|Frances Waters & Mary O'Shea|
Pianist and Soprano
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
12.30pm Wednesday 16 April
|A wonderful combination|
Piano: Frances Waters
Soprano: Mary O'Shea
It was not necessary to wait long for a rematch, however. David Lee was very happy to include Mary and Frances in the regular 'season' at Glenorchy Church in Exmouth. Just four months later Mary's voice rang out in the spring sunshine. What a wonderful day that was!
|Together at last|
Frances Waters & Mary O'Shea
accompanies on the Venables piano
Mary O'Shea sings soprano
Mary ended the first set with one of the most tragic arias in opera, "When I am laid in earth", Dido's lament in Henry Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas". In just four songs, soprano and pianist masterfully spanned the eighteenth century and a huge emotional range.
For the second set Mary and Frances focussed on romantic songs starting in 1840 and moving backwards in time - Schumann's "Nüssbaum" (nut tree) and Schubert's "Ständchen" (serenade) leading to Giordani's "Caro mio ben" (My dear beloved).
Mary's high range and sensitivity came to the fore in the final four delicate songs: Fauré's "Pie Jesu" (Dear Jesus, give them rest) from the D minor Requeim, Schubert's "Ave Maria", Grieg's "A Swan" from his six songs by Henrik Ibsen and finally Elizabeth Maconchy's 1920's composition "Ophelia's Song" based on the lament of Hamlet's wife in the eponymous play by Shakespeare. (The song was only published in Elizabeth's later life, towards the end of the twentieth century.)
The combination of Mary's gentle voice and Frances' deft accompaniment wove a spell of romance and tragedy on the spring air which delighted the ear. Frances, who was unable to perform herself a couple of weeks ago owing to a back injury, lovingly augmented each song with precise and sensitive playing on the Venables grand piano.
Fo those who wish to find out more about Mary's singing, to hear some of her recordings - or to find out about future concerts - Mary now has a website: