Thomas Allery is a highly experienced choral conductor, acclaimed for his vivid communication and dynamic conducting style. He works regularly with a variety of choirs in London and across the UK, including professional, amateur, and children’s choirs.
In 2018, Thomas was appointed Director of Music at the famous city church of St Mary-le-Bow Church, London, where he directs a team of professional singers providing music for liturgical worship and for the services of City Livery companies. He also holds the position of Assistant Director of Music at London’s Temple Church, where he plays a key role in the training of the choristers and regularly directs the professional choirs. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the admission of women to the Bar, Thomas recently directed a programme of works by female composers and a unique performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria for upper voices.
From 2014–19, Thomas was Director of Chapel Music at Worcester College, University of Oxford. Here he oversaw a varied programme of events for the two chapel choirs, of boys’ and mixed voices. He has directed several acclaimed CD recordings, including a disc of twentieth-century choral music which featured several premier recordings of lesser known works and composers, including HC Stewart and Robin Milford. Whilst working in Oxford, Thomas was involved in the performance of several premiere performances of works written for and commissioned by the choir. As a graduate of the Historical Performance departments of both the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he has a particular specialism in seventeenth and early eighteenth century choral repertoire, and is devoted to bringing lesser known works to a wider audience. At Worcester College, he introduced regular choral performances accompanied by Baroque instruments, directing from the harpsichord.
Selected by BBC Music Magazine as a Rising Star of 2022, Hilary Cronin won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2021 London Handel International Singing Competition.
Hilary trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and at Royal Holloway University of London where she was awarded the Dame Felicity Lott Bursary and the Driver Prize for Excellence in Performance.
Engagements during 2022 include Poppea Agrippina with English Touring Opera, Télaïre Castor et Pollux with The Rameau Project, J. S. Bach St John Passion with VOCES8 and St Matthew Passion with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Beethoven Choral Fantasia with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Messiah with the English Chamber Orchestra, Handel Silete venti and Saeviat tellus for the London Handel Festival, Ode to Purcell on tour with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Blow and Purcell with The English Concert at Wigmore Hall, a recording for La Nuova Musica as Second Woman Dido and Aeneas, Livietta Livietta e Tracollo for Baroquestock and Vaughan Williams Benedicite with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Upcoming engagements include tours of J.S. Bach B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with The Monteverdi Choir, Fauré Requiem at Teatro La Fenice, Handel Chandos Anthems with Arcangelo, Messiah with the London Handel Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, The Sixteen, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Liverpool Welsh Choral and Cambridge University Symphony Chorus, Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Haydn Nelson Mass with The Really Big Chorus in Faro Cathedral, a recital at the Halle Handel Festival and Christmas with King’s College Choir at the Barbican.
Hilary is a regular soprano at St Bartholomew-the-Great and regularly works with Istante Collective.
Alexander Chance was born in London in 1992, and educated at New College, Oxford, where he was a Choral Scholar and read Classics.
Recent solo appearances include works by Schütz with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo at Wigmore Hall; a programme of Purcell and Charpentier with David Bates and La Nuova Musica; a European tour of Purcell’s King Arthur and The Fairy Queen with Vox Luminis; Handel’s Messiah with Le Concert Lorrain; lute songs performed around Europe, including at Musikfest Bremen, with Toby Carr; solo works by Arvo Pärt at Nargenfestival in Tallinn; a performance of songs by 20th century Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi with Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars at the Salzburg Festival; a recital for solo countertenor by J.C. Bach, Schütz and others, at Musikfest Bremen; Bach’s St John Passion with John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists; Blow’s Venus and Adonis in Zaryadye Hall, Moscow; and Alexander’s stage debut as Oberon in The Grange Festival’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In 2022 he became the first countertenor to win the International Handel Singing Competition, also winning the Audience Prize.
2022 highlights include touring Bach’s B Minor Mass with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan; Britten’s Canticles with Julius Drake and Ian Bostridge at Ravenna Festival; a programme of Purcell and Handel with Kristian Bezuidenhout and Freiburger Barockorchester; and Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music. In Spring 2023 he will appear as Tolomeo in English Touring Opera’s production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
Zahid Siddiqui, tenor, was born in London and raised in Dubai and is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music where he studied with Russell Smythe. This year, he was an Alvarez Young Artist for Garsington Opera, and has appeared as a soloist with City of London Sinfonia. He recently performed with the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists in Lost and Found. In 2021, Zahid made his debut as a soloist with the Royal Danish Opera in their new production Light – Bach Dances, conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen with Concerto Copenhagen. Zahid was a Nevill Holt Opera Young Artist for their 2021 season, where he covered the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart, Don Giovanni and performed Giuseppe in Verdi, La Traviata. He also sang in the chorus at Opéra de Lyon. Concert performances have included Bach’s St John Passion, Gerald Finzi’s Dies Natalis, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester, Zahid performed the role of Rinaldo in the world stage premier of Judith Weir’s Armida, and won the University’s concerto competition for two years running. He was a part of The Sixteen’s training programme, Genesis Sixteen, for 2018/19. In 2023, Zahid will be performing with Concerto Copenhagen and the Ulster Orchestra.
Jerome Knox was born in London and is a graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he was the inaugural Gleneagles scholar. He previously trained at the Royal College of Music and at Edinburgh University. In 2020, he won the prestigious London Handel Festival Competition and is now much in demand in both concert and operatic repertoire.
His busy 2021-22 season included his full debut with English Touring Opera, appearing in their staged version of the St John Passion, as well as singing the role of Afron in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, alongside performances as Marcello in La bohème. He also gave a recital at the Händel-Festspiele in Halle and a joint recital with baritone Roderick Williams at Music at Paxton, supported by the prestigious Momentum scheme.
His many operatic roles include Dandini La Cenerentola, Faust in Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, the title role Don Giovanni, Oreste Iphigénie en Tauride, Marcello La bohème, Melisso Alcina, Schaunard La bohème, Death Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Dr Falke Die Fledermaus and Pallante Agrippina, appearing with companies across the UK, including Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, Garsington Opera and British Youth Opera.
His solo concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert, as well as performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Dona Nobis Pacem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Bach’s St John Passion, B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, and Hérodes in L’enfance du Christ. He regularly performs with the Dunedin Consort, recently at the BBC Proms, and has toured with them throughout the UK and Europe.
During lockdown, Jerome sang the role of Le Chat in VOPERA’s award-winning film version of L’enfant et les sortilèges (recorded virtually in isolation) and also appeared in ETO’s Handel-inspired film project Aidan. In summer 2021, he covered the title role and performed the role of Captain as an Alvarez Young artist in Eugene Onegin, making his main stage debut at Garsington Opera, and has recently sung a recital for the London Handel Festival, as well as appearing with them as soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
Last summer, he sang his first Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro at Waterperry Opera and his future plans include his Wigmore Hall debut singing Bach Cantatas with the London Handel Players, Messiah with the London Mozart Players, and a return to English Touring Opera for both its autumn 2022 Handel season as Pallante Agrippina, and spring 2023 season, when he will sing Don Prudenzio Il viaggio a Reims and Astolfo Lucrezia Borgia.