Belinda Sykes was raised on a pure diet of English folk song, and is now an international concert and recording soloist - she has sung solo at The Royal Albert Hall and The Carnegie Hall. Belinda studied voice and improvisation in Morocco, Bulgaria, Syria, Spain and India; oboe and recorder at the Guildhall School of Music. She has recorded and sung solo with early music ensembles Red Byrd, New London Consort, Tragicomedia, Harp Consort, Paul O'Dette, Ensemble Unicorn, Oni Wytars, and as a soloist with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Belinda Sykes voice, bagpipes, director
Victoria Couper voice
Cerian Holland voice, harp
Elisabeth Flett fidel, voice
Elsa Bradley dulcimer, percussion, voice
As an oboist she has played for the Gabrieli Consort, English Concert, King's Consort, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Age of Enlightenment and The Hanover Band, and won the 1990 Reichenberg Award for Baroque Oboe. She has also collaborated with many composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Orlando Gough, Dominic Muldowney, Trevor Jones, Howard Shore, Adrian Johnston and Jocelyn Pook. Belinda has a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology (Arabic music) from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies and is Professor of Medieval Music at Trinity College of Music. She has also taught at The Guildhall School of Music, The Royal Academy of Music and The Royal College of Music.
Victoria Couper is a versatile singer and performer with a wide range of experience in the UK and abroad. She sings a variety of music, from medieval to modern, through classical and traditional styles, and always enjoys the challenge of new material. Recent highlights include: Here All Night with the Gare St Lazare Players (Brighton Festival); Young Katherine in Dr Dee with Damon Albarn, dir. Rufus Norris (ENO & Manchester International Festival); Graham Fitkin and Jasmin VardimonÕs Home (Linbury Studio, ROH); Damon AlbarnÕs Dr Dee (Onefest; Later with Jools Holland, BBC2); World premiere of Stevie Wishart's Out of This World with Sinfonye and BBC Singers (Cadogan Hall, BBC Proms & Herrenhusen Festival, Hannover); World premiere of Howard Moody and Helen Chadwick's Where Two Worlds Touch (Salisbury Festival); Development of War Correspondents with Helen Chadwick and Stephen Hoggett (NT Studio); Trading Roots with Grand Union Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra (Broadcast on BBC Radio3). Gloria, Vivaldi's Women, and Peter AckroydÕs Venice, with Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (broadcast BBC4 and BBC Radio3).
Victoria also performs with a number of early music ensembles; Sinfonye, The Dufay Collective, The Artisans, The Third Quince trio, and the all-female Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi; a cappella vocalists The Helen Chadwick Group; as a soloist for jazz and world music inspired Grand Union Orchestra; and as part of Greek Epic-inspired band Daemonia Nymphe. Victoria joined the Oxford Girls' Choir in 1995, studying under Richard Vendome.
She went on to study Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London, achieving a first in her final performance of Judeo-Spanish songs. Alongside performing, she enjoys arranging and teaching, and has significant experience leading choirs in the UK and Brazil.
London singer-songwriter, Cerian Holland, has been described as a cross between Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell and London Grammar. She weaves together melodic vocals and rich harmony with a love of poetry and literature, her songs often quoting from legendary writers such as William Blake, Jack Kerouac, Percy Bysshe Shelle and Lewis Carroll to create heartfelt poetic musical journeys. Within a month of releasing her first song online, Cerian was a BBC Introducing featured artist and has been played nationally on BBC Radio on a number of occasions to much critical acclaim. She recently enjoyed recording with Radiohead on their new album "A Moon Shaped Pool" and can be heard on six tracks.
She studied Classical Recorder (amongst other things) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and graduated in November 2017 with a first class honours degree.. At only 22 years old Elisabeth is a performer with experience beyond her years - she has competed in mods and competitions all over Scotland, won the under-18s category of the London Fiddle Convention in 2013 and the over -18s in 2015 , performed in various groups including the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Gordon Duncan Experience, Feis Fhoirt Ceilidh Trail, Cambridge Folk Festival's Youth Hub Project Band and performed as the actor musician in the Barbican's children's Christmas show, "Get Happy" in 2013 receiving 5-star reviews from The Stage and The Sunday Times.
