On Wednesday 24 October 2018, Professor Helen Abbott leads a Mastercourse day at the Oxford Lieder festival.

Professor Abbott’s expertise in French poetry and poetics, and how language is set to music, will enable eighteen early-career classical musicians from across the globe to receive top-flight training in the challenges and nuances of performing song repertoire in French.

Professor Helen Abbott

The Mastercourse runs as part of the two-week Oxford Lieder festival, and duos were selected from fierce international competition to secure a place on the course. Professor Abbott will begin Wednesday’s masterclass with a talk on Verlaine and how his poetry is set to music by composers such as Debussy, showcasing innovative ways to engage with the work of a major nineteenth-century French poet. What is the latest thinking on Verlaine’s art? How can we understand today what happens to French (poetic) language when it is combined with music? Professor Abbott will then work intensively with each of the song duos on Debussy’s settings of Verlaine.