Catherine Benson

Catherine Benson studied at Chethams School of Music and then The Guildhall School of Music, studying with Noelle Barker. She spent three years at the Guildhall gaining her AGSM and a further two years on the opera course under the guidance of Vilem Tausky.

After Guildhall, she embarked on a successful freelance career singing in concert, oratorio and opera. She toured the country for Raymond Gubbay, with the late Jack Rothstein performing Johann Strauss Galas. These included performances in The Royal Albert Hall and all the major cities in the country.

Her operatic work included roles and covers with Park Lane Opera, Bloomsbury Opera and then Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera).For Holland Park Opera she sang the part of Rowan in Brittens' The Little Sweep in London and subsequently at The Maltings, Snape. She also recorded the part of Juliet in the same opera for EMI.

She joined the Glyndebourne Chorus in 1980. While at Glyndebourne she covered numerous roles and was awarded the Glyndebourne Touring Opera Singer's Award.

This enabled her to study Mozart roles with Martin Isepp. She went on to perform Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Clorinda (La Cenerentola) for Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

Other operatic experience included Clorinda (La Cenerentola) and Vincenette (Mireille) for ENO and First Neice (Peter Grimes) for R.O.H. Covent Garden.

In 1984 she chose to leave the operatic stage after the birth of her first child. She spent the next ten years bringing up her young family. She has three children.

She began teaching in 1994 and joined the Vocal Studies department of Birmingham Conservatoire in 2000.

Cathy continues to perform regularly in oratorio, concert and recital. (She lives in North Shropshire).Her repertoire includes Messiah, St Matthew Passion, St John Passion, Mass in C Minor (Mozart), Petite Messe Solennelle (Rossini), Nelson Mass, The Creation (Haydn), Elijah, Stabat Mater(Dvorak), Stabat Mater(Rossini), B Minor Mass, Magnificat (Bach), Sea Symphony (Vaughn Williams), Carmina Burana (Orff).

She has a great interest in vocal pedagogy and takes the third year undergraduate 'Art of Teaching' module. She has completed an Estill 5 day course at The Royal Academy and most recently took a masterclass for Eton Choral Courses. Cathy is also an alumnus of the Britten- Pears School, Maltings, Snape.

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