Wednesday 17 July 2019

St Marylebone Festival

Old Marylebone
The St Marylebone Festival, which runs from 20 to 26 July 2019, celebrates St Marylebone past and present with its rich cultural heritage, focusing on such diverse figures as Judy Garland, Vaslav Nijinsky, Kathleen Ferrier and RVW, as well as transporting you back to the 18th century pleasure garden of Old Marylebone or a 1920s dinner and soirée.

The festival opens with a 'Come and Sing' event as everyone is invited to join together to sing The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by St Marylebone resident, Sir Karl Jenkins, under the direction of conductor Joanna Tomlinson.

Former residents featured in the festival include jazz legend Sidney Bechet, Judy Garland, dancer Vaslav Nijinsky whose story with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes is told in dance, word and music by Salvador Benaches (dancer), Matthew Oliver Daw (dancer & actor) and Gavin Roberts (piano). Contralto Kathleen Ferrier's story is told by Lucy Stevens (contralto) and Elizabeth Marcus (piano)

Poet & painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti was born in St Marylebone and his sister Christina had her first poems published in a local periodical, and their story is told by Amanda Pitt (soprano), Gillian Pitt (actor) and Gavin Roberts (piano), with music by Debussy, Finzi, Michael Head, Muriel Herbert, John Ireland and more. RVW lived in St Marylebone from 1953, on his marriage to Ursula Vaughan Williams, to his death and his music is celebrated by the Joyful Company of Singers, conductor Peter Broadbent, Christopher Bowen (tenor), Clare Hoskins (oboe), the Bell Quartet and Gavin Roberts (piano), with the Mass in G minor, On Wenlock Edge and Ten Blake Songs.

Composers from the nearby Royal Academy of Music will be heard in conversation,  in a programme which mixes chat and music featuring current students Louise Drewett, Freya Waley Cohen and Joseph Howard, as well as alumna Roxanna Panufnik. Ensemble Hesperi will be exploring Scottish baroque music and dance, whilst there will also be a programme of songs and airs associated with the Pleasure Garden of Old Marylebone performed by Callum Anderson (harpsichord) and singers & musicians from the Royal Academy of Music.

Full details from the festival website.

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