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Nicholas Willmott    |     home
Singing   |   Piano Duets   |   family history

This household approves of singing.

Michael has sung with the County High Schools' Choir and now sings with his College choir

Frances now sings with the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, having previously sung with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

Judy sings when the children are out of ear-shot.

I have sung with the BBC National Chorus of Wales (currently first tenor) since 1995 and have substantial experience in the concert hall, in radio and television broadcasts, and in the recording studio. I have also been co-opted to sing with other choirs, such as the City of Birmingham Sympony Chorus and the Chamber Choir of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.  I have contributed to a number of important commercial recordings, including the EMI Beethoven Ninth conducted by Simon Rattle with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

My services as a tenor are available for hire at a modest rate.  I can be contactedat


Here are some pithy remarks in relation to singing:

Tyrone Guthrie (1900-71)
God in His Almighty Wisdom and Fairness has not always given the greatest voices to the persons with the greatest intellect or the best education, or to the most beautiful of His creatures.
A Life in the Theatre, 1960.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation
And for the bass, the beast can only bellow;
In fact, he had no singing education,
An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow.
Don Juan, 1822.

Horace (65-8 BC)
The fault, common to all singers, is that when their friends ask them to sing, they're never willing, but when they are not asked they will never leave off.
Satires, 1, 3.

Mick Jagger (1944- )
I remember when I was very young … I read an article by Fats Domino which has really influenced me, He said, “You should never sing the lyrics out very clearly.”
Rolling Stone, interview, 1969.

John Ruskin (1819-1900)
It is quite possible to lead a virtuous and happy life without books, or ink; but not without wishing to sing, when we are happy.

John Wesley (1703-91)
I hear [Handel's] Judith, an oratorio, performed … Some parts of it were exceedingly fine; but there are two things in all modern music which I could never reconcile to common sense. One is singing the same words ten times over; the other, singing different words by different persons, at one and the same time.
Journals, 29 February 1764.

Ernest Newman (1868-1959)
If I had the power I would insist on all oratorios being sung in the costume of the period - with a possible exception in the case of the Creation.
New York Post, 1924.

Ivor Newton (1892-1981)
A mutual friend asked Melba if it were true that she had really given Clara Butt this dangerous advice [‘Sing ’em muck - it is all they can understand’]. ‘Of course not,’ retorted Melba; ‘in Clara's case, it wasn't necessary.’
At the Piano, 1966.

Ambrose Bierce
Chorus:  In opera, a band of howling dervishes who terrify the audience while the singers are taking breath.

H.L. Mencken
Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.

Sir Edward Appleton
I don't mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand.

Hector Berlioz
If she can strike a low G or F like a death rattle and a high F like the shriek of a little dog when you step on its tail, the house will resound with acclamations.