Lotte Betts-Dean and Dimitris Soukaras
Lotte Betts-Dean – mezzo soprano
Dimitris Soukaras – guitar
|JOHN DOWLAND||Come again, sweet love; Flow my tears; Can she excuse my wrongs|
|WILLIAM WALTON||Bagatelles III: Alla cubana (solo guitar)|
|WILLIAM WALTON||Anon in Love|
|PETROS KLAMPANIS||Ariadne’s Duality (solo guitar)|
|PHILIPPOS TSALAHOURIS||HaiKu Op.109 (UK premiere)|
|MANOS HADJIDAKIS||Odos Oniron|
|CLAUDE DEBUSSY||Three mélodies (arranged by Tilman Hoppstock)|
|MANUEL DE FALLA||Homenaje pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy (solo guitar)|
|MANUEL DE FALLA||Four folksongs from Siete cançiones populares españolas: El paño moruno; Asturiana; Nana; Cançion|
|SERGIO ASSAD||Farewell (solo guitar)|
|TOM JOBIM||Chega de Saudade; Aguas de março; Garota de Ipanema|
|BADEN POWELL||Canto de Ossanha|
Praised by The Guardian for her "irrepressible sense of drama and unmissable, urgent musicality", Australian mezzo soprano Lotte Betts-Dean is a versatile and dynamic concert artist whose performance experience encompasses contemporary repertoire, early music, art song, opera, experimental music and non-classical collaborations. Based in London since 2014 and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Lotte won the 2019 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform and is a member of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme for 2021/22.
Dimitris Soukaras is considered one of the most promising Greek guitarists of his generation. Also a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, he is a winner of the International Guitar Foundation’s Young Artists Platform and was a EuroStrings Artist in 2018/19. In October 2021, Dimitris released his latest album ‘Roots: 21st century Greek music for guitar’ on the Naxos label.
In a varied and intimate programme entitled 'Travels with a Guitar', Lotte and Dimitris perform songs and solo guitar music from Elizabethan ballads to Brazilian Bossa Nova together with the UK premiere of a song cycle by the contemporary Greek composer, Philippos Tsalahouris.
Photo credits: Shingo Gibson-Suzuki & Dimitris Soukaras
SKIPTON MUSIC GOES ELECTRIC!
Skipton Music continued its 2021-22 season with an “electrifying” concert by the mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean and the guitarist Dimitris Soukaras. The potential problems of balance for this slightly uncommon combination were solved by some discrete amplification – we think this is a first for Skipton Music! This had the added bonus of allowing us to appreciate the wonderful range of sounds which Dimitris was able to draw from his instrument, from percussive thumps to delicate harmonics to the ravishing effect of brushing the strings with his fingertips. Lotte too brought great versatility to the duo’s very varied programme, starting with the agile and stylish ornamentation of three songs by the renaissance lutenist John Dowland, and ending with the brassy timbres of Brazilian bossa nova.
In such a wide-ranging programme everyone will have had their favourites. I particularly enjoyed the duo’s wistful rendering of “The girl from Ipanema” and the two Debussy songs, with Debussy’s ravishing piano part skillfully transcribed for guitar and played by Dimitris with haunting delicacy. But for me the revelation of the evening was the group of pieces by contemporary Greek composers, in particular the UK première (another first for Skipton Music?) of the “Haiku” by Philippos Tsalahouris. This is an evocative and subtle setting of short poems in Greek by the composer himself, and exploits (in his words) “the extremely intimate relationship beween the guitar and the voice.” After this beautiful but intense piece the duo finished this Greek group with a simpler but equally haunting melody “The road of dreams” by Manos Hadjidakis. I’m sure all those who went to this captivating concert will have had sweet dreams for days afterwards!