VIARDOT200: Prima Donna, Composer, Muse and Inspiration – a weekend of events celebrating the bicentenary of Pauline Viardot’s birth will be held in Oborne, Dorset 1 – 3 April 2022.   Three world premieres  including a new translation by Jeremy Sams of Pauline Viardot’s Cinderella, will be performed by Britain’s most exciting operatic talent and will form the centre piece of the weekend.   VIARDOT200 is supported by Cameratina, a subscription-based opera funding team.

Celebrated across Europe during the mid 19th century, Pauline Viardot was an international opera star, studied the piano with Liszt, played duets with Chopin, enchanted Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Gounod and the writer Turgenev, was an esteemed pedagogue and hosted the greatest musical salon of her day. She was also a fine composer, though one still heard too rarely today.

Taking Orlando Figes’ book The Europeans as a starting point, Artistic Director Susanna Stranders will be joined by Katie Bray (BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019) for a recital of Viardot mélodies. Accompanied by the Ellipsis Ensemble, Katie will also premiere new works by award-winning composers Dani Howard and Lilly Vadaneaux, of settings of Ivan Turgenev’s poem Enough.

Susanna will lead the exceptional young cast of Claire Lees, Katy Thomson, Georgia Mae Bishop, Alison Rose, Liam Bonthrone, Robert Lewis, and Kieran Rayner in performances of Cinderella, Viardot’s enchanting chamber opera, in a new English translation by Jeremy Sams, directed by Cecilia Stinton.

The weekend will culminate in a salon recital bringing together all artists and featuring music, readings and art from the many celebrated artistic personalities in Viardot’s world, many of whom dedicated music or literature to her, or credited her with supporting their works and launching their careers – from Brahms to Tchaikovsky and from George Sand to Tolstoy.

Performances take place in St Cuthbert’s Church, Oborne

Tickets at £40 per performance and subscriptions for Viardot200 available by contacting . 

Further details: