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Festival of Music, 16, 17 and 18 June, 2017

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Weekend pass also available giving access to all performances for 46€

Return to main Page Artist details Detailed Programme

Programme of the Léran festival. June

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Friday 16 - 20h30 - Free



A light-hearted concert with all the artists, children from the village and the Léran choir.

Saturday 17 - 11h00 - 10€



A festival debut by Toulouse-based Saxophone Quatuor Assona.

Saturday 17 - 15h00 - 10€



Récital and Thé Dansant with our own troubadour, Jerome Bratjman, guitarist and accordionist.

Saturday 17 - 20h30 - 14€



Our famous opera gala with singers from around the world.

Sunday 18 - 16h00 - 8€



Following the smash hit inauguration of the new organ in 2016, a recital by organist Nicholas Reading.

Sunday 18 - 17h30 - Free


Outside 'Le Rendezvous'

Occitan group, les Bouilleurs de Sons, plays traditional music in the street.

Sunday 18 - 20h30 - 14€



Major choral concert with soloists, the Léran choir and the children of the village including The Beauchamp Gloria by our conductor Alan Simmons with the brass and percussion of the Laroque d’Olmes Music College.

Artists featured in the festival

Meet some of the artists performing in the festival

Images/1pic.jpgAlan SimmonsComposer and ConductorFounder of the Choeur de Léran, Alan specialises in music for schools and choirs. His works have been performed in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His cantata “Farewell, Admirable Queen” was performed during Jubilee Year for HM The Queen in Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Outside education he has been musical director or chorus master for several performers, including Cleo Laine, Howard Keel and Roger Whittaker. His own singing group, The Mastersingers, has performed regularly on BBC radio and television, and has released several CDs.

In 2015, Alan composed two major pieces that were performed in Leeds as part of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. Alan is an Artistic Director of the Léran Festival de Musique.

Images/2pic.jpgPenelope ChalmersSopranoPenelope Chalmers read German at Bristol University and was a social worker before her career as a professional singer. With the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden she has performed Helmwige, Ortlinde and Gerhilde in The Ring. In 1996 she took over as Brünnhilde at the Royal Opera with minimal notice during a performance of Die Walküre broadcast live by BBC Radio 3. Other roles in the UK include Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle for English National Opera and the title role in Strauss’ Salome for Scottish Opera. Penelope has sung operatic roles all over the world, including major opera houses in Geneva, Koblenz, Frankfurt, Berlin, Seoul, Adelaide, and San Francisco. Penelope Chalmers is an Artistic Director of the Léran Festival de Musique.
Images/3pic.jpgVirginia KerrSopranoVirginia Kerr is one of Ireland’s most distinguished sopranos, equally well known on the operatic stage, concert and oratorio platform and as a recitalist. Her career has taken her as far afield as Russia, the Far East, Mexico and North and South America. She has sung with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Leipzig Opera, Rome Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, to name but a few. She was awarded the Margaret Burke Sheridan medal in 1996 in recognition of her achievements in the field of classical music. She has made many recordings, including her recent solo CD “My Heart and I” with the RTE Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Dean.
Images/4pic.jpgLe Choeur de LéranChoirFormed in 2008, this village choir now numbers over 50 members from eight different countries. Most had not sung in a choir before but have reached a high standard through enthusiasm and enjoyment. Works are performed in French, English and Latin (among other languages) with the repertoire ranging from Joe Dassin and the Beatles to works by Fauré and Vivaldi. As well as singing in local churches and cathedrals, Le Choeur de Léran has sung at local festivals and is a regular performer at the village’s annual Marché Gourmand.
Images/5pic.jpgFlorence ChongSopranoMalaysian soprano Florence Khei Kuan Chong began her music training as a pianist in 2002, studying with Liaw and Lean Hin Chong. In 2007, she was awarded a full scholarship to study on the Diploma in Music course in SEGi College, Subang Jaya where she studied piano and violin. In 2009 Florence decided to switch her major from piano to voice on the recommendation of her singing teacher and her developing passion for singing.

Florence joined the award winning Klang Chamber Choir (KCC) in 2008 and took part in the Venezia in Musica International Choral Competition in Italy in 2011 and the Asia Cantate Choral Festival in Phuket, Thailand in 2012.

Florence is currently a student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland where she studies with Virginia Kerr. She has won numerous awards, including the Newpark Music Festival Ruth Beare Perpetual Cup (First Prize, 2015), the Margaret Dillon Prize (First Prize, 2015), Sligo Feis Ceoil Cup for Songs by Italian Composers (Second Prize, 2015), Sligo Feis Ceoil Oratorio and Sacred Solos (Highly Commended, 2015), the Sligo Feis Ceoil Cup (Highly Commended, 2015) and the Newpark Music Festival Adult Vocal Baroque Aria (First Prize, 2014).

