Gillian Keith Soprano

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A Voice in a Gillian

High Notes and the Bottom Line – on Life, Love and Art

This is the sound of my voice. A voice in a Gillian. This is my place to talk about life, love and art – My take on music, why I love it, how I hear it and what it means to me.
Stay tuned for stories from a soprano on the go…

Birthing Creativity

Posted by on Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 at 11:51 am

This month I have been presenting a new and wonderfully creative show at the Buxton International Festival, ‘Los Nacimientos’, an interdisciplinary music, dance and theatre piece with music by Tom Randle and texts by Pablo Neruda. Los Nacimientos means literally, the births, and the title of the work comes from one of Neruda’s own poems. Although the title fits many of the themes explored within the poetry, it is also a name that fits the concept and the production process very aptly.   What is ‘Los Nacimientos’ and how did it come...

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Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Posted by on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Good things come to those who wait. That old adage helped me a great deal over the past couple of years as I waited, sometimes patiently and sometimes impatiently, for the release of my latest CD, Handel German Arias, with the superb chamber ensemble, Florilegium. The disc augments Florilegium’s already impressive discography with Channel Classics, and although we have performed together many times, it is my first recording with the group. I first encountered Handel’s Nine German Arias as a university student, and as it is for so many of us,...

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Only Fools Russian!

Posted by on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 at 9:19 am

One of the most common questions I am asked by audience members or by those simply curious about the life of an opera singer is, “How many languages do you speak?” The assumption is that a singer understands every word they sing, and that to perform music in a foreign language one must be able to speak or understand the text. I hope I’m not spoiling any illusions when I say that is not the case!  While I have a very good handle on French, German, Italian and Spanish, I do not speak Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Czech, Portuguese or...

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A Concert of Memories

Posted by on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 at 3:58 pm

  In late September this year I was delighted to perform a ‘Concert of Memories’ in honour of the late Roderick Lakin MBE, former director of Royal Over-Seas League Arts. I am honoured and privileged to have known Roderick since my years as student participating in the annual music competition, and I was always inspired and humbled by his devotion to the Arts, especially music. He was incredibly knowledgable, experienced and, most importantly, curious. His passion for music allowed him to be sensitive, emotional and excited about music...

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The Big Bach Project is Launched!

Posted by on Friday, February 19th, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Launching The Big Bach Project Raise the curtain! Turn on the spotlights! The show is ready to begin! The Big Bach Project is officially underway after the launch of the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for Volume One of our complete set of Bach Cantatas for solo Soprano.  Along with my colleagues at Armonico Consort, we are ready to move into the first stage of this ambitious venture. We have high hopes for our fundraising campaign, to which many loyal supporters have already contributed; I am wholeheartedly grateful to those who have...

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Remembering Roderick Lakin

Posted by on Thursday, October 29th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Remembering Roderick Lakin, MBE   During my first few months as a student in London, many unexpected things happened to me – such as meeting The Queen after a concert given by Royal Academy of Music students at the Royal Festival Hall, and flying to Malta for a weekend to present a private concert for an influential RAM patron’s birthday party. There were less dramatic, but equally marvellous events, like spending a week at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and discovering the glorious beauty of the Suffolk coast, or the first...

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The Debussy Connection – Gillian Keith on The Vasnier Story

Posted by on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 3:08 pm

The Debussy Connection – Gillian Keith on The Vasnier Story   Soprano Gillian Keith’s search for the lost songs of Debussy led her to discover the love story behind the melodies he wrote for his muse, Blanche Vasnier. From her first encounter with the “Chansons de jeunesse” during her student years, Gillian has always felt a strong connection to Debussy’s songs. After years of performing and studying this music, a series of revelations led her to unearth several works that had been unpublished. She has brought them together, for...

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The Big Bach Project!

Posted by on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 3:50 pm

As a music student my youth choir conductor, who knew how much I loved the music of Bach, introduced me to his cantata for solo soprano ‘Jauchzet Gott’. Surprised I didn’t already know it, she told me to go to the library and listen to it immediately! “It will change your life”, she said, and she was right. I spent hour after hour in the practice room working the lines into my voice, and within a matter of days I had devoured every note in the score. For weeks the recording never left my CD player. I felt I had encountered the perfect piece...

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Hidden Treasure

Posted by on Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 11:10 am

My 2014 finished with the realisation of a dream – my latest CD, Debussy Songs For His Muse is pressed and packaged, and 100 copies arrived on my doorstep last month. Although the official release won’t be until February, having the finished product in my hand felt like enough of a cause for celebration. For over two years I have pushed the project forward, often in frustratingly slow stages, and once or twice I thought it would die before its time – frustrations in coordinating schedules, a glitch with performing rights and...

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How Beautiful Are The Feet

Posted by on Saturday, December 6th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

T’is the season to be jolly, and for most classical musicians, t’is the season for Handel’s Messiah. This great work also comes up at other times of the year (it’s not just for Christmas, you know – the Nativity sequence is only the first part of three), but mostly we associate it with Yuletide. This year I’m getting my usual dose of the Hallelujah Chorus in performances at Washington National Cathedral with their brilliant choir and period orchestra, directed by Michael McCarthy. There is an excellent team of soloists, and plenty of...

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