The Worlds Most Popular English/Chinese Speaking Soprano
Whilst studying Mandarin Chinese in China, Mary-Jess won 民星唱翻天, a singing competition live on Chinese TV with a viewing audience of 70 million people that the UK press called ‘The Chinese X Factor’. Shortly after, she released her début album ‘Shine’ which won both ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ from classical-crossover.co.uk.
Mary-Jess has toured with Russell Watson, performed with Sir Tim Rice and Don Black, sang to royalty in Windsor Castle, appeared on numerous national TV programs both in the UK and in China, and was chosen to sing the Downton Abbey theme tune. She even performed at the FA Cup Final in Wembley Stadium singing 'Abide With Me' in front of a live audience of 90,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 300 million people.
Besides her own début record, she has featured on nine other albums: ‘Now That’s What I Call Classical’, two Downton Abbey albums, the Rugby World Cup ‘World in Union’ album, both the original album and the special edition of ‘Dare to Dream’ the UK Classical Number 1 album by Rebecca Newman, ‘Flying Happiness’ a Chinese compilation album and she sang Faith Hill’s ‘There You’ll Be’ for the Band of the H. M. Royal Marines' album ‘Summon the Heroes’ due to her family connections with the forces. This was then included on the album 'Music for Heroes'.
After singing at The GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai, Mary-Jess was invited to Number 10 Downing Street where she was asked to become a Global Ambassador for The GREAT Britain Campaign, and so she now represents the UK in 144 countries around the world. She is also a 'Leading Light' of the UK–China Alumni Network, an initiative set up by the British Council in China to encourage links between the UK and China.
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Territory: Arts Associates represent Mary-Jess for personal, corporate and concert performances world-wide.
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Nature-Inspired Composer and Clarinettist
Helen Habershon has always had music as part of her life. After taking up the recorder age 4 and clarinet at 10, Habershon went on to study at the Royal College of Music with Sydney Fell and Gervase de Peyer. At the age of 22, she was appointed Principle Clarinet of the Orchestra Gulbenkian. Touring around the world, she has performed as a soloist in prestigious venues including many countries in Europe and America, one of the highlights being a concerto at the Lincoln Centre with the New York Chamber Symphony Orchestra under Gerald Schwarz. She has also appeared on television and radio on many occasions.
Habershon is deeply influenced and inspired by nature and this can be easily recognised in much of her music. In 2009, together with pianist John Lenehan, she recorded her first album of twelve songs without words entitled ‘Found in the Rain’. Critically acclaimed, Classic FM described the album as:
‘…music that’s new to us, and which we think you will enjoy. This is calm reflective and pastoral music, which we will be featuring regularly on Smooth and Relaxing Classics’.
This album has also enjoyed much success in the U.S where it has been played on WYNC radio in New York and KDFC in San Francisco.
Now living in Somerset with her family, Habershon draws her inspiration from the sea, the moors and the countryside of South West England. Her second album 'Found in the Sunlight' was released in April 2014, and once again, Classic FM made it their 'Featured Album of the Week' - a testament to the talent and popularity of this composer.
Territory: Arts Associates represent Helen for personal, corporate and concert performances world-wide.
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India's Finest Tenor
When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Opera is almost unheard of in a country obsessed with Bollywood spectacle.
Anando wants to change that. As India's only male tenor performing on the global stage, the 30-something singer has made it his mission to demystify the art form through live shows, social media and by adapting opera to an Indian context.
"The youth, they don't have an interest, not because of any fault of their own," he told Reuters in a recent interview, "but only because they haven't been exposed to it."
Anando, who calls himself the face of opera in India, hopes to collaborate with music societies in the country. Plans include bringing noted European operatic works to India, with an Indian cast and setting that local audiences would relate to.
Anando cites the example of "Carmen", a four-act opera set in 19th-century Spain, which he said could easily be moved to India's desert state of Rajasthan and sung in Indian languages.
"Just as we've had adaptations of Shakespeare in Bollywood, one can easily adapt great operatic masterpieces to an Indian narrative," he said.
A few operas with an Indian context have been staged in the country over the years, including a 2013 production that relocated Orpheus's descent into the underworld to India, with the mythical Greek hero required to cross the Ganges river.
At 23, he took singing lessons from vocal coaches such as Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, and made his debut in 2006 at Belgrade's National Theatre, singing the part of Rodolfo in Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's "La bohème".
The London-based singer describes himself as a lirico-spinto tenor, versatile enough to sing within limits both the lyrical and dramatic roles of the operatic repertoire.
"If you don't compromise on artistic integrity, and you don't dilute it artistically, and you make it accessible and make it really Indian, it's a win-win formula," he said.
Territory: Arts Associates represent Anando for personal, corporate and concert performances world-wide.
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