swansongs 2020 - Christ church, claremont


Katja Webb - Ghosts, Fools and Seers

Sunday September 27, 3pm https://www.trybooking.com/BJURH

Katja Webb brings us closer to home, in an all-Australian programme. In a dazzling display of colour and imagination, you can meet W.B. Yeats’s lascivious and proud Crazy Jane, Mary Gilmore’s ghostly girl in white, and Gwen Harwood’s feral cat, slickly suited like a predatory executive. With excellent music by James Penberthy, Paul Paviour, Richard Peter Maddox, Geoffrey Allen, Dorian Le Gallienne and Margaret Sutherland this is a proud celebration of Australian artistic prowess.

Katja has performed in Australia and Germany since 2006 in all genres of vocal music from musicals through operetta to opera. She has been acclaimed by critics and public alike for her portrayals of Nannetta in Falstaff (Verdi); Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach); Proserpina in L’Orfeo (Monteverdi); Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (J.Strauss jnr); Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Bizet); title role in Rusalka (Dvořák) and as the Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart).

We are joined by Principal Piccolo of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra,

Michael Waye.

Lucy Mervik - The Court of the Muses

Sunday September 20, 3pm https://www.trybooking.com/BJURG

Lucy Mervik celebrates the extraordinary cultural riches of the Court of Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar in the 18th century. Weimar became one of the brightest capital in Europe as music, literature and drama flourished. The Court of the Muses included Goethe, Schiller and Herder, and we present settings old and new of their immortal poems. Best of all, we give Anna Amalia’s own music its time centre stage, in beautiful and moving settings of Goethe’s “Erwin and Elmire”, a touching tale of reconciliation between young lovers.

Lucy has been a regular principal artist with West Australian Opera since moving to Perth. After graduating from London’s Trinity College and from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she sang principal roles and concert solos in the Barbican Centre, across the UK and in Germany, France and Spain.

Songs on poems by Friedrich Schiller

Merikanto - An den Frühling

Liszt - Der Fischerknabe

Mendelssohn - Des Mädchens Klage

Donizetti - Il pescatore

Songs on poems by Gottfried Herder

Beethoven - Der Gesang der Nachtigall

Zelter - Die Gegenwart

Reichardt - Gute Zeiten

Luise Reichardt - Die Wiese

Schubert - Verklärung

Songs by Duchess Anna Amalia


Was sind all die Seligkeiten

Erwin, o schau

Songs on poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Schubert - Erlkönig

Bettina von Arnim - Aus Faust

Liszt - Der du von dem Himmel bist

Krenek - Monolog der Stella

Mozart - Das Veilchen

Wolf - Mignon songs

Verdi - Deh, pietoso, oh addolorata

Diepenbrock - Der Fischer

Schubert - Gretchen am Spinnrade

Pia Harris - Songs for Lovers

Sunday September 13, 3pm https://www.trybooking.com/BJURF

Not only is the music of this programme swooningly beautiful, it reveals how many composers have chosen to write songs for muses, wives and lovers. Richard Strauss wrote a great many of his songs for his wife Pauline, a formidable singer. Claude Debussy was inspired to write several songs as a young man, head-over-heels in love with the red-haired, green-eyed soprano Blanche Vasnier. And Benjamin Britten produced almost all of his songs and operatic tenor roles for his lifelong partner Peter Pears.

Pia Harris had a busy 2019! She performed ‘Kate Kelly’ in Lost & Found Opera’s production of the world premiere of Luke Styles’ new work Ned Kelly as part of Perth Festival. She also sang 'Donna Anna’ in New York Lyric Opera’s production of Don Giovanni and ‘Spoleta’ in Freeze Frame Opera’s new production of Tosca. 2020 began with WA Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, as a playful ‘Gretel’.

Pia has sung at major venues including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Space on Broadway, National Opera Center New York City, Sydney Opera House, St. Paul’s Covent Garden, Sir John Soane Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. Her roles include ‘Annina’ La Traviata (Perth Lyric Opera), ‘Pamina’ Die Zauberflöte (Perth Lyric Opera), ‘Leonie’ La vie Parisienne (Cover, RCMIOS), ‘La Bergère/La Chouette’ L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Cover, RCMIOS), Countess The Marriage of Figaro (ENO Opera Works), Mimi La Boheme (Midland Opera), ‘Drusilla’ L'incoronazione di Poppea (New York Lyric Opera), ‘Manon’ Manon (New York Lyric Opera), ‘Yvette/Georgette’ La Rondine (Opera Holland Park, London), ‘Gretel’ Hänsel und Gretel (New York Lyric Opera), and ‘Chocholka’ The Cunning Little Vixen (West Australian Opera).

Purcell - Sweeter than roses

Britten - Let the florid music praise

Gurney - Sleep

Debussy - La romance d’Ariel


    C’est l’extase

Strauss - Brentano Lieder

Debussy - Quatre chansons de jeunesse

Strauss - Four songs Op.27

Matthew Dixon - Die Schöne Müllerin

Sunday October 11, 3pm https://www.trybooking.com/BJURE

Matthew Dixon brings his youthful charm and beautiful voice to Schubert’s masterpiece Die Schöne Müllerin. This is one of the greatest tests of a singer and pianist duo, challenging artists to hide technique and artistry in a performance of simple honesty. The twenty songs charting the love and sorrow of the young apprentice miller are at the absolute heart of the song repertoire. Matthew is a Young Artist for West Australian Opera this year and SwanSongs is proud to help launch his career.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries of the Government of Western Australia

James Penberthy - Six pastorals (with Michael Waye (flute)

Paul Paviour - Crazy Jane (7 songs)

Richard Peter Maddox - Four songs

Geoffrey Allen - Nursery Rhymes Nine

Dorian Le Gallienne - Three Shakespeare songs

Margaret Sutherland - Five songs