Julia Gooding

Julia Gooding has been described as a soprano with “a perfect voice… a timbre of burnished antique gold” with a “blend of passion, subtlety, technical control and perfect diction whose “rare gifts add up to a complete singer”. Particularly renowned for her interpretation of Baroque music, she enjoys an international career combining both concert and staged performances with recordings for major labels, television and radio.

Along with Julia’s extensive work with the Academy of Ancient Music (Christopher Hogwood/Paul Goodwin), the New London Consort (Philip Pickett), the Gabrieli Consort (Paul McCreesh), London Baroque and Florilegium, she has been a guest with many other specialist orchestras and conductors including  Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, Nicholas  McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Ivor Bolton and St James Baroque, Marcus Creed and Freiburg Baroque, Philippe Herreweghe and  Collegium Vocale and Gustav Leonhardt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She has performed Scarlatti Cantatas with Gerard Lesne and Il Seminario Musicale in France, Purcell Songs with the Purcell Quartet in Istanbul, Slovenia and Japan and songs by Byrd through to Elvis Costello with the viol consorts Fretwork and Concordia in Austria, Ireland and Slovenia.

Julia’s operatic work has included the role of Romilda in Handel’s Xerxes for the Opernhaus Halle, Minerve, Amore and Giunone in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Philippe Pierlot in a joint production with La Monnaie and the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Amsterdam,  Salome in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista at the Innsbruck Festival, Dido in  Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in the Cervantes Festival, Mexico, and the title role of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with the Purcell Quartet on tour in Japan.

Included in Julia’s discography of more than twenty recordings are Bach’s Magnificat and St Matthew Passion with the Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh for Deutsche Grammophon, Euridice in Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus with the New London Consort/Pickett for L’Oiseau-Lyre, John Taverner’s Sappho with the Academy of Ancient Music/Goodwin for  Harmonia Mundi, Handel’s Teseo in which she sang the role of Agilea with Les Musiciens du Louvre/Minkowski for Erato, Purcell’s Odes for Queen Mary with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Leonhardt for Virgin Classics, Linley and  Boyce cantatas with  the Parley of Instruments/Holman for Hyperion, and Music from the time of Vermeer, songs by Constantijn Huygens and his musical circle with Chris Wilson and Carole Cerasi  for Metronome.  She has recently recorded Purcell’s Faery Queen for Televisione Svizzera with I Barrochisti and Diego Fasolis.

Recently Julia has sung Dido in Paris, and Messaggiera in Jonathan Miller’s production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Pickett/New London Consort in Spain, Luxembourg and Los Angeles.  She has given concerts in San Diego and Mexico of Italian and German Christmas music with cornettists Jeremy West and Jamie Savan, and London performances of “A Profound Secret” based on the letters of Edward Burne-Jones, with the harpsichordist Maggie Cole and actor John Rowe.  With Mhairi Lawson Julia sang Charpentier’s Leçons de Ténèbres at the Birmingham Early Music Festival and Stour Music Festival in Kent.


For soundclips, please go to www.barncottagerecords.co.uk

Please contact us for a fully updated biography for concert programmes


Charpentier: Leçons de Ténèbres






Leçons de Ténèbres of Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Première Leçon de Ténèbres du Jeudy Saint, H. 102

Seconde leçon du jeudy, H 103

Troisième leçon du jeudi saint, H. 93

Amongst Charpentier’s most beautiful sacred compositions are his extensive Leçons de Ténèbres. Part of the dramatic Office of Tenebrae celebrated on each of the last three days before Easter, the Leçons have their basis in the Gregorian ‘tonus lamentationis’.  Charpentier’s synthesis of the Italian monodic style with the air de cour, and particularly its tradition of diminution for the double, gave birth to a style for these compositions which is highly expressive and atmospheric. The emotionally-charged texts of the Lamentations attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, describing the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the prophet’s call on his sinful people to turn back to God are exquisitely set; extraordinarily ornamented melodies are supported by a rich harmonic palette, often infused with amazing tension and colour by the use of extreme dissonance.

The concert works best as an evening hour-long concert consisting of three Leçons.  We suggest they are performed in a late evening concert by candlelight in a historic church in order to conjure up the atmosphere of the original performances, with candles gradually being extinguished, leading the listener into the darkness on a spiritual journey.  Christ’s victory over death and darkness is symbolized by a single candle left burning, extinguished at the very end of the concert.

Julia Gooding and Mhairi Lawson, both world-renowned interpreters of French baroque music, are a perfect combination of voices to perform this ravishing and rarely heard repertoire.

