"I suddenly realise how much emotion lurks within these decorated vocal lines, which sound easy but most certainly are not. That these performers absorb the audience from start to finish with their singing alone is huge testimony to their musical prowess. The promising Ursula’s Arrow has a lot to contribute to early vocal music, simply by showing us how beautiful it can be. Five Stars." Fringe Opera
Ursula's Arrow was formed with the aim of bringing early music a modern sensibility, performing works by women composers that have been ignored, repressed and forgotten, and commissioning new works for period instruments.
Soprano Sarah Dacey is a freelance singer, composer, arranger, fixer and teacher based in London. From avant-garde to classical, cabaret to oratorio, Sarah is a creative and accomplished performer with experience in many different musical fields. She performs with the award-winning experimental trio, Juice, improvisatory multi-media collective Galvanise, classical vocal quartet Aether, the Octandre Ensemble, the Dahlia Duo, early music ensemble Ursula's Arrow and runs professional session choir, Reel Vocals. She's also performed with the BBC Singers and Philharmonia Voices. Sarah has performed live on Woman's Hour, Radio 3 and WNYC. She has been broadcast on Radio 3's In Tune, The Choir and Late Junction, BBC 6Music, Radio 4's The Verb, Jazz FM, Classic FM and Resonance FM.
Mezzo-soprano CN Lester is as a classical singer, contemporary singer-songwriter, composer and doctoral research student at the Music and Gender Identity centre of the University of Huddersfield. As an operatic soloist they’ve worked with Tete a Tete Festival, Opera Undone, Co-Opera, Silent Opera and ENO Mini Operas. They were Creative Director and mezzo for En Travesti Ensemble, and their research on castrati and travesti roles has been showcased by Classic FM. They collaborate frequently with composers Alex Groves and Timothy Thornton, and have a particular interest in interactive and one-on-one works. As a singer-songwriter, they have performed at Tate Modern, British Film Institute, and Pride stages, students’ unions, bars and art galleries across the country. They also work as a writer and as a trans/LGBT/feminist activist.
A versatile musician whose repertoire ranges from medieval music to new collaborative commissions, Toby Carr is a guitarist and lutenist from Hertfordshire who is based in London. Currently studying with Robert Brightmore for a postgraduate degree in classical guitar performance at Guildhall School of Music and Drama he is active as a soloist and chamber musician around London and the South-East. A specialist in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, Toby performs as a continuo player and accompanist for projects ranging from intimate Elizabethan Lute song to Baroque Opera.
Aileen Henry was born in Northern Ireland and began playing the harp at the age of ten. She moved to London to study the harp with Gabriella Dall'Olio at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she is currently completing her MMus. During her time at Trinity Aileen has taken part in master classes with many distinguished harpists such as Fabrice Pierre, Letizia Belmondo and Sylvain Blassel. Her solo performances have included recitals at venues such as St Martin in the Fields, Southwark Cathedral and Blackheath Concert Halls and she has performed with numerous orchestras around London and in Northern Ireland such as the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Youth Orchestra, the Repertoire Orchestra and Bloomsbury Symphony Orchestra. Aileen is a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra for its 2012-13 season. As a baroque harpist Aileen is studying with Frances Kelly at Trinity while completing her masters. Aileen’s time at Trinity has given her the opportunity to play with many early music ensembles such as the vocal group Virtuosa with whom she won the 2013 Trinity Early Music Competition. Aileen has performed at Brighton Early Music Festival and Greenwich International Early Music Festival and is looking forward to performing baroque opera in the coming season. Aileen was awarded the Trinity Laban John Marson Harp Award for outstanding musician for the academic year 2011-2012
Why "Ursula's Arrow"? Because of the tradition naming Saint Ursula as the patron saint of women's scholarship and protection. Read more about Saint Ursula here.