Tuesday 26 September 2023

77th Stroud Arts Festival

The Stroud Arts Festival
The Stroud Arts Festival returns to the Gloucestershire market town for the 77th festival from 22 to 29 October 2023 under the directorship of Dave Ayre. An enterprisingly varied programme includes two relaxed performances of a new evening of operatic music created the festival's own ensemble including three, Dave Ayre, Abigail Sudbury and Alistair Sutherland, who met on Opera Holland Park's Inspire outreach programme.

The Bristol Ensemble celebrates the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with a specially commissioned arrangement of the music alongside Debussy and Einaudi. Another anniversary being celebrated is that of Will Todd's Mass in Blue which debuted 20 years ago. Todd's piece will be performed alongside Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert. Duke Ellington's work will be conducted by Paul McLaughlin and will feature soprano Nina Bennet and dancer Luc Bailey. Will Todd will be directing hi Mass in Blue which will feature a specially created community choir.

Singer Lucy Stevens & pianist Elizabeth Marcus will be celebrating Gertrude Lawrence in Gertrude Lawrence: A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening with excerpts from the actor's memoirs alongside songs written for her by Coward, Gershwin, Weill and Rogers & Hammerstein. The London Tango Quintet celebrate Astor Piazzolla, whilst harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry will be providing a live accompaniment to a screening of GW Pabst's 1928 film, Diary of a Lost Girl starring Louise Brooks in a tragic story of corruption and middle class hypocrisy in pre-Nazi Germany.

Founded in 1946 by local benefactors, the festival is one of the oldest festivals in the region. This year's festival is Dave Ayre's third, and he and the festival are gearing up towards celebrating the festival's 80th anniversary in 2026.

Full details from the festival's website.

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