Born in Derbyshire, Harriet Eyley is a graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she studied for an Artist Diploma, supported by the Siow-Furniss and Henry Wood Accommodation Trust Scholarships. She is the recipient of a First Class BMus Honours degree, a Distinction in her MMus degree and was awarded the prestigious DipRAM for an outstanding final recital and master’s dissertation from the Royal Academy of Music. Harriet remains under the tutelage of Lillian Watson. At the Royal College of Music, she sang Clotilde Faramondo, in association with the London Handel Festival, Serpetta La finta giardiniera and Thérèse Les mamelles de Tirésias.
She has worked with artists such as Sir Thomas Allen, Laurence Cummings, Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles, and performed live for BBC Radio 3 In Tune and for HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Concert engagements have taken her to Derby and Guildford Cathedrals, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, and London’s Barbican Hall, Science Museum and St John’s, Smith Square. For British Youth Opera, she sang Nora Riders to the Sea.
During 2017 / 2018, she sang Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Vixen Sharp-Ears The Cunning Little Vixen for the Royal College of Music, and was an Alvarez Young Artist with Garsington Festival Opera, where she sang Papagena Die Zauberflöte.
Harriet Eyley was a second study pianist at the Birmingham Junior Conservatoire and remains thankful for past and present support including The Countess of Munster, Josephine Baker and Drake Calleja Trusts and Help Musicians UK.
Harriet Eyley was a Welsh National Opera Associate Artist between 2018 / 2020, her programme supported by the WNO Sir John Moores Award and the WNO Chris Ball Bursary. During 2018 / 2019, she sang Norina Don Pasquale and Oscar Un ballo in maschera, as well as appearing in a series of concerts with the orchestra, A Night in Vienna. She also appeared in Lucy Worsley’s Queen Victoria’s Music for BBC 2.
Engagements during 2019 / 2020 included Frasquita Carmen and Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Beethoven: The 1808 Concert with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Four Seasons by Candlelight for Raymond Gubbay Ltd and New Year Gala concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
COVID-19 cost her performances as Cupid Paride ed Elena for Bampton Classical Opera and Oscar Un ballo in Maschera on tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as concerts in London and Lucerne.
It is hoped that engagements in 2021 will include Oriana Amadigi for English Touring Opera, Meleagro La corona for Bampton Classical Opera and Chocholka, as well as one performance as The Vixen The Cunning Little Vixen for Opera Holland Park.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
Frasquita: Carmen / Welsh National Opera
“Harriet Eyley and Angela Simkin blended ideally as Frasquita and Mercédès…”
“Frasquita (Harriet Eyley) and Mercédès (Angela Simkin) were fully involved in the drama, sang with vibrancy, and were also clearly distinguished characters.”
“Harriet Eyley (Frasquita) and Angela Simkin (Mercédès) made attractive and vivacious companions of Carmen, singing and acting with pleasing commitment and judgement.”
Seen and Heard International
“There’s strong support from Harriet Eyley and Angela Simkin (Frasquita and Mercédès)…”
Tytania: A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Royal College of Music
“Harriet Eyley, magnetic, big-voiced and bright-toned…”
“Harriet Eyley – whom I admired very much as the Vixen in RCM’s production of Janacek’s own forest foray last Autumn, and in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias at the College earlier that year – was, as Tatyana, once again tremendously glossy of voice, adding some much needed glamour.”
Meleagro: La corona / Bampton Classical Opera
“Harriet Eyley’s Meleagro, whose heroism en travesti, both bright-toned and variegated, proved just the ‘early Classical’ ticket.”
“As the heroic Meleagro, soprano Harriet Eyley combined warmth and litheness. She captured the prince’s earnestness in ‘Sol voi rese il ciel cortese’, praising the Emperor’s glorious virtue, while ‘Fe’ germolgliare il fato’ was an absolute delight…”
Norina: Don Pasquale / Welsh National Opera
“…well sung and acted by Harriet Eyley…”
Arts Scene in Wales
“Harriet Eyley was an appealing Norina, with a big, well-rounded voice.”
British Theatre Guide
“Harriet Eyley gives a magical two-fold performance as the cute dungaree-clad health drink seller, Norina, who transforms into a vivacious valleys siren and turns both Pasquale and Ernesto’s worlds upside down with love and desire while she dazzles the audience with her beautiful soprano delivery.”
Entertainment South Wales
“Harriet Eyley is both charming and puckishly naughty in her subterfuge…”
“Harriet Eyley, whose complex timbre takes her beyond a soubrette, threw herself into her characterisation of right-on Norina and lairy Sofronia, and Nico Darmanin’s all-singing, all-dancing Ernesto offered the vocal highlights.”
Nico Darmanin and Harriet Eyley are strong singers with lovely voices…”
Plays To See
“Sung gloriously and acted with huge comedic flair by Harriet Eyley…”
South Wales Argus
Clotilde: Faramondo / London Handel Festival
“…she emerged with triumphant vigour in the memorable and virtuosic aria ‘Combatutta da due venti’…”
“Eyley, silver-toned and effortless, is by turns virtuosic and exquisite.”
“Harriet Eyley displays a beguiling soprano as Clotilde…”
“Harriet Eyley sparkled as a gamine Clotilde…”
“I enjoyed Harriet Eyley’s spirited portrayal of the conflicted Clotilde…”
Vixen Sharp-Ears: The Cunning Litle Vixen / Royal College of Music
“Harriet Eyley is a triumph as the Vixen, captivating vocally and dramatically and conveying a lovely innocence and ferocity…”
“As the Vixen, Harriet Eyley displayed thrilling brightness and vocal intensity, conveying the character’s vulnerability as well as her confidence and insouciance. In the moonlit interlude her soaring lyrical lines blazed with passion.”
Barbarina: Le nozze di Figaro / Welsh National Opera
“Barbarina, sung by Harriet Eyley, was charming.”
Art Scene in Wales
“Harriet Eyley maximised the opportunities Barbarina gets to steal key moments in the action.”
“Harriet Eyley sang a crystalline Barbarina…”
“Harriet Eyley made a real impression, vocally and dramatically – a future Susanna.”
Plays To See
Thérèse: Les mamelles de Tirésias / Royal College of Music
“…in Harriet Eyley, the RCM were blessed with a fine singing actress who projected imposingly but with a vocal warmth which assuaged some of Thérèse’s feisty unreasonableness. The challenging coloratura was sung with penetrating precision and a sparkle of panache.“
Nora: Riders to the Sea / British Youth Opera
“…sung with searing concentration and wonderfully contained restraint…”
“…the radiantly engaged soprano Harriet Eyley as Nora…”
Oscar: Un ballo in maschera / Welsh National Opera
“It is a voice with wonderful warmth, clarity and tone, and she exudes charm on stage, and, in this role, a sense of mischief and fun whenever she appears. Definitely one to watch.”
Behind the Arras