Tuesday, 8 November 2016

One Before Zero

Benjamin Ellin - photo © Jenaer Philharmonie
Benjamin Ellin - photo © Jenaer Philharmonie
A new oratorio by Benjamin Ellin, One Before Zero, will be premiered on 11 November 2016 at the Maison de la Culture in Amiens, France as part of the commemorations for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Performed by the Orchestre de Picardie, mezzo soprano Anne Mason, baritone Ronan Collett and the boys choir of the Jenaer Philharmonie, conducted by Arie van Beek, the work uses a narrative inspired by the moment before battle, before zero, zero hour, the time at which hostilities commence. The Maison de la Culture in Amiens in Northern France is located just behind where the front line was established in World War One, a second performance takes place on 12 November 2016 in Beauvais, Maladrerie Saint-Lazare.

Using research materials from the Imperial War Museum, and the archives of Royds Hall School in Huddersfield which was a military hospital during WW1, and with the aid of write Ben Maier, the narrative in English, French and German aims to illustrate musically and linguistically how the race to war, the loss of life and the destruction of humanity affected all sides.

The programme also includes music by Mozart and Stravinsky. Further details from the Maison de la Culture website.

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