While still a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mhairi Lawson won the International Early Music Network Young Artists Prize with the fortepianist Olga Tverskaya, which led to her first CD recording of Haydn’s English and Scottish Songs (premiere recording on original instruments).

As a soloist Mhairi has appeared at such venues as New York’s Lincoln Centre, Paris’ Cité de la Musique, Théâtre de Châtelet and Opera Comique, Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, Utrecht’s Vredenburg, London’s Royal Opera and Coliseum Theatres with such companies as English National Opera, Les Arts Florissants, The Gabrieli Consort and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

‘…the highlight of the concert for me had to be Mhairi Lawson…. the kind of clear and brilliant notes that pin you to your seat, knock your hat off and then blow you a kiss afterwards…’  The Independent

Beside her acclaimed interpretations of French repertoire with Les Arts Florissants and Les Lumières des Ténèbres, Mhairi has a special interest in the music of 18th Century Scotland and Italy, of which she has given many performances and recorded for CD with Concerto Caledonia (‘Mungrel Stuff’ was Sunday Times choice CD 2001 and ‘A red, red rose’ will be released in 2004).  With the virtuoso baroque band, La Serenissima, Mhairi has performed Vivaldi’s ‘La Senna Festeggiante’ and ‘Laudate Pueri’ in Venice, and recorded arias by Vivaldi, Hasse and Giacomelli for their latest disc ‘Vivaldi in Arcadia’, which has received much critical acclaim in Music industry publications such as  ‘Gramophone’, ‘Diapason’ and  ‘BBC Music Magazine’.

At London’s Wigmore Hall, Mhairi has given many performances of the dramatic works of Handel (‘Alcina’ and ‘Aci, Galatea e Polifemo’), Purcell (‘King Arthur’ and ‘Fairy Queen’) and, most recently, Hasse’s rarely performed serenata ‘Antonio e Cleopatra’, all with the Early Opera Company.

Mhairi Lawson… vocal and personal glamour…. sexy and moving.’                         Concerto.Net

Recent and current projects include concert and operatic arias by Mozart with the Orchestre National des pays de la Loire (France) directed by Philip Pickett, recitals of Wolf’s ‘Italienische Liederbuch’ and English Songs with the pianist Julius Drake, a recording of Scottish Classical Songs by the Earl of Kelly for Linn Records, and programmes of operatic and religious music by Charpentier and his contemporaries for festivals in the UK.

Paula Chateauneuf’s versatile playing on numerous instruments of the lute and early guitar families has been described as “one of the most exciting things on the pre-classical concert circuit”.  She came to London in 1982 as an American Fulbright Scholar and soon after established herself as one of early music’s leading soloists and ensemble players.

Her dances made you want to dance, her laments made you want to cry.  Chateauneuf possesses a magical ability to transcend technique and penetrate to the musical heart of a work. The Boston Globe

She performs with many of the finest early music ensembles, including the New London Consort, the Gabrieli Consort, Sinfonye, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music and Jordi Savall’s Le Concert des Nations.  She is especially in demand as a chamber musician and accompanist for dancers and singers, particularly for early 17th-century monody.  She has coached singers in preparation for productions she has been involved in at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the New Israeli Opera, and in addition has performed as a continuo player for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Kent Opera, the Early Opera Project, Glyndebourne, Vlaamse Opera, Opera Factory, City of London Baroque Sinfonia and the Stuttgart, Hanover and Bologna opera houses.

But everything here delighted:…the Italian Corbetta’s guitar chaccone, flying off Paula Chateauneuf’s fingers… The Times, London

Ms. Chateauneuf has recorded extensively for Decca, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, CRD and Virgin Classics.  She researched, edited and recorded a CD of songs by Barbara Strozzi for Carlton Classics with Catherine Bott.  As a soloist and ensemble player she has travelled throughout Europe, North America, Japan and Australia, performing at major festivals and recording for radio and television.  In addition to her private teaching and coaching she is often invited to give masterclasses, and runs courses in continuo playing at the University of Birmingham, where she is also the lute tutor for the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Early Music Performance and Research.

Luke Green took a Bachelor of Music at Sydney University in his native Australia. Luke came to London in 1999 to study at the Royal Academy of Music with the late John Toll, Laurence Cummings and Virginia Black. He has since toured Japan with The Sixteen; worked for Grange Park Opera; the Israel Philharmonic; the Maggio Musicale of Florence; the Salzburg, Utrecht and Lufthansa Festivals; the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg; the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Academy of Ancient Music and the Northern Sinfonia.

