Alison Pearce has a distinguished international career as a soprano soloist in opera, oratorio and recital. She appears with the world’s leading conductors and orchestras at major venues and festivals as well as broadcasting for radio and television in many countries. She was a Vocal Professor at the Royal Academy of Music 1996 to 2010 and is presently artistic director of European summer schools for singers in Tuscany, Cambridge UK and Burgundy. She has also given master-classes and lectures for Birkbeck College in their series in association with the Royal Opera House, and in addition, for the Research Department of the Royal Academy of Music in England, with regular invitations to visit other conservatoires around the world.
Her major operatic prima donna roles include those in Tosca, Nabucco, I Lombardi, Fidelio, Aïda, Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as Faust. She has worked for the English National Opera, at the Royal Opera Covent Garden and, for the Dublin International City of Culture celebrations she sang the title role in a production of Manon Lescaut by Puccini, (directed by Stephen Daldrey), which she repeated in Israel with the role of Amelia in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Her career in Italy culminated in a revival of Monteverdi’s Orpheo e Eurydice in which she sang Eurydice, while in the Netherlands she was particularly commended for her performance of Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles.
Alison’s operatic work also features four recordings of leading roles for the BBC in their “20th Century Britannia at the Opera” series. She sings Lady Eugenie Jowler in Nicholas Maw’s ‘The Rising of the Moon’ and the Goddess Diana in Arthur Bliss’ ‘The Olympians’ with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Stuart Bedford and Martyn Brabbins, as well as the title role in Josef Holbrooke’s ‘Bronwen’ and Rankle, Gray and Harts ‘Deidre’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by James Lockhart and Barry Wordsworth.
She is also noted for the beauty of her performances of R. Strauss Four Last Songs.
Her appearances in Opera Galas in Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Middle East, Greece, Belgium and the UK reveal her versatility in arias from Mozart to Wagner as well as in a Last Night of the Proms with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in Krakow with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In addition she has starred in ‘Side by Side by Sondheim’ and her own ‘Diva Cabaret’ which has been enjoyed in London ’s West End and many areas of England and Europe .
Alison has had the pleasure of being the soprano soloist in an impressive repertoire of Oratorio throughout Europe and in many of the cathedrals of England, most notably Canterbury (Vaughan Williams ‘Sea Symphony’), York Minster (Verdi ‘Requiem’), Worcester Cathedral (Beethoven ‘Missa Solemnis’), Hereford Cathedral (Mathias ‘Lux Aeterna’), Lichfield Cathedral (Mendelssohn ‘Elijah’) Chichester Cathedral (Mozart ‘Requiem’), Arundel Cathedral (Elgar ‘The Apostles’), Bath Abbey (Handel ‘Messiah’), Bristol Anglican Cathedral (Mendelssohn ‘Elijah’) and Catholic Cathedral (Verdi ‘Requiem’), Truro Cathedral (Handel ‘Messiah’), Hexham Abbey (Brahms ‘Requiem’), Liverpool Cathedral (Mahler ‘8’) and Sunderland Minster (Verdi ‘Requiem’), Chester Cathedral (Vaughan Williams ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ and ‘The Garden of Proserpine’) and Beverley Minster (Verdi ‘Requiem’).
Some other notable U.K. Oratorio engagements have taken Alison to the Symphony Hall, Birmingham with Sir David Willcocks and the English Chamber Orchestra to sing Bach’s St Matthew Passion; to the Royal Festival Hall to sing Penderecki’s Te Deum with the Bach Choir and Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer; to the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall and York Minster for performances of Verdi’s Requiem; to the Three Choirs Festival at Worcester for Poulenc’s Gloria and Elgar’s The Light of Life, conducted by Dr Donald Hunt; to Snape Maltings to sing Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D and songs by Alma Mahler; Paul Patterson’s Te Deum with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Hereford Cathedral; and the world premiere of Patterson’s Hell’s Angels with Crouch End Festival Chorus, the Brodsky Quartet, and Striking Sounds at the Barbican.
Festival engagements include regular U.K. performances in Brighton, Windsor and Eton, Cheltenham, Worcester and Hereford Three Choirs, Llandaff, St David’s, Swansea, Hexham Abbey as well as in Flanders, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Norway, France, Israel and Poland. Alison has also highlighted the pleasure of touring Spain with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, singing Handel’s Messiah throughout France and Britten’s War Requiem in the Netherlands and Verdi Requiem at the Concertgebouw.
Highlights also include recent performances of many 20th/21st Century works featuring world premieres of Alun Hoddinott’s Sinfonia Fidei, Six Psalms by Dominic Muldowney, Music’s Empire by John McCabe, Jil Bartley’s Requiem, Hell’s Angels by Paul Patterson and In Your Shadow and Sweet and Lonely Boys by Sarah Rodgers for The Peoples Festival with Roger Beeson’s Scene for Dido for Kingston Festival of the Voice and Rhian Samuel’s Haze and the Absence of Clouds for The Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music (WAMfest).
Alison Pearce possesses a vast and varied portfolio of work in recital and chamber music repertoire. She is in constant demand both in the UK and throughout Europe and the Middle East and Far East as a solo recitalist with piano as well as with harp and also with chamber ensemble.
Celebrity recitals have taken her to the USA, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Germany and London in repertoire ranging from Handel through Schubert, R. Strauss, Chausson, Messiaen, Satie, Britten, Sondheim and Weill.
Accompanists she works with regularly are David Syrus, Paul Wynne Griffiths, David Murray and Benjamin Costello.
She has given first performances of chamber works written especially for her by Roger Beeson, John McCabe, Dominic Muldowney, Paul Patterson, Sarah Rodgers and Rhian Samuel and appeared as a guest artist with the Alberni String Quartet, Brodsky Quartet, Solaris Quartet, London Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra in works ranging from Finzi ‘Dies Natalis’ and Britten ‘Les Illuminations’ through Mozart ‘Exultate Jubilate’ to Wagner ‘Wesendonck Lieder’.
Alison also collaborates regularly with the eminent art historian Robin Simon in celebrations of 18th century visual art and song with the Hogarth Society’s birthday celebration in Covent Garden, Music and the Monarchy at Villa Decius in Cracow, The Life and Work of Thomas Jones for Swansea Festival, Handel and the London Musical World for the Royal Academy, ‘Britannia Rule the Waves!’ for The People’s Festival and the National Gallery for The Paul Mellon Lectures being some of the most recent.
Recent engagements include recitals for The Chopin Society, Munich Wagner Society, The Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music (WAMfest) and The Peoples Festival, in repertoire of Berlioz, R. Strauss, Chopin/Viardot, Szymanowski, Verdi and Wagner, plus a new commission from Rhian Samuel.