Sopranos: Abbi Temple, Elizabeth Drury, Suzzie Vango
Altos: Suzie Purkis, Sarah Tenant-Flowers
Papagena is a rarity in the UK, an all-female consort of five professional singers set up to explore music from medieval times to the present day written specifically for female voices. The group’s programming defies pigeonholing; drawing richly on traditional folk music and women’s working songs from around the world, Papagena juxtaposes these pieces with more classical repertoire from Hildegard of Bingen to Katy Perry, as well as writing its own material and commissioning from an eclectic range of composers including Errollyn Wallen, Oliver Tarney and Jim Clements. Medieval, classical, folk and contemporary music is interwoven into intriguing programmes which fascinate diverse audiences and the group also undertakes education projects involving both school and adult voices.
Formally launched in 2015, the group has performed at numerous festivals throughout the UK including the Edinburgh Festival, Brandenburg Choral Festival (London), the Shropshire Music Trust, Music at Christchurch Priory Festival, Sandstone Ridge, Nottingham Cathedral and Bromsgrove Festivals and the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester.
Papagena’s first album, Nuns and Roses, was produced and released under its own label in 2017. Its second album The Darkest Midnight was released in November 2018 under the SOMM record label and reached No 6 in the classical charts as well as the No 1 classical download position. It was selected as Recording of the Month in December 2018 by Music Web International. Its third album Hush! was released on the SOMM label in March 2020 and received stunning reviews in all major journals including Gramophone.
Papagena made its BBC debut in 2018, singing live during the International Women’s Day concert on Radio 3. Since then the group has given two further live performances on the BBC, on both In Tune (Radio 3) and Woman’s Hour (Radio 4). In 2018 Papagena was also selected to be one of Making Music’s coveted Selected Artists for the 2019/2020 season.
Forthcoming projects feature further recordings and performances with the Orchestra of the Swan, world premiere performances of John Duggan’s Stabat Mater Speciosa, Janet Wheeler’s Tomorrow is Today and the first modern day performance of a reconstruction of Orazio Vecchi’s Stabat Mater Dolorosa, together with the launch in the autumn of the group’s new programme Still Moving and release of its latest Hildegard of Bingen video.
For more information, visit: www.papagena.co.uk