Angela Gheorghiu (born September 7, 1965) is a Romanian opera singer and one of the most famous and internationally acclaimed contemporary sopranos. A fiery and intense stage actress, Gheorghiu has a particular affinity for the operas of Verdi and Puccini, as well as the verismo school. On the other hand, having an impeccable musicianship and a gorgeous voice, she is also considered a great interpreter of French roles. She also performs and records the music of her native Romania, whether operatic, lieder, popular or Orthodox church music.
Born and bred in Swansea, she was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr, and then won a choral scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge where she gained a starred first in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, and completed an MPhil. After auditioning to Sir John Eliot Gardiner she joined the Monteverdi Choir and in the year 2000 and sang much of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage. In 2001 she moved to pursue postgraduate vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London, and went on to sing with The Sixteen, Polyphony, Cambridge Singers and The Gabrieli Consort, as well as pursuing a solo career.
Emma Kirkby (soprano) is recognised as one of the world's greatest early music specialists. It is remarkable that she has become one of the most prominent names in her field, having been a classics student, at Somerville College, Oxford, and then an English teacher before her talent and profound ability were recognised - although a part in the Hanford Nativity Play was written especially for her, and has been performed annually ever since (see The Blackmore Vale Magazine Dec 2004). She was educated at Sherborne School for Girls.
Eva-Maria Westbroek (April 26, 1970) is a Dutch soprano who currently has a big international career in both the Italian and German opera repertoire. She studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague from 1988 till 1995 and followed masterclasses with Iris Adami Corradetti and the American tenor James McCray. She won prizes at the International Competition in Rome, the Angelica Catalani Concours and the Santa Maria Ligure Concours. Early career 1995-2001
Sophie Daneman is an English soprano particularly noted for her work in period performances. She developed a leading career in that field in the 1990s, particularly in France. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where her teacher was Johanna Peters. She has become particularly well known for her work with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in France. In the field of period performance, she has performed with conductors Christopher Hogwood, Robert King, Gérard Lesne, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Sir Neville Marriner, Phillipe Herreweghe, and Paul Daniel.