Newsletter No 9: Funding – Mezzo soprano Olivia Ray – Actor Chandrika Chevli – Composer André Caplet – Video

by Elizabeth Mucha

We are THRILLED to have received funding towards the visual work for Art Sung – Jane Bathori from the Golsoncott Foundation whose mission is to support excellence in performance. It feels like a pat on the back after the hard work that everyone has put in over the years!

Art Sung is delighted to welcome two new faces for this latest production. Mezzo-soprano Olivia Ray was most recently heard singing the role of Anna Politkovskaya in the world premiere of The Life & Death of Alexander Litvinenko at Grange Park Opera this summer.

She has performed with Scottish Opera, Grange Park Opera and Opera Holland Park. Concert highlights include Mahler Symphony No. 8 at the Royal Festival Hall; Rossini Petite messe solennelle at the Three Choirs Festival; and Elgar The Apostles for Gloucester Choral Society.

Actor Chandrika Chevli will be narrating the story of Jane from the perspective of the researcher uncovering new material, not only about Jane’s time at the Vieux Colombier and her collaborations with several musicians active at the front, but also her promotion of the music of composer Erik Satie, and the group of composers who came to be known as Les Six. Read more about Chandrika here:

Through the narrative, the music and the visual imagery we explore this extraordinarily creative period which took place in the turmoil of the First World War. One of the relationships we will be exploring is that between Jane and composer André Caplet through their private correspondence which has only recently come to light.

Caplet died in 1925 from gas poisoning which he endured during the war.  The letters reveal a highly personal connection between them. She became a beacon of hope while he was on active service. Calling her his ‘petite colombe’ (little dove) together they planned concerts of his work and he hatched ways to join her and their circle of musicians. Jane collaborated with several serving musicians, keeping their music present in the programmes of her highly distinctive concerts.

To hear Olivia singing Caplet’s song, ‘Forêt’ from his song cycle ‘Le Vieux Coffret’, we invite you to watch an excerpt from a short video which I created last year during lockdown.  Actor Kevin Murton (the voice of Brahms in Art Sung – Clara Schumann) reads from Caplet’s letters to Bathori  –

Elizabeth MuchaNewsletter No 9: Funding – Mezzo soprano Olivia Ray – Actor Chandrika Chevli – Composer André Caplet – Video