Next weekend sees a stunning celebration of voice and harp when Kino Teatr in St Leonards hosts Cantique De Noel.
Soprano Sophie Pullen and Russian harpist Valeria Kurbatova (winner of the International Harp Competition in Moscow) will present this candlelit Christmas concert on Friday December 9 and Saturday December 10 from 7.30pm.
Following their debut performance at the BAFTA Games Awards this year the duo come together again to perform songs by Schubert, Strauss, Debussy and Puccini along with favourite pieces.
Local soprano Sophie has had a busy year with performances in Chile, Peru and London, playing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Cadogan Hall, and masterclasses with Dame Anne Evans for the International Opera Awards.
She also started on English National Opera’s prestigious Operaworks programme which culminates in a showcase next April.
A highlight of the year was opening the BAFTA Games Awards show in London with Valeria. Their performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria was watched by millions all over the world and following that success they were keen to work together again.
When Sophie thought about putting together a Christmas show for Kino Teatr she immediately thought of Valeria and the idea of the recital came together.
Sophie’s previous shows at the Kino have been theatrical affairs, featuring local tenor superstar Gary Marriott and Finnish mezzo soprano Amanda Martikainen, but Cantique de Noël uses the intimacy of the Kino Teatr to share a dreamy programme of French and German song, interspersed with classic yuletide pieces.
Sophie said: “Valeria and I have built a programme that reflects the long nights, dreamy snowscapes and joyful Christmas tales of winter. We are performing some of our favourite songs by Schubert, Strauss, Debussy and Faure, along with festive favourites such as The Sugar Plum Fairy and O holy night.
Valeria and I had such fun working together for BAFTA and are looking forward to furthering our duo with this recital. Performing in the Kino Teatr by candlelight, a venue with a particularly atmospheric environment, is going to be a special experience.”
As soloists they have appeared variously at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace, Southwark Cathedral, Cadogan Hall and Wigmore Hall.
A graduate of the Royal College of Music, Valeria started her musical career at the age of eight years old when she began studying the harp at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow.
She has won many awards and is a principal performer with the London Electronic Orchestra.
Tickets for Cantique De Noel at Kino-Teatr in Norman Road cost £16 available from www.kino-teatr.co.uk
Sophie will also - before this event - be performing arias in Christmas Extravaganza with Ken Roberts and the Sussex Concert Orchestra on Sunday December 4, 6.30pm at St Barnabas Church in Sea Road, Bexhill.
Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?
It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.
There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.