Repertoire includesHaydn - The Creation
SoloistsAnna Dennis - Soprano Andrew Staples - Tenor Neal Davies - Bass-Baritone Hollie McNish - Poet RSNO Chorus -
Conductor Gregory Batsleer
He has held the position of Chorus Director with the RSNO since 2015, and has in that time overseen an improvement in the overall standard of the RSNO Chorus as well as a rise in the RSNO’s choral activity. This has included the inauguration of the RSNO Chorus Academy, Singing Days, and the establishment of regular Come and Sing events with the Orchestra.
Since 2009, Gregory has also held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and last season started the newly created post of Choral Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society, where he is responsible for overseeing the Society’s artistic development. In summer 2017, Gregory co-founded Festival Voices, a professional vocal ensemble specialising in cross-discipline collaboration and performance.
As a guest conductor, highlights include performances with the RSNO, Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra, Black Dyke Band, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. This spring, Gregory conducts a UK-wide, fully staged production of Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Gregory has been guest chorus master for many orchestras, including the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, working with leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Sir Andrew Davis, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington, Robin Ticciati, Emmanuel Krivine and Phillipe Herreweghe.
He is deeply committed to his work as a collaborator and curator. Recent projects include work with artists including Elbow, James, Tim Burgess, Damon Albarn and Clean Bandit. In 2015 he was musical consultant on Nick Drake’s play All the Angels: Handel and the First Messiah at London’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. He has a close working relationship with composer Joe Duddell, and has premiered works by composers including James Burton, David Lang, Colin Metters, Uri Caine and Ben Parry. Last summer Gregory co-curated sell-out cross-art performances at London’s Southbank Centre, Latitude festival, and Wilderness festival, all featuring his new vocal ensemble Festival Voices.
Previous posts include Director of Hallé Youth Choir (2008–11), Director of Choirs at Manchester University (2009–13), and Artistic Director of the National Portrait Gallery’s choir-in-residence programme in London and the Portrait Choir (2013–17), which recently released a choral audio guide to the Gallery. Gregory currently teaches choral conducting at the University of Edinburgh and has worked as guest conductor with the University’s Chamber Orchestra and Choir.
Between 2007 and 2012, Gregory held scholarships at Princeton University, New Jersey, and London’s Royal College of Music. His outstanding work as a choral conductor was recognised with the Arts Foundation’s first ever Fellowship in Choral Conducting in 2015.
Soprano Anna Dennis
Tenor Andrew Staples
Andrew made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Jacquino Fidelio, returning for Flamand Capriccio, Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Tichon Katya Kabanova and Narraboth Salome. He has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, the National Theatre Prague; La Monnaie Brussels; the Salzburger Festspiele; Hamburgische Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien, the Lucerne Festival and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Bass-Baritone Neal Davies
Poet Hollie McNish
In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many parts of the world, establishing an international status and touring to Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim and most recently, Amsterdam and Prague. In 2018 it performed Britten’s War Requiem with the RSNO at the BBC Proms.
The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Today, it is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, it has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan.
The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK’s most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. In 2015 Gregory received The Arts Foundation Fellowship in Choral Conducting.