Recipient of the Michael Cuddigan Trust Award 2018, the Linda Hirst Contemporary Vocal Prize 2017 and a Leeds Lieder Young Artist 2018, French-born and London-based soprano Héloïse Werner was one of the four shortlisted nominees in the Young Artist category of the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2017. The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. Described by The Stage as “a rising figure on the contemporary music scene” and by The CUSP Magazine as “one of the most exciting young sopranos emerging in the industry”, Héloïse is soprano & co-director for The Hermes Experiment. She is a also a composer, improviser and cellist.
In July 2018, Héloïse premiered The Other Side of the Sea, a new solo opera she wrote with Octavia Bright. The project started its development in July 2017 during a Snape Maltings residency under the mentorship of composer and cellist Zoë Martlew. The commission was generously supported by The Michael Cuddigan Trust. The production, directed by Emily Burns and featuring visuals by Jessie Rodger, played in London and Aldeburgh. Héloïse also performed an extract live on BBC Radio 3 and future performances are planned for 2019. In 2016, she starred in Jonathan Woolgar’s acclaimed one-woman opera Scenes from the End at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre, following on from successful runs at the Camden and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals 2016 (★★★★ review from The Stage here). She performed an extract from the opera live on BBC Radio 3 and the show was featured in the Evening Standard “Arts picks of the week” and “The ten hottest tickets in town”.
As a soloist, Héloïse has performed at London’s leading music venues including Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, St John’s Smith Square, Wilton’s Music Hall, LSO St Luke’s, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Blackheath Halls and Union Chapel, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Resonance FM and London Live. She also appeared at the 2016 BBC Proms as one of the two singers performing in Steve Reich’s Music for large ensemble with the Multi-Story Orchestra in Peckham’s car park. Recent operatic roles have included: Doctor in Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen! (Welsh National Youth Opera), Anya in Mannequin, a new one-woman video opera by Maria Vatenina (Tête à Tête Festival Opera), The Vixen in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen (CUOS). She is also involved in the development of a new punk opera The Crocodile of Old Kang Pow by Darren Berry (from Penguin Cafe).
Héloïse is a founding member (vocals/cello) of five-piece folk band The Coach House Company. In recent years, the band has performed at the National Portrait Gallery, Cecil Sharp House, Green Note in Camden, Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, London Folk Festival, Wilderness Festival, and has released two original EP discs: The Coach House Company (2014) and Maiden Tales (2016). She is also a founding member of vocal ensemble SHARDS, who feature on Nils Frahm’s new album ‘All Melody’.
Héloïse was born in Paris and was a member of the ‘Maîtrise de Radio France’ for six years. At the same time, she studied the cello at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel with Valérie Aimard. She then read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where she was also a choral scholar under Graham Ross. At Cambridge, she studied composition with Giles Swayne and won the 2011 Clare College Carol Competition. In 2009, she was awarded the ‘Creation Prize’ from the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel for her songs for piano and voice, which she performed as part of her cello final diploma. She completed her vocal studies with Alison Wells and coach Anna Tilbrook on the MMus course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as a Linda Pilgrim Charitable Trust Scholar, where she was a finalist in the Soloists’ & Roy Pleasance Competitions. She was also a Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award holder and has appeared in masterclasses with Barbara Hannigan, Sir Thomas Allen, John Mark Ainsley and Eugene Asti.