SONGS FROM A PARISIAN SALON -
MUSIC FROM THE BELLE ÉPOQUE
Feb 10th 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
An event celebrating the life and musical commissions of Winnaretta Singer (1865-1943), Princesse de Polignac, heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune and arguably the most important patron of music in the Paris of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, curated by pianist and impresario Yu Su.
Featuring songs by Gabriel Fauré, Emmanuel Chabrier, Reynaldo Hahn, and Edmond de Polignac, many of which were originally commissioned or premiered by Winnaretta at her salon in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. These will be performed by the soprano Rose Stachniewska and baritone Thomas Humphreys, with Yu Su at the piano.
Distinguished actor Lucy Tregear will be embodying Winnaretta herself, providing an introduction to the haughty and idiosyncratic American heiress, who became the period’s most creative and determined sponsor of everything new and exciting in the arts. The performance will be of an original script by the distinguished poet Nicola Nathan, and David Harsent, the award-winning poet, script writer and librettist.
As well as supporting composers, and funding their work, Winnaretta was also a talented painter and acted as a patron to many other important artists, including the writers Proust and Colette and the modernist architect Le Corbusier. In the 21st century she is also recognised as a pioneer of LGBTQ identities.
Her famous salon was the meeting place for the elite members of Parisian society, but also the launching pad for much of the most exciting new music before it was performed in public concert hall, theatres and cafes.
The event is generously being supported by David Ure, and is being held in partnership with the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the School of Advance Study, University of London.