Total Immersion – Rachmaninov’s Complete Songs - celebrates the 145th anniversary of the composer’s birth and presents a unique opportunity to hear all of his songs over two afternoons - the 4th and 11th November. Many of Rachmaninov’s songs are rarely performed live and are brought to you by musicians and singers from over twelve countries, hand-picked students of UK’s leading conservatoires: the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Wales International Academy of Voice.
This project is curated by Maya Soltan who has overseen auditions, casting, programming, Russian singing and translation. A total number of 52 musicians will take part in this stunning line up! Songs will be presented by Dr Alexander Karpeyev.
SERGEY RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Morning, Op. 4 no.2
Oh, never sing to me again, Op. 4 no.4
A Prayer, Op. 8 no.6
The world would see thee smile, Op. 14 no.6
O, do not grieve, Op. 14 no.8
As fair as day in blaze of noon, Op. 14 no.9
Love’s flame, Op. 14 no.10
Spring Waters, Op. 14 no.11
Tis time, Op. 14 no.12
The Answer, Op. 21 no.4
The Lilacs, Op. 21 no.5
On the death of a Linnet, Op. 21 no.8
Before the Image, Op. 21 no.10
No Prophet I, Op. 21 no.11
Sorrow in Springtime, Op. 21 no.12
Beloved, let us fly, Op. 26 no.5
Christ is risen, Op. 26 no.6
Let me rest here alone, Op. 26 no.9
When yesterday we met, Op. 26 no.13
The Ring, Op. 26 no.14
The Soul’s Concealment, Op. 34 no.2
So dread a fate I’ll never believe, Op. 34 no.7
In my garden at night, Op. 38 no.1
Daisies, Op. 38 no.3
Dreams, Op. 38 no.5
C’etait en avril (1891)
The Flower has faded (1893)
Were you hiccupping? (1899)
Letter to Stanislavsky (1908)
Tamsin Birch, Sofia Celenza, Charlotte Hoather, Mariya Irel, Joohyun Lee, Oxana Lepska, Laura Peresivana, Alice Usher, soprano
Kerri Dietz, Bethany Horak-Hallett, Malvina Maysuradze, Julia Portela Piñón, Rosamunde Thomas, mezzo-soprano
Damian Arnold, tenor
Jonathan de Garis, Adam Maxey, Theodore Platt, Luke Scott,
Benjamin Shilperoort, bass-baritone
Sian Davies, Joe Howson, Rustam Khanmurzin, Esther Knight, Camille Lemonnier, Guy Murgatroyd, Harry Rylance, Maya Soltan, piano
Thomas is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Guildhall School under Andrew West and Eugene Asti, having previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and Diana Ketler. He has won prizes for his performances of Beethoven, Frederick Delius, Arthur Bliss and the contemporary piano repertoire. In his chamber groups he maintains a strong interest in unusual repertoire of the late Romantic, as well as mid-20th-century British music. He has also earned recognition as a specialist in the music of Nikolai Kapustin, having played and conducted world premieres of his compositions in the UK, Singapore, Australia and Taiwan. Off the concert stage, Thomas works as a répétiteur and ballet pianist. He sometimes accompanies and improvises for silent film, having performed at the Barbican Cinema in Erotikon by Gustav Machatý. Thomas also plays the violin, and writes poetry and piano transcriptions of songs and symphonies.
Australian Tenor Damian Arnold is based in London where he studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since moving to London he has had the opportunity to sing with the LSO under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and to cover the role of Eurymachus in the Royal Opera’s The Return of Ulysses. A finalist in the 2015 and 2017 Australian Singing Competition, Damian also spent 2015 in the Opera Australia Schools Company adaptation of La Cenerentola by Rossini. He recently traveled to Israel where he performed scenes from Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as to New Zealand where he performed Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
Tamsin Birch is a second year Soprano at the Royal Academy of Music on the MA course, studying under the tutelage of Nuccia Focile and Iain Ledingham. She has performed in scenes as Nedda, Ilia, Cleopatra, Contessa, Mimi, and Helena. Other projects have included the RAM Bach Cantata series and a paid member of the Philharmonia Chorus. During her studies she has also performed as a soloist for various choral societies and private recitals. Tamsin is fortunate enough to be supported by the Violet M Wallace Award the Mario Lanza Educational Foundation and an Anonymous Donor.
Sofia Celenza began her musical training at the Conservatorio G.Verdi of Milan as a violinist. This professional and international environment allowed her to perform with various orchestras conducted by remarkable artists, such as Ennio Morricone. In 2013 Sofia moved to Paris where she started her training as a classical singer. Sofia is currently in her fourth year of undergraduate course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, studying classical singing under the tutelage of Linda Hirst and Sarah Pring. Passionate about different vocal music styles, she also enjoys exploring contemporary, musical theatre and jazz repertoire. Keen to experiment with other genres Sofia has worked with composers, dancers and actors in modern collaborative projects. Recent opera roles include 2nd Woman in the Blackheath Halls production of Dido and Aeneas, and Damigella in the Trinity Laban summer opera production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. Sofia was also awarded a place in the final of the 2018 Lilian Ash French song competition. She regularly performs at recitals in South-East London and has been engaged in various choral projects with ETO, ORNCC, Trinity Laban, and the Philharmonia Chorus. In the future Sofia hopes to earn a place on the Opera and theatre stage and become a household name among music lovers.
