Some of the University Music Scholars will be taking a trip to the Studio 3 Gallery in Jarman next week, as the #EarBox series returns on Wednesday 27 May.
Set amidst the backdrop of Studio 3’s current exhibition, ‘Beautifully Obscene,’ the musical programme presents some heady and expressive arias from several operatic heroines, including Delilah’s epic, aching aria ‘Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix‘ from Samson & Delilah by Saint-Saens, Eurydice’s lament for her lost love, Orpheus, from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, the ‘Song for the Moon’ from Dvorak’s Rusalka, and pieces by Mozart and Purcell.
The programme starts at 1.10pm, admission is free. Please note that some of the works in this exhibition contain explicit content – and some of the music is pretty sensual too…
To get you in the mood, here’s the aria by Saint-Saens performed live.
Our annual Summer Music Week festival to celebrate the end of another musical year at the University is now published online, with all the details of what’s coming up.
Running from Sunday 7 to Saturday 13 June, the week kicks off with a seaside visit to the Deal Bandstand with the Big Band; some of the singing Music Scholars will present a programme of Operatic Heroines in Love on Monday 8; the Lunchtime Concert on Tuesday 9 from some of this year’s Music Scholars, followed by the Music Awards ceremony; Wednesday sees the Concert and Big Bands coming together in the evening; Thursday features an informal lunchtime performance from the String Sinfonia; on Friday the Music Theatre Society performs on the foyer-stage at lunchtime, whilst in the evening we present our choral commission from composer Matthew King, poet Patricia Debney with projected photos by Phil Ward, performed by the Chamber and Cecilian Choirs; and the week comes to a festive conclusion with the Chorus, Orchestra and Chamber Choir on the Saturday afternoon, followed by cream teas on the lawn and many fond farewells.
Relive the memories of last year’s festival on our Pinterest board here: full details of all the events are published online here, or you can collect a brochure for the week’s events from Colyer-Fergusson soon.
Don’t forget to follow @UKCSummerMusicon Twitter in the build-up to and throughout the festival. Bring me sunshine…
The Colyer-Fergusson foyer was a bustling hive of activity last Thursday, as the University took a moment to say thank you to many of its local donors, including those who support the Music Scholarships Scheme, in the second Donor Appreciation Day reception.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to show our gratutude for all the support which the donors afford the students during their time at Kent; in particular, the Music Scholarship Scheme provides instrumental or singing lessons in recognition of the performing commitments which the students undertake as Scholars. The Music Scholarships allow students, who are all reading subjects other than Music, to pursue their musical development and performing opportunities alongside their studies, enhancing the student experience and helping them continue to hone their musical skills.
Pictured here are some of this year’s Music Scholars: Hannah Williams (Architecture), and Jonathan Butten and Ruth Webster (Biomedical Sciences). On behalf of all the students thriving under the Scholarship scheme: a very big ‘thank you’ to all the donors for all your support.
You know that something rather special is going on when you find yourself having to put out additional seating before a concert to cope with the level of audience which is turning up. Such was the situation yesterday at just before five o’clock, when the storage cupboard was being pillaged for further seating, to accommodate the surprisingly large (yet very welcome!) turn-out for Scenes from Mozart, featuring some of the University Music Scholars accompanied by your loyal correspondent.
An enthusiastic crowd was treated to a selection of moments from three of Mozart’s operas – Clemenza di Tito, Cosi fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro. With no expense spared on lavish production values, the minimalist approach to staging involved replacing a bed and a chaise-longue with chairs, a cupboard door become – wait for it – a lady’s fan, and Cherubino’s dramatic jumping out of the window involved…well, let’s just say you had to be there…
Ranging from the intimacy of Deh vieni through the high emotions of Dove sono to the feverish drama of Come out, Susana, the programme took in a snapshot of operatic gems, and demonstrated not only Mozart’s wonderful facility for writing the state of the characters and the tone of the moment into the fabric of the music, but the versatility of the singers too.
Well done to everyone that took part. Day Three of Summer Music Week continues today with a Lunchtime Recital from some of the University Music Scholars in the concert-hall at 1.10pm.
And with the sound of heralding in the distance, the clarion-call of trumpets and a celestial choir, we are delighted to announce that the full line-up of events for Summer Music Week has now been published online.
The annual music celebration of the end of the University year starts with the University Big Band beside the seaside, performing at Deal Bandstand in support of Porchlight on Sunday 8 June at 2.30pm. Events then continue throughout the week – choral music, jazz, Big Band Gala, Music Scholars‘ recital, period-costume with the Dance Orchestra, foyer-stage gigs and more – culminating eventually in Music for a Summer’s Day on Sunday 15 June at 3pm, in which the combined forces of the University Chorus, Orchestra, Concert Band and Chamber Choir bid a rousing farewell to the end of another musical year.
Venues this year range from the seaside at Deal to the historic venues of St Thomas’ Hospital and the ancient St Peter’s Anglican Church in Canterbury, as well as the lively foyer-stage and the Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall.
Several of the University’s singing Music Scholars had the opportunity to learn from one of the country’s leading singers last week, in a masterclass with Dame Anne Evans.
Dame Anne put several singers through their paces, in arias by Mozart and Handel and a piece by Cole Porter, sharing tricks of the trade in front of the audience in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall; as she said, later that evening when appearing In Conversation, ”If you can sing Mozart, you can sing anything.”
Later on, she talked about her career on the national and international stage, looking in particular at her performances at Bayreuth under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, taking the audience from her first professional engagements through the various stages of her career, accompanied by some extremely rare recordings and footage of her in the role of Brunnhilde in scenes from Götterdämmerung.
When asked what her secret was to preparing herself before performances of the epic Wagnerian role, she answered candidly: ”A large bowl of pasta two hours before the performance, and bananas in the interval.” Asked about advice for young singers starting out: ”Start with Mozart,” and ”In auditions, always sing pieces that you are really comfortable with.”
Performers, in order: Kathryn Cox, Philippa Hardimann, Olivia Potter, Vicky Newell, Paris Noble, Marina Ivanova and Steph Richardson, accompanied by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding:
We’re very excited to say that internationally-renowned singer, Dame Anne Evans, will be coming to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall in two weeks’ time.
Dame Anne will be giving a masterclass and appear ‘In Conversation’ at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Friday 8th November. As one of Britain’s most internationally successful singers, she sang a number of roles ranging from J.C. Bach and Mozart to Wagner, and performed the role of Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival under the baton of Daniel Barenboim from 1989 to 1992.
At 6pm she will be In Conversation with University Director of Music, Susan Wanless, about her career in opera and her experience of performing and recording Wagner in this his bicentenary year, with film excerpts of her roles and some rare recordings. Earlier in the day, at 3pm, Dame Anne will give a masterclass with some of the student Music Scholars, who’ll be singing pieces by Mozart, Handel and Cole Porter (accompanied by your Loyal Correspondent), in which she will no doubt pass on some of her wisdom and professional experience.
Entry is free by ticket, available from the Gulbenkian Booking Office; see online details here. And, to whet your appetite, here she is in the Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.