I have always enjoyed exploring song repertoire, but this autumn I had the perfect excuse to discover exciting new pieces with a few recitals in Manchester!
The first of these took place in association with the RNCM at St Ann’s Church. Accompanied by Anna Chiu, I performed a programme based on love and the seasons: we travelled through spring, summer and autumn and through love lost and found along the way, with works by R. Strauss, Debussy, Vaughan Williams, Britten and a lesser-known (but no less brilliant) French composer, Charles Koechlin. Anna and I had previously worked together on Handel and Strauss for our first-year assessments, so it was wonderful to perform with her again.
Following this, I was delighted to perform in the Uppermill Festival Coffee Concert Series alongside baritone Liam McNally and accompanied on piano by Festival Director, Duncan Glenday. This concert showcased much-loved operatic and operetta arias, musical theatre and song, including works by Mozart, Britten, Léhar and Novello. I really enjoyed performing the Pamina-Papageno and Don Giovanni-Zerlina duets with Liam – and I even got “Mister Snow” out again, which is always great fun!
Finally, in October, I successfully auditioned for the RNCM Songsters, a small group of singers and pianists dedicated to the performance of song repertoire. This was fantastic news and, even better, I had my first outing the following month in a recital of English song for the Friends of the English Song Festival. The programme – beautifully-constructed by Artistic Director Jonathan Fisher – spanned several centuries of repertoire; I performed Edward Johnson’s “Eliza is the Fairest Queen” with mezzo-soprano Olympia Hetherington and lutenists Sara Salloum and Mark Leighton and Noel Coward’s “A Bar on the Piccola Marina”. It was a great pleasure to hear and work with everyone involved and I can’t wait for our next performance.
Thank you to all those who ventured out on the rainiest of Mancunian days to see us perform!