Wednesday 23 March 2022

Celebrating 40 years: The Lichfield Festival 2022 with a new 40-part motet by Thomas Hyde and Stephen McNeff's new opera

Lichfield Cathedral lit for an event at the 2018 Festival
Lichfield Cathedral lit for an event at the 2018 Festival
This year the Lichfield Festival, artistic director Damian Thantrey, celebrates its 40th anniversary with eleven days of events from 7 to 17 July 2022. The festival's classical music programme includes a several works from that first festival along with works celebrating the 150th anniversary of RVW's birth.

The anniversary centrepiece is a 40-voice choral concert in Lichfield Cathedral featuring From Silence, a new commission by Thomas Hyde with text by Alexander McCall Smith, plus RVW's Mass in G minor and Tallis’ Spem in Alium performed by the Carice Singers and Pieces of Eight, together with the Gentlemen of the Cathedral Choir.  The festival associate orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be performing RVW's Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis (which featured in 1982) plus music by Britten and Schumann.

The cathedral is also the venue for Ballet Cymru's new production Dream, and for the finale of the Midland Choir of the Year Competition to showcase of the finest Midlands-based amateur singing groups.

There will be a performance of Stephen McNeff’s new chamber opera Beyond the Garden (which was premiered in Slovenia) based on the life of Alma Mahler, and featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley. Whilst Charles Court Opera will be performing Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience.

There are recital appearances from cellist Steven Isserlis and guitarist Paul Galbraith, pianist Danny Driver (one of the festival's new associate artists), and the Brodsky Quartet. The festival's Young Artist series continues with a whopping ten recitals, and a former young artist, horn play Ben Goldscheider returns to perform RVW and Brahms with the Goldfield Ensemble.

There are fireworks, dance, spoken word, lectures, poetry and much much more, including the Lord Chamberlain's Men in an all-male staging of Shakespeare's As you like it.

Full details from the festival website.

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