British mezzo-soprano Martha McLorinan was born in Shrewsbury and grew up in the West Country. She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she held a scholarship with the BBC National Chorus of Wales, won the Margaret Tann Williams Prize, and graduated with first class honours. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the judges’ discretionary prize at the Thelma King Award and the ensemble prize at the Royal Over-Seas League. She is a versatile singer and enjoys a varied career of oratorio, opera, consort work, session work and recitals.
Highlights of the last year include her playing the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Ex Cathedra at Birmingham Town Hall,and Proserpina and La Messaggera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with I Fagiolini at the Cheltenham and Swidnica festivals. She sang the alto solos in Mozart’s Requiem with the English Chamber Orchestra at Ealing Music and Film Festival, and toured Holland as a soloist with The Sixteen singing Haydn’s Harmoniemesse. She also performed Bach’s B Minor Mass as a soloist at the British Museum with The Academy of Ancient Music and Tenebrae.
2016 saw her perform as a soloist at York Early Music Festival (lute songs from Anne Boleyn’s Songbook with Jacob Heringman and Kirsty Whatley broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from York Minster), Aldeburgh Festival (Bach’s Magnificat with Les Siecles and London Voices conducted by Francois Xavier-Roth at Snape Maltings Concert Hall), and the Barbican Festival (Copland’s In The Beginning and MacMillan’s Seven Angels with Ex Cathedra conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore at St. Giles’, Cripplegate). She also performed Handels’ Messiah in the USA with Tenebrae.
Martha has extensive experience on the concert platform across both the UK and Europe. Solo highlights include Bach’s St.Matthew Passion and St. John Passion at Birmingham Symphony Hall (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), Handel’s Messiah at Birmingham Symphony Hall (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Halsey) and at Cadogan Hall (English Chamber Orchestra/Nigel Short), Duruflé’s Requiem at Abbatiale Saint-Ouen (Tenebrae/Nigel Short), Vivaldi’s Gloria at St. Stephen’s Walbrook (The Gabrieli Players/Paul McCreesh), Bach’s Magnificat at St. John’s Cathedral, Malta (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/James Burton), Rachmaninov’s Vespers at Sherborne Abbey (Tenebrae/Nigel Short) and at Milton Court (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes at Kings Place (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers), and Handel’s Jephtha (Storge) in Maynooth, Ireland (US Berkshire International Choral Festival/Joseph Cullen). She regularly appears as a soloist with choral societies across the country singing a broad range of repertoire, including works such as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Verdi’s Requiem. Plans for 2018 include Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Academy of Ancient Music and with Solomon’s Knot.
Martha’s operatic roles include The Notary’s Wife and Anna (cover) in Strauss’s Intermezzo and Lotinka in Dvorak’s The Jacobin for Buxton Festival Opera, Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Wigmore Hall (Tenebrae/Trevor Pinnock), and at St. John’s Smith Square (La Nuova Musica/David Bates), Mrs.Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde for a community project in Somerset, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte for Opus Opera, Alto 2 soloist in Stockhausen’s Mittwoch Aus Licht for the BBC Proms, Tenth Ewe in Birtwistle’s Yan Tan Tethera for Britten Sinfonia, Lazuli in Chabrier’s L’Etoile and Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium, both for the RWCMD. She has also worked for Opera Holland Park for two seasons as a member of the chorus. Martha has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 singing Third Lady in excerpts of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Charles Hazelwood’s Discovering Music programme. Last year, she sang the role of Jocasta in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at Gresham’s School’s Britten Music Course. Plans for 2018 include returning to Wigmore Hall to sing Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Musica.
Martha is also in demand as a consort singer. Her work with Tenebrae has taken her to The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she sang in a quartet of female voices for Joby Talbot’s ballet Alice in Wonderland. She has also toured Betrayal: A Polyphonic Crime Drama (a fully staged show of Gesualdo with six singers and six dancers) and How Like an Angel (a show with seven acrobats and nine singers) with I Fagiolini.
Martha features on various recordings, and can be heard as a soloist in Garcia’s Missa Pastoril (Brazilian Adventures, Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), Alec Roth’s Hymn to Gaia (Shared Ground, Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore) Paul Mealor’s Salvator Mundi (A Tender Light, Tenebrae/Nigel Short), Gorczycki’s Conductus Funebris and Litania de Providentia Divina (Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, The Sixteen/Eamonn Dougan), Mass in G Minor (Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Cappella Choral Works, Laudibus/Mike Brewer), Daniel Lesur’s Cantique des cantiques and Jean Francaix’s Ode a la gastronomie (Amuse Bouche, I Fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth), and was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Tenbrae’s recording of Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers (Music of the Spheres, Tenebrae/Nigel Short), which has been nominated for a Grammy.
Martha also frequently records with both Synergy and London Voices.