Sounds Lyrical

Operatic excerpts and recital programmes for smaller venues, tailor-made to suit all needs

  • Sounds Lyrical was launched in 1986 and has performed in concert halls: Purcell Room; Blackheath Halls; Lauderdale House; Holst Room, Morley College; theatres including Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford; Antony Barnard Hall, Eltham College; The Glebe Centre, Murton; hotels, restaurants and music clubs including Phyllis Court Club, Henley; 6 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, The Arts Club, The Robens Suite, Guy’s Hospital and at the Museum of London; churches: St James', Piccadilly; St Pancras Parish Church; St George the Martyr, Borough; St. George’s Beckenham.

  • For over a decade Sounds Lyrical enjoyed a unique relationship with Music at Luxters (now Luxters Ltd) at Chiltern Valley Wines near Henley-on-Thames where we performed in a renovated 17th-century barn.


  • Our programmes range from four singers and a pianist presenting popular, semi-staged operatic extracts, through mainstream recital repertoire to more esoteric dramatic song cycles.

The operatic evenings can either be a selection of 'pops' or themed, for example Italian, French, German, Slavic, single composer, operetta and musicals; we also have an attractive Three Tenors and Flute programme exploring unusual repertoire actually written for three tenors as well as music made popular by our famous counterparts. All these evenings are narrated in a lively, informative and amusing way.

As well as mainstream recital repertoire we perform Liszt's Tre Sonetti di Petrarca and for the more adventurous we have an innovative Czech programme which had its first airings at the Purcell Room and the Czech Ambassador's residence in December 1999, including Dvořák's Písnĕ Milostné (Love Songs) and Zápisník Zmizelého (Diary of one who Disappeared) - sung in Czech, a Janáček Piano Sonata (Z ulice) as well as the song cycle A Bed of Roses composed by Karel Janovicky especially for John Upperton.

New programmes can be devised to suit all budgets, venues and tastes.

  • Sounds Lyrical comprises some sixteen singers and four pianists/musical directors (and other instrumentalists as required), thus ensuring not only a strong sense of company style but also the right performer for the occasion. All our musicians have successful solo careers in their own right and have sung or played with major national and international companies in the UK and abroad. Performers' biographies, sample programmes and CD recordings of live performances can be supplied as required.















Some sample programmes:

  • Operatic pops
    Hits from operas including The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan Tutte, The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers, Carmen, Lakmé, Gianni Schicchi, La Bohème, Madame Butterfly and Turandot. Have we left out your favourites? Just ask and we can usually accommodate your requests.

  • National themed evenings

    Le Bistro Parisien
    Combine your ‘bonne bouche’ with all your favourite hits from French opera with a few pleasant surprises. Including music from Faust, Roméo et Juliette, Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, The Fair Maid of Perth, The Tales of Hoffmann and others. At your discretion we can include pieces from French operetta too - La Belle Hélène, Orpheus in the Underworld and not forgetting the famous Bold Gendarmes from Geneviève de Brabant.

    La Trattoria
    Pasta and chianti could accompany this Italian evening which explores not only popular and less well-known Italian opera but includes songs spanning the entire nineteenth-century. We feature works by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Cilea, Puccini, Mascagni, Tosti, Donaudy and others. Accommodating your favourite pieces is only too easy.

    Champagne and tiaras in Vienna and Paris
    Also in a lighter vein, this programme explores some of the most beautiful as well as some neglected gems of Viennese Operetta - not forgetting of course the musical genius of Offenbach. An evening of frothy delight!

  • ...and not forgetting good old England

    At the Savoy
    For G&S enthusiasts we have devised a programme which presents the wit of Gilbert and the wistful tenderness of Sullivan’s music; we include some of the outstanding extracts from the Savoy Operas.

    The Proms
    A celebration of British music featuring Purcell’s Dido’s Lament and Fairest Isle, rousing pieces such as Rule Britannia, and Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory but also including lyrical and touching songs like Balfe’s I dreamt I dwelt in Marble Halls and Dibdin’s Tom Bowling.

    An Evening with Shakespeare
    Perhaps our most innovative programme; we join forces with actors, present scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, juxtaposing them with the equivalent scene from the opera based on the same play.

  • Themed by composer

    The Genius of Mozart
    Sublime music highlighting the most famous as well as lesser known excerpts from Mozart’s operas including Don Giovanni, Così fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito.

    A thrilling evening featuring exciting excerpts from La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Macbeth, Rigoletto and many more.

    A journey into world of verismo with the music of this great composer. Scenes and arias from Gianni Schicchi, La Bohème, (including Act III complete), Madama Butterfly, Turandot and other favourites.

    Bel Canto
    Literally ‘beautiful singing’. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola, Bellini’s Norma, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore and others form the basis of this programme but there is always room for your favourites.

    Purcell, Handel, Gluck and Mozart
    For the slightly more adventurous we present an aesthetic combination showing the development of style from Baroque to Classical. Excerpts from Dido and Aeneas, The Beggars’ Opera, La Serva Padrona, Julius Caesar, Orfeo, The Marriage of Figaro and more. The more discerning of you will not fail to notice the parallel between the early ‘ballad operas’ and the modern day musical!

  • In a lighter vein

    Operetta and Musicals
    A musical journey from the operetta to the modern musical. This programme incorporates extracts from Viennese and French operetta up to and including musicals of the 1950s and 1960s. Anything from The Merry Widow to Carousel!

    Musicals past and present
    Continuing our musical journey, we present an evening of your favourite tunes from Broadway and the West End over the last 50 years. Including Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and many more The collaboration between Bernstein and Sondheim left an indelible mark on the late 20th-century musical; we exploit this to the full.

    Kurt Weill
    We celebrate the music and all-too-short life (1900-1950) of this unique and extraordinary composer with a musical voyage From Berlin to Broadway. Challenging at times perhaps, but always rewarding.

    Three Tenors
    As well as the repertoire made famous by our well-known counterparts, this programme includes music actually written for three tenors but not forgetting operatic arias, Neapolitan ballads and popular songs.

    Three Tenors and Flute
    Similar of course to the Three Tenors but the addition of a flute lends more variety and colour. As well as purely instrumental music, we integrate the flautist into the vocal music too.

  • Other combinations
    For those on a tighter budget, these programmes involving less personnel may prove to be ideal.

    Bright-eyed Boys
    Similar in vein to the Three Tenors and Flute. The Bright-eyed Boys are Sounds Lyrical’s principal Flautist, Tenor and Pianist

    Ladies Only
    A glamorous evening with a soprano and mezzo-soprano harmonising vocally but competing in dress sense! The programme includes the famous duet from Lakmé (made famous by British Airways) and the haunting Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffmann.

    Ti Miro
    Some of opera’s most intense and passionate music was scored for soprano and tenor. Ideal for those who are romantic at heart. Listen to beautiful duets and arias from Don Pasquale, La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly and West Side Story.

    Men Only
    A wealth of music - operatic and non-operatic - was written for this combination. The programme includes famous duets from The Pearl Fishers, Don Carlos, La Forza del Destino but also explores Victorian and Edwardian music - Excelsior; Watchman, what of the Night; The Dicky Bird and the Owl, The Bold Gendarmes Duet and many more.

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