A former choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, Hugh Cutting is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music where he was a member of the International Opera Studio. On graduating, he was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal, presented by King Charles III. In the autumn of 2021, Hugh became the first countertenor to win the Kathleen Ferrier Award and is the first countertenor to become a BBC New Generation Artist (2022-24). In the 2021/22 season Hugh was a member of Les Arts Florissants 10th Jardin des Voix and received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Arsace in Handel’s Partenope conducted by William Christie. Further highlights included his Carnegie Hall debut singing Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of St Luke’s and Bernard Labadie; Refugee in Dove’s Flight and Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda with the RCM International Opera Studio, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater at the London Handel Festival with Adrian Butterfield; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Southbank Sinfonia; Tavener’s The Hidden Face with the City of London Sinfonia; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Bach’s Geist und Seele with the Oxford Bach Soloists; Handel’s Messiah with Instruments of Time and Truth and Edward Higginbottom; Purcell Odes for a Queen with The English Concert and Kristian Bezuidenhout, and a performance of Bach and Handel arias with the Hanover Band and Laurence Cummings.
This season Hugh makes his debut at Opernhaus Zürich singing Monteverdi madrigals in Christian Spuck’s ballet setting.
Upcoming concert engagements include multiple appearances at the Wigmore Hall alongside Iestyn Davies and Ensemble Guadagni, La Nuova Musica, The English Concert, and The Sixteen; a world premiere with the BBC Philharmonic and an appearance at the Oxford Lieder Festival; Handel’s Messiah with The Sixteen and Harry Christophers and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Adrian Lucas; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras and John Eliot Gardiner; Bach’s B Minor Mass with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Vaclav Luks; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Finnish Radio Orchestra and Nick Collon and in a European tour with Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe, as well as multiple projects with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie including Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante and Arsace Partenope.
Song is central to Hugh’s ambition, and he seeks to expand the possibilities of countertenor repertoire in this sphere. In 2022/23 he appears in recital at the Wigmore Hall, Ryedale Festival, and at the Thames Recital Series with ‘Untethered’, a programme based on Michael A. Singer’s book ‘The Untethered Soul’, which centres around the concept of liberation, namely from the thoughts and perspectives that disturb our daily lives. Many of these works will be recorded as part of Hugh’s involvement in the BBC New Generation Artist scheme for later broadcast on Radio 3. He frequently collaborates with pianist George Ireland, lutenist Danny Murphy and composer Piers Connor Kennedy both in recital and concert.
Hugh works regularly with SoundVoice UK and composer Hannah Conway, most recently performing at Snape Maltings and King’s Place alongside Roderick Williams and Lucy Crowe in a project exploring identity and voice loss in terminal health conditions. He has recorded Purcell Royal Odes and Birthday Odes for Queen Mary with The King’s Consort and Robert King alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, and Lamento with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics.