Patricia Rozario : Biodata and Press coverage

Born in Bombay, Patricia Rozario studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music with Walther Gruner, winning the Gold Medal and the Maggie Teyte Prize. Since then her career has developed in opera, concert work, recording and broadcasting. Her unique voice and artistry has inspired several of the world’s leading composers to write for her, most notably Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener.

She has sung with Solti, Ashkenazy, Jurowski, Belohlavek, Gardiner, Pinnock and Andrew Davis, sung opera at Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Lyon, Lille, Bremen, Antwerp, Wexford, The English National Opera, Glyndebourne Touring and Opera North and concerts in USA, Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, Spain, France, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Czech Republic and at all the major UK venues.

Her wide concert and opera repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music.
Engagements have included a series of Tavener's works at the Athens Megaron, Vaughan Williams with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Davis, concert tours with the BT Scottish Ensemble, Britten’s Les Illuminations with Daniel Harding, and Handel’s Atalanta and Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica with Malgoire in France. She premiered a new work written specially for her by Arvo Pärt, Como Anhela la Cierva, for soprano and orchestra, and created the role of Belisa in Opera North’s production of The Nightingale’s to Blame, a new opera by Simon Holt. For the Millennium celebrations in London she appeared in another Tavener World Premiere and sang Pärt in Finland, Athens, Cologne and Vienna.

Further engagements included several Tavener recordings, the revival of The Nightingale’s To Blame for Opera North, a Tavener premiere and other recitals at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Finzi’s Dies Natalis for BBC Ulster; Gorecki's Third Symphony in Athens, a Wigmore Hall recital and tour in Ireland with the Vanbrugh Quartet. For her sixth BBC Promenade Concert she performed Arvo Pärt’s Como Anhela la Cierva. This was followed by the London Tavener Festival at London's Festival Hall, recitals at the Wigmore Hall and St John's, Smith Square in London; concerts in Paris, Utrecht, Zurich and at the Albert Hall in London, and Gluck’s Iphigenie in Aulide in Stuttgart.

2001 engagements included recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and at St John’s Smith Square; Festivals in Switzerland, Germany and Holland, and a new Tavener piece for the BBC Proms. She has also sung in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonelle in Holland, and premiered a one-woman opera  Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe written specially for her by Stephen McNeff at Dartington and London, repeated in May 2002 at Battersea Arts Centre’s Sharp Intake of Music Festival.

2002’s premieres Howard Blake’s Stabat Mater and an orchestral song cycle by Roxanna Panufnik for the City of London Festival, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She was joined by Julius Drake for a BBC World Service “International Recital”, performed Les Illuminations in Prague and at the Cheltenham Festival she premiered Life Eternal by Sir John Tavener.

Tavener premieres in 2003 included Ikon of Eros for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Veil of the Temple for The Law Society in London’s Temple Church and Lament for Jerusalem in Australia. Further engagements included concerts for Soundstreams in Canada including a premiere by Christos Hatzis, concerts in Hong Kong, the US, and performances of of Arvo Pärt’s Como Anhela la Cierva  with Vladimir Jurowski in Moscow (Russian premiere) and Gothenburg.

Engagements in 2004 included concerts in Cyprus, New York’s Lincoln Centre, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, the Proms, Holland and Venice-La Fenice, and the World Premiere of Tavener’s Schuon Lieder and the third production of McNeff’s Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe for the Cheltenham International Festival. She sang in the World Premiere of Errolyn Wallen’s opera Another America: Earth at the Linbury Theatre Royal Opera House, revived in 2005.

In 2005 a second opera by Errolyn Wallen, Another America: Fire was premiered at Sadler’s Wells. Concerts were at the Holland Festival, Spain’s Cuenca Festival, a new ballet Laila at Sadler’s Wells, Tavener in Istanbul, the Three Choirs Festival and Portland and Seattle in the US.

Performances in 2006 include a Wigmore Hall recital of English Song, Como la Cierva by Arvo Pärt in Saarbrucken, Ikon of Eros by John Tavener for Spanish Radio & TV in Madrid, chamber music at the West Cork Festival, the Oistrakh Festival in Estonia, concerts in Finland, Tallin and Thailand, and for the Aldeburgh Festival.

Future performances include a premiere of John Casken’s Farness with the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Zehetmair, a new work with the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, the World Premiere of a chamber work by Jonathan Dove, a new work by Tavener in Switzerland and concerts in Canada, Estonia, Italy, India and the UK. Composer Andrew Gant is writing a one-woman opera for Patricia Rozario, to be premiered in 2008. A new CD of Richard Strauss songs is planned with pianist Charles Owen.

The unique voice of Patricia Rozario has inspired the world’s composers – in recent years John Tavener, John Casken, Simon Holt, Howard Skempton, Roxanna Panufnik, Howard Blake, Andrew Gant, Arvo Pärt, Indian Naresh Sohal, American David Maddox and Canadian Christos Hatzis have all written works especially for her. Sir John Tavener alone has now written twenty-six works for her, making the collaboration unique in the contemporary field.