2015 saw her return as a performer to SOLAS in June 2015 and also tour Peru (summer) and Berlin refugee centres (December) as part of the Wind-Up Penguin Theatre Company. June 2016 saw her performing onstage at Oran Mor as the musician in Hector MacMillan's play, "Del Gesu's Viola". Summer 2017 involved a residency at Sidmouth Folk Festival and a tour of Scotland with Solasta as well as some violin playing with The Carloways at the Edinburgh Fringe. This summer 2019 will see Elisabeth perform her one-woman play Roots at the Edinburgh Fringe. Although rooted in traditional Scottish music, Elisabeth's style encompasses classical, jazz and pop , bringing together something that is entirely unique and extremely catchy.
As well as performing as a solo musician, Elisabeth also plays as part of an exciting young trio called Solasta, comprising jazz guitarist Jamie Leeming and cellist Hannah Thomas. In January 2016 Solasta were invited to play as part of the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, supporting Anna Massie and Mairead Green. In April Solasta returned to Scotland with a performance in the Wighton Centre, Dundee. In January 2017 Elisabeth and Joanna Stark, another multi-instrumentalist from North East Fife, took part in BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award semi-finals in Kendal, playing as Shamblestone. Both Solasta and Shamblestone have recently release CDs - Solasta in September (Cure for the Curious, Guardian folk album of the month September 2018) and Shamblestone at the beginning of 2019. Elisabeth is also very interested in educational projects, and is at present working as an Early Years music practitioner in various London nurseries as well as teaching individuals both violin/fiddle and recorder/folk recorder.
Originally from Fife, Elisabeth Flett is a fiddler, singer-songwriter and whistle player now based in London. Having sung with the likes of Radiohead, Sam Smith, Imogen Heap, Laura Mvula, Newton Faulkner and Charlotte Church, she is now taking on the world with her own brand of contemporary ethereal folk, as she wows crowds wherever she goes, including her debut performance at the legendary Glastonbury Festival this year. Cerian puts her heart and soul into every performance and her incredible voice is not one to miss.
Directed by Belinda Sykes, London-based Joglaresa has been playing since 1992. Now well-established, they are particularly interesting for the way in which they imaginatively push, and often transcend, the limits of what is often thought of as early music. They were the first medieval band to develop a programme of songs entirely devoted to Mary Magdalen, and they were pioneers in programming medieval Jewish and Arabic texts for otherwise more-commonplace Iberian and Crusades programmes - their Crusades programme (The Scimitar and the Sword) represents the voices of Judaism and Islam alongside the Christian viewpoint, and their Arts Council-award-winning programme of medieval Hebrew/Arabic/Spanish song (Dreams of Andalusia) includes songs by medieval Arab-Andalusian poets and Spanish-Hebrew poets. Their work focuses on connecting ancient and traditional musics but, rather than create a 'fusion' or a surreal mix of these styles, they aim to use their combined experiences (upbringings drenched in traditional Irish, English, Maghrebi, Balkan and Middle Eastern music) to create a homogenous sound - Joglaresa members spent years in North Africa and the Middle East absorbing the best traditional tunes, learning the local languages (Arabic and Hebrew). Their performances include the Aldeburgh Festival, York Early Music Festival, London's Lufthansa Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), St David's Hall (Cardiff), London's Barbican Centre, Sana'a & Aden (Yemen), Brezice Early Music Festival (Slovenia), Istanbul, Amsterdam International Festival of Jewish Music, Chinchilla Early Music Festival; tours in Germany, Belgium, Italy and Holland. Numerous radio broadcasts - the world over...
Saturday 18th April 2020
The Enchantress of Seville
Cerian was classically trained in voice, piano and harp and brings together a wide variety of different influences and musical experiences along with her extensive vocal range to create beautiful soaring songs. Cerian was classically trained in voice, piano and harp and brings together a wide variety of different influences and musical experiences along with her extensive vocal range to create beautiful soaring songs.