Luke’s operatic work has included Handel’s Rinaldo and Orlando; Cavalli’s La Calisto, and most recently a new production of Handel’s Tamerlano for the Bavarian State Opera and Glück’s Alceste for Salzburg, under the baton of Ivor Bolton. He has directed Purcell’s Indian Queen and Handel’s Pastoral Opera Il Pastor Fido, and has directed Opera Restor’d in works by Haydn, Boyce, Lampe and Purcell. He directed the Bavarian State Opera’s Young Singers’ Academie in Passiontide works by Bach and has also performed Henze’s harpsichord concerto Apollo und Hyazinth with soloists from the Bayrisches Staatskapelle.

Recent performances include his first engagement with the Gabrieli Consort; Handel’s Rodrigo in Florence and London; Handel’s Solomon for the Bregenz Festival, and new productions for Nederlandse Oper and Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg.

A Ray of Sunshine

A Ray of Sunshine


JEREMY WEST  cornett

ROGER HAMILTON  harpsichord


JAMIE SAVAN  cornett

Music from the 17th Century for two cornets, soprano and keyboard.

The 16th century cornett (cornetto, renaissance cornet or, in Germany, the Zink) was the most popular wind instrument of its day. Expressive and versatile, it came closer in sound to the human voice than any other instrument. Curiously and sadly, its popularity waned during the second half of the 17th Century and eventually it died out altogether, driven into extinction by its rival in virtuosity, the violin. Made of wood and covered in leather (sometimes parchment), the instrument has a two and half octave range (rare amongst wind instruments of the time) and can play both loudly and softly (also not to be taken for granted). In 1636 the cornett’s sound was likened by Mersenne to “a ray of sunshine piercing the shadows, when heard with the choir voices in the cathedrals or chapels”.

“A Ray of Sunshine” is essentially a programme in celebration of the voice – of expressive singing, and the way composers of the 16th and 17th centuries expected wind instruments to emulate it. Soprano Julia Gooding, renowned for her interpretation of baroque music, together with premier cornettist Jeremy West and celebrated harpsichordist Gary Cooper form the group Crown Jewels. They are joined for “A Ray of Sunshine” by cornett virtuoso Jamie Savan. Listeners to their programme will thrill to virtuosic duets and trios by Frescobaldi and Monteverdi, sigh at the exquisite melancholy of Merula and Mazzocchi’s religious songs and smile at Schütz’s colourful and witty psalm settings.

Review from Lincoln Post, August 2004

The Grand Finale of this year’s Lincoln Early Music Festival was a resounding success. Music for Early Music buffs stops about three quarters of the way through the 17th Century. Heinrich Schütz is in, J.S Bach is out. Julia Gooding has a clarity of diction, and expressive facial presentation of mood combined with exquisite precision of pitch which totally accords with the music of Monteverdi and his Italian followers. Her masterly soprano singing was matched by the cornett playing of Jeremy West and Jamie Savan. They played both normal “cornettes”, curved wooden instruments shaped like long-horn cows’ horns but voiced by a mouthpiece like a trumpets and “mute cornettes”, straight sided conical tubes tuned to a slightly lower pitch.  The sounds of these “cornettes” expertly played are marvellously subtle and
rightly claim to be nearest match to a human voice that can be uttered from an instrument. Gary Cooper combines solo harpsichord recital playing and organ playing with a wide range of work with instrumental ensembles and singers as well as teaching assignments at The Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School.  This group of four musicians worked together in different combinations severally, as soloists or with all four together as in great works by Monteverdi and Schütz. Organ toccatas on the small
portable chamber organ used written fifty or so years apart by Frescobaldi and Froberger played by Gary Cooper were in delightful contrast to the sometimes overpowering resonances inevitably associated with the big instrument a few blocks away in the Cathedral

A Ray of Sunshine

Giovanni Paolo Cima                                   Sonata à 3


Francesco Rognoni                                      Divisions on Pulchra es amica mea (Palestrina)

Biagio Marini                                                  Amante legato

Domenico Mazzochi (1592 – 1665)           Dialogo della Madelena

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 – 1643)         Canzon detta La Bernadina

Toccata ottava 1615

Arie di romanesca

Canzon à 3

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)             Sanctorum meritis


Dario Castello (fl. early 17th century)           Seconda sonata

Tarquinio Merula (1594 – 1665)                     Capriccio cromatico

Nigra sum

Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna

Heinrich Schütz (1585 – 1672)                      Eile, mich, Gott, zu erretten

Herr unser Herrscher

Keyboard solo

Lobet den Herrn

Jeremy West took his first steps on the cornett while a student at Durham University in 1974, where he was inspired and encouraged by the late Jerome Roche, and went on to study with Philip Pickett at the Guildhall School of Music, London. He is manager of the renowned and pioneering ensemble His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts and is Principal Wind Player with the Gabrieli Consort and Players for their earlier repertoire. He also performs regularly with many of Europe’s other leading early baroque ensembles.

