BUTE Arts Society’s second concert of 2011 takes place at Rothesay Joint Campus tonight (Friday) and features the twin talents of baritone Phil Gault and pianist Claire Haslin.
Phil and Claire have been working together since April 2003, the duo having been formed after Claire was overheard arguing with a tenor that baritones were far superior – Phil immediately realised she would make the perfect accompanist, and conscripted her a week later, with the result that they are now happily married and perform regularly throughout the UK, US and Europe.
Phil hails from Wales, and studied at St Catherine’s College, Oxford and the RSAMD. He has appeared regularly with Scottish Opera, is principal baritone for Opera on a Shoestring, and has performed with many companies throughout the UK in roles including Macbeth, Nabucco, Il Conte in La Nozze di Figaro and Chao Lin in A Night at the Chinese Opera.
His song repertoire includes Dichterliebe, Chansons Gaillardes, Histoires Naturelles, A Shropshire Lad, and Songs of Travel, and oratorios range from Carmina Burana and A Sea Symphony to the Bach Passions and cantatas, in venues from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Usher Hall, to the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, and the Wales Millennium Centre.
Claire, meanwhile, comes from Glasgow and also studied at the RSAMD, where she won prizes for both solo and chamber music and represented the Academy in recital tours of Iceland and Russia.
She then completed the advanced solo studies course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Paul Roberts, and whilst there was chosen to represent the college in the Paxos Chamber Music Festival.
She is very active, both as an instrumental and song accompanist, encompassing a wide variety of music, from touring Switzerland with a group of cabaret singers to playing chamber music recitals for music societies throughout Scotland.
She is also the official recital accompanist for Glasgow University’s music department, and combines her performing career with teaching posts at the RSAMD’s junior school and the music school of Douglas Academy.
Friday’s performance – the penultimate concert in Bute Arts Society’s 2010-11 winter series – will feature works by Vaughan Williams, Schubert, Ravel, Barber and Phil Gault himself. It begins at 7.30pm, and admission is £7 (free for school pupils).