Born in Yorkshire, Sarah Fox is one of the leading English sopranos of her generation. She was educated at Giggleswick School, London University and the Royal College of Music. A former winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the John Christie Award, she is also an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway College, London University. She is equally at home in many musical genres including opera, folksong and musical theatre.
Roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden have included Micaela/Carmen, Asteria/Tamerlano, Zerlina/Don Giovanni and Woglinde/Der Ring des Nibelungen. Other highlights include Asteria in Munich and Barcelona (opposite Domingo); Zerlina at Glyndebourne and in Cincinnati; Woglinde for Salzburg & Aix-en- Provence festivals; Susanna/Le Nozze di Figaro for Glyndebourne & The Royal Danish Opera; Ilia/Idomeneo with De Vlaamse Opera; and Mimi/La Bohème for Opera North.
Her prestigious concert career has taken her worldwide. Highlights have included engagements in Denver, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, The Faeroe Islands
and Bermuda as well as tours throughout the UK, Europe & Scandinavia. She has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, Berlin Philharmonic, City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Cologne, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Hallé, Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia, the San Francisco Symphony and the Vienna Tonklunster Orchestra with conductors including Elder, Hickox, Maazel, Mackerras, Pappano & Rattle. She has appeared several times at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival & the Three Choirs Festival and is a regular guest with the Classical Opera Company and at London’s Wigmore Hall. She is also a highly accomplished recitalist with a particular affinity for French Song.
She performs frequently with John Wilson and his Orchestra; she is a regular guest on BBC Radio 2’s “Friday Night is Music Night”; and has performed a series of concerts with Rufus Wainwright in Europe. She was a judge on the second series of BBC TV’s “The Choir : Sing While You Work” with Gareth Malone.
Her discography includes Poulenc Songs (with Malcolm Martineau) for Signum Classics; Mahler’s 4th Symphony (Philharmonia/Mackerras and Philharmonia/Maazel) both for Signum; Vaughan Williams’ 3rd Symphony (Hallé/Elder) for the Hallé label; Vaughan Williams’ Dona
Nobis Pacem (Colorado Symphony Orchestra/ Litton) and Poulenc Songs (with Graham Johnson) both for Hyperion; Leighton’s 2nd Symphony (BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Hickox) for Chandos; “That’s Entertainment” (John Wilson Orchestra) for EMI classics; and “Cole Porter in Hollywood” (John Wilson Orchestra) for Warner Classics.
Born in London, James Burton began singing and playing the piano at an early age. He was a boy chorister at Westminster Abbey where, as well as singing at many state occasions, he started improvising at the piano: the school’s film club played mostly silent movies and the musical accompaniment was provided by the boys. James has gone on to become an outstanding musical communicator in a variety of musical genres. Well known as an orchestral and opera conductor, he is also one of the UK’s leading choral conductors, and a respected composer and arranger.
A graduate of Cambridge University and the Peabody Conservatory, James has conducted concerts with leading UK orchestras including the RLPO, the OAE, the Orchestra of Scottish
Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia and also the Hallé with whom he has had a long and fruitful relationship. James’s operatic conducting has included Don Giovanni and La Bohème at ENO, and Cosi fan tutte for
English Touring Opera. James has worked at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera de Paris and Opera Rara, and in 2012 he conducted The Magic Flute at West Green for Garsington Opera from whom he received the Leonard Ingrams Award for outstanding work.
James is widely known for his choral conducting and has enjoyed guest invitations with the Gabrieli Consort, the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir and the BBC Singers. He was Choral Director at the Hallé from 2002-9, and under his leadership the Hallé Choir and the Hallé Youth Choir, which he founded in 2003, received outstanding critical coverage for their performances and recordings. Their recording of The Dream of Gerontius received the 2009 Gramophone Choral Award. James is Music Director of the renowned chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford with which he has toured Argentina, China, Italy, France, Mexico, Poland and the USA, made recordings and appeared frequently on BBC TV and radio.
James is a published composer, and commissions have included the music for the 2010 World Equestrian Games opening ceremony, an orchestral album with the folk legend Arlo Guthrie and a large scale choral/
orchestral work for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. His most recent work was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery as part of its World War I commemorations, and a new carol will be premiered next year by the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge.