The English bass-baritone and choral conductor, Chalium S.P. Poppy, began his earliest musical training under the tutelage of Simon Preston and then, later, Stephen Darlington whilst a chorister and organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral Oxford. While still a pupil at Lancing College in West Sussex, he was appointed to the vacancy of Organist and Choirmaster. Simultaneously, he was accepted to study organ at the Royal College in London. Chalium accepted an offer of full tuition to study music at the Universität für Musik und darstellende in Vienna, culminating in a Masterstudium in Protestant Church Music with Honours. While in Europe, he also studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique de Lyon, the Conservatorio Di Musica in Bologna, and the Freiburg Musikhochschule. It was also during this time that he made his operatic debut as Papageno in the Czech National Opera’s production of W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.
Chalium Poppy's unique education and experience has allowed him to enjoy an extremely lucrative career as a professional church musician, conductor, oratorio soloist, and occasional operatic singer, music commentator and teacher. He has performed as an oratorio soloist extensively throughout Europe and North America appearing alongside some of the world’s finest orchestras including the Fretwork Ensemble, the Wiener Philharmoniker, The Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and Tafelmusik. He has worked with famed early music interpreters Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman and Christopher Hogwood.
Following a success career in Europe as a singer, Chalium relocated to North America where he took up the post of Organist & Choirmaster at one Canada’s largest cathedrals. While in Canada, he appeared as a soloist with many of Canada’s leading choirs and orchestras including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra to name a few. He served there for six years as Organist and Choirmaster before meeting and marrying a New Zealander.
In 2009, Chalium Poppy relocated to Mt. Maunganui where he works as a full-time musician dividing his time between engagements in New Zealand and overseas. During his short time in New Zealand, Poppy has already appeared as a guest soloist with the Tauranga Civic Choir, The Handel Consort and Quire, Viva Voce, Hamilton’s Cantando and Civic Choirs. He has also appeared as a guest early music conductor for the Bay of Plenty Symphonia. He is currently the Church-Musician-In-Residence for the Anglican Parish of Mt. Maunganui. He is Musical and Artistic Director of two choirs in Tauranga, including the newly formed Scholars Pro Musica – a chamber choir dedicated to informed performances of early music with an emphasis on stylistic excellence.