Monday 31 July 2017

Biggest ever BREMF

Rory Carver, who sings the title role in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at BREMF 2017
Rory Carver, who sings the title role
in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at BREMF 2017
This year's Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) will be the biggest ever with over 30 events across Brighton and Hove from 27 October to 12 November 2017. The over-arching theme of the festival being Roots, looking at the tangled origins of classical music from the roots of polyphony in Plainchant, the development of opera, to the genesis of oratorio.

Flagship events include two opera productions, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and Rameau's Pygmalion charting the development of opera from its roots to the 18th century. And the development of oratorio is represented by performances of Carissimi's Jephte and Bach's Christmas Oratorio

The festival is known for its championing of young performers, especially its Early Music Live! scheme for emerging ensembles, and many of the groups performing this year have previously taken part in Early Music Live! including the Consone String Quartet, Ensemble Molière, The Askew Sisters, Ensemble Hesperi, Musica Poetica, Ensemble Tempus Fugit, Chelys Consort of Viols and the Little Baroque Company. This year's Early Music Live! participants will be presenting their work at a special showcase at the festival on 4 November 2017. Two concerts from the festival will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast on the Early Music Show.

Monteverdi's L'Orfeo will be staged at The Old Market in Hove, in a new production by Thomas Guthrie featuring a cast of specially auditioned young singers headed by tenor Rory Carver as Orfeo. Rameau's Pygmalion receives a new staging by Karolina Sofulak in collaboration with baroque group Ensemble Molière.

Another feature of the festival is its own ensembles, ranging from the BREMF Consort to the BREMF Community Choir. Events include the BREMF Consort and Lacock Scholars, directed by Deborah Roberts and Greg Skidmore, in a programme tracing the roots of polyphony in early plainchant culminating in a performance of Tallis's Spem in alium, and the BREMF Singers and BREMF Players in Bach's Christmas Oratorio directed by Alison Bury and John Hancorn with soloists Hannah Ely, Rebecca Leggett, Hugo Hymas and Simon Wallfisch.  The festival opens with Orpheus Caledonius an exploration of the traditional music of 18th century Scotland where L'Avventura London, the Old Blind Dogs and Siobhan Miller are joined by the BREMF Community Choir.

Full details from the BREMF website.

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