PROM 57: August 30
Kitty Whately trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School. She won both the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the 59th Royal Overseas League Award in the same year, and was part of the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy where she appeared as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Kitty was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2013-15, during which time she recorded her debut solo album This Other Eden, made recordings with the BBC orchestras, commissioned a new song cycle from Jonathan Dove, and made several appearances at the Proms.
Recent opera highlights include Sesto in Giulio Cesare for English Touring Opera, Isabelle in Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights for L’Opera National de Lorraine, Mother/Other Mother in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s latest opera Coraline for Royal Opera House at the Barbican, Dorabella Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park, Nancy Albert Herring for The Grange Festival in the festival’s debut season, as Hermia in the Robert Carson production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bergan National Opera and in Beijing; the world premiere of Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over for the Aix-en-Provence Festival directed by Katie Mitchell, with performances in Antwerp, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Bruges and Lisbon; Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia and Stewardess in Jonathan Dove’s Flight (Opera Holland Park); Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bergen National Opera); Kate Owen Wingrave (Opéra National de Lorraine); Dorabella Cosi fan tutte (English Touring Opera) and Ippolita / Pallade in Cavalli’s Elena in Montpellier and Versailles for the Aix-en-Provence Festival. She made her English National Opera debut playing several roles in Vaughan Williams’ Pilgrim’s Progress.
Kitty is in high demand as a recitalist and concert artist. She made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, singing Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as a recital alongside Malcolm Martineau at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Recent concert performances include Mahler Das Lied von der Erde at the Mizmorim Festival in Basel, The Dream of Gerontius with Crouch End Festival Chorus at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and recitals of English song at Wigmore Hall and the Salisbury International Festival. She recently performed solo roles in Elgar’s The Apostles and The Kingdom, and gave concert performances which included the premiere of a new work by Sally Beamish at the Three Choirs Festival; recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival and Wigmore Hall. She has given performances with most of the UK’s major orchestras, including Duruflé’s Requiem and Mozart’s Requiem (in Oslo with the Dunedin Consort and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Bach’s B Minor Mass (Royal Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra), Beethoven’s Mass in C Major (Philharmonia Orchestra), Haydn’s Nelson Mass (Britten Sinfonia on tour in Spain and the Netherlands), Bach’s Magnificat (Britten Sinfonia and Choir of King’s College Cambridge), Elgar Dream of Gerontius at St John’s Smith Square and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Handel Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. Kitty has given recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival, Oxford Lieder, Leeds Lieder, Cheltenham, Ludlow and Buxton festivals, working regularly with renowned accompanists including James Baillieu, Julius Drake, Graham Johnson, Simon Lepper, Malcolm Martineau, Gary Matthewman, Joseph Middleton, Anna Tilbrook and Roger Vignoles.
Kitty made her BBC Proms debut in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Suite from Act II of Caroline Mathilde, and also appeared in a Chamber Music Prom singing the music of Stephen Sondheim. Her frequent performances with the BBC orchestras include De Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat (BBC National Orchestra of Wales) and Nancy in a concert performance of Britten’s Albert Herring with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as recordings of Ravel’s Sheherezade with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with with John Wilson and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter with BBC Concert Orchestra.
In 2017 Kitty released her second album, Nights not spent alone, to critical acclaim. Recorded in a co-production between Champs Hill Records and the BBC, and accompanied by distinguished pianist Simon Lepper, the disc presents complete works for mezzo-soprano by Jonathan Dove. It includes a song cycle of the same name dedicated to Kitty, which she premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival in 2015.