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Norwich-born soprano returns to city for concert with Chamber Orchestra Anglia

10:54 19 February 2014

Soprano Jane Manning is performing at the Assembly House in Norwich on February 20. Picture: Malcolm Crowthers.

Soprano Jane Manning is performing at the Assembly House in Norwich on February 20. Picture: Malcolm Crowthers.

Malcolm Crowthers

A Norwich-born soprano who has performed across the world is returning to her home city for a special concert tomorrow.

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Jane Manning, a former Norwich High School for Girls pupil, is performing with Chamber Orchestra Anglia at the Assembly House.

She is singing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, and is described as being one of the greatest performers of the piece.

Ms Manning has performed Pierrot Lunaire more than 100 times since the 1960s, including with musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta. She has also written a book on the performance and history of Pierrot Lunaire which was published in 2012 to coincide with the centenary of the composition of the piece.

Pierrot Lunaire employs the technique of Sprechtstimme - in which the vocals are half-sung and half-spoken - and the story is told through 21 separate poems, originally written by the French poet Albert Giraud and translated into German by Otto Erich Hartleben.

Sharon Choa, from Chamber Orchestra Anglia and who will conduct the concert, said: “It is an immense honour to have Jane Manning to perform this for us with principal players of Chamber Orchestra Anglia.

“The difficulty of the piece is such that only very few singers in the world could successfully tackle it; As a result, it is not often heard in a live performance and Norwich has certainly not experienced this music for decades.

“Jane Manning will also be giving a talk before the concert ensues - this promises to be both enlightening and entertaining. “Audience members are encouraged to come both to the talk and the evening’s performance which also includes Brahms’ beautiful Clarinet Trio in A minor as a prelude of the evening’s programme.”

Ms Manning, who has been made an OBE, is an internationally-renowned soprano specialising in 20th and 21st century music. She has performed across Europe and toured Australia and New Zealand and the United States.

She has given more than 350 world premieres, and held visiting professorships and the post of artist-in-residence at many universities and music colleges

• Chamber Orchestra Anglia and the University of East Anglia are presenting the concert Voicing Pierrot tomorrow (Thursday, February 20) at 7.30pm in the Noverre Suite at the Assembly House. Ms Manning is giving a pre-concert talk (included in ticket price) at 6.15pm. Tickets are £15 (concessions £12 and students £5), and they can be bought from Prelude Records, St George’s Music Shop and UEA Box Office www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/events

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