British-born mezzo-soprano Rosemary Clifford began singing lessons at the age of 15 with Kirsty Mackenzie, and has pursued her love of performance ever since. Whilst at school in Hertfordshire she took an active role in music-making, both as a chorister and soloist; she was a member of and soloist with the St Katherine Singers, the BBC Radio 3 Youth Choir of the Year 2005 for four years. Other solo work with school includes the role of Young Nicholas in Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicholas and the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria. After leaving school, Rosemary read English Literature at the University of Bristol, where she continued her vocal training with Angela Hickey and continued to perform extensively; during this time she was also a founder member of the Bristol University Operatic Society, with which she sang several roles. She is now a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she is studying for her Master of Music degree under Theresa Goble.
Rosemary’s concert work is wide-ranging, both and home and abroad, including performances in venues such as the Barbican Hall, St George’s Bristol and LSO St Luke’s. Oratorio and recital work includes Handel Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Rutter Magnificat and Psalmfest and Haydn Nelson Mass and Little Organ Mass, as well as individual song recitals in Bristol and London. As part of the Bristol-based baroque ensemble Musica Ornata she gave the UK premiere of Charles Levens’ Te Deum in June 2009. She performs regularly in a wide range of ensembles across London, including the Guildhall Consort, with which she has recently performed in the City of London Festival of Music, and the choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
In operatic and theatrical repertoire, Rosemary’s interests are wide-ranging. At university roles included the Countess Marriage of Figaro, Phyllis Iolanthe and Lady Angela Patience, as well as opera scenes. Recent roles include Ensemble Venus and Adonis (June 2010) and the creation of the role of Claire Dessenne in Eric Wetherell’s opera A Foreign Field, premiered in Bristol in September 2010.
Rosemary is generously supported in her studies by the Northfield Educational Trust and the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. She is also the inaugural recipient of the Liz Holliday Foundation for Young Singers which was set up by the Chipperfield Choral Society in 2010.