Gillian Keith
Composer: Handel Other artists: John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists Credit: Philips 462597 2011
Let the Bright Seraphim
Composer: Handel Other Artists: Nicholas McGegan, Irish Chamber Orchestra 2005
Mass in C Minor
Composer: Mozart Other Artists: Handel and Haydn - Harry Christophers Credit: Coro 2010
Ariadne auf Naxos
Composer: Richard Strauss Other Artists: Sir Richard Armstrong, SCO Credit: Naxos 2010

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Born in Canada‚ Gillian Keith won the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award‚ made her Royal Opera House debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and has gone on to repeat the role with great success at Ópera de Oviedo and Welsh National Opera.

Recent appearances include Sandman Hansel and Gretel (ENO at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Miss Spink Coraline world premiere (ROH at the Barbican)‚ the title role in Gloria: a Pig Tale (Bregenz and Buxton Festivals and at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre with The Opera Group)‚ Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring (BBC Symphony at The Barbican)‚ Iphis Jephtha Sylvie in Gounod’s La Colombe and Tullia Ottone in villa (Buxton Festival)‚ a Ferrier Centenary Concert at the Wigmore Hall‚ The Fairy Queen (Gabrieli Consort), Bach Cantatas (Armonico Consort, Tel Aviv), Kurtag's Scenes from a Novel and Ligeti's Adventures & Nouvelles Adventures (Psappha), a Handel concert and CD recording at the Wigmore Hall with the Florilegium‚ My Dearest Hedgehog – a Strauss recital with Stephen Barlow at Middle Temple‚ Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 (BBC Proms‚ Royal Albert Hall)‚ Debussy and his Muse (Oxford Lieder Festival), Exsultatejubilate and Bach’s Magnificat (Royal Northern Sinfonia)‚ Messiah in Calgary‚ Washington‚ and Marienberg with the Sixteen; the Angel in Handel’s La Resurrezione (Ars Lyrica Houston)‚ St Matthew Passion (Handel and Haydn Society‚ Boston)‚ Messiah and Silete Venti with the Sixteen in Hong Kong‚ New Zealand and the Sydney Opera House‚ Glorious Bach and Zelenka with Tafelmusik and Mozart’s Thamos‚ King of Egypt with the BBC Philharmonic.

Further operatic appearances include Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ROH and ENO)‚ Nannetta Falstaff and Pretty Polly in Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy‚ both for ENO‚ Philine in Thomas’s Mignon (Buxton Festival)‚ Pretty Polly (Geneva)‚ Lucinda in Conti’s Don Chisciotte (Netherlands Opera under Jacobs)‚ Tiny in Britten’s Paul Bunyan (Bregenz Festival)‚ Elmira Croesus (Opera North)‚ Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante (Opera Halle)‚ The Woodbird in Scottish Opera’s Siegfried and Poppea L’incoronazione di Poppea (Basel and Boston).

Concert performances include La Resurrezione with the Wiener Akademie‚ Mozart’s C Minor Mass in Boston’s Symphony Hall‚ Viennese concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra‚ Mahler 8 with the RPO‚ Haydn’s Creation with CBSO‚ B Minor Mass at London’s Barbican Hall and Handel’s Messiah with The Toronto Symphony and in Washington‚ and Purcell’s The Indian Queen with The Sixteen at the Edinburgh International Festival‚ under such conductors as Sir John Eliot Gardiner‚ Daniele Gatti‚ Sir Richard Armstrong‚ Peter Schreier‚ Richard Hickox‚ Gianandrea Noseda‚ Harry Christophers and Sir Mark Elder.

Recordings include Handel’s Gloria with Gardiner for Philips and several Bach Cantatas as part of his Bach Pilgrimage on Soli Deo Gloria. She has recorded orchestral songs by Dallapiccola with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic‚ and most recently the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Sir Richard Armstrong‚ both for Chandos. Her recital discs include Debussy: Early Songs for Deux-Elles and Schubert Lieder with fellow Canadian Gerald Finley on Marquis‚ as well as Gillian Keith: bei Strauss an all Strauss programme with pianist Simon Lepper.

Hansel and Gretel, English National Opera and Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Gillian Keith’s Sandman and He Wu’s Dew Fairy contribute memorable cameos...

The Observer (June 2019)

Gillian Keith and He Wu sang brightly as Sandman and Dew Fairy at both performances.

Opera Magazine (August 2019)

Love Me To Death‚ Tete a Tete Festival

Gillian Keith (looking almost unrecognisable in a blonde wig) moved easily from sexy night-club to battered wife to tragic heroine. In fact‚ some of the best moments in the opera were the solos that Randle had written for Keith‚ a poignant one after a battering from Blakeley which helped you understand why she did not leave him‚ and her final moving monologue from the scaffold.

Planet Hugill (August 2018)

Coraline‚ Royal Opera House

But they’ve hit on a tone which clearly works for a teenage audience‚ and their cast do them proud. Kitty Whately and Alexander Robin Baker are entirely believable as the parents‚ while Harry Nicoll makes a suitably dotty mouse-fancier; Gillian Keith and Frances McCafferty incarnate the Thesps as to the manner born.

The Independent (April 2018)

Gillian Keith and Frances McCafferty added humour as unretirable actresses.

The Observer (April 2018)

...the most fun is had by the trio of batty neighbours‚ Gillian Keith‚ Frances McAfferty and Harry Nicoll.

Bachtrack (March 2018)

...the ‘resting’ actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible‚ who have more than a hint of pantomime ugly sisters. Their ravishing duets create some of the funniest moments.

Classical Source (March 2018)

...while Gillian Keith and Frances McCafferty camp it up something rotten as misses Spink and Forcible.

The Guardian (March 2018)

Gillian Keith and Frances McCafferty do an over-the-top double act as two camp old actresses...

The Telegraph (March 2018)

...while Gillian Keith and Frances McCafferty were great fun as the faded actresses.