Mezzo-soprano Kerri Dietz trained at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her operatic roles include Orpheus (Orpheus and Eurydice) for New Sussex Opera, cover for Fox and Lapák (The Cunning Little Vixen) for the Grimeborn Festival 2017, and Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), Stewardess (Flight), and Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia) all with the RWCMD. In recital Kerri has performed Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Rückert Lieder and a selection of songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben, Britten's Cabaret Songs and Winter Words, and Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad.
Regina Freire is a Portuguese Soprano currently doing her Masters at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she previously graduated with first honours. Regina has performed in Songs in the City concerts she sang solo in Midsummer’s Night Dream by Mendelssohn in a tour in Portugal with Orquestra XXI.
Regina sang Micromegas in the UK premier of A trip to the Moon by Andrew Norman with LSO and Sir Simon Rattle. She will perform the role of Cobweb in Midsummer’s Night Dream by Britten in the Opera course production at GSMD.
Regina is kindly supported by the Hazell Scholarship Fund and the Guildhall’s trust.
JONATHAN DE GARIS
This year Jonathan de Garis completed an undergraduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music where he was awarded a first class and the Wyburd Prize. He is now studying for a master’s degree at GSMD where he was awarded a full scholarship. Recent engagements include the roles of Eugene Onegin (Opera Loki), Guglielmo (St Paul’s Opera), Jupiter (Orpheus in the Underworld with St Paul’s Opera), Sid (Albert Herring) and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos) in opera scenes at GSMD, and recitals across England with repertoire in German, Russian and English. He is one of the 2018 Samling Scholars.
Following five-star reviews in 2017 for her performance of ‘Uccelina’ in Scottish Opera’s production of BambinO in Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, Soprano Charlotte Hoather continued in the role for a tour of Paris for the Théâtre du Châtelet before the production moved to the Metropolitan Opera House, New York for a series of sell out shows in 2018. In July this year Charlotte won first prize in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod – Pendine International Voice of the Future, followed by her performances of ‘Cunegonde’ in Candide for Surrey Opera and ‘Maria Bertram’ in Waterperry Opera Festival’s production of Mansfield Park.
Alexander Karpeyev is gaining an international profile as a Russian music specialist and champion of lesser known piano and chamber repertoire. His 2014 doctoral thesis explicated an important primary source of Medtner performance practice and has already become an essential reference tool for pianists. His debut recording (Claudia is devoted to the piano music by ‘Russian Émigré Composers’ just over a century ago. Karpeyev and the soprano Sofia Fomina have recently recorded a CD of Medtner songs that will appear in 2019.
Joohyun Lee recently trained at the English National Opera as a member of the ENO Opera Works and studied with Nicholas Sears at the Royal College of Music in London, supported by the RCM Foundation Scholarship. She won several prizes from various international competitions. Her operatic roles include Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Buxton Opera House, Victoria Park, G Live Theatre, RCM, Goldsmiths’ Hall and WOCo), Frasquita in Carmen (Crow’s Hall), Controller in Flight (Lilian Baylis House English National Opera), Fêtu in The Fairy Queen (Opéra Royal de Wallonie). She is based in London and studies with Lillian Watson.
Latvian soprano Oksana Lepska is currently finishing her Bachelor degree at the Royal Academy of Music.
Her professional career started at the age of eleven with performance at Carnegie Hall in NYC, followed by a fellowship at the internationally renowned Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation in Russia.
Oksana has performed solo more than in 500 concerts, most notable achievements include first prizes at the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in NYC (2012, 2014), prize for most-promising singer in Graz, Austria and her two solo concerts.
She regularly performs at venues across the world, including Russia, Austria, France and the UK.
Malvina Maysuradze is a Russian Mezzo-Soprano and a current MMus student at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studies with Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Ingrid Surgenor. She graduated with honours in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London and studied with Nan Christie. Her previous involvements include 2nd Lady in Mozart’s Magic flute, La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and the Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.She also has performed in numerous opera scenes throughout her studies including Maria Mnishek Boris Godunov, Mercedes Carmen and Baba The Medium by Menotti. Upcoming projects include several recitals in the UK and Russia exploring 20th century compositions from the different regions of the USSR.
