D. 'New Music from U.C.C.' Since moving to Ireland, Hilary, now as a mezzo-soprano, has given a number of concerts and recitals, also appearing in theatre shows that she has produced and directed herself. In 2008, she made a C.D. of German, French, English and Spanish songs called: 'Love's Philosophy', together with Jeroen Liedorp, with whom she has just completed a tour of Lieder recitals in The Netherlands in October 2010.

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