Winner of 2nd prize at the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition, British soprano Harriet Burns is a recent graduate of the Guildhall Opera School, graduating with a Distinction on the Artist Diploma programme under the tutelage of Yvonne Kenny in 2020. She is a Samling Artist, Oxford Lieder Young Artist, and a Britten-Pears Young Artist. Other competition successes include winner of the compulsory Song Prize ("Oh che tranquillo mar") and Recital Prize at the 2019 International Vocal Competition in 's-Hertogenbosch with Ian Tindale, 1st prize at the 2019 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, winner of the 2018 Oxford Lieder Young Artists Platform with Michael Pandya, the 2017 Paul Hamburger prize for Lieder and the 2017 Franz-Schubert-Institut Competition.
In 2018 Harriet made her Wigmore Hall debut with Graham Johnson in a recital of Schubert Lieder alongside Harrison Hintzsche and Ferdinand Keller. She has since performed in numerous recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival, International Lied Festival Zeist, the Ryedale Festival, de Singel and the Chiltern Arts Festival with artists including James Baillieu, Christopher Glynn, Samuel Hasselhorn, Caitlin Hulcup, Graham Johnson, Brian O’Kane, Michael Pandya, the Phoenix Piano Trio, Ian Tindale, and Adam Walker. Through the Guildhall School she has been a Prince Consort Side by Side Artist performing at the Wigmore Hall, and performed in Iain Burnside’s production Swansong in Milton Court Studio Theatre. Harriet's debut album Volume VIII of Graham Johnson’s Brahms Lieder (The Complete Songs) with Hyperion was released in 2019.
Recent operatic roles have included Sister Grace (The Angel Esmeralda, Lliam Paterson), Nerina (La Fedeltà premiata, Haydn), and Aminta (Aminta e Fillide, Handel) with Guildhall Opera School, Gold-Tressed Maiden (The Hogboon, Maxwell Davies) with the LSO directed by Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican. Harriet was due to be a 2019 Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera covering the role of Sifare (Mitridate re di Ponto), and joining the chorus for Verdi's Un giorno di regno and Dvorak's Rusalka, but this was cancelled due to Covid-19.
New music highlights include Sister Grace in Lliam Paterson's The Angel Esmeralda commissioned by Scottish Opera for the Guildhall Opera School, Varèse's Offrandes as part of the BBC's Total Immersion series with Geoffrey Paterson and the Guildhall New Music ensemble, works by Weir and Golijov in the This is Rattle series at the Barbican (Milton Court Concert Hall), Weir's Nuits D'Afrique with the Phoenix Piano Trio and Adam Walker at the Ryedale Festival and at the Oxford Lieder Festival with James Ballieu, Brian O'Kane and Adam Walker, and the première of Edward Nesbit's The Burial of the Stars alongside Cellophony at the Barbican (Milton Court Concert Hall).
Harriet enjoys teaching and is the vocal coach to the choristers of St Mary Merton, and works at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a sight-singing tutor to the undergraduate vocal department students.
Harriet's studies at the Guildhall School were generously supported by Hazel and Chris Abbott, the Sidney Perry Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, the Guildhall School Trust, The Altrusa Careers Trust, The Michael James Music Trust and The Winship Foundation.
Photo credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke