This preview has been provided by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

The Sirens of Greek mythology were supernatural but not immortal women whose sweet singing lured sailors to their island where the ships were dashed against the rocks. According to Homer, Odysseus and his men managed to avoid a watery death. Odysseus filled his men’s ears with wax and lashed himself to the mast.

On October 20 a group called Les Sirènes will present a concert at St. Stephen’s. It’s unlikely that the concert will cause any ship wrecks, and, if you attend the concert, you will definitely not want to fill your ears with wax. What you can expect is that the sweet singing of sopranos Kathryn Mueller and Clara Rottsolk will magically transport you to a far away place and a far away time. These two remarkable (and all but supernatural) women will present early French music, solos and duets by Couperin, Charpentier, Boismortier, Clérambault, and Jacquet la Guerre. Couperin’s “Troisième Leçon de Tenebres” will be the centerpiece of the concert.

The two sopranos, our sirens, both have national reputations and are recognized specialists in early music. Here’s what critics have said:

“Every once in a blue moon a young singer comes along who thoroughly captures the imagination. Soprano Kathryn Mueller is such a singer.” ……………Albuquerque Journal

“Mueller’s dizzying scales matched the strings for flash, her clarion soprano gaining added projection from the acoustic. Lithe and wingsome, Mueller effortlessly interpreted Vivaldi’s rapid fire lines and flourishes with a vibrant tone, terrific intonation, and judicious vibrato. In the slower movements. Mueller weaved in and out of the violin lines languorously, and her superb vocal control on the quiet ending was stunning. ” …………….South Florida Classical Review

“The music came across as fresh; delightful, and affecting, especially when Nagy and company were joined by a marvelous young soprano, Clara Rottsolk, who should soon be a star in the early music world. Rottsolk’s voice is pure and shining and she sings dead-center on pitch. What’s more, Rottsolk treats words with special care, enunciating the French texts to make sure the narratives receive nuanced treat- ment. Rottsolk conveyed the action and emotions with urgent beauty.” ……………The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

“…clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction.” ……………New York Times

The singers will be accompanied by harpsichordist, Dylan Sauerwald, and baroque cellist, Cora Swenson. Appropriately enough, the church’s Dowd harpsichord is a two-manual instrument modeled after a harpsichord in Versailles. And, who knows, the church’s baroque French Flentrop organ may also be pressed into service.

So come and hear two wonderful singers and journey with them to France as it was several centuries ago.