She has sung in masterclasses by world renowned coaches and singers, such as Emma Kirkby, Kamal Khan, Roy Laughlin, Ann Murray, Mirella Parutto and Emi Mohri. She also attended the North Sea Vocal Academy 2015 where she studied voice with Lena Hellström-Färnlöf and Audrey Hyland in Denmark last July. She made her solo debuts in Bangkok and Malaysia in 2015.

Images/20pic.jpgEloise UrbainPianistEloise Urbain makes a welcome return to Léran. She studied at the Toulouse Conservatoire, then at the Paris Conservatoire, with Jean Koerner and Serge Zapolsky, where she became laureate of the Cziffra and Menuhin Foundations.

She has performed as a soloist for Radio France in many concerts and festivals. Passionate about chamber music and the accompaniment of singers, she has performed at the Festival des Jacobins in Toulouse, Prades Festival, Festival de la Vézère, Festival Lagraulet, Flâneries Musicales in Reims. She has accompanied at international singing competitions in Toulouse and Marmande and the international cello competition "Navarra".

She takes part in opera productions as a pianist/vocal coach at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and plays in the Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra National du Capitole. She participates in concerts with internationally renowned singers such as Gabriel Bacquier, José Van Dam, Léontina Vaduva, Viorica Cortez, Alain Fondary, Jean -Luc Viala and Sylvia Sas.

Eloise Urbain is Professor of Accompaniment at the Toulouse Conservatoire.

Images/48pic.jpgJérôme BrajtmanPiano accordion and guitarJérôme Brajtman is a 30-year-old multi-instrumental musician. He grew up in Paris, where he studied piano, and then classical guitar. He was awarded a First Prize from the Conservatoire de La Courneuve, where he studies the classical repertoire in solo and in chamber music, harmony and music theory. At the same time, aiming for diversification, he plays with many musicians from different genres including jazz, bossa nova, Cuban music, Indian music, Balkan gypsy music, and jazz manouche…which he produces himself in France and Europe. He currently lives in Ariège, where he plays regularly, and continues to study music in all its forms, written and improvised, arrangement and composition.

Images/49pic.jpgQuatuor Assona SaxophonesThe four members of the Assona saxophone quartet studied at the Toulouse Conservatoire in the class of Florence and Philippe Lecocq in 2012. The quartet has a special passion for chamber music and for performing modern transcriptions for saxophone ensemble. The four musicians --Etienne Vaillend, Franck Pereira, Cyril Galy and Maxime Bazerque--endeavour to transport you to another world, via the unique sound of the saxophone. To do this, they mix a cocktail of Western music with that of Argentinian tangos, modern music and that from the baroque, to create a tasty contemporary mix. These four young graduates of the Toulouse Conservatory strive for perfection while captivating their public. Enjoy the journey!
Images/50pic.jpgJane IrwinMezzo SopranoJane Irwin, who studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music, has had a major international career. As a concert and recital singer she has appeared regularly in Britain, Europe and America, singing with most of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors such as Myung Whun Chung, Sir Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Ivor Bolton, Andrew Davis, Libor Pesek, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano, Sakari Oramo, Sir Mark Elder, Trevor Pinnock, Petr Altrichter, Joseph Swensen, Sir Richard Armstrong and Jakov Kreizberg.

As an opera singer, she made her debut with the Royal Opera in a new production of Götterdämmerung/Second Norn under Bernard Haitink, returning in 2003 to sing Suzuki/Madam Butterfly. She has sung in Die Walküre at Bayreuth, Brangäne/Tristan und Isolde for San Francisco Opera, English National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mère Marie/Dialogues des Carmélites for Lyric Opera of Chicago and appears regularly with Scottish Opera.

Jane has recently moved into the soprano repertoire, where she has sung Britten War Requiem, Marie in Fragments from Wozzeck , Isolde’s Liebestod in Sardinia, Sieglinde in Die Walkure in Mexico City, Andromache in Tippett’s King Priam at the Brighton Festival, and Brunnhilde’s Immolation scene from Gotterdämmerung with the Bremer Philharmoniker.. She performed her first Isolde for Regensburg opera in 2015 and sang the Foreign Princess from Rusalka in Saarbrucken in 2016.

Images/51pic.jpgJohn HaywardTenorJohn Hayward has been an amateur soloist and choral singer for many years, whilst working as a family doctor. He has been a member of the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Schütz Choir under Sir Roger Norrington. As a soloist, he has a large lieder and concert repertoire and has performed a number of principal roles in opera. John is currently a member of the Elysian Singers of London.

Images/52pic.jpgDominic NatoliTenorInternationally acclaimed tenor Dominic Natoli made his first public appearance at age five, and subsequently joined the Australian Boys' Choir, achieving success as a soloist on their premiere overseas tour to Japan. He later studied with renowned Italian Baritone Afro Poli, until he travelled to Vienna, where he graduated from the Vienna Conservatorium of Music with a first class honours Diploma of Opera.His numerous awards include firs t prize in the Alfredo Kraus International Singing Competition, the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship and an Arts Fellowship from the Queensland Government.