What’s on Stage (March 2018)

60th Birthday Celebration for George Vass‚ St John’s Smith Square

The diaphanous accompaniment in ‘Loveliest of Trees’ caught the ear amidst the melancholy‚ occasionally reminding of Britten’s Phaedra; ‘Far in a Western Brookland’ is a dark lullaby; and ‘In valleys green and still’ is bittersweet and heavy-hearted. All sentiments were intensely conveyed by Gillian Keith‚ but what a shame someone clapped far too soon at the end (silence continuing) of the final song; mood-breaking vandalism. I hope to hear this superb cycle again‚ and soon.

Keith was also vibrant‚ and exact‚ in Les illuminations (1939)‚ Britten’s settings of Rimbaud‚ perhaps more today associated with tenors (not least because of Peter Pears) but originally composed for Sophie Wyss. Here singer‚ conductor and players caught the moods vividly and sensitively‚ the music more expressionist than can be the case‚ and there were numerous magical and evocative moments.

Classical Source (May 2017)

The Telephone Call‚ Tête à Tête

Gillian Keith sang the monologue at poignant levels of desperation

Opera Now (October 2015)

Symphony No 3 (Nielsen) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra‚ Bridgewater Hall Manchester

That was the peak of the cycle for me. The third symphony – subtitled ‘Sinfonia espansiva’ – made a good finale to the final night‚ but despite surging seas of sound and an open-air evocation of nature (with the human voice‚ in this case Hanno Müller-Brachmann and Gillian Keith‚ contributing beautifully)‚ its pre-First-World-War optimism seems shallow now

Manchester Evening News (June 2015)

’Debussy and his Muse’ Wilton’s Music Hall‚ London

Gillian Keith created a dramatic context by performing the whole evening as Marie-Blanche Vasnier’s daughter reminiscing to us. This could have been a rather arch concept‚ but Gillian Keith’s performance was so beautifully direct and full of charm that instead she drew you into the story… Gillian Keith and Simon Lepper took a thematic journey through the Vasnier Songbook and other songs dedicated to Marie-Blanche Vasnier. All were linked via narrative and quotations from letters‚ providing just enough context… Gillian Keith allowed the songs to speak for themselves as she combined performances of the songs with reading out Debussy’s effusive dedications… In a 75 minute programme‚ Gillian Keith performed 18 songs‚ all but four written for Marie-Blanche Vasnier‚ and her distinctive high‚ silvery coloratura voice… These are not easy songs‚ and even the simpler ones stick to a high tessitura. But Gillian Keith‚ a noted Zerbinetta‚ sang them all with apparent ease and moved well beyond simple technical skill to creating a real sense of character. And throughout she presented the songs with seductive charm. It helped that Wilton’s Music Hall has its own delightful feel of faded grandeur which combined with the performances to create a very special mood

Planet Hugill (April 2015)

Debussy: Songs for His Muse - Gillian Keith & Simon Lepper CD review

...overall she sings with great poise and brings a lovely sense of colour and sensitivity to them‚ going well beyond simple technical expertise and combining with Lepper to make something really expressive

Planet Hugill (April 2015)

Songbook‚ Birmingham Contemporary Music Group at CBSO Centre

...the excellent Gillian Keith got her teeth‚ and vocal cords‚ into a small set of songs by Harrison Birtwistle

Polaroids and Polar Bears (March 2015)

Songbook‚ Birmingham Contemporary Music Group at Wigmore Hall

Performing this miscellany of songs required remarkable flexibility and technical brilliance...Gillian Keith managed her often relentlessly high parts well

Bachtrack (February 2015)

These contemporary works varied in style and quality but BCMG and sopranos Gillian Keith and Rebecca von Lipinski tackled them in style...the songs varied in quality‚ but the best were memorable‚ while the standard of performance – with sopranos Gillian Keith and Rebecca von Lipinski sharing the vocal honours was high...Keith charted the stark solemnity of three of Birtwistle’s Paul Celan settings‚ and floated her way through Donatoni’s diaphanous An Angel Within My Heart

The Guardian (February 2015)

Gloria - A Pigtale‚ Mahogany Opera Group at Buxton Festival

The performance itself was good‚ with excellent singing from Gillian Keith

Bachtrack (July 2014)

Gillian Keith sings Gloria "the sexiest sow in Soho" with as much elegance as her porcine circumstances allow

Gloucestershire Echo (July 2014)

The heroine is a pig with curly golden locks — here‚ the fine soprano Gillian Keith‚ sporting a Dolly Parton wig and a Julie Walters grin — and the short drama is a sort of porcine Lulu‚ beginning with a similar framing device to Alban Berg’s opera and also boasting a leading lady both aware of her magnetism but doomed to suffer for it. While Lulu is murdered by Jack the Ripper‚ Gloria‚ however‚ is expelled from her sty‚ narrowly avoids being turned into sausages and finds the hairy boar of her dreams...Keith tirelessly vaults into the vocal stratosphere again and again with impressive ease

The Times (May 2014)

Death Actually‚ GOTcompany at Spitalfields Music Festival

The eight-part antiphonies of Komm‚ Jesu‚ komm pinged off the Toynbee wood and plaster in the hands of the best singers in the business. On the top lines were contrasting sopranos Gillian Keith and Elin Manahan Thomas...

The Arts Desk (June 2014)

That was followed by three Bach motets‚ sung brilliantly from memory and with expressive dance-like movements by eight distinguished soloists‚ including Murray again. Quite apart from the dramatic impact‚ which was by turns fervent and touching‚ the level of expertise required to memorise‚ choreograph and co-ordinate such complex polyphonic music was jaw-droppingly virtuosic. I had quibbles over the interpolation of folk ballads into Bach‚ but could only applaud the boldness of the concept

The Times (June 2014)

Albert Herring‚ Barbican London

Gillian Keith was a fluttery‚ nervous and very stylishly dressed Miss Wordsworth and a complete delight in the role’s rhapsodic‚ coloratura passages

Planet Hugill (November 2013)

Gillian Keith as Miss Wordsworth‚ the teacher of‚ among others‚ the three children‚ marvellously acted and sung

The Spectator (November 2013)

CD: J.S Bach The Complete Solo Soprano Cantatas Vol 1‚ Signum Classics

Throughout‚ her diction is admirable and clear‚ you hardly need the printed text. Keith keeps a light interpretative hand on the music; she conveys meaning with poise‚ but does not present these pieces as intense devotional music‚ instead taking the music on its own terms...But in many ways‚ Gillian Keith’s recordings is a daring move against modern orthodoxies. There is no doubt that she has the technical ability to sing these piece‚ Richard Strauss’s Zerbinetta is in her operatic repertoire. But here is nothing boyish or white about her voice. She is a lyric soprano‚ but sings with a vibrant‚ vibrato-let tone.