British Baritone Adam Maxey starts his second year of postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Alison Wells. This year, Adam has performed the operatic roles of Arthur/Officer 3/Voice of the Cards in (The Lighthouse, P. Maxwell-Davies), Quince (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, B. Britten), Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea, G. F. Handel), Apollo (Apollo e Dafne, G. F. Handel) and as bass soloist in a number of oratorio works, including: Petite Messe Solennelle (G. Rossini) and The Creation (J. Haydn). This autumn, Adam is singing the title role in W. A. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
JULIA PORTELA PIÑÓN
Julia Portela Piñón is a young Spanish mezzo-soprano, currently studying a Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music under the guidance of Caitlin Hulcup, Yvonne Howard and Iain Ledingham. She has recently performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Lymington Choral Society, Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat with the Anstieg Symphony Orchestra and Bach’s Cantatas 24, 44 and 134 with the Academy Baroque Orchestra. Julia is honoured to be supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, through which she has obtained engagements such as a coming concert of Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Hodge and a performance of Bach’s St John Passion conducted by Jonathan Willcocks at the Leith Hill Music Festival.
LAURA LOLITA PEREŠIVANA
Laura Lolita Perešivana is a Latvian soprano born in 1995. This year Laura made her debut as Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the underworld and as Pamina in The Magic Flute (Berlin Opera Academy). She started her operatic career two years ago at the Latvian National Opera House where she performed Lauretta Gianni Schicchi and First Spirit The Magic Flute, which she also performed at The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Laura’s awards include ‘The 54th Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest’ Extraordinary prize in Spain; competition for ‘Anders Walls Stiftelse’ in Sweden; ‘Inessa Galante Talents’ in Latvia; IX International vocalist contest ‘Kohtla Jarve’ in Estonia, and many others. Laura has started her final year of her Undergraduate studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama with professor Janice Chapman.
British-Russian baritone Theodore Platt is the winner of the 2018 Lies Askonas Competition. He studies at the Royal College of Music International Opera School, helped by generous support from the Fenella and Harry Hope Memorial Scholarship, the Sybil Tutton Opera Award, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Gillian Ashby Opera Scholarship and the Josephine Baker Trust. He studies with Russell Smythe and Caroline Dowdle. Forthcoming engagements include Le Nozze di Figaro (Title) for RCMIOS, directed by Sir Thomas Allen, Stravinsky Threni (baritone soloist) with Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO, and a recital of Rachmaninoff romances for the Rachmaninoff Song Festival (Pushkin House). Recent projects include Marullo (Rigoletto) under Stanislav Kochanovsky for the Verbier Festival where he was an Academy young artist, and Ben Pascoe in Huw Watkins’ In The Locked Room for RCMIOS. Theodore read Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 2016.
Bass-baritone, studied Voice at the Royal Academy of Music and History at Cambridge University. His recent roles include Colline La Bohème and Fiorello Il Barbiere di Siviglia (for Opera Brava), Il Commendatore Don Giovanni (for Royal Academy Opera), cover of Masetto Don Giovanni (for British Youth Opera), and Seneca L’Incoronazione di Poppea (for Hampstead Garden Opera). Benjamin has performed at Leeds Lieder Festival, and as a soloist in the Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series. In addition to his performing career, Benjamin is in high demand as a vocal teacher, and has given masterclasses at leading schools.
Russian Accompanist and Repetiteur Maya Soltan trained at the Moscow State conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music. She studied with Michael Dussek and Andrew West. Maya is a former trainee at the National Opera Studio, where she was supported by the Nelly Groner Bursary. Engagements include 'La Serva Padrona' and 'Eugene Onegin' both at the Royal Academy of Music, 'Bastienne und Bastien' at the Grove Park Festival, 'Traviata' and 'Don Giovanni' with Winslow Hall Opera and 'Fidelio' with Longborough Festival Opera. Maya was awarded the Elena Gerhardt Accompanist’s prize and Bach Fund Award at the Royal Academy of Music and First prize at the North London Piano festival. She accompanied singers in prestigious masterclasses with Kiri Te Kanawa, Simon Keenlyside and the director of the Royal Opera House Kasper Holten. Recent highlights include collaborations with British Library, the Royal Academy of Music, National Opera Studio and Philarmonia Voices.
Luke Scott hails from Carluke, Scotland. He is a Baritone who has recently graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music where he studied under the tutelage of Thomas Schulze. Luke will continue his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he will study for his Master’s degree under the tutelage of Gary Coward. Luke has recently performed at Buxton International Festival in their productions of Alzira and Idomeneo as part of their Young Artist Programme. For British Youth Opera, Luke performed as part of the chorus for their production of The Enchanted Island by Jeremy Sams. Other roles performed are Ben The Telephone (RNCM Spotlight), City Marshall Henry Street Scene (RNCM). In RNCM Opera Scenes Luke has performed the roles of Sid Albert Herring, Nardo La Finta Giardiniera and Frank Trulove The Rake’s Progress.
Alice Usher studies with Alison Wells and trained with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile at WIAV. She also held a choral scholarship at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and was awarded the MMus Prize at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Alice's operatic experience includes La Contessa Le nozze di Figaro (Bloomsbury Opera), Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly (Southbank Sinfonia). Solo concert engagements include Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and the Missa Mirabilis by Stephen Hough for a BBC broadcast. Masterclasses include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at WIAV and Brigitte Fassbaender at the Wigmore Hall. In 2017, Alice was a finalist in the AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition.