As London emerges from the extended interval caused by coronavirus, Spitalfields Music and our friends at London Symphony Chorus pause to reflect on the impact of the last year and join in presenting two aural memorials.
Festival Curator Errollyn Wallen’s After Winter – commissioned by Streetwise Opera as a companion piece to Schubert’s Winterreise – was to have been premiered last summer, but the project had to be cancelled as the pandemic took hold. It celebrates the kindness of strangers, a theme that has taken on particular poignancy in recent times, with lyrics created in collaboration with Streetwise Opera performers (Middlesbrough).
Never to Forget was commissioned by the LSC from their Patron, Howard Goodall, to commemorate the incredible contribution made by health and care workers over the last year, and in particular those who gave their lives to help us. A private performance of this work will be held earlier in the evening for their relatives.
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey CBE chorus director
After Winter (2020) was funded by Arts Council England, Streetwise Opera’s Commissioning Circle* and song cycle sponsors**, Foyle Foundation and RVW Trust. Partners included Ryedale Festival, Middlesbrough Town Hall, Teesside University, Methodist Asylum Project (MAP) Middlesbrough and DePaul.
*Commissioning circle members: David Cairns, Jane Furniss, Tom and Emily Kinane, Christine Kirk, Anthony & Katherine Pinching, Jessica Sebag-Montefiore, Anne Siddell, Peter Tompkins, Robert & Margaret Sanderson.
**Song cycle sponsors: Tim Geddes, Phyllida Shaw, Duncan Ward.