Planet Hugill (July 2017)

La Colombe‚ Buxton Festival

Countess Sylvia (the charming‚ bright-voiced Gillian Keith)

Opera Magazine (September 2013)

Sylvia‚ sung by Gillian Keith‚ displayed the best singing of the evening – coupled with an assured characterisation of the scheming aristocrat‚ her light voice was perfectly suited to the whimsical style of the music

Bachtrack (July 2013)

The cast nevertheless give it their all...Gillian Keith sparkles as Sylvia

The Guardian (July 2013)

...the tinselly coloratura of the Countess‚ brilliantly dispatched by Gillian Keith‚ is a reminiscence of Marguerite’s bedazzlement when she opens the jewel casket deposited in her garden by the devil

Observer on Sunday (July 2013)

Gillian Keith sang with glassy charm

The Telegraph (July 2013)

The whole production is splendidly played. Gillian Keith makes an affecting Countess and her coloratura singing is outstanding

The Arts Desk (July 2013)

Countess Sylvie - Gillian Keith dispatched that part with vigorous silver tones

The Times (July 2013)

Exsultate‚ jubilate & Regina coeli‚ Columbus Symphony

Last night’s “Mozart & Haydn” concert at the Ohio Theatre featured the Columbus Symphony in what might be its most joyful performance of sacred music and symphony in recent memory... Soprano Gillian Keith joined the orchestra and chorus for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Exsultate‚ jubilate and Regina coeli. Keith has the type of light lyric voice that handles Mozart’s ornate phrases with ease yet still conveys warmth and grace... Regina coeli‚ a hymn to the queen of heaven‚ is at times jubilant and at times contemplative. Throughout the piece‚ the instrumentalists and singers focused tightly on timbre and dynamics to convey the underlying emotion. Keith’s solo in the “Ora pro nobis” section was especially reverent and elegant

The Columbus Dispatch (February 2013)

Antique Lands‚ Distant Shores‚ Presteigne Festival

Gillian Keith’s vocal artistry graced all three of these very different scores: the flinty menace of the first song and the flamboyance of the second both suited her innate sense of drama‚ while in the last song she was able to draw the audience in with her most enthrallingly intimate and confidential manner

Tempo (January 2013)

The Fairy Queen‚ Brilliant Classics CD

Sharing the soprano honours Gillian Keith‚ whose light-hearted ’Sing while we trip it’ is sheer delight...

Opera Magazine (October 2012)

Jephtha‚ Buxton Festival

...Gillian Keith’s Iphis had real style

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

Garland of Sing‚ Presteigne Festival

Although contemporary music lies at the core of the Presteigne Festival it’s often mainstream works that provide the framework to individual concerts. In Gillian Keith’s recital on Monday afternoon‚ for example‚ Richard Strauss‚ Debussy and Walton separated two groups of songs‚ including one premiere‚ by six very much alive composers. Of these the new work‚ ‘I Travelled among Unknown Men’ by Peter Fribbins‚ offered a refreshingly unpretentious setting of Wordsworth’s poem‚ slight in emotional range‚ but beautifully delivered by Keith.
It was good‚ too‚ to revisit three songs from the collaborative ‘A Garland for Presteigne’ of 2003‚ notably Adrian Williams’ vividly programmatic ‘Red Kite Flying‚’ with its wheeling and plunging piano part so brilliantly executed by Simon Lepper. Lepper was equally responsive in Strauss’s ‘Mädchenblumen’ and Debussy’s ‘Poèmes de Paul Verlaine’‚ alert to every nuance of both singer (Keith’s vibrant tone‚ elegant phrasing and facial expressions knowingly communicated the romantic essence of each song) and the music itself; and in James Francis Brown’s ‘Ozymandias’ she demonstrated her versatility by adopting a completely different demeanour – steely‚ dark and moodily brooding

Birmingham Post (August 2012)

BBC Philharmonic‚ Prom 22‚ Royal Albert Hall

Soprano Gillian Keith sang with great tone‚ and sparkle to match her bright pink dress...

Bachtrack (July 2012)

Gillian Keith effortlessly floated her eerily disembodied high soprano‚ a detached ‘white’ sound that suited the dispassionate bleakness of the poems perfectly

Classical Source (July 2012)

The vocal lines are often stratospherically high (Gillian Keith was the effortless soloist here) floating above orchestral textures that are by turns intricately hyperactive and beguilingly becalmed

The Guardian (July 2012)

Utilising Japanese musical forms with their combination of repetition and development‚ and various blends of orchestral instruments to create a myriad of textures‚ it proved the perfect vehicle for demonstrating the talents of Gillian Keith. The soprano is required to cover over two octaves‚ and Keith’s mature and beautifully clean sound captured a perfect sense of otherworldliness as befits this meditation on sleeping and dreaming. When her voice hit the highest notes‚ it possessed a direct and yet pleasing metallic quality

MusicOMH (July 2012)

...she nimbly bobbed and weaved among Knussen’s telling evocations of birds‚ rats‚ the woman’s corpse from Plath’s poem Edge‚ and the first slivers of a new day

The Times (July 2012)

Jephtha‚ Buxton Festival

All the principals sing well. Gillian Keith makes a pert and touching Iphis‚ symbolically appearing in a red coat in this black world and singing of light as she unknowingly faces death

Arts Desk (July 2012)

