British actress Lydia Kay was born in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Daughter to an artist and a guitarist she naturally grew up creative in many ways. From an early age Lydia decided that acting was the career for her, and everything she has achieved since has been in pursuit of this dream. When she was age 7, she first trod the boards with a local amateur dramatics group, and later went on to perform many times with the Leighton Buzzard Children's Theatre. It was through work with this group that Lydia began to fully realise her potential, not only with acting but singing and dance also. By the time she was headed for drama school Lydia had twelve years of experience on stage, as well as seven years training in dance (styles including street, jazz, modern and ballet).
Lydia trained for three years at East 15 Acting School on the BA (Hons) World Performance course, and is privileged to belong to its first ever graduating year. The course was a valuable eye opener for Lydia, teaching her to strive for what she wants and exposing her to a huge range of different global performance techniques, which both intrigued and inspired her. The intensive training enabled her to develop her performance in Western acting styles but also to learn new disciplines such as Jingju, Balinese dance, Kecak, traditional Nigerian dance and drumming, Butoh and many more.
Since graduating Lydia has been acting almost non-stop, with a great desire to progress into film and television. She has had several scare acting jobs, which were of great enjoyment, and has been warmly welcomed into the world of touring Pantomime. One of the greatest opportunities she had was the chance to perform everyday at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for Coca-Cola, in their interactive Beatbox building. An experience which has since influenced her to take up archery. She also completed filming on the feature 'Survivors', and has a lead role coming up in 2013 in the high profile indie film 'Invasion of the Not Quite Dead'.
Award-winning British mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately sings on concert, opera and recital stages in the UK and internationally. Currently a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, she is also an HSBC Laureate for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and was the winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 2011. Highlights for Kitty this season include singing Kate in Britten's Owen Wingrave at Opéra National de Lorraine; Bach’s Magnificat with the Choir of King’s College Cambridge and the Britten Sinfonia; De Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Britten Sinfonia on tour in Spain and the Netherlands; and Eurydice Orfeo with English National Opera at the Bristol Old Vic. She also made her City of Birmingham Symphony debut and performed at London’s Wigmore Hall with pianist Joseph Middleton. In June 2015, Kitty will appear in a new production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight at Opera Holland Park in North London.
Other recent highlights have included Kitty’s Opera Holland Park debut as Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia; her BBC Proms debut in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Suite from Act II of Caroline Mathilde with BBC National Orchestra of Wales; her debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in the world premiere of The House Taken Over directed by Katie Mitchell; and her house debut at English National Opera in Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress. She has also appeared in the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy as Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro.
An outstanding interpreter of songs, Kitty has been invited to give recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Wigmore Hall, the Elgar Room (RAH), Leeds Lieder, Buxton Festival and Leighton House. She works with internationally renowned accompanists such as Roger Vignoles, Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Gary Matthewman and Joseph Middleton.
Kitty Whately trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was awarded the Aldama Scholarship and numerous prizes. She won the 59th Royal Over-seas League Award for Singers in 2011 and was also a finalist at the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition 2010.