Nancy Holt

Award: Sybil Tutton Award

Year: 2021

Genre: Opera

Instrument/voice type: Voice- Mezzo soprano

Location: Guildhall School of Music and Drama


Nancy Holt is a mezzo-soprano from West Sussex, currently in her first year of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having previously graduated with a Masters of Performance with distinction. She studies with John Evans, and is generously supported by the Guildhall School and Help Musicians UK as a Sybil Tutton Opera Award holder.

Nancy’s operatic experience includes Prospero (The Enchanted Island - cover for British Youth Opera), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream - cover for GSMD Opera School), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare - Kings College London Opera Society), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Second Lady (The Magic Flute - GSMD) and Pepíček (Brundibár - Boco Arts Festival). Opera Scenes at GSMD include Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola), Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), Nancy (Albert Herring), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Nancy (Martha) and Valentiniano (Ezio).

Nancy was due to be joining the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus in 2020 in their productions of Fidelio, Dialogues des Carmélites, Die Entführung aus dem Serail and L’elisir d’amore, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was a member of the Opera Holland Park Chorus in their 2019 production of Iolanta and in 2021 joins The Vache Baroque Festival as solo Alto Chorus for their production of Acis and Galatea. Other chorus experience includes L’enfant et les sortilèges (Virtual Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Iolanta (GSMD), Dialogues des Carmélites (GSMD), The Vanishing Bridegroom (British Youth Opera) and Gabriel: An Entertainment with Trumpet (Alison Balsom and The English Consort).

In March 2020, Nancy made her debut at the Barbican Concert Hall, performing in a LSO Platform for Guildhall Artists in a recital of Debussy songs. Other recital highlights include appearing in ‘City of Angels’ a concert curated by pianist Iain Burnside at Milton Court Concert Hall, and as the soloist for a performance of Parole di San Paolo (Dallapiccola) with the Ubu Contemporary Music Ensemble. During her masters, Nancy was selected for the Graham Johnson Song Guild, for which she was awarded the Paul Hamburger Prize for Voice. She was later invited to be a soloist for Graham Johnson’s lecture recital ‘Franz Schubert in Italy, France and England’. Nancy was a finalist in The Chartered Surveyors Vocal Prize 2019, and was due to be a finalist in the Susan Longfield Prize for Female Voice 2020 (cancelled due to COVID-19).

As an oratorio soloist, Nancy has performed Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (Part 1), Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Schubert’s Mass in Eb Major and Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat.

Nancy is a trained dancer, having studied ballet, modern and tap dance for over ten years.

I am absolutely thrilled to be a Sybil Tutton Opera Award Holder. Help Musicians financial support will make a huge difference to my time on the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Opera Course. The Opera Course will give me the ideal training to become a well-rounded, accomplished and versatile opera singer. The award relieves the financial pressure of full-time study and allows me to fully immerse myself in the course. It is invaluable after having lost so much work during the pandemic and I am extremely grateful for the generous support of Help Musicians.