Iphis‚ his daughter‚ ever more Pollyanna-esque in the chirruping soprano of Gillian Keith — until‚ that is‚ she appears in scarlet coat as sacrificial victim

The Times (July 2012)

Mozart & Bach‚ Northern Sinfonia‚ Sage Gateshead

Gillian Keith set the scene with an exuberant performance of Mozart’s Exsultate‚ Jubilate‚ which she sang with a decidedly cheeky twinkle. Originally written for the Italian castrato Venanziano Rauzzini when Mozart was still only seventeen‚ it’s a piece that has to be sung with an immense sense of fun‚ and soloist and orchestra under the direction of Simon Halsey delivered plenty of that. The quieter inner movements provided a nice few moments of calm before bursting into the famous Alleluja: Gillian Keith sang the recitative-like Fulget amica dies with firm conviction‚ and the Tu‚ virginum corona was simple and lyrical...the unaccompanied passages were delightful and her top C at the end was delivered with panache...The five solo singers were all excellent

Bachtrack (April 2012)

La Resurrezione‚ Ars Lyrica Houston

...a quintet of magnificent guest vocalists‚ Ars Lyrica created a sonic experience that was truly memorable. Canadian soprano Gillian Keith stole the show from the first scene...she captured the full attention of the audience from her first strut onto the stage. I‚ for one‚ was so mesmerized by her performance that it did not even occur to me to read the supertitles. Nor did I even have to in order to gather the meaning of the words‚ for Keith has that rare ability to communicate the emotion of the text through her extraordinary vocal expressivity and lyricism

Arts and Culture Magazine Houston (March 2012)

Silete Venti‚ The Sixteen‚ New Zealand Arts Festival

In the first half Canadian soprano Gillian Keith joined the orchestra for the early motet Silenti venti. She is an assured artist who sang with great communication and sense of style

Capital Times NZ (March 2012)

The motet Silete Venti‚ however‚ was a different type of work; a work for soloist and orchestra‚ and here the Canadian soprano Gillian Keith revealed herself to be a singer of rare distinction‚ with a wonderfully secure technique and a pure quality of voice‚ ideal for Handel (March 2012)

Messiah‚ Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Gillian Keith brought a coloratura soprano’s personality to the soprano solos‚ the voice light and highly flexible‚ with tasteful ornaments and a "speaking" way of singing consistent with Taurins’ conception of the work as whole. As might be expected she sang the socks off the runs in Rejoice Greatly and was also expressive in I Know that my Redeemer Liveth.

Calgary Herald (December 2011)

Mignon‚ Buxton Festival

...while Gillian Keith profiled the man-eating Philine as Zerbinetta’s alter ego

Financial Times (July 2011)

Gillian Keith’s Philine gets a big production number for her giddy coloratura Polonaise

The Guardian (July 2011)

the star of the show was undoubtedly‚ and fittingly‚ Gillian Keith as the dazzling diva‚ Philine. Keith relished the giddy theatricality of her show-stopping Polonaise and despatched the coloratura of ‘Je suis Tytania’ with aplomb. Her dressing-room door appropriately sported a glittering star; and it was no surprise that her excessive luggage required the heft of several strapping chaps to hoist it onto the departing train

Opera Today (July 2011)

It is set amid a theatrical background not dissimilar to that presented in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos‚ with a prima donna of a leading actress dazzlingly depicted by coloratura soprano Gillian Keith

Oxford Times (July 2011)

Gillian Keith’s floozy Philine was outstanding in all respects‚ her silvery coloratura soprano complementing her acting

Seen & Heard International (July 2011)

Gillian Keith sparkles as the coloratura-flaunting actress Philine

The Stage (July 2011)

Florilegium‚ The Israel Festival

This is also the work which brought to the stage the wonderful Canadian soprano‚ Gillian Keith. Keith has a clean and uniquely personal soprano. She was born to sing Baroque. Unlike some opera singers who stand firm on the ground and burst forth in full throat‚ Keith does not "open" her voice. She lets it "cook" in between her smile and her chest‚ and produces it with measured restraint‚ fully in control‚ and with much beauty. Her voice is magical and pure‚ it combines wonderfully with the measured and clean sound of Florilegium...the audience gave ourselves up willingly to the delights of Gillian Keith’s captivating voice‚ and the captivating sound of Florilegium. And for that‚ our heart gladdens

Jerusalem (June 2011)

Gillian Keith: bei Strauss CD

From the beginning the quality of her clear‚ light‚ lyrical voice is apparent‚ and she controls it marvellously‚ literally breathing life into phrases with thoughtful air control...she is thoroughly convincing and communicates the emotional content of the poet’s text and Strauss’s ravishing music to great effect...she brings plenty of apt emotion to Strauss’s settings‚ tastefully understated and always resolutely supported by Simon Lepper’s near-immaculate piano...she has exactly what it takes‚ with Lepper’s help‚ to make her interpretation much as good as it gets

Musicweb International (April 2012)

Soprano Gillian Keith‚ who took a degree in piano performance from McGill University‚ here proves herself to be a superb interpreter of Richard Strauss’s lieder. This is one of the best Strauss recital albums since Soile Isokoski’s memorable traversal of the orchestral songs for Ondine (Sept/Oct 2002). She has power a-plenty‚ but even more impressive are her perfectly gossamer pianissimos.

