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Last Night of Proms Star sings at Cranleigh Arts Centre

Rising opera star Anna Harvey, mezzo-soprano, and Ian Tindale, Wigmore Hall prize winning pianist, opened the autumn classical chamber music season at Cranleigh Arts on September 28.

Anna shot to fame when singing Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music” at Last Night of the BBC Proms in 2017. In Cranleigh she opened with “One Hundred Years of English Song” which featured Elgar’s “Sea Pictures” as well as songs by Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Herbert Howells and Jonathan Dove. Her rich and powerful voice filled the auditorium with a beautiful range from the delicate Elgar to the rollicking fun of Britten’s “Johnny”. The audience much enjoyed the careful selection of songs by contrasting English composers.

Ian Tindale has played often with Anna and his support was carefully balanced with her voice. Ian is an eminent organist as well as pianist but his preference is to accompany singers where he can build a musical relationship with his duet partner. Ian introduced the majority of songs with helpful background to the composer and the context of each aria in its opera.

In the second half Anna switched to Italian, German and French language libretto with arias by Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Ravel. She demonstrated her versatility with a range of arias of both male and female operatic roles. Drawing on her experience with Welsh National Opera and also as soloist in residence at the Deutches National Theater in Weimar, Germany she acted the roles of lover, sister or friend with style.

At the end of the performance Anna and Ian were applauded back to reprise Elgar’s “Where Corals Lie” and afterwards joined members of the audience to share their views of the performance. This was a memorable evening.

The Cranleigh Arts classical season continues with Olga Jegunova at piano on 18 October then Jane Gordon, violin, and Jan Rautio, piano, at 1930 on 15 November with a programme of Mozart, Brahms and Debussy, marking the centenary of Debussy’s death. The box office can be contacted on 01483 278000 or tickets purchased online.

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