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Past Events > 2019

70. Les Chansons de Bilitis: Helen Abbott, Gabriella Dall'Olio & Musicians from Faculty of Music

24 October 2019, 15:00 - 16:00

The erotic poems of Pierre Louÿs’s Les Chansons de Bilitis, which the author falsely claimed were translated from Ancient Greek, inspired several works by Claude Debussy. This is a rare chance to hear his Musique de scene pour les chansons de Bilitis, for two flutes, two harps and celeste, introduced and narrated by Helen Abbott.

Musicians from Oxford University's Faculty of Music are led by renowned harpist Gabriella dall'Olio.

This evening’s concerts at 5.30pm and 8pm include Debussy’s 1897 songs that were the basis for this work, and his later arrangement for piano duet, the Épigraphes Antiques.

Artist Portrait

Helen Abbott

Helen Abbott


Professor Helen Abbott is a specialist in nineteenth-century French poetry and music at the University of Birmingham (UK). She writes about word-music relationships deployed in poetic language and critical-philosophical texts. An expert in using digital methodologies, she directs the AHRC-funded Baudelaire Song Project which has recently launched a database of over 1,700 songs in 25 languages, and 40 different musical genres The project also showcases a new networked model for analysing and visualising word/mus... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Gabriella Dall’Olio

Gabriella Dall’Olio


Gabriella Dall'Olio has inspired audiences throughout Europe and the Middle East with solo recitals and chamber music concerts for the past three decades. After training in Italy, France and Germany with wonderful professors, including Pierre Jamet, Fabrice Pierre, Jacqueline Borot, Giselle Herbert and Anna Loro, Gabriella has earned recognition and won prizes in numerous competitions, and has been supported by the Swiss fund Junge Kunstler. She has recorded for international radio and television corporations, including BBC, Radio Fra... Read Full Biography

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