Marta Fontanals-Simmons (mezzo-soprano) has completed both postgraduate and Opera Course training at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the tuition of Marilyn Rees. She is supported by the Gwen Catley Scholarship, the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Sybil Tutton Award. She is a Concordia Foundation Concert Artist and joined the Tillett Trust’s Young Artists Platform scheme in 2013. Marta made her Wigmore Hall recital debut in June 2014.
Described as possessing ‘real star quality’ (The Times) and giving a ‘a powerhouse performance that’s a vocal and physical tour de force’ (whatsonstage), Marta was the 2015 joint winner of the prestigious Gold Medal awarded by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in its centenary year, was a finalist in the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and in 2011 was winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards and Odette Sansom Award for English Song at GSMD. She was also runner-up in the Thelma King Award, a finalist in the Hampshire Singing Competition and reached the semi-final of the Mozart Singing Competition.
Solo concert and oratorio performances include Mahler Kindertotenlieder at St James’ Piccadilly, Duruflé Requiem with the London Mozart Players and Strauss Deutsche Motette both at St John’s Smith Square, recitals at St James Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Christchurch Spitalfields, Britten Canticles in Rolston Hall, Banff and Jonathan Harvey’s Songs of Li Po with the Guildhall Orchestra for a live BBC Radio 3 Total Immersion broadcast at Barbican Hall. Marta maintains her link with the South West, performing at Sherborne Abbey and Wells Cathedral and appears as a soloist alongside the City of London Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the Naxos recording of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.
Her operatic experience includes title role in Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, Paggio Francesca di Foix (Donizetti) and Kate Julian Owen Wingrave at GSMD as well as Ruggiero in Agostino Steffani’s Orlando Generoso (The Barber Opera), Drummer in Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis (Grimeborn Festival), Hansel Hansel and Gretel (Clonter Opera) and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly (Grange Park Opera). In 2014 Marta joined Garsington Opera as Woodpecker and covered Fox The Cunning Little Vixen. Subsequent engagements include playing Mercedes and covering title role Carmen for Mid Wales Opera and cover La Chatte & L’écureuil L’enfant et les sortilèges at Glyndebourne Festival in 2015, where she was also selected to be one of the four Jerwood Young Artists.
Engagements in 2015/2016 include Mozart Requiem at St Paul’s Cathedral with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Verdi Requiem with Slaithwaite Philharmonic, Nothing, a main stage new commission youth opera for Glyndebourne based on the novel by Danish author Janne Teller and composed by David Bruce, Mozart Mass in C minor at St John’s Smith Square and Wesendonck Lieder at the Auditorio de Tenerife.