American Record Guide (October 2011)

PART I: Toronto-born lyric soprano Gillian Keith comes across as one of the most versatile artists on the current classical circuit. Her crystal-clear‚ transparent tones grace several discs in John Eliot Gardiner’s "Bach Pilgrimage" series of cantatas‚ and she has appeared frequently in performances under other original-instrument maestros. But Keith is equally at home in Classical‚ Romantic and modern music‚ and has won praise for her Zerbinetta‚ having made her Covent Garden debut as that stratospheric "Ariadne auf Naxos" character. She turns again to Strauss for this recital‚ which takes its cheeky title from Gershwin’s song "By Strauss" (it referred to the “other” Strauss‚ of course). Included are four complete groups "Mädchenblumen‚ op. 22‚ Fünf Lieder‚ op. 48‚ Drei Lieder‚ op. 69" and "Drei Lieder der Ophelia‚ Op.67") plus a number of miscellaneous songs‚ including the popular "Ständchen" and "Muttertänderlei." Keith’s high‚ bright voice and perfect enunciation are ideal for Strauss. Although small in size‚ her instrument recalls that of Elisabeth Schumann‚ whom Strauss often referred to as ideal for his music

Opera Canada (October 2011)

PART II: The highlights for me are the "Ophelia Lieder"‚ to texts from "Hamlet". These are unique in Strauss’s canon‚ with oddly captivating accompaniment that borders on atonality‚ and they are not often performed (Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Glenn Gould recorded them in a luscious rendition‚ although she was not pleased with her partner’s eccentricities). The first song‚ "Wie erkenn’ ich mein Treulieb‚" is eerie in its depiction of the deranged Ophelia; the second‚ "Guten Morgen‚ ’s ist Sankt Valentins Tag‚" frantically shows the manic‚ chattering Ophelia‚ singing a mile a minute about absolutely nothing; and the third‚ "Sie trugen ihm auf der Bahre‚ bloss‚" is marked by dreamlike‚ long lines. Keith turns in some beautiful singing here. "Malven‚" one of Strauss’s late songs‚ was discovered only in the 1980s and first recorded by Eva Marton and the Toronto Symphony under Andrew Davis. Keith navigates perfectly its wide range‚ perilous leaps and jagged contours. The "Mädchenblumen" set (in spite of silly texts by Felix Dahn) and the op. 48 set are equally delectable. In the latter‚ "Freundliches Vision" is blessed with a hushed stillness‚ and Keith’s performances of that group’s final two‚ winter-themed songs are especially moving. Accompanist Simon Lepper offers sensitive support throughout

Opera Canada (October 2011)

...impressive...Gillian Keith reveals their melodic memorability. She is at her finest in ’Freundliches Vision’ (Op 48) and is quite charming in ’Schlagende Herzen’...Keith is best suited to the three ’Ophelia’ songs

Gramophone (August 2011)

Glistening‚ ethereal soprano...Keith has the light as a feather delicacy needed for ’Ständchen’...

BBC Radio 3 CD Review (June 2011)

Strauss displayed a consistent ability to bring out the best in a singer‚ and soprano Gillian Keith – accompanied here by pianist Simon Lepper – beautifully present Strauss’ unique reverence for the female voice

My Classical Notes (June 2011)

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir‚ Koerner Hall

A vocal quartet drawn from the choir served adequately as soloists. However‚ in Psalm 117‚ Laudate Dominum‚ another singer suddenly appeared on stage‚ and things started to get interesting. She was Gillian Keith‚ whose lyric soprano voice wafted prettily over the choir and orchestra. Her appearance was an enticing foretaste of things to come...the following Gloria brought Keith back to the stage for a more extended appearance. Her performance became ever more remarkable as the work progressed. Her lengthy coloratura solo in the Credo was both delightful and astounding as she leapt with agility through every vocal hoop in her path. (It’s likely that Mozart wrote the part for his wife‚ Constanze‚ to sing – and evidently she was no slouch.) Keith’s voice is perfectly suited to this repertoire‚ and to this hall

Globe & Mail (May 2011)

Punch and Judy‚ Grand Théâtre de Genève

...à l’habile Gillian Keith en Pretty Polly fabuleusement hystérique (April 2011)

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Welsh National Opera

They were clearly enthralled by their Zerbinetta‚ the gracefully poised Gillian Keith‚ making her company debut. She was in sparkling voice‚ but also communicated the instinctive feminine wisdom that‚ for all the surface good-time-girl frivolity‚ is Zerbinetta’s saving

Opera Magazine (December 2010)

Gillian Keith’s lithe‚ pert Zerbinetta is key to their chemistry‚ as well as to the little frisson with the Composer

The Guardian (October 2010)

Gillian Keith fizzed skittishly and effortlessly as Zerbinetta

Observer on Sunday (October 2010)

Zerbinetta is a total joy in this production. Gillian Keith is perfectly at home in this flighty characterisation‚ but she also adds weight to the role in her middle range‚ before soaring through her coloratura hurdles which she races through with ease‚ right up to the very high F

Opera Britannia (October 2010)

...her portrayal is superbly crafted with daintiness‚ tenderness .....she is a class act in this genre

Opera Britannia (October 2010)

...a fine cast of comedians led by Gillian Keith’s perky Zerbinetta and with truly excellent acting from all of the principals...Gillian Keith’s Zerbinetta was pretty‚ engaging and remarkably flexible physically - how many other sopranos can get their toes over their heads while standing on one foot? Her singing was all that could be hoped for in this role...she is a hugely competent singer and actor

Seen & Heard International (October 2010)

WNO’s staging is given vivacity and energy by an exceptionally strong‚ well-integrated cast of considerable vocal distinction...Gillian Keith tossed off Zerbinetta’s stratospheric coloratura antics without turning a hair

The Telegraph (October 2010)

...Gillian Keith as Zerbinetta subtly colours her flirtatiousness with the sort of profundity that lurks in the eyes and voices of pretty girls but vanishes in an “Augenblick”‚ as she admits – the flash of a spider’s eye...Keith dispatches the whole thing with coquettish brilliance

The Arts Desk (October 2010)

Gillian Keith has made Zerbinetta into a role of her own‚ including a much-praised Chandos recording released last month. Her first act Zerbinetta‚ in silk print kimono‚ is seductive‚ coquettish but confides to the Composer‚ in a wonderful two-part soprano‚ that beneath her carapace of gaeity she too knows sadness.

