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Rachel Zeffira

rachel zeffira, rachel zeffira the deserters
Rachel Zeffira born Rachel Santesso is a Canadian soprano, composer and multi-instrumentalist currently based in London, England She is also one half of the duo Cat's Eyes, the other being Faris Badwan of the Horrors


  • 1 History
    • 11 Early life
    • 12 Cat's Eyes
    • 13 Solo work
    • 14 Film score compositions
  • 2 Discography
    • 21 As conductor and choral arranger
    • 22 Cat's Eyes
    • 23 Solo
    • 24 Singles
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Early life

Zeffira studied voice and organ at the Conservatorio Di Musica FE Dall'Abaco di Verona and oboe at the University of Victoria in Canada She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and in 2001, founded the Capital Children's Choir, which she also directs Several videos of the choir's covers of contemporary songs such as "Chances" and "Untrust Us" received media attention and went viral Zeffira released several albums with the Capital Children's Choir, and in 2015, the choir performed on the soundtrack for the film Pan As a soprano, she released two albums, The Songs of Louis Vierne 2005 and The Sacred Heart of Nino Rota 2007

Zeffira taught briefly at a primary school in London, where she taught a young Lily Allen, who has credited Zeffira as a mentor

Cat's Eyes

While Zeffira was working as an opera singer and classical musician, she met Badwan The two friends began to write songs together and formed the band Cat's Eyes The duo made their first public appearance at the Vatican, where they performed one of their songs as a mass setting, with church organ and choir during a service at St Peter's Basilica Cat's Eyes were signed by Polydor in 2010 and released their eponymous debut album in April 2011 The album received positive press and critical acclaim During this time, Zeffira appeared in Vogue magazine, and was shot by the photographer Rankin for the cover of Dazed & Confused alongside Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream

Solo work

Zeffira's first solo album, The Deserters, was released 10 December 2012 on RAF Records in Europe and Paper Bag Records in North America The title track was chosen for the trailer to the final season of the TV program Skins Zeffira received positive press for the debut and the album was listed in The Times Top 5 albums of 2012 in spite of its late release date

Zeffira also received critical praise for her live performances In June 2013 she was the opening act for Glastonbury Festival 2013

In April 2013, Zeffira made her American radio debut on NPR's All Things Considered, and later made her Canadian radio debut with a live session on CBC Radio One show Q with Jian Ghomeshi

Film score compositions

Zeffira is listed as composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, musician and soprano on the Cat's Eyes soundtrack released in February 2015 for the 2014 film The Duke of Burgundy, directed by Peter Strickland The score received positive press and majority 5-star reviews On 7 November 2015, it was announced that Zeffira and Badwan had won the European Film Award for Best Composer


As conductor and choral arranger

Year Album Label Notes
2005 The Songs of Louis Vierne Deux-Elles Rachel Santesso, soprano; Roger Vignoles, piano; Hugh Webb, harp
2007 The Sacred Heart of Nino Rota Zitto Music Rachel Santesso, soprano; Sara Mingardo, contralto; Christopher Lemmings, tenor; Hugh Webb, harp
2008 Sweet Child of Mine Kudos Records Capital Children's Choir, primary artist; Rachel Santesso, director; arranger
2009 Winter Magic Decca Hayley Westenra, primary artist; Rachel Santesso, conductor
2011 Rabbits on the Run Razor & Tie Vanessa Carlton, primary artist; Rachel Santesso, choir director
2015 Pan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Warner Bros Rachel Santesso; choir master

Cat's Eyes

  • Broken Glass EP 2011, Polydor
  • Cat's Eyes 2011, Polydor
  • The Duke of Burgundy 2015, RAF/Caroline International
  • Treasure House 2016, Kobalt Label Services


  • The Deserters 2012, RAF


  • "Here on In" 2012, RAF
  • "Break the Spell" 2012, RAF


  1. ^ Tucker, Rebecca "Canadian opera singer, British rock star hook up at the Vatican" Archived 1 July 2012 at Archiveis National Post 24 January 2011
  2. ^ "About The Choir" Capital Children's Choir Retrieved 2016-01-10 
  3. ^ Nadine Cheung 16 July 2011 "Lady Gaga Approves of Capital Children's Choir's Haunting 'Judas' Cover" Popcrushcom Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  4. ^ Melissa Locker 2015-10-19 "Capital Children's Choir Covers The Strokes "Chances"" Timecom Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  5. ^ NmeCom 2013-07-30 "London children's choir covers Crystal Castles' 'Untrust Us' – watch" NmeCom Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  6. ^ "VIDEO: Youth choir has online hit with Lily Allen song | News | London Evening Standard" Standardcouk 2009-07-16 Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  7. ^ "What were today's celebrities like as children | Life and style" The Guardian Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  8. ^ Rachel Zeffira's Vatican connections/MTV Retrieved 25 September 2013
  9. ^ Metacritic 18 reviews Retrieved 25 September 2013
  10. ^ Vogue artist of the week Retrieved 20 August 2012
  11. ^ Dazed and Confused magazine cover with Bobby Gillespie Retrieved 5 December 2013
  12. ^ Rachel Zeffira for Skins Retrieved 25 September 2013
  13. ^ BBC album review Retrieved 14 November 2012
  14. ^ The Observer album review Retrieved 14 November 2012
  15. ^ The Times, 21 Dec2012
  16. ^ Times live review Retrieved 25 May 2013
  17. ^ The Independent live review Retrieved 14 November 2012
  18. ^ Glastonbury's opening act Retrieved 25 August 2013
  19. ^ NPR All Things Considered Retrieved 25 August 2013
  20. ^ Q with Jian Ghomeshi Retrieved 5 December 2013
  21. ^ Times review Retrieved 11 Nov 2015
  22. ^ The Guardian review Retrieved 11 Nov 2015
  23. ^ Hollywood Reporter Retrieved 11 Nov 2015
  24. ^ Metz, Donald E 2006 "VIERNE: Les Angelus; Extase!; Spleens et Detresses; Baudelaire Poems; 4 Greek Poemes" American Record Guide subscription required 69 2: 191 Retrieved 10 January 2016 
  25. ^ Fogel, Henry 2006 "Vierne: Songs" Fanfare 29 5: 218–219 Retrieved 10 January 2016 
  26. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation Music Magazine, Volume 14, Issues 2-7 BBC Magazines 2005 pp 80–81 Retrieved 10 January 2016 
  27. ^ International Record Review, Volume 6, Issue 1 International Record Review 2005 pp 380–381 Retrieved 10 January 2016 
  28. ^ a b Rachel Santesso "Rachel Santesso | Credits" AllMusic Retrieved 2016-01-08 
  • Lanham, Tom "The Horrors’ Faris Badwan sees new success with Cat’s Eyes" The San Francisco Examiner 2 February 2011
  • NME interview "Horrors' Faris Badwan launches new band at the Vatican" 24 January 2011

External links

  • Cat's Eyes official website
  • WNYC interview in the Soundcheck studio

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