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Death and the Degenerate - A Free Lunchtime Concert

1st June


Free to attend


Book Tickets

Baritone Aleksi Koponen and pianist Maya Soltan present Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death and Shostakovich's Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin

Partly as a response to the war that started last February, Koponen and Soltan, who often collaborate on Russian and German repertoire, have put together a programme of two song cycles not often performed in the UK. 

Set List:

Модест Петрович Мусоргский: Песни и пляски смерти
Modest Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death

Text by Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov 1875 

1. Колыбельная - Lullaby 

2. Серенада - Serenade 

3. Трепак - Trepak 

4. Полководец - Field Marshal 

Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович: Четыре стихотворения капитана Лебядкина 

Dmitri Shostakovich: Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin, op.146 

Text based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons 1974 

1. Любовь капитана Лебядкина - Captain Lebyadkin’s Love 

2. Таракан - Cockroach 

3. Бал в пользу гувернанток - A Ball for the Benefit of Governesses 

4. Светлая личность - A Noble Character 

Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death and Shostakovich's final vocal cycle Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin, which he based on a character from Dostoyevsky’s Demons, are written a hundred years apart. However, Mussorgsky’s artistic courage and Shostakovich’s refusal to be an accomplice of the regime of his time, are both appropriate examples of opposing hegemonies.


Please note there are no public toilets on site, the nearest are located just outside the church on the Piazza.

Please note there is no set seating or this event. 

Find our ticket refund policy here


Aleksi Koponen


Aleksi Koponen is a Finnish baritone who lives and works in London. His repertoire ranges from Wagner, Bach and the Second Viennese School to contemporary composers, for whom he has a particular fondness. Upcoming performances include the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth under the baton of Callum Morton Hüseyin and Tosca’s Scarpia under Orlando Jopling. His recent roles include Orest from Elektra, Father from Hänsel und Gretel, Gunther from Götterdämmerung, Donner from Das Rheingold, Ibn-Hakia from Iolanta, Masetto from Don Giovanni, and Papageno from The Magic Flute. He is one of the founding members of Partimento Ensemble, a baroque quartet with a core repertoire of Bach cantatas. In addition to the ensemble, he frequently sings as a soloist in the major oratorio repertoire. He works closely with pianists Maya Soltan and Jean Bernard Marie, focusing mainly on Russian and German lieder. Concert highlights this season include song cycles of Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Wagner, as well as Schönberg, Neuwirth, and Schubert’s Winterreise. He particularly champions new music and welcomes any opportunities to sing new work. He has commissioned and given premieres of pieces from several living composers, most recently J Diaz, Matthew Lee Knowles, Alexandre Naoumenko and Jacob Bride. He created the role of Pozzo for 'You Don't Know What Our Twilights Can Do', Will Gardner's new commission for Green Opera. He currently studies with Neil Baker.

Maya Soltan


Maya Soltan is a vocal coach and a pianist. She performs regularly and works as Russian coach at the Royal Academy of Music and National Opera Studio. Maya has accompanied masterclasses with Kiri Te Kanawa, Simon Keenlyside and Kathryn Harries. She has organised song recitals at the Pushkin House and “Oxford and Cambridge” Club among others. She is an organiser of “Essence of Bel Canto” Masterclass with renowned Italian Soprano Nuccia Focile.

Death and the Degenerate - A Free Lunchtime Concert

1 June 2023


Free to attend

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