Jeremy has more than 50 major recordings to his credit, including Il Cornetto (1989) – the first solo CD for his instrument. He has appeared in settings ranging from London’s Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House to St Mark’s, Venice, the Orient Express and, on one occasion, a Polish salt mine. En route he has taken in Europe’s major music festivals, numerous provincial concert halls, and a variety of churches, cathedral and palaces.

In addition to a playing career which has taken him to 30 countries throughout the world, Jeremy has been director of Christopher Monk Instruments since 1991. The business – a partnership with craftsman Keith Rogers – is devoted to the research, development and world-wide distribution of all the instruments of the cornett and serpent families.

Jeremy West is Professor of Cornett at the Royal College of Music, London, as well as Consultant to the London Royal Academy of Music. In 1995 he wrote and published How to play the Cornett, the first contemporary comprehensive tutor for cornett players of all levels.

Jamie Savan began playing the cornett in 1996 whilst studying music at Oxford. He subsequently studied with Jeremy West at the Royal College of Music, London, and with Bruce Dickey at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Since 1997 Jamie has performed with many of Europe’s leading period instrument ensembles including the Gabrieli Consort, The King’s Consort, The Sixteen, Concerto Palatino, Concerto Italiano, Collegium Vocale, Ghent and His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts. He is the principal cornettist of Charivari Agréable Simfonie and director of the Gonzaga Band. Jamie is currently completing a doctoral thesis at Birmingham University on the cornett and the art of improvised ornamentation in early sixteenth-century Germany.

Roger Hamilton was born in Ireland and his first professional musical experience was as a horn player and singer. Subsequently he read Music at Clare College Cambridge, and studied conducting and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music London and piano at the National Opera Studio London.

Since being named as an Arts Council of Great Britain Young Conductor of the Year in 1992, he has worked with a wide variety of symphony orchestras, opera companies, chamber orchestras, and groups. In the concert hall he has conducted the Südwestrundfunkorchester Stuttgart, The English Concert, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, European Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the National Arts Centre Ottawa, Israel Camerata, and Fränkishces Kammerorchester. He has also been assistant conductor for the Berlin Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, London Classical Players and Salzburg Camerata Academica, among others. In opera he has conducted productions for Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, New Kent Opera, Opera Northern Ireland, Cambridge University Opera and Midsummer Opera London.

As a harpsichordist he has performed and recorded with many ensembles including The English Concert, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players, Les Arts Florissants, Avison Ensemble, Walking to Lübeck and Concordia, and he has worked as a repetiteur with many opera companies including the Göttingen Handel Festival, Maggio Musicale Florence, Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris.

For two years Roger was Lecturer in Performance Practice and Keyboard Studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and he has also taught at the Britten-Pears School, Trinity College of Music London, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and been a lecturer at New College Oxford. He has made editions of many 17th, 18th and 19th century works, including Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria which has been the basis for productions in Athens and Florence.

The Artist’s Muse
A romantic evening of words and music inspired by Josceline Dimbleby’s discovery of the secret love of Edward Burne-Jones and May Gaskell.
Through the exquisite and often humorous letters from Burne-Jones to his last great love, May Gaskell, the audience is invited into a perfumed world of romantic idealism. Burne-Jones admired the female voice as much as the beauty of the female form, and was deeply moved by May’s singing. In The Artist’s Muse readings from his letters to her are juxtaposed with music by composers close to their hearts – Haydn, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Caccini and others.

The Independent

Maggie Cole, piano and harpsichord, Julia Gooding, soprano

with John Rowe as the voice of Edward Burne-Jones
Introduced by Josceline Dimbleby

Entirely Captivating
Sunday Times

A lifelong curiosity about her beautiful great aunt Amy who, according to family legend had died young “of a broken heart”, led Josceline Dimbleby to discover hundreds of passionate love letters, forgotten for generations in a cousin’s house, from Edward Burne-Jones to Amy’s mother, May Gaskell. Finally, after seeing for real the haunting portrait Burne-Jones had painted of Amy, and his enchanting drawings of May, Josceline was moved to tell their mysterious story in her book A Profound Secret. May was a talented singer, and this evening’s entertainment explores the music they might have enjoyed together, alongside readings from the painter’s passionate letters.

