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The Programme

Join Johanna Byrne, Clare Clements and Brian Parsons of our resident Chamber Opera Ensemble Insieme for a recital of songs based on the music and poetry of Highgate residents Liza Lehmann and Christina Rossetti. In honour of Heritage Weekend, this special 45 minute performance connects local history with these incredible women. 

Highgate Cemetery hosts the graves of several distinguished Victorian women including Lehmann and Rossetti. After her death Lehmann's work was largely forgotten except among professional singers. However, with the revival of interest in women composers, her compositions can now be heard in recitals again. Some of her songs have even been set to poems by Rossetti.

Rossetti has close ties with the local area. In early 1859 she began volunteering at the St. Mary Magdalene Penitentiary in Highgate, a charitable institution for the reclamation of 'fallen' women. By the summer of 1859 Rossetti was devoting a good deal of time to her work at the institution, and its influence can be seen in her poems about illicit love, betrayal, and illegitimacy. This short recital features settings of her work by Michael Head, John Ireland, Arthur Somervell and Hubert Parry.

Find out more about the rest of the Heritage Weekend here.


The life of a Rose (a cycle of 7 short songs)
Mock turtle soup


Michael Head - A Green Cornfield
John Ireland - What art thou thinking of?
Arthur Somervell - Young love lies sleeping
Hubert Parry - My heart is like a singing bird

Lehmann & Rossetti

When I am Dead my Dearest

With Insieme members Brian Parsons (Tenor) and Clare Clements (Piano)