Biography

cheyney kent

Cheyney with the BBC Singers after performing Strauss’ Deutsche Motette at the 2014 BBC Proms

This biography is for reference only. For a high resolution version headshot and current programme-note biography please contact Cheyney directly.
A comprehensive chronological CV of contracts is available on request.

I have been working in choral singing in the UK and abroad since being a student at the Royal Academy of Music & King’s College London. The core of this work is session or contract singing – opera chorus, concert ensembles, studio recording for commercial and film music, singing in churches and at specific functions.

Concert

Working within groups such as The BBC Singers and London Voices, I am often invited to perform modern and newly commissioned music in concert, from Ligeti’s Requiem at The Berlin Philharmonie to Berio and Stravinsky at The BBC Proms, Magnus Lindberg at the Royal Festival Hall, and Judith Weir and Unsuk Chin at the Barbican. I am proud to have worked with The Philharmonia and Robert Craft on the conductor’s recordings of Schönberg and Stravinsky for Naxos.

Like many choral singers, I also work as an extra choral singer to assist amateur groups when they perform music that requires a little extra support.

Opera

I have sung in the chorus of recordings and performances of over fifty operas for groups such as Opera Rara, Chandos Opera In English, The BBC Singers and Philharmonia Voices.

On stage, I was resident with Nationale Reisopera of The Netherlands in 2007 and the Aix Festival Opera Chorus in 2010, with English Voices, with whom I also gave the first staged production of an opera (Handel’s Semele) in China at the 13th International Beijing Music Festival. I performed in the world premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera in 2012 and travelled to Shanghai and Beijing in 2013 for performances of Peter Grimes.

I sang the First Apparition (Macbeth) for English National Opera’s recording in 2013 since when I have been engaged as extra chorus for ENO on a number of occasions, from Terry Gilliam’s celebrated production of Benvenuto Cellini to the award-winning productions of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, The Force of Destiny and Jenufa.

As a soloist I have performed step-out roles in semi-staged performances of operas, notably those under Richard Hickox, singing The Madhousekeeper (Rake’s Progress), Nightwatchman (Gloriana), Swede (Paul Bunyan) and latterly as the Italian Waiter (Death In Venice, in a special concert performance in 2006).

In a return to principal roles, in September 2011 I sang Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) for Surrey Opera and Colline (La Boheme) with the Lambeth Orchestra in March 2012. I have covered Rocco (Fidelio), le Bailli (Werther) & Lodovico (Otello) for Midsummer Opera, with whom I sang Montano (Otello) and Sciarrone (Tosca). I sang Colline & The Count in new productions of La boheme and The Marriage of Figaro for Opera 24 in the 2015 & 2016 Grimeborn Opera Festivals.

Consort & Chamber

I was a member of the professional choirs of St. Bartholomew-the-Great (1996-2001) & St. Margaret’s Westminster (2002-2004). I continue to sing as a freelance chorister with the major London churches.

I have  worked with The English Concert, Ex Cathedra, Ludus Baroque and The Sweelinck Ensemble. I’m particularly pleased to have performed and recorded with the contemporary vocal ensemble Exaudi. Since 2016 I have managed the City Bach Collective, with whom I perform cantatas by Bach and his contemporaries as part of the long-running Bach Vespers series in the City of London.

Commercial & Film

I have recorded music for a very diverse diet of films and companies: from the Star Wars and The Hobbit franchises and performing in concert works by Paul McCartney and Howard Shore (The Lord of The Rings) to an advert for IKEA. He has sung backing tracks on Classical Brit Award-winning album Blake (Blake) and for other popular acts such as Natasha Marsh, Bryn Terfel and The Priests as well as Gareth Malone’s BBC documentary How A Choir Works.

I have particularly fond memories of having a featured on-screen chorus role in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s 2007 film The Magic Flute.

Additionally, I have been involved in music education. I hold a PGCE in Secondary Music from the University of Sussex Institute of Education. For some time I was a peripatetic teacher and coached young singers in the Surrey County Youth Choir. Increasingly I have worked (with the BBC Singers) in workshop situations in schools and with young composers and helping to lead the BBC’s popular Come and Sing projects.