Biography

John Hancorn coaching Lorena Paz Nieto, soprano. Brahms: Requiem, Hurst Festival, 24 September 2015
John Hancorn coaching Lorena Paz Nieto, soprano. Brahms: Requiem, Hurst Festival, 24 September 2015

Short Biography

John Hancorn is a choral director, singer and vocal animateur. He is Music Director of the East Sussex Bach Choir, BREMF Singers, Baroque Collective Singers, Eastbourne Choral Society, and co-director of The Baroque Collective. He directed the world premiere of Orlando Gough’s opera, The Finnish Prisoner and community cantata Dead Head. Other recent projects include Handel Acis and Galatea, Scarlatti Stabat Mater, Elgar Dream of Gerontius and Purcell The Fairy Queen at Brighton Theatre Royal. He conducted a critically acclaimed recording of Ed Hughes A Buried Flame for Divine Arts. John directed chamber choir courses at Dartington International Summer School and teaches at Trinity College of Music, the University of Chichester, East Sussex Academy of Music, Lancing College and AIMS International Music School. He founded ‘Sing and Discover‘ with Richard Wigmore in 2013.

(March 2016)

Detailed Biography

John Hancorn is music director of the Brighton Early Music Festival Singers, Baroque Collective Singers, East Sussex Bach Choir and Eastbourne Choral Society and co-director of The Baroque Collective. Performances for the Brighton Early Music Festival include Bach’s St John Passion and B Minor Mass; Monteverdi Vespers and a staged performance of Purcell The Fairy Queen. John specializes in offering solo opportunities to talented young singers, as well as working regularly with more experienced soloists such as Gillian Keith, Elin Manahan Thomas and Sir John Tomlinson.

John regularly leads vocal workshops and masterclasses throughout the UK with a particular emphasis on baroque repertoire and teaches at Trinity College of Music, the University of Chichester, the East Sussex Academy of Music and Lancing College. He taught at Christ’s Hospital School and directed chamber choir courses at Dartington for many years and is a tutor at AIMS Summer School.

He directed the Orlando Consort in Tarik O’Regan Scattered Rhymes, and world premieres of Orlando Gough’s opera, The Finnish Prisoner and community cantata Dead Head. Other recent projects include Handel Acis and Galatea, Scarlatti Stabat Mater and Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri. He directed a choir of young professional singers for a critically acclaimed recording of Ed Hughes’s Buried Flame, released on Divine Art in 2012 and the world premiere performance of Helen Glavin’s Battle of Lewes Cantata in 2014. Concerts in 2015 included Handel Israel in Egypt with East Sussex Bach Choir; Handel Acis and Galatea with the BREMF Singers in the Brighton Early Music Festival; and Brahms’s German Requiem with the Baroque Collective Singers.  Plans for 2016 include Bach St John Passion with East Sussex Bach Choir and Handel Dixit Dominus with Baroque Collective Singers.

As an operatic baritone John appeared in principal roles at Glyndebourne, ENO, the Royal Opera House and Welsh National Opera and sang Christus in the Bach Passions with Sir Peter Pears. As a soloist he performed with the BBC Singers, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the English Concert. Opera roles  include Pantalon (Love for Three Oranges), Starveling (Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Kent opera: Masetto (Don Giovanni), Don Fernando (Fidelio). Early Opera Project and Roger Norrington: Apollo (Orfeo). Royal Opera House: Hermann (Tales of Hoffman),  Flemish Deputy (Don Carlos), Philistine (Samson and Delilah) with Placido Domingo. Major roles covered for ENO, Royal Opera and Scottish Opera include Eugene Onegin (title role),  Balstrode (Peter Grimes) and Redburn (Billy Budd). Roles with Welsh National Opera include Killian (Der Freischutz), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Don Magnifico (Cenorentola). He performed Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin) at Snape Maltings under Rostropovich and sang Jesus in the Bach Passions with Sir Peter Pears as Evangelist on many occasions.

As a soloist he has performed the Mozart Requiem with the BBC Singers under Jane Glover; Israel in Egypt, Rossini Petit Messe Solenelle and Bach St John Passion with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Laszlo Heltay; Handel Acis and Galatea with the English Concert and Trevor Pinnock; and Bach B Minor Mass with Edward Higginbottom; Schubert Mass in G with Vienna Boys Choir; Brahms Requiem at the Hong Kong Festival; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Sir Charles Groves. He took the role of the Devil in Ordo Virtutem (Hildegard) and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) with Vox Animae, with Evelyn Tubb and Michael Fields. He was one of the Priests in Jesus Christ Superstar for the Concert Spectacular Scandinavian tour.