The ‘Complete’ Heroine

Clare McCaldin and Paul Turner at the Arts Centre, Swindon – Saturday December 9th, 7.30pm

Between appearing in London with the Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge, singing Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah in Derby, British mezzo-soprano Clare McCaldin will be teaming up with Paul Turner to present a programme intriguingly entitled the ‘complete’ Heroine.  With dramatic entrances and quirky humour the Arts Centre will become the stage for their compelling stories to be told.  We are promised, amongst others, Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Mignon and the Blessed Virgin.  

The Heroines are women who have faced difficult situations in life – fleeing from infanticide; control in a patriarchal society; abduction and slavery; Royal politics and beheading to name but a few - and have stories to tell that still resonate today.

The composers range from the Baroque era, represented by Purcell, to the modern day, represented by composer and pianist Stephen Dickinson whose composition, Shakespeare Quartet, that includes a piece about Ophelia, was written especially for Clare last year.

There will also be some musical theatre with songs from Carousel and The Sound of Music.

Clare, a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, began her professional life in advertising and arts administration before becoming a professional singer.  Since then she has developed a successful career in concerts and operas, including a modern repertoire.  She made her solo operatic debut at the 2012 BBC Proms in Debussy’s Martyrdom of St Sebastian with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which also opened the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival.

Anyone who attended Clare’s performance of Haydn’s London Ladies two seasons ago will know what a treat we have in store.

“From the first moment, Clare McCaldin lived within, and drew us into, the atmosphere, the emotion and the meaning of each song. Gesture and expression of a natural actor were integral to the interpretation.” (Hexham Abbey Festival)

Clare McCaldin and Paul Turner will perform at the Arts Centre in Swindon on Saturday December 9th at 7.30pm.  Tickets £15, concessions £12.50, students £2.50, accompanied children 14 and under free.  


Clare McCaldin is a lyric mezzo-soprano whose presence in performance marks her out as a communicator of outstanding quality on the dramatic stage and concert platform. She is a powerful creative influence, as an interpreter of existing repertoire or commissioning and premiering new music.

She enjoys a busy concert schedule, working with pianists such as Libby Burgess, Iain Burnside, Andrew West and Paul Turner. Committed to chamber music collaboration of all kinds, Clare’s work in this area ranges from commissions with the Brodsky Quartet and Walton’s Facade, to baroque works with La Réjouissance and the Le Page Ensemble.

Clare is particularly committed to the promotion and performance of contemporary vocal music and through her company McCaldin Arts continues to commission and develop new work. With her co-collaborator in McCaldin Arts, the pianist Libby Burgess, she has premiered works by Stephen McNeff and devised new presentations of existing repertoire such as Haydn’s

London Ladies.

Paul Turner is an Honours graduate and an elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music where his many prizes and awards culminated in the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence and the Peter Pears Accompaniment Prize.  An experienced recitalist he has appeared at London’s leading venues and major UK festivals.  He has given concerts in Europe and South America and worked with eminent singers and instrumentalists.

“For his part, Turner offered…intricate piano writing rendered with exemplary clarity and poise” (Richard Whitehouse – St. Johns Smith Square)


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Mother and daughter team – piano and flute

Clare Toomer and Sarah Mattinson at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon – Wednesday January 24th, 1.05pm

Swindon-born Clare Toomer, already well-known to and well-loved by SRS audiences for her elegant piano-playing, will introduce us to her flutist daughter, Sarah Mattinson, at January’s Lunchtime Concert.  Sarah is currently studying at Oxford after a glittering studentship at Marlborough College where she achieved her ABRSM flute diploma.  Together they will present a programme to include Reinecke’s Ballade, Sancan’s Sonatine and Bach’s Sonata in Eb BWV 1031.

Carl Reinecke was a German composer in the Romantic tradition.  He began to compose aged 7 and made his first public appearance as a pianist at 12.  The Ballade, a very expressive and lyrical composition, was the last piece that he wrote before his death in 1910.

Pierre Sancan, also a composer and pianist, was a major figure among French musicians in the mid-twentieth century but outside France was almost totally unknown.  The Sonatine, composed in 1946 as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire, is his best-known work.  A flowing and romantic piece, its final section is fast-paced, full of energy and virtuosity.

Each of this Season’s Lunchtime Concerts includes a piece by Bach and this one is no exception.  This time it is his Sonata in E flat major, originally for flute and harpsichord.  A light and entertaining piece it is immediately appealing and full of expressive charm.  

Paul Turner, SRS Founder and Artistic Director commented, ‘This concert is an excellent opportunity to take a little time out from daily life and enjoy the world’s best composers played by this highly professional family duo.’


Clare Toomer and Sarah Mattinson will perform at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon on Wednesday January 24th, 1.05 - 2pm.  Tickets £6, accompanied children 14 and under free.  



Clare Toomer was born in Swindon and began her piano studies here at the age of six before going on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She had a long and successful performing career around the concert halls around Great Britain, Europe and the Far East, won many prizes and recorded for both Classic fm and BBC Radio 3.  After having children she decided to settle down to a career in teaching but likes to perform occasionally to keep her mind and fingers alert. As an academic music and piano teacher at Marlborough College she finds herself fully occupied and a good proportion of her time is spent performing with the students.

Sarah Mattinson, born in Wiltshire, is currently studying at Oxford after a glittering studentship at Marlborough College where she achieved her ABRSM flute diploma with distinction.  She has already performed Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto with the Southbank Sinfonia, the piano being her ‘second’ instrument. .