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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. 

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Our Autumn series of Recitals featuring the most popular song cycles continues with Schumann's Dichterliebe, sung by Robert-John Edwards in the Wardrobe Theatre, Old Market, on October 6th. Buy tickets for the concert here

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Recitals in our September Lunchtime Series


 All our Lunchtime recitals are in Saint Stephen's Church in the centre of Bristol (just behind St Augustine's Parade, diagonally opposite the Hippodrome). Entry is free (although we do encourage you to donate to the retiring colletion)

 

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4th September
Louise Geller

Fresh from her success at the Edinburgh Fringe, Louise brings an operatic feel-good factor to the start of our September series

Biography | Programme

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11th September
Emma Winscom

Accompanied by Steven Kings, Bristol graduate Emma sings a recital of 'Reflections of Summer', with music by Fauré, Bellini, Quilter and much more besides 

Programme

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18th September
Pocket Opera

A romp through some well-known Mozart arias and ensembles, woven together in a new storyline with Bristol-based Pocket Opera!

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25th September
Esther Mallett

We end our September series with a bang as highly talented Esther revisits us with a programme to amaze and delight!  

Song of the Day

Enjoy tasters of what is to come in our lunchtime recitals with specially selected videos and soundtracks from sites around the web.
 
Since it's Spring at last, we thought we ought to give you a song called 'Spring'. By Ivor Gurney, it's sung here by Susan Bickley accompanied by Iain Burnside

 

Song Recitals in Bristol

Our listing of song recitals coming up in the Bristol area. 

We don't know of any upcoming recitals!

Help the Song Recital Series

The Bristol Song Recital lunchtime Series is a free-to-enter series of concerts. At the end of each lunchtime concert, we collect money to pay for the use of the church, for the advertising and other running expenses. Any money which remains is given to the performers - as performers ourselves, we know how important this is, and it allows us to attract the best singers.

If you would like to donate money we'd love to hear from you at martin@bristolsongrecitals.org.uk or using the contact form at the bottom of the page. 

But in order to expand, like everybody else, we need extra money! But we also need extra help in the form of ambassadors, stewards and administrators. If you feel you can help with any of these roles, please let us know. You can email martin@bristolsongrecitals.org.uk

Our blog

Recital Series curator Martin Le Poidevin talks about recitals, the Series, performers and more

Rodrigo and Debussy

This week's recital (Wednesday 22nd May, 1.10pm in St Stephen's, sung by Katy Garden with Claire Alsop at the piano) gives two sides to the music of twentieth century composers. 

First is Rodrigo's Cuatros Madrigales Amatorios, a set of four songs based on much earlier originals, from the 16th century Spanish court of Prince Philip II. The result is a music which is consonant and pretty immediate with its dance rhythms, with large overtones of the late renaissance and early baroque. One commentator suggested that it's among Rodrigo's most folk-orientated works. The words are folk-like, too - simple but ambiguous. 

Debussy Ariettes Oubliées is an early project. A set of six songs to words by Paul Verlaine, they show the nascent Impressionistic style. Much more worked than the straightforward melodies of the Rodrigo, they also require virtuosic performances from both the singer and the player. Nevertheless they're compelling works of art, and a hugely important stepping stone on Debussy's path of progression towards his mature style. 

 

 

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