Theatre Wales (October 2010)

The cast is excellent with gorgeous singing and accomplished acting including the slapstick comedy that brought the show to life without descending into farce...There are thrilling duets: Canadian soprano Gillian Keith sprightly and endearing as Zerbinetta and Sarah Connolly in the trouser role of the Composer...Each reminds us just how wonderful the dynamic excesses of Strauss can be

Wales Online (October 2010)

The Indian Queen‚ The Sixteen at Edinburgh International Festival

...the god of dreams conjured from underground is none other than soprano Gillian Keith. Her advice to the Queen‚ who has sought out the conjurer- ’Seek not to know what must not be reveal’d’ - was delivered with excellent diction...Then‚ the two sopranos had their turn as Aerial Spirits with the chorus‚ followed by the well-known soprano air ’ I attempt from love’s sickness to fly in vain‚’ sung beautifully by Gillian Keith

Opera Critic (August 2010)

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Opera di Oviedo

Katharine Goeldner‚ Gillian Keith y Emily Magee‚ o lo que es lo mismo‚ el compositor‚ Zerbinetta y Ariadne‚ conquistaron anoche al público del Campoamor en el estreno ovetense de "Ariadne auf Naxos" ...Sobre ella recayó todo el peso dramático de la función‚ en contraste con la vis cómica y la exhibición vocal de Gillian Keith‚ que dio vida a Zerbinetta. Con una caracterización griega la primera‚ y de payaso la segunda‚ las dos ofrecieron en la segunda parte y a jucio del público los mejores momentos de una velada calurosa‚ en la que los programas de mano sirvieron de improvisados abanicos.

La Nueva Espana (September 2009)

Triunfó Gillian Keith como Zerbinetta. En la escena la aportación a ese personaje tan arquetípico de estrella segundona siempre a la caza de su gran oportunidad fue impecable. Vocalmente funcionó en la zona aguda -aunque algo justa en algún sobreagudo- enfrentándose con autoridad a la endiablada aria «Grossmächtige Prinzessin!»‚ uno de los pasajes de coloratura de mayor dificultad de todo el repertorio operístico.

La Nueva Espana (September 2009)

Fue la más aplaudida por el público junto a Gillian Keith‚ en una velada acogida con bastante frialdad‚ en parte por el estilo de Strauss‚ pero también porque el nivel no consiguió levantar a la gente de sus butacas. Keith fue una gran Zerbinetta en un papel dificilísimo. En escena estuvo perfecta‚ por su jovialidad‚ acusada comicidad y dotes interpretativas. Incluso ayudó su muy apropiado físico. En lo lírico logró colmar las expectativas del personaje‚ llegó al difícil RE sobreagudo y a su MI floreado desenvuelta y con holgura‚ y aún así‚ todavía el personaje dio la sensación de necesitar algo más de exquisitez expresiva.

La Voz de Asturias (September 2009)

El reconocimiento del público en este primer título de la temporada lírica ovetense tuvo que esperar al segundo acto‚ siendo las más aplaudidas Gillian Keith‚ en su papel de Zerbinetta‚ y Katharine Goeldner‚ en su interpretación del compositor.

La Voz de Asturias (September 2009)

The Fairy Queen‚ Edinburgh International Festival

Gillian Keith’s singing was apparently effortless‚ top notes rippling out and maintaining crisp diction. In The Plaint‚ her Act V duet with leader Walter Reiter‚ accompanied by Frances Kelly on harp and David Miller on baroque guitar‚ she was distraught and‚ at the end‚ singing through tears

Opera Critic (September 2009)

...with a fine chorus and soloists of the calibre of James Gilchrist‚ Iestyn Davies and Gillian Keith (who sang “O let me weep” to perfection)‚ this adorable score was as well – if not better – served than it had been at Glyndebourne this summer.

The Telegraph (September 2009)

L’incoronazione di Poppea‚ Boston Early Music Festival

an appealing Poppea‚ kittenish and conniving as needed‚ singing with a pure tone and an agile technique.

Boston Globe (June 2009)

Canadian soprano Gillian Keith is an ideal Poppea — she has the sexy moves of a dancer‚ and a silkily pretty voice‚ and every stylized gesture seems to come from some inner impulse.

Boston Phoenix (June 2009)

(Gillian) Keith filled the role of the lubricious Poppea very nicely with an angelic lyricism that belied the character’s true nature

The Examiner (June 2009)

The charm of Gillian Keith’s Poppea was that she phrased thoughtfully and used her soprano with such warmth that you were nearly as seduced by her character as Nerone was. She was more than a match for Nerone

New York Times (June 2009)

As Poppea‚ the petite soprano Gillian Keith had gossamer upper notes...her entire range took on a increasing glow as her character succeeded in getting her way

Times Union (June 2009)

Toronto Symphony

but only Keith emerged a paragon of carefully crafted expression...
As was the case with Keith’s singing‚ the visual effects never drew attention to themselves. Instead‚ they worked to enhance a tried-and-tested Christmastime treat.

Toronto Star (December 2008)

Irish Chamber Orchestra

Canadian soprano Gillian Keith gave a most arresting‚ totally committed‚ utterly convincing‚ almost operatic performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 199‚ Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut.

Irish Examiner (September 2008)

Presteigne Festival

Gillian Keith brought gentle charisma to her creamy‚ articulate delivery of the soprano solos in Finzi’s Dies Natalis‚ Vass drawing from his strings all the piercing wonderment of this visionary score.

The Birmingham Post (August 2008)

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Royal Opera House

The July 1st closing performance of the Royal Opera House’s Ariadne auf Naxos‚ by Richard Strauss‚ was completely full. Word must have spread. The singing was uniformly fine – no‚ better than fine‚ in fact‚ superb – as was most of the acting. The second part‚ the actual Ariadne opera‚ was a triumph for Gillian Keith as Zerbinetta‚ whose foxy acting was every bit as good as her spectacular coloratura singing. She was humorous and fun to hear and watch.

