"Light, natural voices... with such precision that one could get goosebumps"
- Clara Schmidt
Wien Konzerthaus Resonanzen Festival (Feb 2022)
Described as "pure vocal beauty "by Classic FM, Fair Oriana are a soprano duo known for the purity of their voices and trade-mark blend. They specialise in singing historical repertoire, and, in collaboration with regular teams of instrumentalists, perform chamber concerts with a hint of theatre.
Both members of Dame Emma Kirkby's ensemble Dowland Works, specialist early music sopranos Angela Hicks and Penelope Appleyard joined forces in 2019 to form Fair Oriana, a unique duo that mixes their passion for historical music with entertaining staging, contemporary influences and, varying genres such as folk, jazz and cross-over. Their concerts are often characterised by their acclaimed acting - as well as vocal - abilities.
They're debut album 'Two Voices' was released in 2021 with VOCES8 Records, three of the tracks being featured in Spotify's New Classical Releases playlists, and the accompanying video of Handel's 'Eternal Source of Light Divine' posted online by Classic FM in their 'Hall of Fame' (Find it here.) The album is an intimate collection of English chamber music from the Renaissance to the Baroque, featuring Thomas Morley's Twelve Canzonets to Two Voices. The singers enjoy collaborating with composers and commissioned three new works for the album, by Fraser Wilson and Owain Park. Where possible they also include new works in their concerts, and most recently have commissioned a piece by Louise Duggan to set an
Elizabeth 1 speech to music.
They perform their chamber programmes in concert series around the UK and internationally. These have included the Three Choirs Festival, the Ryedale Festival, Sherborne Abbey Festival, Amia Alsace and many others. They have appeared twice in the Resonanzen Festival at Vienna's Konzerthaus, firstly with their Robin Hood programme (devised especially for the festival) and then with Handel cantata 'Aminta e Fillide', an historically informed performance in collaboration with Opera Settecento, which they premiered at St George's Hanover Square in 2019. For this simply staged production they use baroque gesture and employ baroque performance practices. 'Divine Songs of Passion' , a programme for Passiontide featuring Couperin's 'Leçons de Ténèbres' is new for 2022, and is a collaboration with harpsichordist David Wright. They have appeared on Women's Radio Station's Future Classic Women Awards, BBCRadio 3, BBC Radio Norfolk and are played regularly on Ancient FM. They were delighted to be selected for Musica's International Young Artist Presentation in 2021, to be finalists in the NCEM International Young Artists Competition 2022, and to be Making Music Selected Artists.
Fair Oriana offer distinctive, flexible programmes of Elizabethan, baroque and cross-over repertoire, comprising solos, duets, instrumental music and spoken word. See our programmes page for more information.
Additionally both singers pursue busy solo careers and freelance with some of UK's most renowned ensembles.
Media appearances include:
Early Music Today (October 2019)
ISM Magazine (November 2019)
Opera Magazine (February 2020)
Women's Radio Station (March 2020)
Ancient FM (April 2020 onwards)
BBC Radio3 Breakfast Show & InTune (May 2021)
Classic FM online (2021)
Aminta e Fillide broadcast live on Austrian Radio (January 2022)
BBC Radio Norfolk (January 2022)