Conductor, Music Director
John Hancorn is music director of the BREMF Singers, Baroque Collective Singers, East Sussex Bach Choir and Eastbourne Choral Society, and co-director of The Baroque Collective and Lewes Baroquefest. Performances for the Brighton Early Music Festival include Bach’s St John Passion and B Minor Mass, Monteverdi Vespers, a staged performance of Purcell The Fairy Queen and Handel Semele with the BREMF Singers.
John leads vocal workshops and masterclasses specializing in baroque repertoire including regular visits to Early Music Fora and ‘Sing & Discover’ days and online workshops with Richard Wigmore throughout the UK. He is Associate Lecturer in Choral Studies at the University of Chichester and is a specialist examiner for Trinity Laban. He directed chamber choir courses at Dartington for many years, and was Choral Director at East Sussex Academy of Music and a tutor at AIMS Summer School.
Recent projects include directing the Orlando Consort in Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes; the world premiere of Orlando Gough’s opera The Finnish Prisoner with singers from the Finnish Opera; a critically acclaimed professional recording of Ed Hughes’s Buried Flame and Purcell’s King Arthur for New Sussex Opera. John was Artistic Advisor for a large scale charity concert at Glyndebourne for Homelink in 2019.
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.