Seen & Heard International (July 2008)

Gillian Keith’s fetching Zerbinetta dances over her fiendish coloratura like a pixie

The Financial Times (June 2008)

And Keith’s Zerbinetta really gives dramatic purpose to her high-popping coloratura tirade against faithless men. The pathos of her final line‚ "When a new god arrives we surrender"‚ really rings true for once

The Independent (June 2008)

'Gillian Keith illuminated Zerbinetta’s coquettishness with perky flair...She nimbly scaled the coloratura heights of her showpiece aria'

The New York Times (June 2008)

But the eye cannot help wandering throughout to Gillian Keith‚ in her main house debut as the most beguiling Zerbinetta‚ a frisky little punk temptress more than equal to the composer’s fiendish coloratura demands

The Sunday Observer (June 2008)

Earlier in the opera‚ Gillian Keith‚ got up to look like Twiggy as if dressed by Mary Quant‚ negotiated the coloratura terrors of Zerbinetta’s grand scena nimbly and coquettishly

The Sunday Times (June 2008)

More consistently impressive was Gillian Keith’s gamine Zerbinetta‚ swinging insouciantly but accurately through some dazzling vocal acrobatics

The Telegraph (June 2008)

That’s one major feature of this revival. The other is Gillian Keith’s dazzling debut on the Covent Garden stage as Zerbinetta‚ the good-time showgirl who is as easy-virtued as Ariadne is staunchly monogamist. No need for any nip-and-tuck surgery on Ms Keith. She must have the trimmest figure and best legs in opera‚ and she flashes plenty of both as her troupe of dissolute lowlifes crashes into the highbrow opera...Keith rises with terrific verve to the challenge of Zerbinetta’s fiendish coloratura aria‚ gradually turning the trills and cascades from expressions of self-mockery into self-loathing

The Times (June 2008)

Keith‚ making her mainstage début‚ is in vocal terms‚ too‚ an impressively agile coloratura soprano‚ secure in the stratosphere

This is London (June 2008)

As Zerbinetta‚ Canadian soprano Gillian Keith‚ recently seen in Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy at the Young Vic‚ put in a clean and secure vocal performance‚ and acted excellently throughout

Musical Criticism (June 2008)

Bach Cantatas CD

Gillian Keith is one of the high points of the recording. The opening aria of “Süsser Trost‚” BWV 151‚ is an aria rich in peaceful affection and intricate decoration. Keith brings to her rendition an exquisite control‚ especially noticeable in her long notes of unusual purity. And with the counterpoint of Rachel Beckett’s sensitive flute playing‚ the aria is simply stunning

Opera Today (April 2008)

Punch & Judy‚ English National Opera

Gillian Keiths mesmerisingly ditzy Pretty Polly.

The Stage (April 2008)

Lyricism arrived at last in the final scene‚ when Gillian Keith sang Pretty Polly’s lines with sweet purity of tone

Opera Magazine (June 2008)

Keith not only looked the part - young‚ sweet‚ yet capable of the most sexually provocative behavior – but displayed astonishing vocal virtuosity. In June of this year Keith will take the part of Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at the Royal Opera. On the present evidence‚ Strauss’ part could have been written for her. The final pages of Punch and Judy‚ a love duet for Polly and Punch‚ were extraordinarily powerful.

Sunday Times (April 2008)

Gillian Keith (Polly) … steer along Birtwistles angular vocal lines with absolute assurance.

The Telegraph (April 2008)

The cast as whole is a marvel of teamwork and dedication …and one recalls…Gillian Keiths stratospheric reach.

The Opera Critic (April 2008)

The six-strong cast was impeccable… Gillian Keiths goldilocks-vamp Pretty Polly.

This Is London (April 2008)

A fired-up cast helped. Gillian Keith turned Pretty Polly‚ the Lolita-like object of Punchs desire‚ into a kind of hyperactive go-go dancing doll‚ full of lascivious wriggles and demented coloratura swoops.

The Times (April 2008)

The Fortunes of King Croesus‚ Opera North

The two most sensational performances came from Gillian Keiths heart-tugging Median princess.

Early Music Today (January 2008)

The star turn was unquestionably Gillian Keiths crystalline Elmira‚ engagingly distressed and completely in control of her coloratura‚ notably in one aria that foreshadows Rossini.

Opera Magazine (December 2007)

Elmira is sung by Gillian Keith‚ a soprano unbeatable for purity of tone‚ control and a kind of soaring serenity.

The Tablet (November 2007)

Gillian Keith shines as his lover Elmira.

The Guardian (October 2007)

It is Gillian Keith‚ as the heroine Elmira‚ in love with Atis‚ who – with her luminous sound‚ exquisite ornamentation and attractive stage presence – captures her character to perfection.

The Independent (October 2007)

Gillian Keith as Elmira‚ in love with Atis‚ has an exquisite bell-like tone.

Sunday Express (October 2007)

Providing the romantic interest for Atis is the sweetly toned Gillian Keith.

The Stage (October 2007)

A convincingly fraught Gillian Keith‚ clear as a bell in her passagework.

The Times (October 2007) evening of unqualified triumph. Silvery of texture‚ technically immaculate‚ she is a singer of enormous potential.

Yorkshire Post (October 2007)

Ariodante‚ Halle

The Canadian Gillian Keiths youthful movement and sensuality more than amply qualifies her for the role of Ginevra. Her bell-like tone projected with apparent ease shows her complete mastery of the Baroque style.

Opernglas (June 2007)

The Assassin Tree‚ ROH/Scottish Opera

Gillian Keith makes a girlish Diana‚ her ruthlessness (All my husbands are murdered; all my lovers have killed) tempered by a creamy lyric voice‚ her movement partly Isadora Duncan‚ partly torch-song.

Independent (September 2006)

I liked Gillian Keiths pristine‚ sensuous Diana.

Opera Magazine (October 2006)

...the excellent cast — led by Gillian Keith as a merciless‚ high Diana.

Sunday Times (September 2006)

Gillian Keith as Diana looked every bit as seductive as the character demands...her steely soprano penetrated through the Linbury Theatre.

MusicOMH (September 2006)

I liked Gillian Keiths pristine‚ sensuous Diana.

Financial Times (August 2006)

Gillian Keith is a vocally and physically powerful Diana.

The Guardian (August 2006)

Diana‚ sung beautifully by Gillian Keith.

