Thursday 12 September 2019

Celebrating Eleanor Alberga's 70th birthday with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Eleanor Alberga
Eleanor Alberga
The Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga is 70 this year, and the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) has been celebrating by performing Alberga's musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After performances on tour in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this summer, the orchestra and conductor Peter Ash will be performing Alberga's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Barbican on 23 September 2019 in a programme which includes Dvořák's Scherzo Capriccioso and Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem.

Alberga's colourful and challenging Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for orchestra and narrator was first performed in 1994 by the London Philharmonic and Franz Welser-Möst, with Griff Rhys Jones, Geraldine James and Dinsdale Landen narrating.

Conductor Peter Ash commented that the work is complex, 'perhaps more technically complex than anything the LSSO have previously attempted – yet the piece has a charm, ease and infectious joy that delights any first-time listener. There’s nothing in the repertoire quite like it and it deserves to be as well-known as Peter and the Wolf.' In fact Ash first recorded the work in 2011 with the Taliesin Orchestra and a series of celebrity narrators for Orchid Classics.

Roald Dahl's rhyming version of the Brothers Grimm fable breathes new comic life into a familiar story, whilst Dahl sustains the dark atmosphere and narrative drive of the original, as well as adding elements of cannibalism, gambling, and slapstick comedy into the mix, creating something that is uniquely his own. For the performance at the Barbican the LSSO will be joined by narrator Simon Callow and dancers from Elmhurst Ballet School.

Full details from the Barbican website.

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