Dame Sarah Connolly

Sat 11 July 2020

Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton

Mezzo-soprano and piano

F Poulenc Banalités

H Duparc Chanson triste; Au pays où se fait la guerre; Extase; L’invitation au voyage; Testament

G Mahler Rückertlieder

R Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben

Dame Sarah Connolly is widely recognised as one of the finest artists of her generation.

Her operatic repertoire ranges from great Handelian heroes such as Xerxes and Ariodante to Wagner’s Brangäne and Fricka. She was nominated for an Olivier Award for her portrayal of Sesto in David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito. It is perhaps her unfailing ability to bring dramatic depth and nuance to her interpretations that distinguishes her most as an artist.

Her programme for Buxton begins with the lush harmonies of some of the greatest French melodies, with Francis Poulenc’s Banalités and songs by Duparc. Dame Sarah Connolly has performed all of Mahler’s vocal works, and in this concert she sings the deeply moving Rückertlieder. She finishes with Schumann’s masterpiece, Frauenlieben und -leben, an intimate account of a woman’s love for a man. The cycle was written in 1840, Schumann’s so-called ‘year of song’ in which he wrote numerous songs and his four greatest song cycles.

Pianist Joseph Middleton regularly collaborates with some of the UK’s finest singers. Described by BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’ he is artistic director of Leeds Lieder.