Jackdaw’s annual Christmas by Candlelight takes place on Friday 20th December in the 12th century church of St Mary Magdalene. Performers will be a selection of some of Jackdaws’ most dearest young Artists and friends.
The first profile is of Marta Fontanals-Simmons, soprano from Castle Carey.
Originally from Somerset, Marta began postgraduate training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tuition of Marilyn Rees in 2010 and joined the Opera Course in September 2012. She is gratefully supported by the Gwen Catley Scholarship, Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Sybil Tutton Award administered by the Musician’s Benevolent Fund. Marta is proud to have been a Simon Fletcher Charitable Trustee, Susan Chilcott Scholar and Royal Philharmonic Artist for 2011-12 and a continuing Concordia Foundation Artist. Marta was thrilled to be accepted as a Tillett Trust Young Artist in 2013.
Marta has had the privilege of taking part in master classes and workshops with Dawn Upshaw, Brian Zeger, Anne Sofie von Otter, Gerald Finley, Martin Katz, Malcolm Martineau, Graham Johnson, Emma Kirkby DBE and Robert Tear CBE. In competition, Marta was awarded first prize in the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2011, performing at the Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’. In addition, Marta was awarded Runner-Up in the Thelma King Award 2011, finalist in the Hampshire Singing Competition 2011, the Odette Sansom Award for English Song at the Guildhall School and reached the Semi-Final of the Mozart Singing Competition 2011.
Marta maintains her links with the South West with recent performances of Durufle Requiem with the Bristol Bach Choir, Jenkins Stabat Mater at Sherborne Abbey and the world premier of Martin Emslie’s Omega and Alpha at Wells Cathedral. Marta looks forward to performing Handel Messiah at St James Piccadilly in December as well as Pinocchio The Adventures of Pinocchio Jonathan Dove for GSMD in 2013-14. Having completed the GSMD Opera Course Marta will sing Woodpecker and cover Fox The Cunning Little Vixen for Garsington Opera and then Mercedes Carmen for Mid Wales Opera. Marta will make her Wigmore Hall recital debut as a Tillett Trust Young Artist in July 2014.
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Marta singing Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Raphaela Papadakis, Clonter Opera (2012)
“Gretel – Raphaela Papadakis – and Hansel – Marta Fontanals-Simmons – who I think will go on to make a real impression. Both have rich, limpid tone through their range and both acted as if they were real youngsters”
Robert Beale (14/8/12)