London-based mezzo-soprano Leonora Dawson-Bowling is a regular concert soloist and sings with groups including the Philharmonia Voices, Oxford Camerata, BBC Singers, King’s Consort and contemporary music specialists Exaudi. She also runs her own vocal ensemble, the Mayfair Mints, which specialises in weddings and receptions, private parties, gala dinners and balls, and corporate events.
Performing in a wide range of projects, recent appearances include performances of Stravinksy’s rarely heard ballet Les Noces and a BBC Prom featuring the semi-staged 40-minute prologue of Shostakovich’s unfinished opera Orango, only discovered in 2004, under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with live performances of the original soundtrack. She has also recorded soundtracks for film and for the London Olympics and a new CD of choral works by the contemporary composer David Bednall with the Epiphoni Consort. Recent solo recitals include Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, Barber’s Hermit Songs and a range of 20th-century folk songs by Britten, Warlock, Moeran and Vaughan Williams.
At the other end of the spectrum, Leonora has a great penchant for early music. She has performed the solos from many of Bach’s cantatas and oratorios and her opera work includes the title role in Handel’s Xerxes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Edinburgh Symphony Baroque and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Sarum Consort and two recent recitals ‘From Nobleman to Coquette’ and ‘Faith, Fiends and Fate’ featuring a range Handel opera and oratorio arias. She has also recorded two CDs with early music group Musica Contexta exploring original tuning and orchestration, and setting down early works hitherto unrecorded, by Andreas de Silva and Jacques Arcadelt.
Leonora also sings regularly with around twenty of London’s professional church choirs including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Bride’s Fleet Street, St Paul’s Knightsbridge, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, St Margaret’s Westminster, St Etheldreda’s and St James’s Spanish Place.
Leonora tours frequently around the UK and abroad, and has performed in venues from damp caves in Somerset to Versailles, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. She is currently studying under Sophie Grimmer.