Song recitals are one of the purest forms of music-making. One voice, one piano. Words, music. A direct connection with the audience.
But they seem to have a bad reputation. It's probably the image of foreign languages, the archetypal screechy but haughty soprano and a doting audience.
Our recitals aren't like that. Singers are humans too. We speak to our audience, balance our programmes to bring a wide variety of music and words, and work in a beautifully airy and open environment. Coffee and chat is available before most of our lunchtime concerts (from June the Saint Stephen's cafe will be open again, so food and drink will be available before and after recitals, hopefully). A range of Bristol musicians attend them - singers, music-lovers, composers, players. Then there are visitors to Bristol, family members and more. It's a lively atmosphere and a great way to spend a Wednesday lunchtime.
And at the heart of it are our excellent performers. Many of the lunchtime singers have Bristol connections, as do many of the pianists. Some are still Bristol residents, some are Bristol born-and-bred, some were (or are) here as students, some were born here and moved away. But all have reached a fantastic standard of performance - and that's not just in the singing, that's in the communication as well.
Bristol is blessed with a large number of choirs and many excellent singing teachers (that's why we've got so many singers that we can call on). That means there are a lot of singers out there. If you're one of them, come along to a Wednesday lunchtime concert and find out more.