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Evening Recital – The Songmakers’ Almanac

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‘If Fiordiligi and Dorabella had been Lieder singers’

Soraya Mafi soprano
Anna Huntley mezzo-soprano
William Thomas bass
Graham Johnson piano

Tickets: £25, £23 (conc), £5 (U26/students)

Overture to Così fan tutte (excerpt)
Cole Porter Where is the life that late I led

Sisters in Love
Ah guarda, sorella’ from Così fan tutte
Irving Berlin Sisters
Brahms Die Schwestern

‘Bella Vita Militar’
Mir ward gesagt, du reisest in die Ferne
Ihr jungen Leute, die ihr zieht ins Feld
Sie blasen zum Abmarsch
George W Meyer If he can fight like he can love
Hermann E Darewski Sister Susie

Weg der Liebe I and II
Kurt Weill That’s him
Gounod Trust her not
Wolf Trau’ nicht der Liebe

Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Lowe
Where are all the simple joys of maidenhood?
Wolf Herz, verzage nicht geschwind
Britten Mother Comfort
Underneath the abject willow

Capitulation and Abandon
No, resistance is but vain
What can we poor females do?
Saint-Saëns El desdichado
Fauré Tarentelle

William Gray
We’re more to be pitied than censured
Reginald Tabbush How can a little girl be good?
Wolf Nun lass uns Frieden schliessen
Wir haben beide lange Zeit geschwiegen
Mozart ‘Soave sia il vento’ from Così fan tutte

The indefatigable Graham Johnson revolutionised the Lied recital with his Songmakers’ Almanac. A typically wide-ranging programme, tonight’s recital is based on the plot of Così fan tutte (and containing numerous Mozartian echoes), Johnson has devised a programme of Lieder, English songs and duets where the interactions between the Neapolitan sisters, and the manipulative Don Alfonso, progress along Da Ponte’s lines: Sisters in love – ‘Bella vita militar’ – Constancy – Weakening – Capitulation and Abandon – Reconciliation.

‘…young Soraya Mafi lights up the stage and pricks up the ears’
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

‘Thomas has a ‘real’ bass voice: full of ringing right at the bottom; layers of colour that blend smoothly and thickly; sonorous roundness without heaviness’
Opera Today on William Thomas at Wigmore Hall

‘That peerless song accompanist’
The Daily Telegraph on Graham Johnson