Monday 20 December 2021

From Brahms to late-night opera in drag, the third edition of Classical Vauxhall

Classical Vauxhall
The third edition of Classical Vauxhall, pianist Fiachra Garvey's festival at St Mark's Church, Kennington, takes place from 10 to 13 February 2022. After the second edition of the festival went online in March 2021 and welcomed 15,000 viewers, Garvey and the festival are looking forward to welcoming live audiences to a festival inspired by the visionary Jonathan Tyers, who opened the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to make entertainment accessible to everyone in the 18th century.

Brahms is something of theme for the first two concerts as horn player Ben Goldscheider and violinist Rosanne Philippens join Fiachra Garvey for Brahms' Horn Trio plus music by Schumann, Franck and Huw Watkins' 2008 Horn Trio, then cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk perform an all-Brahms programme, including the two cello sonatas. The Amatis Trio perform piano trios by Shostakovich, Schubert and the piano trio Moorlands by Swedish contemporary composer Andrea Tarrodi, which the group premiered in 2018. 

On Saturday 12 February, there is a one-night only appearance from Kimchilia Bartoli (countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim) in a late night drag performance that pays tribute to the Vauxhall's unique queer heritage including Princess Serafina (John Cooper) who danced in a masquerade at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in 1732 and the gender fluidity of opera's trouser roles. Kim was the first countertenor to appear as Cherubino at the Royal Opera House in 2019. In The Royal Opera House is burning, Kimchilia Bartoli performs arias from Vivaldi's Griselda and Bizet's Carmen to the musical theatre of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, accompanied on the piano by Fiachra Garvey.

Closing the Festival on Sunday 13 February, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and pianist Simon Lepper bring an assortment of arias from Verdi's Otello and Luisa Miller to Britten's Peter Grimes, and art songs by Puccini, Chausson and Strauss.

The venue for this year's festival, St Mark's Church, Kennington, was built in 1824 on on the site of the old gallows corner on Kennington Common. 

Full details from the Classical Vauxhall website.

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