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Summer Concert: Sunrise

Brighton Festival Chorus
Brighton Festival Youth Choir
Chamber Domaine
James Morgan: conductor

Saturday 8th July 2017 at 7.30pm
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex 
Tickets:  £18.50 or £12 concession for students and under 16s
Attenborough Centre Box Office: 01273 678822 www.attenboroughcentre.com

Brighton Festival Chorus (bfc) is looking forward to its 50th anniversary season with a summer concert at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. bfc has been rehearsing at the University of Sussex since 1968 when Laszlo Heltay, the University's Director of Music, formed the Chorus. Heltay auditioned many of its founding members in the Attenborough Centre building, and so a return to this venue is a timely way to reflect on the birth of the Chorus.

The concert presents music for voices and strings. Chamber Domaine will play Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, one is his earliest and favourite works, and Barber’s well known Adagio for Strings, featured in many television shows and feature films.

Brighton Festival Youth Choir will perform Richard Rodney Bennett’s Letters to Lindbergh, featuring poems by Martin Hall that quote whimsically from letters supposedly received by Charles Lindbergh during his non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. His correspondents include Scott of the Antarctic, the rusting hulk of the Titanic, and Walt Disney cartoon dog Pluto!

bfc will join Chamber Domaine for a performance of Vaughan Williams’ An Oxford Elegy. This piece was written between 1947 and 1949 using portions of two poems by Matthew Arnold: The Scholar Gipsy and Thyrsis. The work has a pastoral character, and is a loving and ruminative evocation of Arnold's time and place.

The concert concludes with bfc singing Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, first performed in 2008. Explaining Sunrise Mass, Ola Gjeilo said that he “wanted the musical development of the work to evolve from the most transparent and spacey, to something completely earthy and grounded; from nebulous and pristine to more emotional and dramatic, and eventually warm and solid – as a metaphor for human development from child to adult, or as a spiritual journey”.

The bfc Summer Concert promises to be a fitting start to the fundraising drive for its 50th anniversary season, embracing both traditional choral repertoire and more contemporary composition, inspired and influenced by both classical and popular culture.

 

Brighton Festival Closing Concert

We have just performed John Adams' great choral masterpiece, Harmonium, in the closing concert of Brighton Festival. We last performed it it the 2009 Festival.

We were joined by Britten Sinfonia, and conducted by Diego Masson. The photo below shows them rehearsing Harmonium in the Henry Wood Hall rehearsal room in London, before we met them in the Brighton Dome for the final rehearsal.

 


 

Anniversaries

2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Brighton Festival Chorus, and we are planning a whole year of celebratory events, concerts and special performances to mark this event - from the 2017 Christmas Concert through to the 2018 Christmas Concert.

More details to be announced shortly.

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War we will be giving several performances of the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten in 2018. We will tour some of the major cities of the Somme region in France and also perform it in Coventry Cathedral, where the first performance took place on 30 May 1962. The War Requiem was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was built after the original 14th century structure was destroyed in a WW2 bombing raid.