Strand International Song Series – Verdi and more!
March 14 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
International opera stars launch London’s newest classical song series held in the intimate space of “The Jewel in the Strand“, St Mary le Strand. These five recitals, curated by soprano Susan Parkes, will cover a broad spectrum of composers, from Scottish folksongs, Vaughan Williams songs of Travel, Schubert lieder and Rossini’s Cat Duet to a tribute to Rachmaninov’s 150th Anniversary. For full details of the series see www.siss.org.uk
To finish the song series we are ecstatic to welcome Internationally acclaimed Verdi soprano Nadine Benjamin MBE and pianist Andrea Kmecova.
The evening will feature songs and arias by Verdi, Bellini and Puccini and Randle. This recital should not be missed!
Giuseppe Verdi – Selection of songs:
Chi I bei di m’adduce ancora
In solitaria stanza
Ti dichi che non mami
Short Piano Interlude
Guiseppe Verdi – Arias from Un Ballo in Maschera
Ecco l’orrido campo… Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa
Morro, ma prima in grazia
Casta diva (Norma) – Vincenzo Bellini
Tu tu tu (Madame Butterfly) – Giacomo Puccini
Turn around – Tom Randle
“BENJAMIN WAS TREMENDOUS: POURING OUT HER LONG, CURVING LINES WITH A FERVOUR THAT GLOWED WHEN QUIET AND BURNED WITH A CONTROLLED BRILLIANCE AT THE TOPS OF PHRASES, CROWNING ENSEMBLES AND CHORAL NUMBERS WITH A TINGLING HALO OF SOUND.“— Richard Bratby (The Spectator) fromVerdi’s Luisa Miller, Glyndebourne
Phone 0333 666 33 66
British lyric soprano Nadine Benjamin MBE is a charismatic and versatile artist who is in increasing demand on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She is also developing renown as an exponent of song, in particular Verdi, Strauss and contemporary American song. Nadine made her Royal Opera House debut in 2020 as a soprano soloist in A NEW DARK AGE, with works by Missy Mazzoli, Anna Meredith and Anna Thorvaldsdottir and her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut in August 2021 in the title-role LUISA MILLER. From 2018 to 2020, Nadine was an English National Opera Harewood Artist where her roles have included Clara PORGY & BESS, Laura LUISA MILLER, Gerhilde THE VALKYRIE, Mimi and Musetta LA BOHÈME and Mother BLUE. Upcoming engagements include Amelia UN BALLO IN MASCHERA with Chelsea Opera Group, Moira THE HANDMAID’S TALE and Desdemona in Marina Abramovic’s THE SEVEN DEATHS OF MARIA CALLAS for English National Opera, Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder with Sinfonia Viva and Mahler Symphony No. 4with the Northern Chamber Orchestra. Other recent roles include the title role AIDA, Cio-Cio-San MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Contessa LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Nadia THE ICE BREAK for Birmingham Opera Company, Desdemona OTELLO and the title-role TOSCA with Everybody Can! Opera, Mother/Witch HANSEL AND GRETEL for Scottish Opera, the title-role TOSCA and The Countess LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for English Touring Opera, Ermyntrude in Mascagni ISABEAU and Amelia UN BALLO IN MASCHERA with Opera Holland Park and Rosalinde DIE FLEDERMAUS with Iford Arts. Recent performances include a recital of American song with pianist Nicole Panizza at the Oxford Lieder Festival and BEAM, a multi-media music theatre piece based on her own life story, for Britten Pears Arts at Snape Maltings. Nadine recorded the role of Mrs. Waters in Dame Ethel Smyth’s opera THE BOATSWAIN’S MATE for Retrospect Opera, which was released in 2016 to critical acclaim and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In collaboration with Nicole Panizza, Nadine recorded Emergence, a selection of songs set to the poems of Emily Dickinson, which was released in 2019 and nominated in the vocal category at that year’s International Classical Music Awards. Nadine’s debut solo CD Love & Prayer was released in 2018. Nadine is a mentor, certified High Performance Coach and Mind Coach, and founded her opera and mentorship programme ‘Everybody Can!’ in 2015 to provide a platform to encourage and support others in recognising and achieving their own visions. An Ambassador for London Music Masters, Nadine was “highly commended” at the 2016 Aviva ‘Women of the Future Awards’ and invited to both Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street in recognition of her work as a mentor and singer. Nadine was made an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Andrea Kmecova is a versatile pianist performing regularly as soloist, vocal and instrumental accompanist, and chamber musician based in London. Andrea entered the National Conservatoire of Music in Košice, Slovakia, at the age of fourteen. She continued her musical studies at the Bratislava Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, which she completed with a Master’s Degree. Collaborating with other artists has always been a big part of Andrea’s musical life. In 2007 she entered Trinity College of Music in London, where she gained a Masters Degree in piano accompaniment. She was an Alfred Kitchin Scholar, received the Founders Prize for her artistic accomplishments and represented the college at the Gerald Moore Award competition for promising young accompanists. Andrea has been featured at a number of leading venues and festivals including The Royal Overseas League, the Houses of Parliaments, St James’s Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Oxford Lieder Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to mention a few. She was a finalist and prize winner in several National and International competitions and received an award from Tatra Banka Slovakia for her proposal of performing Slovak music abroad.In Europe venues have included the Kaiserhof Residenz in Munich and the Royal Palace in Madrid, where she played at a concert for Sofia, former Queen of Spain. She performed with jazz musician Jamie Cullum for his BBC Radio 4 programme Jamie Cullum’s Piano Pilgrimage; other television appearances include BBC2, Slovak Television, National Cypriot Television ans Turkish ATV. She is also featured on Patricia Hammond’s CD Our Lovely Day, released in 2011 with Universal and played on the BBC Radio 2 and 3. Her most recent recording engagements include an appearance on Patricia Hammond’s new CD Songs of the Great War and session work for SONY.