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Pauline Viardot

Prima Donna - Composer - Muse - Inspiration

A household name across Europe during the late 19th century, Pauline Viardot was an international opera star by 18, studied the piano with Liszt, played duets with Chopin, charmed Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Gounod and the writer Turgenev, and hosted the greatest musical salon of her day.

Cameratina and its new artistic director, Susanna Stranders, have created a weekend combining some of the finest music of Belle Epoch Paris, Taking as its theme the bicentenary of Pauline Viardot.

With a recital by the winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at Cardiff Singer of the World 2019, an open workshop where two young British composers will be work with with musicians to rehearse their newly-commissioned pieces, a new English translation of Viardot’s comic operetta Cinderella, culminating with an invitation into Viardot’s salon, where the audience will hear music, poetry and readings from Pauline’s circle of friends, this is Cameratina's most ambitious weekend yet.  

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In our Saturday afternoon recital, Katie, accompanied by Susanna on piano, will focus on Viardot’s beautiful Mélodies, which she composed for her students to sing.  Katie, who will feature in three performances over the weekend, is perhaps best known for stealing the audience’s heart at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 and carrying off the Joan Sutherland Prize.  The recital also features Flautist, Robert Manasse. 

Saturday 2nd April, 2.30pm


Originally in French, Susanna has secured a new English translation from the acclaimed lyricist, director and composer, Jeremy Sams. With translations for ENO and the Royal National Theatre, Sams is no stranger to the world of opera and his new libretto for Cinderella is a witty and sophisticated take on this beloved folk tale.  Conducted from the piano by Susanna and directed by Cecilia Stinton, Cinderella features an exceptional cast of some of the brightest young talent in British opera including Claire Lees as Cinders, with Georgia Mae Bishop, Liam Bonthrone, Robert Lewis, Kieran Rayner, Alison Rose and Katy Thomson.

Cinderella, Saturday 2nd April, 6.00pm

with a repeat performance at 8.30pm

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The audience is invited to sit in on a workshop.  Two newly-commissioned works by award winning British composers Dani Howard and Lilly Vadaneaux have been written for the weekend.  Dani and Lilly will work with Mezzo-Soprano Katie Bray and Ellipsis to explore the two new pieces of work, chasing down the nuances that Dani and Lilly are seeking to achieve in their music.  The two pieces will be performed for the first time that evening at ‘Chez Pauline’.

Sunday 3rd April, 2.00pm

Chez Pauline

An early-evening concert that will evoke the atmosphere of the celebrated Paris Salon that Viardot ran in her later years and at which many new pieces were given their first performance.

An evening from Pauline's salon, where Katie and Ellipsis will perform the two world premières as the centrepiece of the recital.  Narrated by Henrietta Bredin, it will feature music, readings and art from the artistic personalities who visited the Salon, many of whom dedicated work to Viardot or credited her with launching their careers – from Brahms and Saint-Saëns to Fauré and Tchaikovsky, from George Sand to Tolstoy.

Sunday 3rd April, 5.30pm

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The details

Tickets are £40.  Children are very welcome to any of the performances, but Cinderella would be particularly suitable.  Children's tickets are £15. 

All performances are held in St Cuthbert's Church, Oborne, DT9 4LA

Tickets availble from   |   01935 817194

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