Home button
 

THE OPERA GROUP

Catherine Françoise
– Soprano

Lesley Windsor
Mezzo-Soprano

Ian MacDonald
– Tenor

Stephen Holloway
– Bass

CATHERINE FRANCOISE
Catherine originally trained as a dancer at Guildford School of Dance and Drama and then trained as a singing and pianist at the Trinity College of Music, winning a number of awards and competitions. Catherine was also selected to study on Bach and Russian song courses at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh. Professional work includes a wide range of roles in Opera and Operetta, West End and Repertory Music Theatre and numerous Oratorio, Concert & Recital performances throughout the UK, Vienna, Eastern Europe and Australia.

On leaving College, at her second professional audition she was offered a part in a revival of Irving Berlin’s musical Call me Madam at Birmingham Rep (starring Noele Gorden returning to the theatre after leaving Crossroads). The Transfer to London's Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End provided the springboard for further roles in other West End & Repertory Music Theatre, and credits includecovering Christine in the Phantom of The Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Helen in The Girl Friend,  Millicent Punctuality in Bless The Bride,  Josephinein H.M.S. Pinafore, Melinda in Perchance To Dream and Mabel in The Pirates Of Penzance. Acting roles include Catherine Booth in William & Catherine, and Clementine Weickin Turbulent Awakenings for Quercus Theatre Company.

Catherine’s more unusual credits include principal girl in panto with Ken Dodd which can be described as 'an experience'!  She took a break from performing to have her daughter, Nicole after 2 years in the critically acclaimed record-breaking UK tour of The Great Musicals. More musical theatre followed as Maria in Sound of Music, Elsie in The Yeoman of the Guard and most recently as Grace in Annie. She also set up her own Wedding Songs (and also Occasion Music) company at this time which has now been successfully running for more than 10 years, covering more than 1000 UK weddings! 

To all this she adds TV in Once In A Lifetime for BBC Television, Pebble Mill at One, BBC Radio 2, World Service and British Forces Radio. Recordings include the soundtrack of The Girlfriend and The Great Musicals as well as her own album Wedding Songs.

Catherine has worked extensively in Opera too, as Queen of the Night in Magic Flute, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Frasquita in Carmen.  Catherine recently sang the role of The Queen of the Night for St Albans Chamber Opera, reviving a role she first performed after leaving Trinity for Holland Park Opera.  She has also recently sung in a series of classical Opera and French & Russian Concerts aboard the QE2 with Concert Pianist David McArthur. At Rochester Cathedral she has been engaged as soprano soloist for Elijah, the Brahms Requiem, The Messiah and Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony, and also in many other Concerts & Oratorios throughout the UK. 

She has worked as Musical Director on shows including Godspell and numerous Musical Showcases at Central School of Speech & Drama & as Head of Singing at Elmhurst Ballet School. Catherine is artistic director of the Gerrards Cross based choir prize winning Chiltern Voices and is also in demand as a teacher, combining a busy private Vocal Performance Studio with teaching singing and performance at Burnham Grammar School and London’s Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

LESLEY WINDSOR
Lesley Windsor was born in England but raised in the United States. She attended the University of Southern Califonia and then continued her education at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Lesley appeared as Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany, as well as playing the role on numerous occasions at Her Majestys Theatre in the West End. Other West End credits include appearing as an original cast member of the Olivier Award winning production of City of Angels.

She made her British Recital debut at the Purcell Room at London’s South Bank Centre, and other concert work includes a classical evening at St John’s Smith Square, together with numerous other concert venues throughout the UK and the USA.

Lesley was a Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera, and Artist-in-Residence with Dayton Opera and Apprentice Artist with Michigan Opera Theatre. Other operatic roles include Hanselin Hansel and Gretel, Clarina in La Cambiale, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen in Carmen, La Ciesa in Gianni Schicchi and Sophie in Die Fledermaus.

On the lighter side she received great critical acclaim for her performance in The Great Musicals whch enjoyed sold out audiences in Babbacombe, Eastbourne and Poole over 2 years. This was followed by West End to Broadway, Lorna in Lorna Doone and a UK tour of ShowStoppers.

IAN MACDONALD
Ian MacDonald is a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Lyndon van der Pump, and of Napier University in Edinburgh, and has performed throughout Europe in oratorio, modern opera and jazz. He has toured extensively as a lieder recitalist and given much time to the works of Schubert – particularly Winterreise – Schumann and Benjamin Britten.

Ian worked with Benjamin Zander, as one of his master class performers in London, Cambridge, Zurich and Montreaux for three years. He was Director of the cross-arts, experimental theatre company ArtFuzion from 1992-1997 which performed regularly at London’s The Place and at the Edinburgh Festival. Besides directing and choreographing, Ian studied ballet, contemporary dance and extended vocal techniques. 

His Music Theatre performances include Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, Danny in Grease, and Annie Get Your Gun, together with new works including Sons of the Wheel and Solaris, and as Dr Stirling in Ocean Solaris and Adonis in Venus at the Hackney Empire. Ian has also worked as an actor in works by Shakespeare, Checkov, Lillian Helman and Christpher Isherwood amongst others.

With Artsplace & Artswise, Ian worked to provide curriculum based on-site education programs, specifically designed around young people and the history of their individual environments. He is currently a voice consultant and teacher with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, and also at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

STEPHEN HOLLOWAY
Stephen Holloway studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh, where he worked with, amongst others, John Carol Case, Sir Peter Pears and Galina Vishnevskaya.

Stephen made his Scottish Opera debut as Don Fernando in Beethoven's Fidelio, and in 1997 Stephen made his debut at the Royal Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera, New York in Palestrina by Pfitzner. Other operatic roles have included Don Fernando Fidelio, Commendatore Don Giovanni, The Oracle Alceste, Sergeant Willis Iolanthe and Dr Grenvil La Traviata for Scottish Opera; Cadmus and Somnus Semele  for Opera Parnassus Malta; The Speaker in The Magic Flute at the Covent Garden Festival; Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Scottish Opera Go Round; The Chamberlain in Le rossignol and Chubin Cherevichki for Chelsea Opera Group; the Patriarch in Dmitri for Kensington SO; and The Music Master and The Wig Maker in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Stephen has also sung the roles of Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Sparfucile and Monterone in Rigoletto, Sacristan in Tosca and Bartolo in The Marriage of Fiigaro for European Chamber Opera; Tom in Ballo in Maschera for Holland Park; Pistol and Rugby in Sir John in Love for British Youth Opera; Fafner Das Rhinegold for Mastersingers Ltd in Leicester; Basilio in Barber of Seville for Opera Interludes and the King in Aidafor Dorset Opera.

Stephen Holloway’s concert engagements have included Christus St John Passion at the Royal Festival Hall, Beethoven Choral Symphony with the Orquestra Classica do Porto, The Creation in Lincoln Cathedral, the Haydn Nelson Mass for Collegium Musicum, Bergen, Dvorak Stabat Mater for Bakewell Choral Society, Dvorak Requiem for Birmingham Festival Choral Society, the Nelson Mass and Mozart Vesperae de Dominica for Ashtead Choral Society, the Verdi Requiem in Westminster Abbey, and for Concerts from Scratch at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by Sir David Willcocks. His recordings include The Unknown Elgar for Pearl.

 

 

 

 

enquire about this artist Back to list of artists