Thursday, 13 November 2014

Meet Kitty Whately - mezzo-soprano

(c) Natalie Watts
Kitty Whately will be the mezzo-soprano soloist in an upcoming performance of Bach's Magnificat (6 December 2014) in London's Barbican Hall. She will also be joining Britten Sinfonia abroad in the new year as one of the soloists in an Amsterdam performance of Haydn's Nelson Mass (February 2015).

Find out more about Kitty in this blog post as she reveals her biggest fears, guiltiest pleasures and what animal she would be...


What has been the highlight of your career so far?
That's a tough one. I have been so lucky over the past few years to get to work with some fantastic people in beautiful places. I think I'd say working in the Aix en Pravence festival last summer. It was a newly commissioned opera by Vasco Mendon├ža, for just two singers. It was directed by Katie Mitchell, and I found her rehearsal process fascinating. It was a great part, and I got on so well with everyone involved. We were rehearsing in a beautiful old chateau in sunny provence and the whole period was fab. 

When are you happiest?
In my favourite place on earth, Aldeburgh, with my fiance Anthony and my 8 year old daughter, Ivy. Anthony and I are getting married there next year. 

What is your greatest fear?
Losing the people I love. 

What is your earliest musical memory?
Singing along to Paul Simon's Graceland, Katheryn Tickell the Northumbrian piper, and Salif Ke├»tar, an Afro-pop singer/songwriter from Mali and favourite of my dad's, on long car trips with my family. 

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Oh that's too hard. I'll say my family- I admire my fiance for his kindness and his calm, positive attitude to life, I admire my dad for his hard work ethic, and his well-earned reputation for being an incredibly lovely collegue and warm person, and my mum for her intellegence, her wit, and selflessness and generosity towards supporting her family, especially me. 

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I can't think of any really. I must wipe them. I try to laugh at myself as often as possible so perhaps that helps me to not feel embarrassment? No, I really do. I just can't remember any. 
What is your most treasured possession?
My daughter. Can I say that? If not, my pillow. 

What would your super power be?
Hmm, if I could choose one? I would choose the power to click my fingers and arrive somewhere without travelling. 

If you were an animal what would you be?
A pot-bellied pig. I love food, and I already have the pot belly. 

What is your most unappealing habit?
Licking my plate after a delicious meal. I try not to do it in public, but my family have to put up with it at home. Waste not - want not. 

What is your favourite book?
How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Watching X Factor.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Jamie Oliver (to cook), Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Caitlin Moran, Jo Brand and Phil and Fern (Schofield and Cotton). 

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To the era of Jane Austin. I love all that. I'd only want to visit though. I wouldn't want to stay there for ever.  
How do you relax away from the concert platform?
Cooking or watching cookery programmes with my fiance, and watching movies and eating popcorn with my daughter. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My daughter. Honestly, I know that's a cliche. But I really do. So often I look at her and I think "I made a human being in my body, and kept her alive! And she can walk and talk and everything!!"
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Happiness is a transitional state. You don't arrive at 'happiness' and live happily ever after. It comes and goes. 

In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
Enjoy the happy moments while they last, and keep strong in the unhappy ones. Remember they will pass. 


Bach's Magnificat featuring Kitty Whately will be performed on Saturday 6 December 2014. More information can be found on our website.


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