Polly is a twenty-four year old mezzo-soprano from Wiltshire. She recently graduated from the Royal College of Music, having gained a postgraduate Masters in Vocal Performance (Distinction) under vocal professor Amanda Roocroft and vocal coach Christopher Glynn. She was the Theo Max van der Beugel Scholar and was also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.
In 2013, she graduated from Durham University with a BSc Hons in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Throughout her time at Durham, Polly studied under Samling Scholar and vocal teacher Miranda Wright. She also took part in multiple productions with the Durham Opera Ensemble, playing many lead roles including Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel, Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte, and Countess Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro. In 2012, Polly participated in the St. Endellion Easter Festival as an Easter Scholar.
This summer, Polly appeared as a chorus member in productions of Die Fledermaus (for which she was also the female Dance Captain) and La Cenerentola for Opera Holland Park. In September, she will appear in British Youth Opera’s production of Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics, performing the roles of Countess of Desmond/Lady Lewson/Miss FitzHenry/Mrs Birch/Lady Jersey/Mrs Worrall/Second Nun at the Peacock Theatre.
At RCM, she has recently appeared as Dritter Knabe in the RCM International Opera School’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, directed by Jean-Claude Auvray and conducted by Michael Rosewell. Polly made her Wigmore Hall debut in January 2015, featuring as a guest artist in Kitty Whately and Joseph Middleton’s Schumann recital alongside fellow RCM students as the quartet in Die Rote Hanne. In March she appeared in the chorus of Giove in Argo in association with the London Handel Festival, working with director James Bonas and musical director Laurence Cummings. She has also performed in public masterclasses with baritone Simon Keenlyside and mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon at the RCM. In July 2015, Polly performed the role of Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring with the RCMIOS, in a production directed by Liam Steel.
Polly was a Samling Academy participant in both 2012 and 2013, an initiative set up to provide young singers with the opportunity to work with some of the country’s leading vocal experts, including Caroline Dowdle, Pat MacMahon, Paul Farrington, and Miranda Wright. In August 2013, she took the role of Mrs Herring in Samling Academy Opera’s production of Britten’s Albert Herring, working with pianist James Baillieu and baritone Johnny Herford.
Polly is also in demand as an oratorio soloist, with recent performances including Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Thames Philarmonic Choir; Mozart’s Requiem in St Martin-in-the-Fields with the Brandenburg Festival; Vivaldi Gloria in Romsey Abbey with The Romsey Singers; Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Durham Cathedral with The Durham Singers; a rendition of Handel’s Messiah in Hall One of the Sage Gateshead with Samling and the Royal Northern Sinfonia; Beethoven’s Mass in C and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Tynemouth Choral Society; in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem with Durham University Choral Society; and another St Matthew Passion with Ryton Choral Society in Sunderland Minster.
Polly has been involved in her hometown of Swindon’s music scene for many years, having studied with vocal teacher Janice Thompson. She was recently invited to perform in the Swindon Recital Series with award-winning pianist Paul Turner, with repertoire including Berlioz’ Les nuits d’été and Mahler’s Rückertlieder. In both 2011 and 2014, she was crowned the Supreme Champion of the Swindon Music Festival for her vocal performances. In 2012, Polly created the lead role of Diana Dors in Betty Roe’s Swindon: The Opera, a Janice Thompson Performance Trust production put on to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. She also recently appeared as Tessa in the Swindon G&S Society’s production of The Gondoliers, and performed as part of the Madam Renards Mini Fringe Festival with a semi-staged rendition of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben with pianist Frances Couldridge.