Kate Semmens (soprano) & Steven Devine (fortepiano): "To The Moon"
Online Cocktail Concert Series
Thursday 07 January 2021
Schubert Der Jüngling am Bache D.192
Schubert: An die Nachtigall D.497
Schubert An den Mond Op.57
KATE SEMMENS (soprano)
Kate Semmens is a soloist with many leading groups and opera companies, and has sung with some of the UK's finest choirs with conductors including Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, John Butt and Eric Whitacre. Her opera performances have included Cupid (Venus and Adonis), Mycene (Isis), Suzanna (Le Nozze de Cherubino), and Mrs P (The Man who mistook his wife for a hat) and Ottavia (L'Incoronazione di Poppea). Kate is a regular performer for New Chamber Opera, with whom performances include Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Second Woman and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Orgando (Amadigi), Atalanta (Xerxes), Semira (Artaxerxes), Clarice (Il Mondo Della Luna). She was the title role in Mozart's 'Il Re Pastore' and most recently played Asteria in Handel's 'Tamerlano'. She created the role of Euridice in Caldwells' The Story of Orpheus. Of her Ciro, in their production of Stradella's Il Trespolo Tutore, Opera Magazine wrote " the clarity and charm of Kate Semmens' soprano was disarming".
Kate has been particularly involved in historic performances, singing the title role in the first modern performance of John Stanley's Teraminta for Opera Restor'd and was involved in performances of Cavalli's Erismena, from the original English edition bought by the Bodleian Library in 2009.
Kate particularly enjoys singing with instrumentalists, and has been enjoying recent performances of Bach Cantatas with violinist Margaret Faultless, programmes with Matthew and Rebecca Truscott, Jacobean programmes with lutenist Lynda Sayce, and viol programmes with Jacob Heringman and Susanna Pell as well as Handel with recorder player Emma Murphy.
Kate has been particularly enjoying performing recitals of music from the pleasure gardens, the anniversaries of Thomas Arne and William Boyce sparking an initial interest and giving opportunities to explore the wealth of this music even further. Her solo CD Delicatessen with harpsichordist Steven Devine and recorded at the Sendesaal in Bremen gave opportunity to record some of this repertoire. This has now been followed up by Delicatessen II, which took his repertoire into even more unknown territory. These two CDs have led to recitals across the country and also to Europe where they have become well known for this repertoire. Kate and Steven also developed programmes of music based around the domestic music of the Bach Household. This led to performances at St John's Smith Square and Radio 3 as well as many Festivals across the country, and ultimately a recording of The Notebooks of Anna Magdalena Bach. All these recordings are available from www.devinemusic.co.uk
Kate is also developing a reputation as a teacher and has spent time in Canada teaching and giving masterclasses alongside Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Antrott Kate has also given masterclasses at Christ Church Canterbury as well as lectures and talks at Trinity College Music department. She has also spent time teaching and coaching at Dartington summer school and Baroque Week.
Together with Harpsichordist Steven Devine, Kate has been giving day workshops for Early Music Fora across the country based on Restoration Music in the church and on the stage 'The secrets of our hearts' and also based around the music created for the Pleasure Gardens of London.
STEVEN DEVINE (fortepiano)
Steven Devine enjoys a busy career as a music director and keyboard player working with some of the finest musicians.
He is the Principal Keyboard Player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and also the principal keyboard player for The Gonzaga Band, Classical Opera (The Mozartists) and performs regularly with many other groups around Europe. He has recorded over thirty discs with other artists and ensembles and made six solo recordings. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Chandos Records) has been received critical acclaim – including Gramophone magazine describing it as “among the best”. The complete harpsichord works of Rameau (Resonus) has received five-star reviews from BBC Music Magazine and Steven’s latest recording of Bach’s Italian Concerto has been voted Classic FM’s Connoisseur’s choice. Steven has recently released Book 1 of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (“it’s the one of all I’ve heard in the past ten years that I am happiest to live with.” Early Music Review) with Book 2 being released at the start of 2020.
He made his London conducting debut in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall and is now a regular performer there – including making his Proms directing debut in August 2007 with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has conducted the Mozart Festival Orchestra in every major concert hall in the UK and also across Switzerland. Steven is Music Director for New Chamber Opera in Oxford and with them has performed repertoire from Cavalli to Rossini. For the Dartington Festival Opera he has conducted Handel’s Orlando and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. He is currently conductor and Artistic Advisor for the English Haydn Festival in Bridgnorth.
Steven works regularly with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, Trondheim Barokk, the Victoria Baroque Players (BC, Canada) and Arion Baroque Ensemble (Montreal).
He teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and is Early Keyboard Consultant to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal Welsh Colleges.
Finally, Steven is thrilled to be a member of the ground-breaking Art of Moog: an electronic music group specialising in the performance of Bach.
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