CATHERINE GROOM

Catherine Groom

Cat is a player of early harps (medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and folk) and woodwinds (recorders and whistles), and a mezzo-soprano singer.

Happiest in the theatre pit or the opera pit, her shows include:

For Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: The Heresy of Love (triple harp, voice, recorder)
For the RSC: Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies (West End transfer) (lever harp, recorders)
For Passion in Practice: Macbeth (direction of improvised live-score, various harps and whistles)
For Hampstead Garden Opera: Monteverdi L'Orfeo, Cavalli La Calisto (harp, recorders)
For Opéra de Baugé: Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream (recorder, voice) (on-stage), Handel Rodelinda, Handel Riccardo I (recorders), Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice (chorus)
For The Lion's Part (Globe Theatre main stage in Bankside October Plenty Festival): Juno in Tempest Masque (voice)
For Community in Music Opera: Britten Noye's Fludde (principal recorder)
For Transition Opera: Blow Venus and Adonis (recorder)

Monteverdi L'Incoronazione di Poppea (continuo harp, recorders) for Opéra de Baugé is forthcoming.

Cat's instrumental and vocal work with Renaissance group Passamezzo has recently included filming for Henry VIII and His Six Wives, a Channel 5 documentary presented by Dan Jones and Suzannah Lipscomb; recording on their latest disc Meditations and touring in Morocco as well as concert work.

Cat's other regular work also includes extensive London-based liturgical choral work; oratorio (both solo singing and orchestral playing), concerto and recital work for many festivals and musical societies; and background music for functions on early and folk harps, often working as a duo with lutenist Richard MacKenzie (venues have included Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Scotland Office on Whitehall, Kensington Palace and a great many museums and City livery company halls).

Cat also has two groups of her own which record and present concerts both within the UK and further afield in Europe: Flos Harmonicus (a duo with baritone Adrian Horsewood which explores multi-instrumental musical story-telling in the folk tradition as well as straighter medieval music and early Baroque monody with voice and harp) and Mascherata (a Renaissance trio with baritone Adrian Horsewood and lutenist Richard MacKenzie which explores the colourful musics of sixteenth-century Spain and Venice).

She read music at Oxford University where she held both choral and instrumental scholarships, and then undertook postgraduate study in historical performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the Royal Academy of Music. Other study includes work with the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra in Aldeburgh and the Dartington Baroque Orchestra.

Cat's harps include a medieval harp by Alice Margerum; Renaissance single-row and Baroque triple harps by Simon Capp; lever harps by Telynau Teifi and a selection of historical folk harps. Her Renaissance recorders are made by various makers, her Baroque recorders mostly by Martin Wenner, and her whistles by Phil Bleazey and others. 

Cat also writes on early music for various publications, most frequently Early Music Today; teaches at St. John's College School, Cambridge and on a freelance basis for Goldsmiths, University of London, and has a sideline in calligraphy, producing several historical scripts as well as illuminated initial capitals. She lives in London.