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Choral Scholars 2022-23

Thames Philharmonic Choir is delighted to have appointed four choral scholars who are singing with us this season. They are:

Daisy Livesey


Prior to joining the Royal Academy of Music, where she has just completed her first year on the undergraduate course in Vocal Studies, Daisy performed as a chorus member and soloist with Oxford Girls' Choir in operas by Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Roderick Williams. At that time she was coached by Sophie Bevan and also did some teaching with the Girls' and Boys' choirs. 


She joined RAM in September 2021 and is now coached by Alex Ashworth. She has taken full advantage of the performance opportunities there, in particular the Bach series of concerts when she was selected as the soprano soloist and conducted by Eamonn Dougan. She also sings at St Mary's Bayswater for Alastair Carey as one of 2-5 singers selected service by service. 


Her favourite composer is probably Bach and she would be happy to talk all day about how under-appreciated he is – and the communication, language and emotional connection of his work. Daisy has set her sights on a career in opera and recital singing.

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Hera Protopapas


Hera is originally from Sweden with a background as a choral singer in ensembles performing everything from big choral works to smaller pieces and new commissions. She has just completed her undergraduate degree in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music and now studying on a Masters there in Vocal Performance. She is coached by Giles Underwood and has already won several prizes and awards. Her final recital explored the theme of Greek mythology through music by Handel, Schubert, Monteverdi and contemporary composer Hilary Tann.

She is especially interested in all kinds of ensemble singing and has been a regular contributor to the series of Bach concerts at the Academy working with Philippe Herreweghe and Masaaki Suzuki; she also recently performed Mahler's third symphony at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Semyon Bychkov. 

Hera is interested in musicology and fascinated by meaning, communication and intertextual relationships in music. Hera has some experience of boards and committees, and is currently working as a Front of House Manager at RAM. Her aim for the future is to nurture a portfolio career covering performance and academia, exploring different repertoires and ways of performance.

Matthew Cooke 


Matthew is a first-class French, Italian and Business Administration graduate from the University of Kent. Alongside his degree he gained a scholarship to study singing with Australian Bass-Baritone Peter Cox and on his year abroad in Switzerland sang with Avant Scene Opera. Whilst at University, Matthew gained a second scholarship to conduct the University Chamber Choir and as part of his training he attended two summer schools with Sing for Pleasure. At the same time, Matthew took on the role of the University Chorus Manager responsible for scores, payments, arrangements, social media and general administration.


Matthew is now self-funding his singing studies with tenor Ben Johnson and vocal coach Rebecca Taylor, whilst building his network as a soloist and choir member with numerous groups in the UK and abroad. Matthew loves all the great Italian composers especially Puccini but has recently discovered the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan which are proving to be the perfect challenge before being able to tackle the roles that any tenor dreams of singing! 


In the last six months, Matthew has sung the roles of Alexis, The Sorcerer; Ralph, HMS Pinafore and more recently the role of Nanki-Pooh, The Mikado with Peak Opera at the Buxton Opera House as part of the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. Matthew's short-term ambition is to establish himself as a competent singer in London with the long-term aim of building a long and sustainable career as a professional opera singer.

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Sam is currently studying to be an opera singer. He works with an eclectic range of repertoire, encompassing opera, oratorio and song. He recently studied with the vocal department at the Guildhall, where he learned with Susan Waters. During this time, he worked with, amongst others, Iain Burnside, Julius Drake, Linnhe Robertson and Simon Iorio. He is currently taught by Stuart Macintyre. 

Sam is an alum of Royal Holloway, where he was awarded a BMus with First Class Honours, winning the Dame Felicity Lott Scholarship in his Final Year which has funded his further study at the Guildhall. He also held a Choral Scholarship with the Choir, with whom he also sang as a soloist. While in the choir, Sam recorded various CDs and performed across Europe. 

As a soloist, Sam has sung solo roles in an eclectic range of opera, oratorio, and song. Sam has been a long-time member of the St Endellion Festival, where he sings in the Chorus; particular highlights have been Britten’s Death in Venice, Gloriana and Billy Budd, as well as Puccini’s La Bohème and Bizet’s Carmen. He has recently started singing some solo repertoire at the Festival including a small role in Death in Venice, which saw him on stage with Roderick Williams and Mark Padmore. He premiered Oliver Tarney’s song Lines Composed Upon at St Endellion in 2021. He is also premiering The Hurlers and the Rumour Catcher, by Maddy Aldis-Evans, at the 2023 Festival. Sam is a particular lover of modern opera, having written his dissertation on operas of John Adams. Chorally, he particularly enjoys the work of William Walton, and is excited to work with a group of such enthusiastic musicians.

“Once again, we were delighted with the number and quality of the applicants", says TPC Chair Sandra Macniven. "We are all enjoying working with this year's Scholars, and really appreciate d their enthusiasm for singing with the Choir and getting involved with us as a community".

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