The Opera Critic (August 2006)

Gillian Keith soars beautifully as Diana.

The Scotsman (August 2006)

Gillian Keith sang very beautifully.

Musical Pointers (September 2006)

JS Bach’s Wedding Cantata‚ Tafelmusik

Keith is an ideal Bach soprano. She has a clear‚ light and agile voice as well as a keen sense for shaping a phrase…her musicality came to life. Her performance of the short and sweet Cantata No. 51 could not have been more sensitive.

Toronto Star (April 2006)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Royal Opera House

Among the best singers were Gillian Keiths Tytania‚ spinning a web of delicate vocal lines

Financial Times (December 2005)

Just as riveting is Oberons fraught yet besotted relationship with Gillian Keiths golden curled‚ feline Tytania. Vovally they are thrilling together.....She is a revelation: her customary coloratura precision complemented by a volptuous bloom. The stately final chorus in which they lead the excellent Tiffin Boys Choir through one of Brittens most hypnotic tunes is mesmerising

The Times (December 2005)

Towers and Keith‚ rarely bettered‚ both sounded genuinely supernatural

The Guardian (November 2005)

Ascanio in Alba‚ Buxton Festival

Gillian Keith sang most beautifully as Sylvia.

Opera Magazine (October 2005)

...the excellent Gillian Keith.

The Guardian (July 2005)

Gillian Keith delivers it with an easeful grace‚ indeed sings throughout with a peerless musicality‚ spinning a limpid legato which ravishes the senses.

The Stage (July 2005)

...the impressive Gillian Keith.

Sunday Times (July 2005)

Gillian Keith made absolutely the most of the role of Sylvia‚ singing with a kind of angelic accuracy of note and sentiment.

The Times (July 2005)

Hercules‚ The Sixteen

I also admired Gillian Keiths lively delivery of Ioles arias. with their fearsome semiquaver runs. The Canadian soprano has always had an agile technique; now there is much more colour in the voice and character in the interpretation.

Oxford (June 2005)

Gillian Keith was fresh‚ musical and appealing.

Financial Times (July 2004)

The cast is distinguished by two brilliantly matched sopranos in Yvonne Howard and Gillian Keith....Keith and Howard provide the voices of innocence and experience; Keiths tone as pure and fresh as the water that bubbles up so plentifully around these parts...This is baroque singing and playing of the highest order.

The Guardian (July 2004)

Gillian Keith as Iole‚ her bright-voiced foil‚ sang with gentleness and pathios.

The Times (July 2004)

Mozart Mass in C Minor - The Sixteen‚ Barbican

Of all the soloists it was soprano Gillian Keith who really came alive in the mass with simply sublime singing. Her voice was pure‚ clear and sensitive and she had the audience transfixed in the Et Incarnates Est.

Camden New Journal (July 2004)

Alexander’s Feast‚ Mostly Mozart Festival‚ Barbican

Gillian Keiths sparkling soprano solos were a highlight from the start.

The Guardian (July 2003)

Each time the young Canadian singer Gillian Keith opened her mouth‚ the music seemed to soar to another plane. What a lovely voice: fresh‚ so well focused and awesomely tuned.

The Independent (July 2003)

Haydn concert‚ Wigmore Hall

Her secure‚ open tone provided many pleasures.

The Times (May 2003)

Orfeo Ed Euridice‚ Scottish Opera

Gillian Keith‚ with her sweet little pipe‚ as Amor‚ was excellent.

The Independent (December 2002)

Handel‚ Almeida

The conductor... knew his business‚ as did all the solo voices and especially the soprano Gillian Keith: a singer of distinction‚ charm and clarity.

Opera Now (November 2002)

Triumph of Time and Truth / Aldeburgh Festival

Gillian Keiths light yet luscious coloratura was a highlight.

Opera Magzine (August 2002)

St John Passion‚ English National Opera

The soprano Gillian Keith...singing out with beautifully clear‚ bell-like tone.

Opera Magzine (May 2002)

Wigmore Hall concert‚ Classical Opera Company

A concert of music from the time of the Mozart familys visit here in 1764-5 with Canadian soprano Gillian Keith singing arias by Arne‚ JC Bach and the lad himself... she sang with easy brilliance‚ thrilling in Mozarts Per pieta with the silky tone of her top notes.

This is London (January 2002)

Handel Gloria / Vivaldi Gloria‚ Philips recording

Gillian Keith turns in a lightly articulated and agile performance and possesses an alluring vocal timbre.

BBC Music (January 2002)

Gillian Keith matches the great Emma Kirkby.

Daily Mail (January 2002)

Keiths assured and sensitive handling of the vocal line throughout enhances that sense of grand the heart of of Handels best works. Keith is as finely attuned as Gardiner to the interplay of exuberance and pensiveness.

International Record Review (January 2002)

Signum Classics

The Solo Soprano Cantatas, Vol. 1, JS Bach

Channel Classics

G. F. Handel German Arias & Trio Sonatas


Debussy: Song For His Muse


Messiah, Handel and Haydn Society

Champs Hill Records

Gillian Keith bei Strauss


Ariadne On Naxos, Strauss


Mass In C Minor, Mozart


Dallapiccola Orchestral Works, Volume 2


Great Operatic Arias 21 - Cheryl Baker, Strauss & Tchaikovsky

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Volume 1

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Volume 6, J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol.12, J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol 15 (For the Third day after Christmas), J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol 16 (For the Sunday after Christmas), J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol 20, J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol 22, J S Bach

Soli Deo Gloria

Bach Cantatas Vol 23, J S Bach


From Sea To Sky (Vass, Orchestra Nova Ensemble), David Matthews

Marquis Music

Schubert Among Friends, Aldeburgh Connection

Metronome Distribution

A Garland for Presteigne, Adrian Williams


Early Songs by C. Debussy


Vivaldi: Gloria / Handel: Dixit Dominus

Koch Schwann Records

Il Cantico De' Tre Fanciulli, Johann Adolph Hasse


The Tempest, Purcell