The English soprano, Catherine Bott, began her career in early music, and has a worldwide reputation as an interpreter of Baroque vocal music. She can be heard as soloist on more than seventy recordings: her first solo disc for Decca, in 1988, was an acclaimed recital of 17th century virtuoso Italian arias. This was followed by a collection of Mad Songs and scenas from the Restoration theatre, Sweeter than Roses, a recital of songs by Purcell, and a collection of unaccompanied troubadour songs, Sweet is the Song. Decca released The World of Catherine Bott in 2001.
Other recordings of note include J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) with Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Orfeo, the title role in Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Philip Pickett and in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Christopher Hogwood; the role of Herodiade Figlia in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista with Marc Minkowski (which won a Gramophone Award); Purcell’s Fairy Queen with Ton Koopman and the role of Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppaea with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
In complete contrast, Catherine Bott is increasingly in demand to perform later repertoire, demonstrating the combination of purity and sensuality in her singing. Recordings in this field include Fauré’s Requiem with John Eliot Gardiner, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia Antartica and Nielsen’s Third Symphony with Bryden Thomson and the Royal Scottish Orchestra, Michael Torke’s Four Proverbs, Nikolai Korndorf’s Hymn III with Alexander Lazarev and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Michael Nyman's Noises, Sounds and Sweet Airs. She has also made many recordings for BBC Radio 3, including a number of specially devised recital programmes.
Recent international concert engagements of Catherine Bott include several tours of Japan, George Frideric Handel arias with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in Sydney, performances and recordings with the American Bach Soloists in California, a British Council tour of South America, tours of Europe and the Middle East as soloist with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and concerts in Europe ranging from Carissimi at the Salzburg Festival to the principal soprano part in Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II with the Residentie Orchestra in the Hague. Programmes based on her solo recordings have proved very popular and she has given recitals in many European countries. In the UK, she has recently given performances of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) with Mark Elder and The London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall, The Creation at the English Haydn Festival, Gustav Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied with Neeme Järvi and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, G.F. Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Silete venti with the National Orchestra of Wales, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Philharmonia. She broadcast Haydn scenas with the BBC Ulster Orchestra conducted by Raymond Leppard, with whom she sang Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Hungary last summer.
Catherine Bott sang the leading role in the world premiere of Francis Grier’s Five Joyful Mysteries at King’s College, Cambridge, and gave the American premiere of his song cycle Love without Hope at the Lincoln Center, New York. She has recently given the first public performances of works by Jonathan Dove, and was the soloist in the world premiere of a new piece by Joe Duddell, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Future engagements take Catherine Bott to Bachfest Leipzig, to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and to the Wiener Konzerthaus. She recorded her new recital programme London Pride for Hyperion Records in May and from September she will be presenting BBC Radio 3’s “The Early Music Show” on Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes.