Hailed “a rather special mezzo” (Music Web International), Helen Charlston began singing as chorister and head chorister of the St Albans Abbey Girls Choir. She then studied music at Trinity College, Cambridge where she held a choral scholarship for four years.
A young artist increasingly in demand in the UK and abroad, Helen won First Prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and is a Rising Star of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for 2017-19. Recent concert highlights include a number of high profile London debuts: Telemann Ihr Völker hört with Florilegium at Wigmore Hall (also broadcast on BBC Radio 3), Schoenberg’s Lied der Waldtaube at Cadogan Hall and at the London Festival of Baroque Music (St John’s Smith Square), singing Storgé in Handel Jephtha.
Further afield, solo roles include Bach Matthew Passion at Grand Théâtre de Provence as part of the Aix-en-Provence Festival de Pâques (Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh); a worldwide tour of Handel Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; Bach Magnificat in D (Auckland Symphony Orchestra/Stephen Layton); Mozart Requiem at the Three Choirs Festival (Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Halsey); Duruflé Requiem in Frankfurt Cathedral and Handel Dixit Dominus at the Eliat Chamber Music Festival, Israel (Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh).
Helen has often been heard on BBC Radio 3 in live radio concert relays, and as a guest on In Tune. She features on two commercially available recordings released later this year: Bach B Minor Mass (the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Trinity College Choir for Hyperion), and Bach Actus Tragicus & Himmelskönig sei willkommen (Amici Voices/Amici Baroque Players).
Operatic roles include Olga/Eugene Onegin, Florence Pike/Albert Herring, Ino/Semele, Sara/Tobias and the Angel (Dove) and Dinah/Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein). Helen created the role of Dido in the premiere of a new chamber opera based on Virgil’s writings about Dido: Dido is Dead, by young composer Rhiannon Randle. In 2017/18 she will sing Messaggera and Proserpine in Monteverdi’s Orfeo for Brighton Early Music Festival and First Witch (Dido and Aeneas) for La Nuova Music at Wigmore Hall.