Emerald Ghost is a musical duo comprising of Lucy De Butts, soprano, and Giovanna Gatto, piano. They specialize in classical and contemporary classical music.
Contemporary and classical music with a twist
Lucy and Giovanna met whilst living in Bern, Switzerland, where Giovanna was studying for a Masters and Lucy was singing at Konzert Theater Bern. They launched Emerald Ghost in 2019, and had their debut concert in Milan, performing Carlo Galante's 2004 song cycle 'Nostra Signora degli Insonni' alongside works from Brahms, Strauss, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Debussy.
Upcoming projects include a CD recording featuring two song cycles: 'Nostra Signora degli Insonni' by Carlo Galante, and 'Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson' by Aaron Copland.
We are both united in our love for all types of music, from jazz to reggae to classical to metal, and look forward to exploring a wide variety of repertoire in the future. There are no limits!
Lucy is a British lyric coloratura soprano, originally from Britain and now based in Berlin. She performs throughout Europe as a freelance concert, sacred music and opera singer.
Born in Buckinghamshire, England, Lucy obtained a Masters in History at Edinburgh University before embarking on a career in music. Having sung recreationally since the age of 16 alongside violin and piano studies, it was the two fantastic summers spent singing with Hellmuth Rilling's Stuttgart Festival Ensemble in 2006 & 7 that inspired her to pursue a singing career. She has since gained Masters Degrees in Classical Singing from Trinity College of Music in London and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) in Switzerland.
Lucy's stage appearances include Sandrina Mozart: La Finta Giardiniera (Zurich Festspiele), Olympia Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Opera Academy Bad Orb), The Queen of the Night Mozart: The Magic Flute (Weimar Lyric Opera Studio), Inez Michele Carafa: I Due Figaro (Zürich Free Opera Company), Monica Menotti: The Medium (Berlin International Opera), and Belinda Purcell: Dido and Aeneas & Cupid John Blow: Venus and Adonis (Hampstead Garden Opera Company, London).
Lucy sings extensively as an oratorio soloist. Recent highlights include Bach Weihnachtsoratorium, Handel Messiah, Beethoven Choral Fantasy, Mozart Requiem, Handel Dixit Dominus, Mozart Mass in C Minor and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle.
Alongside her solo career, Lucy performs with many notable ensembles across Europe, including the Berlin Radio Choir, the North Germany Radio Choir, the RIAS Kammerchor, Chorwerk Ruhr, Gächinger Cantorey Stuttgart, the West Germany Radio Choir and the Zürich Sing-Akademie. Lucy sang for three years in the opera chorus of Konzert Theater Bern, where she also had small solo roles. Lucy currently studies with Heidi Brunner.
Originally from Milan, Giovanna is a dynamic and multi-faceted pianist, who enjoys exploring a wide range of musical styles. She divides her time between Berne and Milan.
Giovanna’s recent CD release Ottorino Respighi: Complete Piano Music (Toccata Classics, UK) has met with high acclaim and shining reviews. Her discography also includes works by Akaishi, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Debussy, Prokofiev and Ravel (Acustica Records, Germany, and Tasti’Era, France).
Giovanna graduated in Piano Performance at the Conservatory of Piacenza, with Maria Grazia Petrali, and obtained a first-class masters at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Como, with Roberto Stefanoni. After attending a post-graduate course at the Accademia S. Cecilia in Bergamo with Konstantin Bogino, she was awarded a further Masters in Performance and Music Pedagogy at the Berne University of the Arts, with Patricia Pagny. She complemented her piano studies with harpsichord, organ and fortepiano.
Collaborating with the GAMO Ensemble and the Festival of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Giovanna has performed numerous world premieres of contemporary music. With her brother, the composer and producer Vito Gatto, she performed electronic reworkings of classical masterpieces, for example Debussy’s Claire de Lune released by Decca in 2017. Watch a live video here.
Giovanna has performed at numerous festivals in Italy and further afield in Europe – Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland – both as soloist and in chamber ensembles. She has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Bovino, Massimo Merone, Simone Ori and Christopher Warren-Green. Her concert appearances have featured Beethoven‘s Third Piano Concerto, Mozart’s Concertos k449 and k466 and Bach‘s D minor concerto. Giovanna's numerous prizes in competitions, both as a soloist and a chamber musician, include sponsorship by the Inner Wheel Rotary Club and the Iréne Dénéréaz Foundation in Lausanne, for her research into Respighi’s piano music.
Another unusual interest is her work in developing new compositions and transcriptions for accordion and piano, resulting in a number of premieres, including works by Carlo Galante and Fergus Johnstone. Her accordian-piano duo 88keysfortwo was sponsored by Pro Helvetia, Fondation Suisa and Swiss performers SIG, and included performances at the Classical:NEXT music convention in Rotterdam 2018.
Giovanna teaches piano and chamber music at the Solothurn music academy and the Valais music academy in Switzerland, as well as the Franco Vittadini conservatory in Pavia, Italy, and the Giacomo Puccini Conservatory in Gallarate, Italy.