A journey with songs of the most loved composters


Celebrated young soprano Kate Royal is joined by Leeds Lieder’s Director, pianist Joseph Middleton, for Komm, Trost der Welt, a thoughtfully selected recital of lieder and songs by Robert and Clara Schumann, Gustav Mahler and Samuel Barber in the Howard Assembly Room on Saturday 7 November.

The latest in Leeds Lieder’s collaborations with Opera North is a programme woven together by themes of solace, comfort and consolation. It opens with settings of the poet Rückert by Robert and Clara Schumann, followed by Mahler’s set of five songs exploring love and loss, with earthly cares set alongside a desire for peace in transfiguration.

The second half centres around Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs, based on medieval poems written by Irish saints and holy people. Some are very short, witty and droll observations of simple lives lived in the service of religion, and others are more profound. They end, like the Mahler, with an extended meditation.

Joseph Middleton commented, “It’s always an enormous pleasure to find myself returning to the Howard Assembly Room, which has the perfect acoustic and intimate atmosphere for song, this most thoughtful of art-forms. It’s also such a pleasure to find myself making music with Kate Royal, who’s known throughout the world for the gloriously warm tone of her voice and her captivating stage presence. The programme she has devised takes the audience on a journey through many emotional shades of solitude, by turns melancholic, witty, ethereal and meditative. I think that Leeds audiences are in for a treat when she comes to town.”

Appointed Director of Leeds Lieder in 2014, Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and is acknowledged as a leading talent within this field. A winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, Kate Royal is an experienced and acclaimed lieder singer. Her recordings of Schumann for the Hyperion label were widely praised as a stunning achievement, set apart by her pure tone and dramatic flair.

Kate Royal and Joseph Middleton perform the lieder of Robert and Clara Schumann and Gustav Mahler and songs by Samuel Barber in the Howard Assembly Room on Saturday 7 November at 7.30pm.


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