Contralto & Mezzo-Soprano
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Grace Hewett

Grace Hewett

Artist Administrator


Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

About Jess

Cumbrian born Jess Dandy is the foremost British contralto of her generation and has been praised for her instrument of velvety plangent timbre, and her artistic remarkable immediacy. Jess studied Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and is an alumna and Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Highlights of the 2024/25 season include her return to the BBC Proms for Holst’s The Cloud Messenger with the BBC Symphony conducted by Sakari Oramo, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Boston Symphony conducted by Hannu Lintu at Tanglewood, Thomas Adès Totentanz with Leipzig Gewandhausorchester conducted by Thomas Adès, Mozart’s Requiem with Aalborg Symphony conducted by Sofi Jeannin, Handel’s Messiah with Tampere Philharmonic conducted by Matthew Halls, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Concertgebouworkest conducted by Riccardo Minasi and Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet with Bergen Philharmonic and Bryn Terfel, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

On the recital stage, Jess will return to the Oxford International Song Festival for a programme entitled Eternity in an Hour with Keval Shah, to the Wigmore Hall for a recital with Dylan Perez and to the University of York for a recital with Ben Goldscheider, Fenella Humphreys and Martin Roscoe, amongst others.

Jess finds a natural habitat on the recital platform and enjoys working with a range of pianists, including Martin Roscoe, Dylan Perez, Malcolm Martineau, Chris Glynn, James Baillieu, Julius Drake, Gary Matthewman, Keval Shah, Ian Tindale, Sholto Kynoch, Anthony Hewitt, Gavin Roberts, Iain Burnside, Simon Lepper, Huw Watkins and Wolfram Rieger.

In 2021, Jess was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the category of Young Artist. She is a multi-faceted artist with a keen interest in ecology, body psychology and spirituality. She is the co-founder of SongPath, a mental health initiative creating musical walking trails in nature for better mental health. With composer Alex Mills, she developed the Music & Being Collective, an open laboratory space exploring music and our sense of self through interdisciplinary dialogue.

Jess is based in Cumbria, United Kingdom

Download programme biography   


Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

Season Highlights

Aug 2024
BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall
Holst The Cloud Messenger BBC Symphony Orchestra Sakari Oramo (conductor)
Aug 2024
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 Boston Symphony Orchestra Hannu Lintu (conductor)
Oct 2024
Gewandhaus Leipzig
Thomas Adès — Totentanz für Mezzosopran, Bariton und Orchester Gewandhausorchester Thomas Adès (conductor)

Selected Repertoire

Antonio CaldaraCaio Marzio Coriolano (title role)*
BerliozBéatrice et Bénédict (Ursule)*
BizetCarmen (title role)*
BrittenPaul Bunyan Op. 17 (Alto in Quartet of the Defeated Blues)*   •   Peter Grimes Op. 33 (Auntie/Mrs Sedley)*   •   The Rape of Lucretia Op. 37 (Lucretia/Bianca)*   •   Albert Herring Op. 39 (Florence Pike/Nancy/Mrs Herring)*   •   The Little Sweep Op. 45 (Miss Baggott)*   •   Noye’s Fludde Op. 59 (Mrs Noye)   •   A Midsummer Night’s Dream Op. 64 (Hippolyta)*   •   Death in Venice Op. 88 (German mother/strolling player)*
DebussyPelléas et Mélisande (Geneviève)
GluckOrfeo ed Euridice (Orfeo)
HandelRinaldo (title role)*   •   Radamisto (Zenobia)*   •   Floridante (Elmira)*   •   Ottone, re di Germania (Matilda)*   •   Flavio, re de’ Longobardi (Teodata)*   •   Giulio Cesare (Cornelia)*   •   Rodelinda (Eduige)   •   Fernando, Re di Castiglia (Sancio)   •   Ariodante (Polinesso)*   •   Alcina (Bradamante)*   •   Serse (Amastre)*
Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel (The Gingerbread Witch)*
Janáček The Diary of One Who Disappeared (Zefka)
Jonathan DoveThe Adventures of Pinocchio (Pigeon/Snail)
Josephine StephensonThree Lunar Seas (She) (created the role)
MonteverdiL’incoronazione di Poppea (Ottavia/Arnalta)*   •   L’Orfeo (La Messaggiera)
MozartDie Zauberflöte K. 620 (Dritte Dame)
PucciniSuor Angelica (La Zia principessa)
PurcellDido and Aeneas (Dido/Sorceress)
RavelL’Enfant et les sortilèges (La tasse chinoise/Un pâtre)
RossiniLa Donna del lago (Malcolm)
ShostakovichLady Macbeth of Mtsensk Op. 29 (Sonyetka)*
StraussAriadne Auf Naxos (Dryade)
TippettMidsummer Marriage (Sosotris)
WagnerDas Rheingold (Erda/Fricka/Floßhilde)   •   Die Walküre (Fricka/Waltraute/Roßweise)   •   Götterdämmerung (Waltraute   •   Zweite Norn / Floßhilde)
William WaltonThe Bear (Popova)

