Cordes en Ciel
...Kristiina's performance of three songs from the early baroque era, in which her soaring voice and variety of expression brought out the contrasting moods...
Bernard's pure sweet soprano devastating in the serious and sparsely scored Vidit suum
- Kristiina Watt - Renaissance Lute/Theorbo/Baroque Guitar/Soprano
- Héloïse Bernard - Soprano
Programmes include a mix of vocal solos, duos and instrumental solos on the renaissance lute/theorbo and baroque guitar. Composers include Monteverdi, Caccini, Purcell, Charpentier, de Visée, Moulinié, Strozzi, Piccinini, Kapsberger
Example programme themes:
Heartbreaks and happy endings - love songs from the 16th-17th centuries
Les Femmes Illustres - Music by female composers from the 16th - 18th centuries
Ensemble Cordes en Ciel is formed of Estonian lutenist/soprano Kristiina Watt and French/American soprano Héloïse Bernard. The duo met in Glasgow while studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, drawn together by a shared interest in the intimate and text-driven performance medium of the lute song and baroque monody.
Alongside vocal works the duo’s programmes feature solos on the renaissance lute, theorbo and baroque guitar. Inspired by the historical practice of self-accompanied singing, Kristiina and Héloïse also perform vocal duos, including those sung by the fashionable all-female groups which first appeared in late 16th century Italy.
In 2019 August the duo was selected to perform alongside three other chamber groups in the Enterprise Music Scotland Chamber Music Showcase at the Glasgow City Halls. Other performances have included recitals at Dunblane Cathedral, Glasgow West End Festival, and Glasgow Southside Fringe Festival.
In 2019 the ensemble was selected to join the Live Music Now scheme.
A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow, in the 2019/20 academic year Kristiina will be studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with lutenists William Carter/David Miller. Her studies will be generously supported by the Guildhall School and Help Musicians UK. In 2019 she was a bursary student at the 2019 Dartington International Summer School studying lute with David Miller and singing with Dame Emma Kirkby. She has been selected to play in the Stradella Y-Project ensemble (Italy) in various projects throughout the 2019/20 season.
Héloïse graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the guidance of Wilma MacDougall. She holds a Masters degree in French Literature.
On stage, she sang Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with the Young Northern Baroque ensemble, Mélisande for Pelléas/Mélisande, at the Tartu International Drama festival, Estonia; Amore in L'incoronazione di Poppea, London; Susanna, Le Nozze di Figaro, Castellón, Spain. A recent highlight was singing the part of Iris in a concert performance and recording of John Eccles’ Semele with the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Julian Perkins.
In addition to her work in the early music scene, she often performs in recital, with a particular interest in French mélodie and modern repertoire.