Phillippa Lay Soprano
Growing up, I was surrounded by a musical family and there was no question of me doing anything else as a career. Many years of practice and lessons from talented singers and performers like Mary King brought me to the doors of the Birmingham Conservatoire a few years ago where I received a Post Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance, whilst studying with Louise Crane who continues to teach me.
Though my height has always proved a challenge for casting directors, I have had much fun on the operatic stage too, playing characters such as Handel’s Semele with me sitting, kneeling or lying down in every scene due to the casting of a tiny tenor into the role of my character’s lover; Jupiter the God of Thunder. I was also cast in the role of a call-girl come Princess Diana lookalike in a Channel 4 opera written to commemorate the 5th anniversary of her death, together with Willard White as a homeless man, called When She Died: Death of a Princess (Dove/Harsent) – but the synopsis is very convoluted so I won’t share it with you here! During my post graduate course, I played the role of a mother-of-the-bride in a new opera written for students of the Birmingham Conservatoire, called Ava’s Wedding (Wolters/Taylor). I modelled my character on Hyacinth Bucket (Bou-quet) from Keeping Up Appearances and am told it was entertaining, if a little disturbing!
I live in Gloucestershire with my husband and our two children and when I’m not parenting, I keep busy with singing engagements. Recent highlights include a number of promotional audio and video recordings and backing vocals for an album recording in Prague.
Phillippa was an ideal choice of soloist for our performance of Handel’s Ode on St Cecilia’s Day. Her clear, bright tone was well suited to the the four soprano arias, and her voice soared effortlessly into the architectural splendour of Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room. Phillippa showed much empathy with Handel’s ornamented Baroque style, combining sensitively with the various obligato instruments that coloured each aria. She performed with a sense of poise, communicating this highly stylised music vividly to the audience.John Wright
You were fab, SO many compliments about our amazing soprano soloist. Thank you!George Bevan
Thank you Phillippa – it was lovely to have you involved last night and your solos were spot on! I don’t have a favourite as they were all ace. Hope you had fun and let’s do it again some time!! XxClare Edwards
Phillippa mesmerised the audience with her selection of arias accompanied by the Capriol Chamber Orchestra. She demonstrated a versatile technical and emotional range with songs from Patience and Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan and a heart-rending performance of “Ach, Ich Fuhls” from Mozart’s Magic Flute. The wonderful selection was rounded off with a humorous and artful rendition of Art is Calling for Me by Victor Herbert. We look forward to further performances from the outstanding Phillippa Lay.Jonathan Trim