Whattalife! tells Kathleen’s story from her debut as a singer in 1940, her meteoric rise and her tragic death in 1953.
Kathleen Ferrier sang not just folk songs such as her famous Blow the Wind Southerly but high opera and complex classical music. Having been discovered as a pianist she took singing lessons and became a much loved performer during and after the 2nd World War, dying tragically early from well concealed cancer.
Professional actress and contralto Lucy Stevens has researched and created a unique and totally engaging performance; the text is taken straight from Kathleen’s letters and diaries. Sung music from her repertoire is woven through the text.
Whattalife! is the first staged dramatisation of Ferrier’s life, evoking the spirit of the war and post war years. Just like Kathleen during her short but full life, the show has a great sense of fun and talks straight from the heart.
Lucy Stevens and Whattalife! was featured on Music Matters, BBC Radio 3.
Lucy studied voice at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama after completing a Community Theatre Arts degree at Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.
Singing credits include Götterdämmerung (Flosshilde) at Longborough Festival Opera and Die Fledermaus (Orlovsky) at Opera Holland Park. Acting credits include the UK premier of Bernhart’s The Ignoramus and the Maniac (Queen of the Night), The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch) at Liverpool Playhouse and Beauty and the Beast (Paloma) at the Unicorn Theatre.
Lucy has followed her passion for developing and performing new work including Wellspring Songs by Sam Paechter (written for her) for the Opera North New Composers’ Forum; Silver Swan by Paul Clark for Clod Ensemble in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House and Arcane by Paul Clark for Opera Circus at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells. At BAC Tom Morris directed her in Newsnight The Opera (Kate Adie) by Tansy Davies and Richard Thomas’s Jerry Springer the Opera (Andrea).
Born in Brighton and studied at the Guildhall School. While at college she won the Raymond Russell Competition for harpsichord, the Dove Memorial Prize for top graduate of that year and the Carl Meyer Memorial Prize for outstanding service to the School.
Elizabeth has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Floral Hall at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and St John’s Smith Square and appeared in concert with Alastair Miles, Janice Watson, Sally Matthews, Robert Hayward and Claire Rutter. She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, Classic FM, BBC 2 TV, Channel 4 and French National Radio.
Elizabeth is a founder member of the Tzigane Piano Trio, which performs regularly all over the UK and has released a disc of the complete music for Piano Trio by Cecile Chaminade. She has also released a disc of South American songs with the tenor Luciano Botelho. She has recently been made a Fellow of Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Lucy Stevens has a Website