Emily Van Evera

soprano

 

Emily Van Evera has earned an international reputation for her versatile and expressive interpretation of earlier vocal repertoires. She also sings newly-composed songs, traditional folk music, and whatever takes her fancy.

Emily is a soloist on over fifty recordings including ground-breaking and award-winning discs of works by Monteverdi, Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with the Taverner Consort (EMI/Virgin), of 16th & 17th-c. English, Italian and Spanish song with The Musicians of Swanne Alley, Circa 1500 and Tragicomedia (Virgin, Chandos, CRD, Harmonia mundi, Teldec), music by Hildegard of Bingen and Machaut (Hyperion) and more recently, My Lady Rich (Avie), an Elizabethan portrait welcomed as 'riveting... heart-stealing' (BBC Music Magazine), 'a vivid and touching portrait' (New York Times) and 'a magnificent recording' (Goldberg).

She sang the role of Dido for the BBC-commissioned commemorative recording of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Taverner Players, BBC/Sony), and in 2010 released songs by Benjamin Britten and Vladimír Godár on So sweet a melody (Somm) and a live concert recording with Solamente naturali (Bratislava) of church music for soprano and orchestra by Ján Levoslav Bella. Emily's enjoyment of exploring and conveying meaning is reflected in Gramophone's 1998 survey of 30 Hildegard of Bingen recordings: 'the sheer power of the words comes across nowhere else as strongly as in Van Evera's performance'.

Concerts have taken her to festivals throughout Europe, North America and Japan and to the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam). She has been a soloist at the BBC Proms on several occasions, including broadcasts of songs by Charles Ives and Carl Ruggles (Composers Ensemble/John Woolrich) and Haydn's Creation Mass with the London Mozart Players.

Emily took part in a specially devised chamber concert for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Rubens exhibition in 2005 (New York Collegium), and in 2009 created for The Forbidden Gaze exhibition at Compton Verney a programme of French and English music on the myth of Diana and Acteon (London Baroque). Other recent highlights: a programme of early Tudor song for The Neill Concert at All Souls, Oxford; recitals of Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi in London, Cambridge and Boston; a concert performance of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice (Euridice); English lute songs with Anthony Bailes in Basel and Cambridge, and live radio broadcasts of dramatic works by Rameau and A. Scarlatti (CBC, Dutch radio), French and Italian 16th & 17th-c. florid song and Messiah (American National Public Radio), and Schubert songs with 19th-century guitar (Martin Krajčo) from the 2008 Bratislava Music Festival.

Stage and television appearances include operatic works by Monteverdi (Orfeo - La Musica/Messaggiera/Proserpina/Speranza), Purcell (Dido and Aeneas - Dido, Sorceress), Handel (Orlando - Dorinda; Agrippina - Agrippina), Charpentier (Les Plaisirs de Versailles - La Musique) and Lully (La Grotte de Versailles), a dramatised concert of early Tudor solo song for BBC television, a Prix d'Italia-winning film of the 1589 Intermedii and, in 2009, the title role in Handel's Agrippina for the Barber Institute. In July 2010 she filmed Pasquini's Lament of Cain for Ensemble Atalante.

Performances this season have included Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in the 1921 arrangement for chamber orchestra (LSCO, Minnesota), Bach's Christmas Oratorio in Belgium (Taverner Consort/Andrew Parrott, in a joint event with La Petite Bande and the Bach Ensemble), Monteverdi 1610 Vespers in Leiden (Currende), Pergolesi Stabat mater, Vivaldi Gloria, and Bach Jauchzet, Gott together with Scarlatti O di Betlemme altera in Oxford and Cambridge (Musical and Amicable Society).

Born in northern Minnesota, Emily learned piano, flute, guitar, and period wind instruments alongside her more informal, core enjoyment of singing. Her love of early vocal repertoires led her to London, where she began to freelance with ensembles such as the Taverner Consort, the Hilliard Ensemble, Gothic Voices and Sequentia. She lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and revisits the northern US several times a year.

Back to Musician Index