Saturday 9 December 2023, 7.30pm
(doors open 7pm)
Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul
Tonbridge, TN9 1DA
Papagena – a cappella vocal ensemble – five sparkling voices with award-winning harpist Victoria Davies
‘A Winter’s Dawn’
Carols, lullabies and songs of hope, including works by Imogen Holst as well as Gustav Holst accompanied by harp, together with a cappella carols and Advent pieces from around the world, winter folk ballads, baroque motets, seasonal songs and harp solos.
Mulled wine and mince pies available to purchase at the interval.
“Extraordinary voices … went down a storm … I’m a huge fan” (Sarah Walker, BBC Radio 3)
“crème de le crème in the crowded a cappella space” (Edinburgh Festival)
**Please be advised that the car parks closest to the church (Kinnings Row, Upper Castle Field and Lower Castle Field) are likely to be very busy on Saturday evening due to an event taking place at Tonbridge Castle. If you are unable to find a space we recommend parking at Waitrose or Sainsburys and walking up the High Street. Please do not use the Church car park unless you are a Blue Badge Holder or have limited mobility.
Standard ticket £20 | Students & Under 18s £5
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
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Sopranos: Imogen Russell, Elizabeth Drury, Suzzie Vango
Mezzo: Shivani Rattan
Alto: Sarah Tenant-Flowers
No props, microphones or gimmicks, just five stunning voices form Papagena, an a cappella group set up to explore the wealth of music from medieval times to the present day, written specifically for female voices. The group’s programming defies pigeon-holing, juggling folk, medieval, classical and contemporary work with new commissions and the group’s own compositions and arrangements.
Papagena juxtaposes classical repertoire from Kassia and Hildegard of Bingen to Imogen Heap and Katy Perry, as well as writing its own material and commissioning from an eclectic range of composers, including Errollyn Wallen, Oliver Tarney, Janet Wheeler, John Duggan and Jim Clements. Medieval, classical, folk and contemporary music is interwoven into intriguing programmes such as Nuns and Roses, The Darkest Midnight, Still Moving and A Winter’s Dawn which fascinate diverse audiences and the group also undertakes education projects involving both school and adult voices.
Formally launched in 2015, the group has performed at numerous festivals throughout the UK including the Edinburgh Festival, Brandenburg Choral Festival (London), the Shropshire Music Trust, Music at Christchurch, Nottingham Cathedral and Bromsgrove Festivals and the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester.
Papagena’s first album, Nuns and Roses, was produced and released under its own label in 2017. Its second album The Darkest Midnight was released in November 2018 under the SOMM record label and reached No. 6 in the classical charts as well as the No. 1 classical download position. It was selected as Recording of the Month in December 2018 by Music Web International. Its third album Hush! was released on the SOMM label in March 2020 and received stunning reviews in all major journals, including Gramophone.
Papagena made its BBC debut in 2018, singing live during the International Women’s Day concert on Radio 3. Since then the group has given several further live performances on the BBC, on both In Tune (Radio 3) and Woman’s Hour (Radio 4). In 2018 Papagena was also selected to be one of Making Music’s coveted Selected Artists for the 2019/2020 season. During lockdown the group released its own podcast Papsolutely Fabulous! as well as a video recordings of music by Hildegard of Bingen and Imogen Heap’s iconic Hide and Seek.
Papagena enjoys a fruitful collaboration with the Orchestra of the Swan with whom it regularly performs in Stratford on Avon and at the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire, and also with solo instrumentalists including Lynda Sayce (theorbo), Victoria Davies (harp) and Cathy Lamb (organ).
About Victoria Davies
Victoria Davies is an award winning solo, chamber and orchestral harpist with a particular interest in contemporary and Baroque repertoire. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Oxford University (Christ Church) and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, since when she has worked throughout the UK, Thailand and The Netherlands, as well as touring across Europe and South East Asia. Twice winner of the London Harp Competition, Victoria has performed with groups such as the Bach Orchestra of the Netherlands, the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and at the BBC Proms, and work closer to home includes several performances and recordings with the Cathedral Choir of Christ Church and Magdalen College Choir, Oxford.