GABRIELA OPACKA soprano/violin
Thursday 2 September 2021
Tickets: £20 (£18 early bird by 13 Aug)
A highly varied collection of colourfully melodic songs and witty, original duos by composer David Braid, performed by soprano/violinist Gabriela Opacka and the composer on mandolin.
The unusual combination of soprano/mandolin and violin/mandolin makes for a uniquely clear tonal palette.
An extraordinarily prolific composer, currently at some 150+ pieces (including three symphonies and a viola concerto); David’s work spans a vast range of moods and forms.
Gabriela’s dual virtuosity as both singer and instrumentalist is further augmented by her work in arranging and composition for screen.
The open and curious mindset of both musicians is immediately audible in their performances.
ALL MUSIC BY DAVID BRAID
Three duos for violin & mandolin
Two lines drawn in silk
Four songs for soprano and mandolin
The mermaid (text W.B. Yeats)
Tonight, I can write (Pablo Neruda)
Santiago (Federico García Lorca)
Three Fugues for two players
Three duos for violin & mandolin
A glass sculpture
Automatic rondo waltz
Songs of North Wales coastal towns (text: D. Braid)
Guarded by ormes
Bungalows by the sea
How many crossings?
Three Inventions for two players
Two songs of Shakespeare
Your true image
Eyes to wonder
Gabriela Opacka violin/soprano
"I am a musician living in London. Educated in violin performance, I play in orchestras and numerous chamber groups. I am interested in experimental musical theatre and composing for films and video games, mixing electronic sounds with self-recorded acoustic violin and vocal tracks.
As a violinist, I have played with several orchestras (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, l'Opéra Royal Château de Versailles, Sinfonia Varsovia, London Contemporary Orchestra and International Philharmonic Orchestra in New York) in venues across the world, including Carnegie Hall (as a leader of Second Violins), Musikverein in Vienna, Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall in London, Tokyo International Forum, Chateâu de Versailles, and Notre Dame de Paris.
As a soloist, I have performed with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Southbank Sinfonia in Cadogan Hall in London, Podkarpacka Philharmonic Orchestra and Warsaw Players. I am a prizewinner of the Young Paganini International Violin Competition. As a result of winning the Debut with Orchestra competition, I performed Glasunov Violin Concerto at the Cracow Philharmonic Hall.
I graduated in both violin and vocal studies at the Artur Malawski Music School in Przemyśl. Later on, choosing violin performance as the main core of my musical education, I studied at the Academy of Music in Cracow.
My recent education includes doctoral studies at Warsaw Chopin University of Music with Prof. Janusz Wawrowski and an Artist Diploma Course with Prof. Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Pure affection to chamber music has brought me to take part in many projects such as the Southbank Sinfonia Quartet at the Royal Opera House in London, recordings for BBC Radio 3, and films and documentaries. As part of my own research of a unique sound and repertoire, I have recorded, with harpist Oliver Wass, a selection of works by Ravel. These include Sonata No.2 “Blues”, Tzigane and others, where the piano part has been performed by the harp. Previously, I had undertaken a similar project with percussionist Maria Chlebus, where works for violin and piano by Pärt, De Falla, Lutoslawski and other composers were performed with the marimba.
My experience in singing includes London Contemporary Voices, Baroque d’Auvergne Festival, Krakow Opera Choir, Oktofonia Ensemble and recording sessions.
In 2020 I successfully applied to the National Film and TV School in Beaconsfield for a Master’s course in composing for screen, recording all the violin, vocal and electronic parts in my music."
David Braid composer/mandolin
David’s work has been performed internationally in Europe and the Americas and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Major UK performances include Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and Wilton’s Music Hall.
He is extraordinarily prolific, having completed well over 150 works, including three symphonies, a viola concerto, and some 60+ works for his primary instrument, the mandolin. He also plays the Renaissance lute and most types of guitar.
His music is published by Productions d’Oz and Le Luth Doré.
Steve Reich said of David’s work: “Morning – Integration of voice with string quartet beautifully done – particularly first entrance. Writing for instruments is solid and sounds very good to me. Very honest stuff”.
David was born and grew up in Colwyn Bay in North Wales and was involved in various musical activities during his early teens, ranging from playing in numerous rock and indie bands, to the fiddle in the school folk group, before focusing primarily on classical guitar and composition in his later teens.
He attended The Royal College of Music, taking joint-first study in Composition and Guitar (with Edwin Roxburgh and Charles Ramirez respectively); also attending the composition classes of George Benjamin. He later continued composition (and conducting) studies at the Academy of Music in Cracow and subsequently with Robert Saxton at The University of Oxford.
Two single-composer albums (CD/download) of his work are available: David Braid, Chamber & Instrumental Music and David Braid: Songs, solos and duos.
David has also completed a further 10 download-only releases; a number of which are part of his Auto-work series, where he plays all the featured instruments himself.
As well as concert music, David has written film scores, most recently for Polish animation: Blask (Shine) and the short film: Compartment.
He also wrote the tutorial book/CD, Play Classical Guitar that was also published in Spanish translation.
David is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including: The John Longmire Prize for Composition, Royal College of Music; The Jack Morrison Prize for Guitar, RCM; The Composition Prize for Youth Orchestra, Murcia, Spain; The Fine Arts Sinfonia Composition Prize (London); The Waterson Scholarship, University of Oxford; the Oppenheim/Downes Memorial Scholarship; The University Graduate Scholarship, University of Oxford and SPNM Short-listed composer, among others.
David plays a Collings MT mandolin.