Sophie Pullen has had a busy year with performances aboard the Minerva in Chile & Peru, at Leighton House & Trinity House London, playing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Cadogan Hall, and masterclasses with Dame Anne Evans for the International Opera Awards. She also started on English National Opera’s prestigious Operaworks programme where the course culminates in a showcase next April. Her studies have been generously supported by grants from Opera Prelude and Coulter Partners.
Another highlight of the year was opening the BAFTA Games Awards show in London with harpist Valeria Kurbatova; their performance of Schubert’s Ave Maria was watched by millions all over the world and they were keen to work together again. So when the Kino Teatr approached Sophie about putting together a Christmas show she immediately thought of Valeria and the idea of a harp and voice recital started to form. Sophie’s previous shows at the Kino have been theatrical affairs, featuring local tenor superstar Gary Marriott and Finnish mezzo soprano Amanda Martikainen, but Cantique de Noël uses the intimacy of the Kino Teatr to share a dreamy programme of French & German song, interspersed with classic yuletide pieces, mesmerising harp solos and songs that dream of white Christmases and starry winter skies.
Sophie told us “Valeria and I have built a programme that reflects the long nights, dreamy snowscapes and joyful Christmas tales of winter. We are performing some of our favourite songs by Schubert, Strauss, Debussy and Faure, along with festive favourites such as The Sugar Plum Fairy & O holy night. Valeria and I had such fun working together for BAFTA and are looking forward to furthering our duo with this recital. Performing in the Kino Teatr by candlelight, a venue with a particularly atmospheric environment, is going to be a special experience.”
As soloists they have appeared variously at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace, The Barbican, The Forge, Warwick Arts Centre, Southwark Cathedral, Cadogan Hall & Wigmore Hall. A graduate of the Royal College of Music, Russian harpist Valeria Kurbatova started her musical career at the age of 8 when she began studying the harp at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow; she has won many awards including the 1st prize at the International Harp Competition in Moscow and is a principal performer with the London Electronic Orchestra.
‘Cantique de Noël – A Festive Smash for Voice & Harp’ 9th & 10th December, 7.30pm at the Kino-Teatr, Norman Rd, St Leonards-on-sea
Sophie Pullen will also be performing arias in ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ with Ken Roberts and the Sussex Concert Orchestra on the 4th December, 6.30pm at St. Barnabus Church, Cantelupe Rd, Bexhill