Song at Fairlight presents:
Marta Fontanals-Simmons mezzo-sopranoSholto Kynoch pianoLeah Broad speaker
Concert Starts 11am
For the next event in our Oxford Lieder series, we’re thrilled to celebrate the launch of a new book by acclaimed writer, music historian, broadcaster and BBC New Generation Thinker Leah Broad.
Quartet: How Four Women Changed the World, described by Antonia Fraser as ‘riveting’ and by Andrew Motion as ‘pioneering’, explores the lives, loves, adventures and trailblazing careers of four extraordinary women composers. Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Doreen Carwithen and Dorothy Howell were all celebrities in their time. They composed some of the century’s most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten – until now.
Leah Broad’s magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, celebrating their musical masterpieces, and lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars.
Leah will introduce the four composers alongside a selection of their finest songs, performed by the mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons. Praised for her “warm mezzo” and “velvet-voice” (The Telegraph), Marta has recently made critically acclaimed house and role debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Siébel in David McVicar’s production of Faust and creating the role of Hel in the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ The Monstrous Child. Many of you may also have heard and seen her in Gylndebourne’s production of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers last season.
Great music, fascinating history, delicious coffee and cake: not a morning to miss!