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ECHO Rising Stars: Axelle Fanyo and Kunal Lahiry

Close up profile photo of Axelle Fanyo

Hear one, choose one: Axelle Fanyo invites the audience to curate the perfect programme, from enchanting French music to American song cycles that set your imagination free.

Composers from France and America go head-to-head to win the audience’s affections. The strength of the applause dictates what comes next – will it be music from 20th-century America by Aaron Copland, Edward MacDowell, Florence Price and William Bolcom, or a selection of delightful French songs by André Caplet, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc?

Praised by Renée Fleming for her ‘star quality’, Axelle Fanyo is making her mark on both the opera world and in concert halls as a recitalist. With multiple accolades under her belt including the 2021 Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition grand prize and the prestigious Kaleidoscope prize, Fanyo is without a doubt an artist on the rise. Tonight she shows us why, as she’s joined by pianist Kunal Lahiry in an audience-led programme featuring new ECHO commission, Entre les miroirs from Greek composer Sofia Avramidou.

The inspiration for Entre les miroirs came from a documentary made in 2008, telling the story of a meeting that never took place: that of the Portuguese poet Pessoa and the Greek poet Cavafy, 'the night Fernando Pessoa met Constantine Cavafy'. Entre les miroirs is a fusion of Cavafy's 'La ville' and Pessoa's 'Lisboa com suas casas' (written under the name Álvaro de Campos); two poems evoking the devouring energy of an imaginary city that engulfs our own desires for evolution, desires absorbed by our own contemplative inertia. These two poems, like two monolithic mirrors placed one opposite the other, create an infinite horizontality through their reflections. 

The song evolves within this initiatory path, using the sonority of the body, a reflection of Cavafy, and the voice, a reflection of Pessoa, to materialize a verticality from the earth, our roots, to the sky, our spirituality. Entre les miroirs offers an introspection of a humanity prey to the voracity of immortal metropolises.



Axelle Fanyo soprano
Kunal Lahiry piano

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