John Rowe was born in Ross on Wye.  He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, the same college as Edward Burne-Jones, the subject of tonight’s recital.  John’s first appearance on the stage was at the Malvern Festival Theatre in the year England last won the World Cup!  That same year he did his first radio play (Storm over Otmoor) and 44 years later he is still heard regularly in dramas, readings and comedies on the BBC.  He is currently playing Professor Jim Lloyd in The Archers.  Although radio is his favourite medium, he has worked in theatres all over the country, including the Old Vic and the West End.  John lives in West London and is married to Vicky Ireland, playwright and director.  His recent work includes:

TV and film: Doctors, Law & Order, Trial & Retribution, Foyle’s War, Dalziel & Pascoe, The Lost Prince, The Tudors, Lagaan, The Heart of Me, Angel, Hellboy 2

Radio: The Spy who came in from the Cold, On Mardle Fen, Clarissa, Blackhearts in Battersea, The Twyborne Affair

Audio: Swann’s Way, Within a Budding Grove, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Storm Warning, The Lake Poets

Recitals: Violet, Dearest Nancy, Darling Evelyn, Betjeman in Bedford Park, Food Glorious Food

MAGGIE COLE piano and harpsichord

Maggie Cole enjoys a richly varied musical life with performances on harpsichord, fortepiano and piano. Born in the USA, she began playing the piano from an early age. A keen interest in early keyboards led her to England where she now makes her home. Maggie’s teachers were Jill Severs and Kenneth Gilbert and she is pleased to be part of this harpsichord “family tree” which began with Wanda Landowska. Best known in Britain through numerous recitals on BBC Radio 3 and appearances at leading festivals, abroad she has performed in venues from Seattle to Moscow, and from Finland to India. In addition to solo recitals – with Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ a speciality, given in London, Paris, Cologne, Basel, Mallorca and Chicago – she frequently performs in duos with partners including Nancy Argenta soprano, Michael Chance counter tenor, Philippa Davies flute, Catherine Mackintosh violin and Steven Isserlis cello. She is also particularly devoted to the Classical chamber music repertoire and explores this with her fortepiano trio, “Trio Goya” (Maggie, Kati Debretzeni, violin and Sebastian Comberti, cello).

From the 20th century, Maggie plays concertos by Falla, Poulenc and Gerhard. Gavin Bryars has written ‘After Handel’s Vesper’ for her, and she takes every opportunity to programme works by Dodgson, Hallgrimsson, Ligeti and Andriessen. She gave first performances in 2006 of new harpsichord concertos by Tansy Davies and Peter Child.

Maggie performs frequently in the USA on fortepiano and harpsichord with the chamber ensemble, “Sarasa”. With the group, she takes performances and workshops into areas where classical music is not often heard – facilities for young offenders, hospitals, prisons and geriatric homes. This work has become of increasing interest to her as an amplification of her extensive private teaching practise.

Alongside her activities as a player, Maggie is active as a promoter of concerts. Focusing on her immediate neighbourhoods, she has run a 5 year series of charity concerts at London Lighthouse, raising a considerable sum of money for this AIDS/HIV facility. She currently promotes concerts at Bush Hall with the aim of bringing this hall’s exceptional charm and acoustic to a growing audience.

Recordings of a recital on various harpsichords on Hyperion and of Scarlatti on Saydisc, have been followed by several on Virgin Classics: a Bach recital, his ‘Goldberg Variations’ (a top selection in various CD surveys), Soler keyboard sonatas, Boccherini sonatas with Steven Isserlis, and Poulenc’s Concert Champêtre with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox. With Catherine Mackintosh she has recorded the complete Bach sonatas for Chandos, and a solo recital of music by Handel, Scarlatti, Arne, JC Bach and Gavin Bryars has been released on Droffig. “Mozartiana” – music for cello and fortepiano with Sebastian Comberti, and JS Bach flute sonatas with Philippa Davies have been followed in July 2010 by a critically acclaimed disc of Haydn trios on Chandos Records.

Maggie gives private lessons and workshops from her home and is a faculty member of Cursos Manuel de Falla which is held anually in Granada, Spain.

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Photographer: David Farrell

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