British mezzo-soprano Martha McLorinan trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she held a scholarship with the BBC, won the Margaret Tann Williams Prize, and graduated with first class honours. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes including 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 this season include Martha making her BBC proms debut singing Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Musica directed by David Bates. She will record this role with them later in the year. She also recently appeared as a soloist at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, singing Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Nigel Short.
Martha has extensive experience on the concert platform across both the UK and Europe. Solo highlights include Bach’s Passions at Birmingham Symphony Hall (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), St. Matthew Passion at St. John’s Cathedral, Malta (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/John Butt), Handel’s Messiah at Birmingham Symphony Hall (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Halsey), at Cadogan Hall (English Chamber Orchestra/Nigel Short) and the Mormon Tabernacle, Utah (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) and at the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig (Solomon’s Knot), Bach’s B Minor Mass (The Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh) at Kloster Eberbach as part of the Rheingau Musik Festival, Rachmaninov’s Vespers at Gloucester Cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival (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 has toured Holland singing Haydn’s Harmoniemesse (The Sixteen and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century/Harry Christophers), toured Russia singing Bach’s St. John Passion (The Taverner Consort and Players/Andrew Parrott), and toured Luxembourg and Spain singing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Le Concert Lorrain/Andrew Parrott). At the Aldeburgh Festival, she has performed Bach’s Magnificat (Les Siecles and London Voices/Francois Xavier-Roth) at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and at the Barbican Festival she has performed Copland’s In The Beginning and MacMillan’s Seven Angels (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore) at St. Giles’, Cripplegate. She is also a regular soloist with the Feinstein Ensemble singing Bach cantatas at Kings Place and St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
Martha has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from York Minster singing lute songs from Anne Boleyn’s Songbook with Jacob Heringman and Kirsty Whatley at the York Early Music Festival. She recently recorded songs by William Byrd with Fretwork and Alamire, and looks forward to putting together a programme of Byrd with The Rose Consort in 2023. She is a keen recitalist, and her repertoire spans from the renaissance to the contemporary. She has performed at the Bristol Song Recital series, and has given a recital of Russian song at the Pheasantry with Will Vann. She regularly appears as a soloist with choral societies across the country singing repertoire such as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Verdi’s Requiem and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. She also enjoys singing new music, and was the mezzo soloist in the premier of Alec Roth’s Beginnings and Endings (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore) at the Brammell concert hall.
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), First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Roger Norrington) at the Royal Festival Hall, and The Sorceress at Birmingham Town Hall (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore). She has played Proserpina and La Messaggera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (i fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth) at the Cheltenham and Swidnica festivals, Mrs.Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde for a community project in Somerset, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte for Opus Opera, Jocasta in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at Gresham’s Britten Music Course, 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 been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 singing Third Lady in excerpts of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Charles Hazelwood’s Discovering Music programme.
Martha enjoys chamber music, and is 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. She also regularly sings with Ensemble Plus Ultra and Alamire.
Martha features as a soloist on various recordings. Highlights include Garcia’s Missa Pastoril (Brazilian Adventures, Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore), and Tenbrae’s recording of Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers (Music of the Spheres, Tenebrae/Nigel Short), which was nominated for a Grammy. She has also recorded the role of Page in Bob Chilcott’s Wenceslas (West London Chorus/Hilary Campbell), and she can be heard singing numerous songs by William Byrd with Fretwork (including his famous lullaby) on Byrd 1588: Psalmes, Sonets and Songs of sadnes and pietie (Alamire/David Skinner), and recently recorded more Byrd songs for release on Byrd 1589 early next year.
Future plans include recording Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Music and David Bates for release on Pentatone, and recording The Garden Path, a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and string quartet by Alec Roth with the Sacconi Quartet.