AMANDA PITT, born and educated in Dorset, studied at the Royal Academy of Music and graduated with both GRSM (Hons) and MMus degrees and several singing prizes. She works with Jennifer Caron.
Amanda has proved her versatility in a wide variety of musical styles and genres. She has appeared at many of the major concert venues and festivals, both in this country and abroad, and worked with composers such as George Benjamin, Ruth Byrchmore, Jonathan Harvey, Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews, James Wood and Brian Ferneyhough.
On the concert platform Amanda was the soloist in works by Janácek conducted by James Wood with András Schiff in the Schubert/Janácek Intimate Letters series at the Barbican. She gave the world premiere of Three Chants by Ruth Crawford Seeger at the Aldeburgh Festival with further performances in Amsterdam with Oliver Knussen and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the London Sinfonietta’s American Pioneers series (for which she made a new edition). She has sung works by Birtwistle including On the sheer threshold of the night at both the Huddersfield and Oxford Contemporary Music Festivals and at the Strasbourg MUSICA Festival. Other London engagements have included George Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter; Britten’s Les Illuminations; Mahler’s Kinder-Totenlieder; Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Beethoven’s Mass in C.
Other concert highlights include Psalm 4 by Alexander Goehr at St John’s, Smith Square with Sinfonia 21, broadcast live on Radio 3; the Brighton Festival with New Music Players, singing Jonathan Harvey’s Song Offerings and Night’s Mask by Colin Matthews, followed by a concert in the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series at the Warehouse, London of Ferneyhough’s On Stellar Magnitudes, Berio’s O King and I met Heine on the rue Fürstenberg by Morton Feldman. She gave a repeat performance of Ferneyhough’s On Stellar Magnitudes with the New Music Players for BBC Radio 3 Music Live which was broadcast on Hear & Now. During residencies at York University, Amanda gave performances of Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses, and Schönberg’s epic work, Pierrot Lunaire. She again performed On Stellar Magnitudes as part of a concert broadcast from Durham celebrating Brian Ferneyhough’s 60th birthday.
Other concert work has included Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and works by Janácek and Schubert at the Aldeburgh Festival. She presented songs by George Dyson at a concert to mark the fortieth anniversary of his death, previewing this event live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme and has sung Copland’s In the Beginning with the Guildford Chamber Choir along with a programme of American song with Steven Grahl.
Amanda has sung the roles of Barbarina (Marriage of Figaro) for Stowe Opera; for Bampton Classical Opera she has sung Miss Silverpeal (The Impresario) and Lavina (Mozart’s Cairo Goose); Euridice (Orpheus and Euridice); Donna Anna (Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni); Queen Eltruda (Arne’s Alfred); Susanna (Paisiello’s Nina); Luciana (Storace’s A Comedy of Errors); Nadine in the UK staged première of The Philosopher’s Stone, by Mozart and his contemporaries, conducted by Alexander Briger; various parts in Waiting for Figaro, conducted by Edward Gardner; and Mrs Ford in the UK première of Salieri’s Falstaff. This production was repeated in the 2004 Bath Shakespeare Festival. Recent other roles include Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, the Baroness in Haydn’s La Vera Costanza and Cilia in The Taming of the Shrew by Martin Y Soler, Hyacinth in Apollo and Hyacinth and Virtue in The Choice of Hercules. THE WORKS toured their comic opera 2 Murders & a Marriage (Mozart) and The Jolly Roger (Norris) to Edinburgh, Dorset, Stour Music Festival in Kent, Buxton, Oslo, Northamptonsire, Southampton, Poole and Oxford.
Amanda works regularly in recital with David Owen Norris, and they have given recitals in Andover, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Guildford, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Poole, Southampton, Three Choirs Gloucester, Stamford, Wantage, and Washington DC. Programmes range from Clara Schumann’s songs on Clara Schumann’s piano, music to illustrate art exhibitions (women artists, Constable and Turner), songs by Elgar A Hawk Dreaming Poetry, Songs from the Pleasure Gardens of London, Entertaining Miss Austen, A Musical History of the French Wars, Songs in Translation, Mendelssohn, and Charles Dickens.
Amanda is a soloist on the following recordings: the music of Lili Boulanger (‘ecstatically sung’ in Classic CD); works by Janácek (her performance was described as ‘irrepressible’ in Gramophone’s review of the CD) with James Wood and New London Chamber Choir, both for Hyperion; and on DG, Oliver Knussen’s Ruth Crawford Seeger; a portrait which includes Three Chants.
Other solo recording are Roger Quilter’s folks song arrangements and duets with Joanne Thomas, Philip Langridge, David Wilson Johnson, and David Owen Norris on Naxos; Elgar’s unknown songs, including Sea Pictures in Elgar’s piano transcription in the original keys on Elgar’s piano for AVIE; The Image Stays, songs by Trevor Hold and Entertaining Miss Austen on Dutton.