Trio Voce 

 

'What a glorious night of music this turned out to be - three world class individuals performing the very best of opera.  I had to keep pinching myself  for yes we really were in Birmingham and yes we really were hearing music this good...'

(Birmingham Post)

Claire Prewer - Soprano     

 

Claire was born into a musical family and has been singing since an early age. At seventeen, she won a Scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she studied on the A.G.S.M. Performers Course with Johanna Peters and subsequently on the Opera Course.

Since leaving the Guildhall, Claire has sung in a wide range of styles and genres. Oratorio performances have included Elgar's 'Kingdom' & David Fanshaw's 'African Sanctus' in Worcester Cathedral, Orff's 'Carmina Burana', Handel's 'Messiah',  Mendelssohn's 'Elijah', Bach's 'B Minor Mass', Rossini 'Messe Solennelle',  Brahms' 'German Requiem' and Verdi's 'Requiem Mass' in Birmingham.

Opera roles have included Natasha in Prokofiev's 'War & Peace', the Female Chorus in Britten's 'Rape of Lucretia', Soeur Blanche in Poulenc's 'Les Dialogues des Carmelites' and she also appeared as Donna Elvira opposite Benjamin Luxon in Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' in St.James', Piccadilly. Gilbert & Sullivan roles include Mable - 'Pirates of Penzance', Josephine - 'H.M.S. Pinafore' and Phyllis - 'Iolanthe'.  Recent concert performances with orchestra have included Richard Strauss' 'Four Last Songs' and Dvorak's 'Song to the Moon' (Exeter Cathedral), Chausson' 'Le Temps des Lilas' and Shoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire'.  She has also performed Villa Lobos 'Bachianas Brasileiras' no.5 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 'cello section in the C.B.S.O. Centre.

Claire's performances don't however stop in the classical world. She has performed in numerous sessions and has given many jazz performances including with the CBSO's Berkley Street Dance Orchestra and Berkley Salon Ensemble.  She has also performed backing vocals for Paul da Vinci at the Royal Albert Hall.

Alongside her singing career, Claire is increasingly becoming involved in other aspects of music including studio session work and arrangements including an arrangement of 'Mo Li Hua' for the CBSO's tour of China and Big Band arrangements for both Cunard and P&O cruises.  Claire is a committed singing teacher and her students have gained Choral Scholarships to both Oxford and Cambridge universities, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildford School of Acting and the Arts Education School in London.

Recent performances have included; Mrs Noah in Britten's 'Noye's Fludde', Mahler 4th Symphony in Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Nottingham, Buxton and the Fishguard International Music Festival with members of the Innovation Chamber Ensemble, Mahler 'Das Lied von der Erde' in Nottingham and various opera evenings (with her husband Richard Jenkinson and the pianist Benjamin Frith), Mozart's 'Requiem', Britten's 'Les Illuminations', Mahler's 4th Symphony at Petworth and a chamber version of Wagner's 'Wesendonck Lieder' at the Newbury Festival. Most recently Claire has performed at the 2013 Fishguard International Music Festival singing 'The Songs of Eternity and Sorrow' (Ian Venables), Chausson 'Chansons Perpetuelle' and Britten 'Cabaret Songs' and will perform Wagner's 'Wesendonck Lieder' in Petworth in July 2013. 

'Soprano Prewer has an amazing voice that bellies her small frame.'

(A Midsummer Night at the Opera - Ross Crawford Birmingham Post)

'the performance developed from a choral-society workout towards the spiritual music-drama Verdi surely intended. Claire Prewer had a lot to do with that…she alone seemed to feel the work as opera rather than oratorio, furiously spitting out her lines in the Libera Me and ringing brilliantly at the top of each ensemble.'
 

(Verdi Requiem - Richard Bratby Birmingham Post May 2011)

'a stunning reading of Britten's Rimbaud song-cycle 'Les Illuminations'… soprano Claire Prewer a brilliant vehicle for the music's often near-cabaret settings, her resourceful timbres many-coloured as she dug deep into the character of these almost surreal poems.'

(Les Illuminations - Christopher Morley Birmingham Post April 2012)

 
 

 

 Benjamin Frith - Piano

Benjamin Frith was born in South Yorkshire in 1957 and from the age of ten studied with Fanny Waterman. He came to attention when at the age of fourteen he won the National Concerto Competition. This was followed by a Mozart Memorial Prize, the award for Young Concert Artists promoted by the National Federation of Music Societies (1983) and joint top prize at the Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy. His international career expanded much further after the award of a Gold Medal at the 1989 Arthur Rubinstein piano Masters Competition in Israel, where he also picked up the award for chamber music. He has appeared with many of the finest orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic, The B.B.C. Philharmonic, Halle, C.B.S.O., B.B.C. Scottish, London Mozart Players, Berlin Symphony, Singapore Philharmonic and has performed under such conductors as Mehta, Skrowaczewski, Hurst, Bugaj, Wordsworth and Bamert. He has won golden opinions for his recordings of Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Weber and Arnold and is currently engaged on a cycle of John Field's Nocturnes and piano Concertos for Naxos records. He appears at International Festivals such as Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Kfar-Blum and Kuhmo and every year at the Lindsay Quartet's Chamber Music Festival.

 Richard Jenkinson - Cello

Richard Jenkinson started to play the cello at the age of five and after winning a Scholarship from Derbyshire County Council studied with Florence Hooton until her sudden death in 1988. He continued his studies with William Pleeth and was awarded a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he studied with Raphael Wallfisch and William Pleeth. Whilst at the Guildhall he won all the cello and chamber music prizes and in 1994 after a performance of the Dvorak Concerto in the Barbican he was awarded the coveted Gold Medal. This led to a performance in Caracas with the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. In the autumn of 1994 Richard was awarded a top prize in the Vittorio Gui Chamber Music Competition in Florence, Italy and this led to him recording the Complete Sonatas and Variations by Martinu. During 1995 Richard used Scholarship awards from the Countess of Munster, Martin and Myra Hess Trusts to study with various teachers including Aldo Parrisot and Josef Fiegelshen in the USA. In January 1995 Richard was appointed Principal cello with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and during his three years in Ireland performed the concertos of Boccherini, both Haydn, Lutoslawski and Vivaldi. In 1998 he was appointed principal cello with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and since has been guest principal with the Halle, Philharmonia and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Richard gave his concerto debut at the age of 13 playing Haydn's C major concerto with a local orchestra and since this time has played most of the popular concertos with orchestras including BBC Concert, CBSO and the Innovation Chamber Ensemble (a conductor-less group he has formed with other CBSO members).  Recital performances have included the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Blackheath, CBSO Centre as well as in various music clubs around the country.

Richard plays on a 'cello by G B Grancino of Milan circa 1697.