Kate Witney was born in Louth and studied at Homerton College, Cambridge and The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She has appeared as soloist in venues such as The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, The Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham and Lincoln, Southwark and Versailles Cathedrals. In 2002 she was asked to sing an Armenian folk song at the National Holocaust Memorial event, which was televised.
In opera, with Opera North, amongst others, and in recitals and concerts, Kate has sung throughout this country as well as in France and Germany. With the actor Ian Hogg she has presented an evening of readings and songs by James Hogg as part of the Lincoln Book Festival. In recent years she has given recitals in Tewkesbury Abbey, as part of the Tewkesbury Medieval Fair, and at the Lincoln Early Music Festival.
As a busy recitalist Kate works regularly with the pianist Stuart Bower and the lutenist Robert Foster. Kate and Stuart gave a recital in the inaugural Lincoln International Chamber Music Festival, whilst Kate and Robert are currently working on 16th and 17th century English and Italian music for voice and theorbo. The CD of their popular Christmas programme ‘Rejoice and be merry’ is proving very successful. Kate was invited back to the Lincoln International Chamber Music Festival to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Ralph Vaughan Williams and gave a recital entitled 'Along the Field' with Stuart Bower and the violinist Chris Rogers, which explored the more unexpected side of the legacy of folk song in the work of Vaughan Williams and Percy Grainger.
Kate was very excited to be involved in the music for the short film The Luttrell Psalter which involved her transcribing plainchant from the 15th century Luttrell Psalter and directing its recording in Irnham church.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Tennyson in 2009 Kate presented several lecture recitals on the poet and his musical connections. Kate very much enjoys presenting illustrated lectures such as these, on a number of subjects, and they are extremely popular with audiences. Do contact Kate to discuss the wide range of subjects available.
A noted exponent of unaccompanied traditional folk songs, Kate has appeared at folk clubs and venues throughout the country, including an appearance at the National Folk Festival as a finalist in the Brewhouse Competition, and has released two CDs of unaccompanied traditional songs, ‘Songs for my supper’ and 'Albion's Forgotten Daughters'.
'With mortal voice' is a CD of unaccompanied hymns, chants and spirituals from an number of different traditions and includes mediaeval music, works by Hildegard of Bingen, liturgical chants of the Armenian orthodox church and African American spiritiuals as well as English folk hymns. This blend of traditional and mediaeval repertoire is very successful and Kate's programmes 'Singularis' and 'Songs of Heaven, Songs of Earth' explore different aspects of these genres.
You can buy Kate's CDs on this website or at Horncastle Music Shop, Bull Ring, Horncastle, Lincolnshire and Off the Beaten Tracks, Aswell Street, Louth, Lincolnshire.
Kate is a member of Equity and of The British Voice Association.
‘Lincolnshire’s favourite soprano.’
‘Kate Witney showing signs of great things to come…’
Rodney Milnes in ‘Opera’ magazine
‘Elle a seduit le public avec sa belle voix et de nombreux applaudissements ont affirmé son success.’
‘Her voice is rich and clear…timing and pace show the hallmarks of a polished singer’
‘…thoughtful and expressive singing…her voice is clear and precise…’
Concert listings at