Thursday 1 September 2016
Ahead of the first Sound of St Martin’s performance of the autumn season, we caught up with renowned soprano, and member of St Martin’s Voices, Hilary Cronin, to find out a little more about her background, her role at St Martin’s and what’s in store for the future.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and training?
I grew up in Suffolk surrounded by music because my Dad was Director of Music at our local prep school. I went to boarding school in Cranleigh in Surrey and went from there to study music at Royal Holloway University where I was a Choral Scholar, which was an incredible experience. We were introduced to a really professional standard of rehearsing and performing and we also got to work with brilliant musicians and recorded CDs for Hyperion. We were thrown in at the deep end and so the more I did of that, the more enjoyment I got from it. I really developed a strong love of singing and wanted to train as a soloist and therefore ended up at Trinity Laban Conservatoire where I’ve just finished a three year post-grad which was really fun. I’m now out in the big world!
How long have you been singing here at St Martin’s?
I was a Choral Scholar in the 2014-15 year group and after that I joined St Martin’s Voices. I’ve managed to keep a close connection with St Martin’s, singing regularly for Great Sacred Music on Thursdays and various concerts and special events. It’s become a much bigger part of my life more recently and it’s really exciting because we know each other’s voices and it feels like real teamwork when we sing together. I’ve been able to discover a big range of repertoire and for me the experience and exposure of having solo opportunities in a place like this has been incredible.
What do you have coming up this Autumn?
I’m going to be covering a role for English Touring Opera’s Autumn season. They’re doing three productions and one of them is Ulysses’ Homecoming by Monteverdi – I’m covering Minerva who is the goddess who advises Ulysses and helps him regain his glory. It’s beautiful music, but it’s very tough stylistically. I’ll hopefully learn a lot from observing and watching the principals – who are fantastic – doing it. I’m also looking forward to going on tour with St Martin’s Voices. We are travelling to Texas and Tennessee in September for about ten days, which is going to be amazing!
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not singing?
I really like to travel. Fortunately as musicians we do get to travel and tour a lot but I actually went on a ‘holiday’ holiday this summer without any singing, which was really nice. I also like to read, especially crime thrillers, and I’m definitely addicted to Netflix!
Do you have any hidden talents which might surprise us?
I enjoy beat-boxing! That may not be very ‘soprano’ but at school my friends and I used to just make up raps about the most random things and I decided I would be the beat. I don’t practise, but within my friends’ standards I’m sure I’m okay…!
Hilary leads a stunning programme of baroque repertoire by Monteverdi, Scarlatti and Cavalli, culminating in Vivaldi’s Gloria in D sung by St Martin’s Voices and supported by the Brandenburg Sinfonia.
Vivaldi Gloria by Candlelight
Friday 2 September, 7.30pm
Tickets: £26 £22 £18 £15 £9