Joshua Ellicott represents an extraordinary talent, effortlessly crossing genre from Song to Opera to Concert repertoire with his sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful, lyric tenor voice. His versatile musicianship is apparent in the wide range of repertoire in which he excels and the comprehensive list of conductors and ensembles with whom he works.
Described by the Wiener Zeitung as ‘the magnificent tenor’ for his performance with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Purcell’s Fairy Queen he has also been described by the New York Times as a “stand out in an excellent cast” for his portrayal of Andres in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia and Esa Pekka Salonen at the Lincoln Centre New York.
Joshua was born in Manchester and is a graduate of the University of York where he read music. From there he progressed to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied singing, aided by a full scholarship. A landmark in his developing career came in 2006 when he was the overall winner of the International Vocal Concours in ‘s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, as well as taking four of the remaining nine prizes for song, musical interpretation and opera.
Joshua’s international career now sees him travel to the premier concert halls of the world with some of the finest artists of this generation. In the field of early music he has worked with; Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Concentus Musicus Wien), Sir Roger Norrington (Zurich Chamber Orchestra), Harry Bicket (The English Concert), Harry Christophers (The Sixteen, Boston Handel and Haydn Society), Robert King (The King’s Consort), Paul McCreesh (The Gabrieli Consort, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra), Bernard Labadie (OAE), Emmanuelle Haim (Le Concert d’Astree) and has developed a particular affinity with the works of Bach, Handel and Monteverdi and within that a special love for the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions. Such is the flexibility of Joshua’s voice that he is also able to meet the stylistic demands of later repertoire and he has been privileged to work with such luminaries as Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding and Esa Pekka Salonen in works as varied as Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) to The Seven Deadly Sins (Kurt Weill) and Wozzeck (Berg). Orchestras include the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, The Philharmonia, The Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Brabants Orkest, RTE Symphony, Ulster Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra.
Song is another important feature of Joshua’s artistry and his care for the text, allied to his beautiful and carefully modulated vocal production, allows for the most moving and engaging of performances. One of the greatest successes of recent years has been a programme devised around the First World War letters of Josh’s Great Uncle Jack in which through his dramatic readings of letters and interspersed song, audiences have been left deeply moved. A particularly special performance took place this year at the Cologne Early Music Festival where some of the letters were translated into German and read by Joshua.