Girls who sing boys who sing boys like they’re girls: gender subversion in the religious music of the Baroque
A lecture recital centered around the music of Handel, Vivaldi and Strozzi, examining the ways in which biblical narratives, messages and characters are queered in the telling through the standard subversions of Baroque oratorio and religious song.
Awarded a BMus from King’s College London and an MMus from Goldsmiths, CN works as a mezzo-soprano specializing in castrati and travesti operatic roles, contemporary classical music, early music and works by female composers. CN is a pupil of Alison Wells, and was Creative Director of En Travesti Ensemble (2009-2012), focusing on gender subversion in vocal music. Previous engagements include solo work with Silent Opera, Co-Opera, ENO Mini Operas, Royal Holloway, Poeticall Musicke, Cambridge Early Music and Opera Holland Park Opera outreach. Over the past few years CN has performed at the Bush Theatre, Handel House, The British Library, the BFI, Channel 4 and with the Lute Society. Their original work and research on travesti roles has been showcased on Classic FM, and their work with Silent Opera on Radio 4’s Front Row. With guitarist Toby Carr they were finalists in NonClassical’s 2012 Battle of the Bands, and have just released a crowd-sourced album of art song for voice and guitar, focusing on the works of Peter Maxwell Davies and Benjamin Britten. They also work as an alternative singer-songwriter, writer and LGBTI and feminist activist, with a focus on trans issues.