EX CATHEDRA | Imogen Russell - soprano

From our ‘Summer Music by Candlelight’ programme, June 2019

Imogen Russell, soprano, is currently studying for her MMus in Vocal Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Her singing teacher is Amanda Roocroft; her previous teachers include Sheila Barnes and Ann De Renais. Imogen sang with The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge under the direction of Stephen Layton for four years, and she is currently a choral scholar with Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore. Other groups Imogen has performed with include Illuminare, the Armonico Consort, and Polyphony, with whom she has recently toured Norway, singing stand-out solos in music by Arvo Pärt. She has an extensive discography with Trinity College Choir, including a disc of Owain Park’s music including a piece written for her voice.

Imogen has sung as a soloist for the Holst Singers, and The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge under Andrew Nethsingha. Recent performances have included: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Boccherini’s Aria Accademica under Zoë Beyers, the first performance of a Couperin completion by Graham Sadler, and a Jeremiah Clarke cantata edited by Martin Perkins.

1. How long have you been a member of Ex Cathedra and why did you join?

I was very lucky to have been chosen as a Student Scholar for Ex Cathedra a year ago, and have greatly enjoyed my time with such an esteemed ensemble.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

I am currently studying for a masters in vocal performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, under the tutelage of Amanda Roocroft. On a regular basis, I benefit from coaching with tutors such as Paul Wingfield and Robin Bowman.

Throughout my time at the Conservatoire, I have built an active collaboration with the early music department, and have been featured recently in a concert directed by Zoë Beyers for the Boccherini festival. I have also continued my choral development as part of the Conservatoire Chamber Choir, and I was a soprano soloist for John Rutter’s Requiem for BBC Radio 3.

3. If you could choose to perform again any piece you have performed before with Ex Cathedra, what would it be, and & why?

I particularly enjoyed being involved in Alec Roth’s Earthrise at the start of the academic year. It was an intriguing challenge, especially being amongst the polyphony of 40 parts.

4. What’s your musical “guilty secret”?

I am an avid fan of Arcangelo Corelli, to the point where I’ve even named my hamster, Captain Corelli, after him. I’m not sure if he’d approve, but I’ve done it anyway!