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Lorena Paz Nieto & Helen Glaisher-Hernandez

Sunday 10 September 2023


HEART Headingley, LS6 3HN

Pay As You Can

'Mujeres ¡Presentes!': The Secret Songs of Women Latina Composers


Enter the captivating world of Luso-Hispanic art song as conceived by its most outstanding and beguiling women composers. Discover the compelling voices of women poets and musicians spanning two centuries from across the Latin world, including Spain, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, presented by two pre-eminent Spanish-British specialists: soprano Lorena Paz Nieto (pictured) and pianist Helen Glaisher-Hernández.

Supported by Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society

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Award-winning Spanish soprano Lorena Paz Nieto is a previous winner of the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform award, the Ludmilla Andrews Russian Song Prize, and ‘Vocalist of the Year’ at the 2019 LUKAS awards.

Lorena’s operatic roles include Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro (West Green House Opera), Lisette La Rondine (West Green House Opera and If Opera), Maria Maria de Buenos Aires (Theater Lübeck), Despina Così fan tutte, Musetta La Bohème, Marie La fille du Régiment, Lauretta Gianni Schicchi, Morgana Alcina, Diane Orphée aux Enfers, Pannochka May Night, Drusilla, Fortuna and Pallade L’incoronazione di Poppea, Amore Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (The Grange Festival), and Berta and Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Notable recital performances have included recitals in the Crush Room and Linbury Foyer at the Royal Opera House, Oxford Lieder Festival, Heidelberger Frühling Festival, London Song Festival, St John's Smith Square, and recently two recitals and a masterclass on Spanish song in Japan.

Lorena has recently released her first solo CD, Cantando a dos poetas, featuring contemporary songs written by Spanish composers.

Upcoming projects include role debuts as Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Nevill Holt Opera), Olga in Fedora and Dutchess/Bottle in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (IfOpera), and Héro in Beatrice and Benedict (Mid Wales Opera), as well as continuing her recital tour following the release of Cantando a dos poetas. Lorena is an alumna of the National Opera Studio, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 
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British-Hispanic pianist, Helen Glaisher-Hernández, is part of a new generation of Latinx practitioners elucidating the cultural diversity of classical music.


Following degrees in Spanish and French at the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College), including a year abroad studying Piano at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and an MMus in Piano at Trinity College of Music in London, Helen Glaisher-Hernández now combines her two great loves - music and hispanicity - as a concert pianist, event producer, educator and Ibe/rican specialist committed to the decolonisation of music programming and performance.


Helen's playing is noted as much for its passion as for its sensitivity and cultural authenticity, and has been praised by critics as 'so beautiful' (BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour); 'a compelling mestizaje of classical refinement and Latin feel', and 'satisfyingly understated' (Music & Vision). She was characterised by Telecinco as 'a magnificent musician'.


Daughter of a Rotherham greengrocer and a Canarian school teacher, Helen enjoyed a cosmopolitan upbringing which allowed her to appreciate the music of different cultures and traditions from an early age. Today she remains an adventurous explorer of remote musical territories, unafraid to challenge convention and cross borders in seeking out new rarely-heard repertoire. She has premiered many works by Latin American composers in the UK, including pieces by Villa-Lobos, Estévez, Vitier, Sojo, Carreño, Guastavino and Camargo Guarnieri, and often blurs the boundaries between 'classical' and 'popular' music in her own unique arrangements. She has also commissioned new works by pre-eminent Latin American composers such as Ricardo Lorenz and Enrique González Medina.


With a special passion for chamber music and vocal accompaniment, Helen has collaborated with many leading artists in her field, including Dominic Miller (Sting), Lizzie Ball, Luis Gomes, Ian Anderson, Vanessa Lucas-Smith, Omar Puente, Coro Cervantes, Bárbara Llanes, Clara Rodríguez, José Menor, Freddy Varela Montero and Nina Corti, and she has also shared a platform with Morgan Szymanski, Fábio Zanon and Marcelo Bratke.


Helen has performed internationally, as well as live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, and across London's major venues, including sell-out appearances at Southbank Centre's Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican's Milton Court Concert Hall, St John's Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James's Piccadilly, Bolívar Hall, Fairfield Halls, The National Gallery and La Linea Festival.


Helen also works as Artistic Director of ILAMS and Echoes Festival in the promotion of Iberican classical music in the UK and in this role she has curated events at Trinity College of Music, Canning House, Instituto Cervantes, The In & Out Club, Southbank Centre's Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Wallace Collection and The National Gallery, amongst others.


Helen's latest 'TangOpera' project explores the lyric routes of the tango, featuring the voices of leading Argentine opera singers, Leonardo Pastore, Jaquelina Livieri and Florencia Machado. Their debut album is due for release in 2023.


In addition to running her own busy private piano teaching practice, Helen is is proud to be on the teaching staff at the Sheffield Music Academy, where she is also currently developing an educational programme of classical Luso-Hispanic music for young pianists.

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