Her extensive discography includes Songs of the Auvergne with Pritchard, Haydn's Stabat Mater under Pinnock, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Hickox, Casken's Golem (a Gramophone award-winner), recordings with Graham Johnson for the Hyperion Schubert Series, and several major works of John Tavener, including Mary of Egypt, the Akhmatova Songs (with Steven Isserlis), To A Child Dancing In The Wind, Eternity’s Sunrise (nominated for the Classical Brit Awards 2000), Schuon Lieder.

Patricia Rozario was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours, 2001
and the Asian Women’s Award for Achievement in the Arts, 2002.  She is professor of singing at the Royal College of Music, London.

Excerpts from reviews

The Guardian Thursday March 1, 2001
"Patricia Rozario ... possesses a voice of extraordinary refinement and accuracy."

The Times September 6, 2001
"In the BAC’s main house Patricia Rozario gave a stunning display of concentrated emotion, acting and musicianship in Stephen McNeff’s Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe."

Opera Now July/August 2001 "In Recital"
"Who better to sway the emotions than the expressionistic Rozario? The variety of colour and feeling that she brought to each song was highly original."

The Guardian March 17, 2000
"The high angelic voice of soprano Patricia Rozario has progressed rapidly from being the ideal manifestation for composer John Tavener’s serene vocal music to being one of the most sought-after voices in Britain."

The Independent Thursday 6 May, 1999 (The Nightingale’s to Blame – Opera North)
"Patricia Rozario sang Belisa’s hugely demanding coloratura with dazzling accomplishment."

The Guardian Tuesday April 27, 1999 (The Nightingale’s to Blame – Opera North)
"... the difficult tessitura and melismatic writing renders some of Lorca’s most explosively sexual imagery inaudible, though Patricia Rozario’s astonishingly voluptuous singing – this really is a sexy voice – more than compensates."

Spectator 9 February 2002 Vision of Lear (Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House).
"The cast is uniformly excellent, its only well-known member, Patricia Rozario, who
plays Regan, both singing and acting with virtuoso panache."

Patricia Rozario/Perth International Arts Festival/Albany Recital

‘The Song Weekend opened in spectacular fashion the Great Southern Festival Program of the Perth International Arts Festival on Saturday night.
‘A small but appreciative audience was transformed by the great operatic soprano Patricia Rozario in what could only be considered the perfect venue acoustically.
‘Described as a jewel in Goa’s crown, Rozario transported the assembled with her inspirational voice.
‘The program opened with Benjamin Britten’s On This Island.  Rozariohandled the 20th Century composer’s challenging phrasing with ease revealing the depth of ability in expression.
‘Next was John Taverner’s  Epistle of Love.  Rozario has been the inspirational voice of the English composer’s work for much of the present decade.
‘The spiritual element of Taverner’s Epistle of Love was conveyed through a meditative, flowing quality of the voice line and its beautiful lyrics.
‘The work ended with one of those magical moments that hangs in the air.
‘Next was Serge Rachmaninov’s Six Songs op 38. The Rachmaninov had a lyrical quality to it and enable Rozario to show off her powerful range.
‘After the heavier first half, the second half of the program was much lighter and flamboyant.
‘First came Francis Poulenc’s Fiancailles pour Rire.  Next was Gabriel Faure’s Cinq Poemes de Venise.  To finish came the piece de resistance – Fernando Obradors Canciones Clasicas Espanolas. 
‘Rozario revealed in these five songs her breathtaking register and perfect enunciation.  It was pure expression and poise.  These dramatic songs were a great showcase for Rozario’s amazing skill as a singer.
‘What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy world-class singing away from a capital city. 
Denise Smithson – Albany Advertiser

Patricia Rozario/Perth International Arts Festival/Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2/Perth Town Hall
‘The work, unusually, incorporates a part for soprano voice and here, in ensemble with the visiting Szymanowski Quartet, the superb Bombay-born Patricia Rozario employed with high artistry an opulent vocal quality that rode with ease the accompanying instrumental wave as it negotiation an often excruciatingly difficult vocal line.
‘Earlier, with Julius Drake at the piano, we heard a bracket of Schoenberg’s cabaret songs, notably Gigerlette.  Here, as throughout, Rozario came close to perfection, even if the Town Hall acoustics are less than sympathetic to voice and piano than to string ensembles.
‘If you missed this event, make every effort to attend further concerts which feature Rozario; she has a voice worth getting excited about.’

Neville Cohn/The West Australian

Cheltenham International Festival of Music:  July 6 2004
‘(Patricia Rozario’s) performance was amazing, and her slightest gesture conveyed deep meaning…Her rich, well rounded voice was especially suited to this drama and she gave us moments of exquisite poise in some f the high tessitura passages.’ 
Cheltenham Echo

New York Times: July 26, 2004, Veil of the Temple, Lincoln Centre, New York
‘I have nothing by praise for the vocal soloists, especially the soprano Patricia Rozario’

July 29 2004 Ravinia International Festival, Chicago; Schuon Lieder by Sir John Tavener
Chicago Tribune
‘I found myself totally caught up in the experience, so much so that the sixty minutes fairly flew.  Much of that was because of Rozario’s magnificent singing.  Long an exponent of Tavener’s vocal works, Rozario, in her Ravinia debut, brought a wide range, radiant timbre, phenomenal dexterity and pitch, superb German diction and total expressive conviction to the cycle’.