Introducing our Vice-Patrons
The London Chorus is exceptionally fortunate to have acquired two leading international
singers as our vice-patrons.
Roderick Williams OBE
Roderick Williams was the baritone soloist in our charity concert for Ukraine in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London in November 2022. Roddy is one of the world’s greatest and most popular baritones, his relentless energy and conspicuous talent allowing him to combine performing, recording and teaching in a prodigious workload around Britain, Europe and the wider world. He was a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, and until the age of 28 a music teacher. He then resumed musical studies at the Guildhall School of Music and rapidly became highly sought-after for operatic roles, solo parts with orchestras and for recitals.
He has built up a substantial recorded catalogue, notably in 2021-22 the four-volume set of complete Vaughan Williams folk songs, which also featured his fellow vice-patron, Mary Bevan. He became President of the Three Choirs Festival Society in 2016 and was appointed OBE in 2017. Since 2022 he has been vice-president of the Bach Choir. His operatic repertoire is broad, notably with the title roles in Britten’s Billy Budd, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. He has also sung Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen, among many others. His association with the works of Britten – he has also sung in Albert Herring, Gloriana, Peter Grimes and The Rape of Lucretia – is typical of his exceptional contribution to the English canon, having (as well the Vaughan Williams project) recorded songs by Finzi, Butterworth, Elgar, Howells, Moeran, Parry, Gurney and Warlock. He is also a fine composer, and wrote a choral work for the Coronation of King Charles III in 2023.
Mary Bevan MBE
Mary Bevan sang the solo soprano role in our performance of the Bach B Minor Mass in Southwark Cathedral in March 2022. Mary is from a highly musical family – her sister Sophie and brother Benjamin are both highly acclaimed singers too, and from the age of eight she sang in a choir composed of her mother and aunts and uncles, and conducted by her father. Later, she joined the children’s chorus at Park Opera in Bracknell, and then sang in the opera company started by her mother. After reading Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Trinity College, Cambridge she trained at the Royal Academy of Music. She won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and the UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent, and was awarded the MBE in 2019.
Although she believes she sings comic characters in opera best of all, her repertoire is extensive, ranging from Handel to James Macmillan. Her latest album is Visions Illuminées (Signum Classics), but she also played a leading part, with Roderick Williams, in the historic Albion four-disc set of Vaughan Williams folk songs. Her operatic repertoire notably includes Handel (Semele, Saul and Cleopatre in Giulio Cesare) and Mozart (Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte), but extends as broadly as Stravinsky (The Rake’s Progress) and Weill (Street Scene), Gluck (one of the title roles in Orfeo ed Eurydice), Monteverdi (the title role
in L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Humperdinck (as Gretel in Hansel und Gretel). Her concert repertoire includes a wide range of Bach, Brahms’s Ein Deutches Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony.
The London Chorus is exceptionally grateful to these two highly distinguished musicians for their generosity in supporting us and being associated with us.