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14th July, 8pm
Mad Song & Rebekah Jones
St John the Baptist Church, EN5 4BW

Rob Hao, Commedia (World Premiere)

Helen Grime, Seven Pierrot Miniatures

Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21

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Rob Hao introduces Commedia...

we chatted with Rebekah...

Did you always know you wanted to be a singer? How did you get into singing?

Musician - yes, singer - not necessarily. I sang in choirs from the age of 12 (I joined the then newly formed Hallé Youth Choir as soon as I was allowed!) but I joined my first orchestra as a violinist when I was 7, and when I got to university I chose the violin as my first instrument for 2 years. I was much more of a late bloomer with my voice but it started to mature at uni and I fell in love with opera in my final year. I wanted to do a Masters in singing since then but only started at the RCM 4 years later.



What’s been your favourite musical experience?

It’s so hard to pick just one, but singing Dixit Dominus at the Proms in 2021 with the Monteverdi Choir was just incredible. We also sang at the Coronation back in May, which is something I’ll never forget.



What’s your favourite movement in Pierrot?

I think Number 7 - Der kranke Mond. It’s so different to all the other movements because of the starkness of the texture, and I love how the flute and vocal lines intertwine. Whilst I also love the extroverted drama of some of the other movements, Number 7 has an eerie quality which is so interesting.

If our audience wanted to listen to some music related to Pierrot, what would you recommend?

I really like some of Schoenberg’s earlier works, particularly Verklärte Nacht [a piece you may remember from last year's festival!], which is much more romantic in style than some of his later works including Pierrot. For something different again, I recently performed in Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera ‘Greek’ which displays all sorts of cool vocal techniques, as well as musical influences from the Second Viennese School, jazz, blues and lots of others. Definitely worth a listen.

And as a more light-hearted way to get to know you, if you were a pizza, what toppings would you have and why?

This is the hardest question yet because I LOVE pizza. As a northern gal, I would definitely need sauce with it(!), and on top I’d have something meaty, something zingy (like pickled onion) and something fresh like rocket. Maybe all parts of my personality…?!

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