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In 1928, at a party given for Ravel, to celebrate his 53rd birthday, Gershwin was one of the guests. This was the beginning of a lifelong mutual admiration. This event unites two of Clonter’s founder, Jeffery Lockett’s great loves, French song and Jazz, to mark his 80th birthday.

Clonter is delighted to be bringing together Ronnie Scott’s James Pearson, performing the Rhapsody in Blue; the soprano, Sophie Angebault, who first performed at Clonter in their production of Don Giovanni in 2007, performing Ravel’s Scheherazade, with other classical repertoire, accompanied by the ‘world class accompanist’ Robin Humphreys, crossing the water to sing some Gershwin as well; and Daniella Sicari, in her other guise, with her band, the Easy Rollers. Daniella was the RNCM’s Opera Prize Nominee, and took part in Clonter’s Education Programme and Opera Gala in 2018.

 

James Pearson  possesses a ferocious piano technique coupled with a sense of musicality that is rarely heard, making him one of the most exciting musicians to have emerged from the UK in the last 25 years. As well as being the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scotts, where his trio are the house band, he is also a pianist, composer and creative tour de force.

James’s work covers all genres of music, especially contemporary music, jazz and classical. He has played concertos with the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra amongst many others. He has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks: Classic FM broadcast his concert of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, and BBC Radio 2 broadcast his performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue. James was also the pianist in the Steve Martland Band.

With collaborations ranging from Paul McCartney to Wynton Marsalis, James’s work as a jazz musician has taken him all over the world. Other artists that he has worked with include Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Petula Clark, Kevin Spacey, Marian Montgomery, John Wilson, Elvin Jones, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Ray Davies, Jeff Beck and Richard Rodney Bennett.

 

‘Pearson is in shattering form on these sessions’ Sunday Times

‘One of the world’s most talented pianists’  The Observer

‘Unquestionably the next big name on the jazz circuit’ Pizza Express Jazz Club Dean St

‘An astonishingly mature performance…Exceptional agility’  The Times

‘Emotive power’  Evening Standard

‘Top drawer musicality’ The Telegraph

 

Sophie Angebault

After her piano and chamber music studies in Paris Sophie went in 2001 to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Professor Rudolf Piernay.

Her main roles on stage include the Gräfin Madeleine (Capriccio), Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Elvira (DonGiovanni), Mme Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites) in Basel, Arabella in Frankfurt, Micaëla (Carmen), Anezka (Smetana’s Two Widows), La Blanche Aline (Les Aventures du roi Pausole) in Geneva, Lucia (Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Alice (Falstaff), La Reine Clémentine (Barbe Bleue), la Baronne de Gondremarck (La Vie Parisienne), Die Aufseherin (Elektra) in Montpellier, Marianne (Der Rosenkavalier) at the Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna), Elena (Mefistofele), Aloès (Chabrier’sL’Etoile), Dido (Dido and Aeneas) and Helmwige (Die Walküre).

Her oratorio repertoireincludes the Gloriaby Vivaldi, Ein DeutschesRequiemby Brahms, Petite Messe Solennelleand Stabat Materby Rossini,

Harmonie Messeand Theresienmessefrom Haydn, Mozart’s Missa Brevis K.V.194, Elgar’s Spirit of England, The Armed Manby Jenkins and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Sophie regularly gives recitals in France, Switzerland, Belgium and England (Wigmore Hall). She performed Les Nuits d’Eté, in Paris in 2005, and Shéhérazadein Barbican Hall, London in 2007. In 2006, she took part in the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, under the direction of James Conlon and performed works of Wagner, Schumann and Messiaen.

 

Robin Humphreys (Accompanist)

Robin Humphreys is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and a holder of the prestigious Diploma in Professional Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied piano accompaniment with David Lloyd. Appearing in concert both as a soloist and an accompanist for over 35 years, he now pursues a successful career as an accompanist and répétiteur, the breadth of his repertoire being reflected in television and radio broadcasts ranging from BBC Radio 3 to Emmerdale! At the RNCM, Robin is a senior music coach within the School of Vocal Studies, for whom he was also chief répétiteur on the majority of college productions from the late 1990s until 2013. He has appeared with the Manchester Camerata in the world premiere of “A Feast of Fables” by Paul Reade, has been Musical Director for Feelgood Theatre Productions and, from 1990-2000, Opera & Concert Productions (Worldwide) Ltd with whom he toured throughout the Gulf, the Indian sub-continent and the Far East. Robin has a particularly close association with Clonter Opera Theatre in Cheshire, where he regularly works as Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist. He is also an accompanist member of the British & International Federation of Festivals.

‘A world-class repetiteur ‘ Opera Today

 

The Easy Rollers

Dani Sicari – Voice, Alex Hill – Piano, Aaron Wood – Trumpet, Jamie Stockbridge – Saxophone & Clarinet, James Girling – Electric Guitar, Al Simpson – Double Bass, Matt Brown – Drums

“[The Easy Rollers] present the music of their chosen era with verve, showmanship and great technical skill” – The Jazz Mann.

Taking you back to the golden age of jazz, The Easy Rollers are a roaring seven-piece vintage jazz band performing hits from the speakeasy bars of the Prohibition era. Based in Manchester, and all award-winning graduates from the Royal Northern College of Music, they have had audiences jumpin’ and jivin’ on dance floors across the country.

The group began to unfold in 2015 when Alex and Dani discovered their mutual interest in trad-jazz. At first, the intention was to play through some tunes for fun but it wasn’t long before they invited other musicians to join them, eventually forming a house band for the inaugural Brodsky Jazz Jam. This was the start of The Easy Rollers.

Since then they have been steadily building a reputation as one of the hardest working swing bands in the north of England, with appearances at Manchester Jazz Festival, Spinfest, Buxton Festival, Manchester Day, Brecon Jazz Festival, Marsden Jazz Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As well as music festivals, The Easy Rollers have organised their own UK tours, sharing their enthusiasm for this music through gigs, Lindy Hop events and theatre shows.

In Christmas 2016 they released their first single ‘Santa Baby’ which was then followed by their first EP in 2017, both of which are available for purchase online (Bandcamp) and at all of their shows. Highlights of 2019 include a UK Tour and return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; dates will be released on The Easy Rollers website and Facebook page closer to the date.

Grab your dancin’ shoes ‘cos the 20s are here to stay!

 

Tickets £29, £24, £18.50, Students £10

Early Bird ticket (20% discount) available until 31st March

Doors Open 2.30pm

Performance 3.00pm

Interval 20 minutes

Dining Options A post-performance tea is available to pre-order

Box Office 01260 224 514 – boxoffice@clonter.org