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...physically confident, an astute actress and full of charm
Independent on Sunday
Last updated: January 2018
British soprano Natalie Raybould read music at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and graduated with first class honours. She then attended the Royal Academy of Music to study with Joy Mammen and Clara Taylor, supported by Countess of Munster Trust and alumni funding. Natalie graduated from Royal Academy Opera with a Dip.RAM, the highest award for postgraduate study. In 2011 she was awarded an Associateship of the Royal Academy of Music; a discretionary title for former students who have made a significant contribution to the music profession.
Natalie has extensive experience in both opera and theatre, and has a particular interest in contemporary performance. She has worked with Almeida Theatre, Opera North, The Royal Opera House London, WNO, The National Theatre, The Opera Group, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Young Vic, Snape Maltings and others in developing new works of music theatre and world premiere performances.
Stage credits include Amy Johnson in the premiere of Amy's Last Dive (Cheryl Frances-Hoad) for the Yorkshire Cultural Olympiad, An Anatomie in Four Quarters for Clod Ensemble at Sadler's Wells, Cousin Shelley (cover) in both the premiere and revival of Anna Nicole (Mark-Anthony Turnage) for Royal Opera House London, and the premiere of Dr. Quimpugh's Compendium of Peculiar Afflictions (Martin Ward/Phil Porter) for Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Other role creations include Female Narrator in the premiere of Pinocchio (Will Tuckett) for ROH2 (also BBC4), the soprano roles for Six Pack, an ENO Studio/Tête à Tête collaboration, Marie/Arnie the Snow Stoat in the premiere and revival of Skitterbang Island, a puppet opera for Polka Theatre/Little Angel Theatre, and The Lover in the premiere of Liebeslied/My Suicides (Paul Clark/Rut Blees Luxemberg), an ICA/Genesis co-production.
Natalie specialises in the most challenging and theatrical of contemporary concert repertoire, both in the UK and for international contemporary music festivals. She is a regular guest artist with the French ensembles L'Instant Donné and soundinitiative, and sings regularly with the UK vocal ensemble EXAUDI. Natalie made her Festival D'Automne à Paris debut in 2012, performing the premiere of Song Recital (Pierre-Yves Macé) at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, broadcast live on France Musique. Other recent festival debuts include Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, where Natalie performed the premiere of Aster Lieder (Stefano Gervasoni), broadcast on WDR3, Voix Nouvelles à Royaumont for EXAUDI, and Berliner Festspiele, for Annie Dorsen. She has performed Pierrot Lunaire (Schoenberg) in many venues including the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam under Klaus Ager, Purcell Room, South Bank, and St. Magnus Festival, Orkney. Other concert credits include Star Me Kitten (Alexander Schubert) with soundinitiative, in Berlin and London, Harawi (Messiaen) for Philharmonia's Paris: City of Light series, Symphony 14 (Shostakovich), Les Illuminations (Britten), Missa Brevis (Ferneyhough) and the UK premiere of FAMA (Beat Furrer) for EXAUDI, Akhmatova Songs (Tavener), Sequenza (Berio), Cinis (Donatoni), Aventures et Nouvelles Aventures (Ligeti), as well as many first performances of works written for her.
Natalie has collaborated many times with the British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad. The chamber work The Glory Tree was written for Natalie, and she has performed it in many venues including the Purcell Room and the St. Magnus Festival. The Glory Tree is also the title track of Frances-Hoad’s debut disc (Champs Hill Records), which was BBC Music Magazine's Chamber Music Choice for October 2011. As well as creating the role of Amy Johnson in Cheryl's first full-length opera Amy's Last Dive, Natalie is also collaborating with Cheryl, Stuart Murray and Opera North in the creation of the opera A Month of Autistic Bedtimes , created the solo soprano role Runa in the cantata Sailing to the Marvellous October 2013, and also recorded the six word opera You Promised Me Everything Last Night for Frances-Hoad's second disc (Champs Hill, September 2014).
Natalie devised and composed an interactive music theatre work for babies with Polka Theatre, Lullaby, which premiered to critical acclaim in May 2013, and was revived for the Belfast Children's Festival February 2015.
Recently Natalie completed the European and American tour of Yesterday Tomorrow - an ever-changing music theatre work conceived by Annie Dorsen. She is currently working on projects with Lore Lixenberg and Cheryl Frances-Hoad.