Operatic engagements have taken him throughout Europe, Australasia, the US and the Far East, where he has appeared with many companies including Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Opera Holland Park, Danish National Opera, Danish Royal Opera, Opera de Nancy, Opera de Metz, Finnish National Opera and English National Opera in repertoire including Faust, Nemorino, Don Josè, Otello, Alvaro, Alfredo, Manrico, Riccardo, Duca, Turiddu, Cavaradossi, Rodolfo, Calaf, and Des Grieux.

Oratorio performances include the Verdi Requiem, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. He has an extensive concert & recital repertoire, including his acclaimed portrayal of Mario Lanza in The Mario Lanza Story, and has appeared often on Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2. He records with Vienna Modern Masters, Opera Rara and Chandos.

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Images/54pic.jpgJong Hoon Heo BaritoneJong Hoon Heo (Aldo) was born in South Korea.

He is currently studying with Dr.Veronica Dunne and Repetiteur Seho Lee whilst pursuing a Recital Artist Diploma in Voice from Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Aldo studied at the Korean National University of Arts, obtaining Bachelor of Music in 2005. In 2011 he became a member at the Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo de Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain, where he continued his vocal studies with Ana Luisa Chova at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Valencia.

Aldo has taken part in many International Voice Competitions, winning first prize at Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Grandate (2014). He won Special Public Prize at Concurso Francisco Viñas in Barcelona (2007); first prize at Concurso de Canto Ciudad de Lleida (2008), first prize at Concurso Internacional de Bilbao (2010), first prize in Concurso Internacional de Canto Jacinto Guerrero de Madrid (2013).

He has worked with conductors such as Andrea Battistoni, Omer Meir Wellber, Patrick Fournillier, Alberto Zedda, Zubin Mehta, and Plácido Domingo.

This is his first appearance at the Leran Music Festival

Images/55pic.jpgSeho LeePianoSince 2014, Seho Lee has been an Inaugural Accompaniment Teaching Fellow and International Relations Representative at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, including coordinating the Asian auditions, performances and masterclasses. He has recently been appointed as a Guest Professor at the Guizhou Normal University, China and is a regular vocal coach at the Bejing International Voice Masterclass.

Seho was born and brought up in South Korea and studied piano (BMus, summa cum laude) at the Chugye University for the Arts and opera coaching (Artistic Diploma, summa cum laude) at the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul. Since 2007, Seho has studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he was awarded a Masters in Piano Accompaniment, a Postgraduate Diploma in Repetiteurship, a MMus Piano for Dance and a Opera Repetiteur Masters course.

Seho has won more than 30 piano competitions. In the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he was awarded the Mansel Thomas prize for the best Piano Accompainist. He also won the 2012 Delius Prize and performed The Prize-winner Recital in Steinway Hall. More recently, Seho won first prize at the Young Musicians international competition "Citta di Barletta".

Seho has performed at St James’ Palace in London and Dora Stoutzker Hall, in the presence of the British Royal Family. This is Seho’s second appearance at the Léran Music Festival.

Images/56pic.jpgNicholas ReadingOrganNicholas Reading studied piano and organ in Somerset with Peter Jacobs and piano with Alexander Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music. He is much in demand as an accompanist on both organ and piano in London. He has performed in many of the English cathedrals including York Minster, Ely, Wells, Norwich and St Paul’s. He has toured with the Choir of Hendon St Mary to France, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Ireland and the USA. He also plays keyboards with the Salomon Orchestra and his performance of the Saint-Saëns organ symphony at St John's, Smith Square was very well received.

Images/58pic.jpgLes Bouilleurs de SonsEnsembleThe music and songs distilled by the ensemble Les Bouilleurs de Sons are so finely convoluted that they seem to flow from the source of a spring!

Their strong and powerful aromas are the result of a long fermentation of music from both Gascony and the Languedoc.

This fine eau de vie brings us back to the essence of the musical heritage of the Pyrenees and of Occitania. Its strength and intensity are measured by the joy of sharing and the joie de vivre that animate this group. Taste without moderation!

We welcome them to their first appearance at the Léran Music Festival.

Images/59pic.jpgAdam MaxeyBaritoneEnglish Baritone Adam Maxey is currently in his final year of undergraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of David Pollard. Since arriving at GSMD in 2013 he has performed a variety of oratorio and concert works; including Faure’s Requiem for the Waltham singers and excerpts from Handel’s Messiah with the Broadstone Opera Society, with whom he performs regularly. In 2015 he performed the role of the Speaker while understudying Papageno in their production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Lynton Atkinson.

In 2016 Adam performed the role of Figaro in King’s College Opera’s production of W. A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and performed the role of The Forester in GSMD’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen by LeošJaná?ek. More recently Adam sang in the chorus of the Guildhall’s spring opera, the world premier of The Tale of Januarie composed by Julian Phillips.

This is his first appearance at the Leran Music Festival

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