Top Opera stars link with Huddersfield Choral
Huddersfield Choral Society enters the New Year with a welcome to new Honorary Patrons - British Opera stars Dame Felicity Lott and Sir John Tomlinson. The internationally renowned choir, one of the longest-established choruses in Britain, starts 2017 under its new Director, Gregory Batsleer, with backing from two of Britain's leading singers.
Society President, Margaret Atkinson, says "2017 promises to be an exciting and challenging year for the Choral, and it is a great encouragement for us to have the support of such distinguished Patrons as Felicity Lott and John Tomlinson. Huddersfield has a long and proud choral tradition, but we aren't resting on our laurels - and it's wonderful to have the Society's reputation recognised like this."
Sir John Tomlinson, in accepting the position of honorary Patron, added "It is an honour for me to support such a great Choral Society, which makes music as I like it to be heard, with generous expressiveness, power and warmth"
Dame Felicity Lott said "I am honoured to accept - I have very happy memories of singing with this great choir".
The "Choral" is also preparing for its first transatlantic tour for many years, with 3 concerts booked in Toronto in early June. Margaret Atkinson added "The tour - which has been supported by local sponsors - will help to reinforce the Society's wider reputation. The Choral is one of Huddersfield's most recognised "exports" and we are very pleased to be able to carry the flag for the town, and for Yorkshire"
Dame Felicity Lott
Felicity made her debut in 1975 at the English National Opera as Pamina in Mozart's Magic Flute. She has had a long relationship with Glyndebourne, appearing at the Festival for the first time in 1977, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Since then, Felicity has appeared at all the great opera houses of the world : Vienna, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, New York and Chicago.
Conductors she has worked with on the opera stage include Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Carlos Kleiber, Antonio Pappano and Simon Rattle.
Felicity has received many honorary doctorates, including those from the Universities of Oxford, London, Leicester, Sussex, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Glasgow and the Sorbonne in Paris. By the French Government she was awarded the titles Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990 and Chevalier dans la Legion d'Honneur in 2001. In 1990 Felicity was made a CBE. In 1996 she was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In 2003 Felicity was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin and in 2010 she was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal
Further biographical details are available on her website at
Sir John Tomlinson
Photo: Robert Workman
Born in Oswaldtwistle, John Tomlinson trained as a construction engineer before deciding on a career in opera at age 21. He studied at the Royal Northen College of Music and with Otakar Kraus. He sings regularly with the Royal Opera and English National Opera, and has appeared with all the major British opera companies. He has sung at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany every year from 1988 to 2006, as Wotan, the Wanderer, King Marke, Titurel, Gurnemanz, Hagen and the Dutchman. In 2008, he created the title role in Harrison Birtwistle's opera The Minotaur at the Royal Opera House
Tomlinson was awarded the CBE in 1997 for his services to music and was knighted in the 2005 Birthday Honours List.
In 2014 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society
Further information is available on his website at