Sample Programmes

  • Recital

    “...the world lies at her feet like a lovely dream’ The Art of French Song (originally performed with Dylan Perez) CHAMINADE Ronde d’amour: Ah! Si l’amour prenait racine (text: Charles Fuster) Ma première letter: Hélas! Que nous oublions vite (text: Rosemonde Gerard) Chanson triste: Dans les profondes mers (text: Comtesse Rochaïd) Viens, mon bien-aimé: Les beaux jours (text: Armand Lafrique) Si j’étais jardinier (text: Léon Roger-Milès) CAPLET Les Prières I. Oraison dominicale II. Salutation angélique III. Symbole des Apôtres FAURÉ La Chanson d’Eve (selections) Op. 95 1. Paradis 2. Prima verba 5. L’aube blanche 6. L’eau vivante 9. Crépuscule 10. O mort poussière d’étoiles INTERVAL BERLIOZ from Roméo et Juliette (adapted) Scherzetto. Mab la messagère RAVEL from Histoires naturelles (1906) Text: Jules Renard Le grillon DUTILLEUX Quatre mélodies (1942) 1. Féerie au clair de lune (text: Raymond Genty) 2. Pour une amie perdue (text: Edmond Borsent) 3. Regarde sur l’infini (text: Anna de Noailles) 4. Fantasio (text: André Bellesort) DEBUSSY Trois Ballades de François Villon L119 (1910) 1. Ballade de Villon à s'Amye 2. Ballade que Villon feit à la requeste de sa mère pour prier Nostre Dame 3. Ballade des femmes de Paris HONEGGER Petit cours de morale H. 148 (1941) Text: Jean Giraudoux I. Jeanne II. Adèle III. Cécile IV. Irène V. Rosemonde OFFENBACH From Six Fables de La Fontaine (1842) Le corbeau et le renard Le rat de ville et le rat des champs La cigale et la fourmi

  • Recital

    “Shall I Strive with words with move?” Voicing the sixteenth century (originally performed with Malcolm Martineau) JOHN DOWLAND transcr. Malachy Frame Shall I Strive With Words To Move? From Book of Songs, Book 4 ‘A Pilgrimes Solace’ MAURICE RAVEL; CLÉMENT MAROT D’Anne jouant de l’espinette No 2 from Epigrammes de Clément Marot M.10 FRANCIS POULENC; PIERRE DE RONSARD Ballet No 3 from Poèmes de Ronsard FP38a HECTOR BERLIOZ; ERNEST LEGOUVÉ La Mort d’Ophélie, Ballade H.92A: Andantino con moto quasi allegretto CHARLES GOUNOD; SIR PHILIP SIDNEY also set to French words as Mon amour a mon coeur My True Love Hath My Heart ROBERT SCHUMANN; MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS Fünf Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart Op 135 I. Abschied von Frankreich II. Nach der Geburt ihres Sohnes III. An die Königin Elisabeth IV. Abschied von der Welt V. Gebet JOSEPH HOROVITZ; WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Lady Macbeth – A Scena DOMINICK ARGENTO ; BEN JONSON Hymn No 6 from Six Elizabethan Songs DOMINICK ARGENTO; HENRY CONSTABLE Diaphenia No 5 from Six Elizabethan Songs ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD; WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Four Shakespeare Songs op. 31 Desdemona’s Song No 1 Under the Greenwood Tree No 2 When Birds Do Sing No 4 JOHN DOWLAND; transcr. MALACHY FRAME Now, O Now I needs must part from The First Booke of Songs or Ayres



  • Mozart Requiem with Tampere Philharmonic

    Tampere Hall
    Nov 2023
    • Among the quality voices stood out, one possible future star, alto Jess Dandy. Her voice with a refined range and a fateful weightiness.