Claire Ward’s autumn performances

Claire Ward

Soprano Claire Ward has concerts, recitals and competitions coming up in the autumn/winter of 2023.

Concours Corneille baroque competition

26-29 September
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Brighton Early Music Festival

21st October

Brighton Early Music’s young artist scheme BREMF Live! is one of the pre-eminent mentoring and development schemes for young professional early music performers in the UK. The scheme offers opportunities for ensembles, and singers and instrumentalists.

Claire Ward will take part in showcase and ‘club night’ recitals with The Portrait Players.

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Concours international de Chant-Piano Nadia et Lili Boulanger

26-29th October

The Nadia and Lili Boulanger International Voice-Piano Competition has been held in Paris every two years since 2001 and helps to promote the careers of singers and pianists who perform there as a duet.

Candidates under 32 years of age come from all over the word. The repertoire they are asked to perform requires a balance between Lieder and French melody with at leat one work by Nadia Boulanger or Lili Boulanger.

During Nadia and Lili Boulanger’s childhood and lifetime French melody reached a peak to which they were witnesses and fervent promoters: Lili and Nadia as composers, Nadia as performer and extraordinary teacher. The CNLB International Voice-Piano Competition is part of this heritage, with the threefold objective of promoting young artists of a very high level, bringing the repertoire of melody and song to life and encouraging the creation of new works.

Claire will take part in this competition with pianist Jong Sun Woo.

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Handel L’Allegro

31st October
St Martin-in-the-Fields

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Dinis Sousa conductor

Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato

Handel’s secular work L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato is one of his most inventive, varied and characteristically English works evoking contrasting emotions of the human condition, which creates a synergy of Enlightenment reason. Last recorded by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in 1981, we look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to this significant work.

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1740) is one of Handel’s most unusual works. Despite its Italian title, it uses a completely English text, much of it written a century earlier by the 22-year-old poet John Milton, to explore the contrasting moods of Mirth (L’Allegro) and Melancholy (il Penseroso), eventually advocating a ‘middle way’ of Moderation. Milton’s poetry was suggested to Handel by his friend the philosopher James Harris, who set about rearranging the poems to create a convincing musical structure; Handel himself had the idea of a final section to unite Milton’s poems into ‘one Moral Design’. The libretto was refined by Charles Jennens (better known as the compiler of the text for Messiah).

This poetic allegory yielded some of Handel’s most inventive and colourful music. The text focuses on English rural and urban life that would have been familiar to Handel: milkmaids and shepherds, warbling birds, the cricket on the hearth, the ‘busy hum’ of ‘populous cities’, the thrill of the hunt, tongue-in-cheek references to theatrical performances of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare – all come to life thanks to the composer’s imaginative use of the orchestra and singers. The final ‘Moderato’ section culminates in one of Handel’s most sublime duets, evoking nothing less than the dawn of the age of Enlightenment.

This riotous variety of moods and images will be celebrated by the Monteverdi Choir and a team of brilliant young solo singers as well as by the English Baroque Soloists – the piece has notable solos for horn, flute, oboe, bassoon, organ, bells and cello.

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SMITF Lunchtime Concert Series with CMF

The Female Muse’
3rd November
St Martin-in-the-Fields

The programme will include songs by Sébastien Le Camus, Michel Lambert, Bénigne de Bacilly, Honoré d’Ambruis, Henry Lawes and Henry Purcell, plus a new commission from Clare Elton.

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Opera Prelude Recital

24th November

Claire Ward soprano
Xavier Hetherington tenor
Kristiina Watt theorbo and  baroque guitar
Miriam Nohl baroque cello and viola da gamba

Opera Prelude young artists present a magical evening of baroque music with songs by Handel, Purcell, Lambert and Le Camus. The programme includes some rarely performed works as well as some favourites with interludes on the theorbo and cello of Corelli and Handel arrangements.

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CMF Livery Halls Tour

11th December
Tallow Chandlers Hall, London

Claire Ward soprano
Jong Sun Woo piano

Fauré “Mandoline”, Op.58, No.1 
Fauré “Le Secret”, Op.23, No.3 
Brahms “O Kühler Wald”, Op.72, No.3
Debussy “Apparition” L.57 
Boulanger “Nous nous aimerons” from Clairières dans le Ciel
Haydn “She never told her love” 
Haydn “Fidelity” 
Mozart “Abendsempfindung” 
Mozart “Der Zauberer”
Schubert “Ganymed” 
Wolf “Die Spröde”
Wolf “Die Bekerhte”
Schubert “Romanze aus Rosamunde”
Schumann “Geheimes flüstern hier und dort.”, Op.23, No.3 
Brahms “Die Mainacht”, Op.43, No.2
Schubert “Seligkeit” 

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British/Irish soprano Claire Ward is a 2022-2024 City Music Foundation Artist and a young artist with Opera Prelude since 2021.


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