The 2011 Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts 6th – 22nd October

20/07/2011

Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts 2011: Twenty three events in seventeen days (Eds)

October 2011 will see an amazing twenty-three events performed over seventeen days at seven venues throughout the City at the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts. A packed programme of national and international talent encompassing the full spectrum of the arts, where celebrated established artists share the Festival with new young talent, will take place between 6th and  22nd October.

There will be three illustrious orchestras performing at the Festival to bring shivers down your spine. On 13 October our old friends the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thierry Fischer, with one of Britain’s foremost musicians, pianist Stephen Osborne, gives a programme that will include Ravel, Mussgorsky and Stravinsky. Danish-bornThomas Dausgaard conducts  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring critically acclaimed violinist Tasmin Little, on 8 October, while on 15 October the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by eminent conductor Yuri Simonov, and with prominent young violinist Nikita Borisoglebsky , perform works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak.

There will again be a strong Welsh element in the Festival with pianist Llŷr Williams giving a recital on 11 October featuring the premiere of Geraint Lewis’s Anatiomaros – a commission by the Friends of the Festival. Music from the young Cardiff choir, Côrdydd, on 9 October, with cellist Steffan Morris and soprano Fflur Wyn, also features a new commission for the Friends of the Festival – Salvator mundi: Greater love hath no man than this, by the Welsh composer Paul Maelor, and John Rutter’s Requiem. Both composers had their music featured at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton this year.

Between 19 and 22 October Welsh National Opera will be part of the Festival in presenting two operas with several Welsh singers in the casts. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville features Welsh baritone Eric Roberts as Dr Bartolo and the new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni sees Welsh baritone David Kempster in the title role, with Welsh soprano Camilla Roberts as Donna Anna and Welsh baritone Gary Griffiths as Masetto.

On 18 October Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and period instrument ensemble Florilegium will pay tribute to Antonio Vivaldi, while earlier in the day Neath-born young organist James Gough performs a recital at St Mary’s Church in memory of Miner Crocker, Association Secretary of the Swansea Organ Association from 1964-2009.

On 12 October the Festival’s schools outreach project this year, in association with Tŷ Cerdd, culminates with the premiere of Francesca Kay and Gareth Wood’s work, Sea Dogs – a pirate’s tail!. This will be performed by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Symphonic Brass and Percussion Ensemble, with Francesca Kay narrating.

There is Festival dance with Tchaikovsky’s much loved Nutcracker performed by the State Ballet Academy of Minsk and Indian classical/folk/contemporary dance from STEM Dance Kampni – one of India’s leading traditional and contemporary dance groups.

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett has enjoyed a diverse career in music from classical to jazz, having composed the music for such films asFour Weddings and a Funeral, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Murder on the Orient Express; written the full-length balletIsadora and a jazz work Jazz Callendar for the Royal Ballet. He will be performing in concert with jazz vocalist Claire Martin on 16 October.

The 10th of October gives fans of organ music a treat when Dame Gillian Weir, one of the world’s foremost musical artists, gives an organ recital with the programme culminating in Lanquetit’s exciting Toccata in D.

Between 6-8 October drama comes to the Festival when cult Welsh theatre company, Mappa Mundi, perform Shakespeare’s popular comedy Much Ado About Nothing.

There are also  lectures on Beethoven the Revolutionary from Prof David Wyn Jones, Head of the School of Music at Cardiff University and Chris Weeks, Adult Education Lecturer in Music at Swansea University, talks about Stravinsky’s fairy-tale ballet The Firebird. Huw Tregelles Williams will be in conversation with Dame Gilliam Weir before her organ recital and will also be speaking with composer, Geraint Lewis, about his new piano sonata before it is performed by Llŷr Williams in his recital. At the National Waterfront Museum on 17 October, Simon Rees, Dramaturg at Welsh National Opera, explores the career of Adelina Patti and her links with Swansea and to the SS Arandora Star.

Visual art exhibitions run throughout the Festival. At the National Waterfront Museum, the exhibition Wales breaks its silence…….from Memories to Memorial is an emotional exhibition about the ill-fated SS Arandora Star, while at the Mission Gallery Swansea based artist Alex Duncan will create a site specific work in the Gallery’s space. The Taliesin Arts Centre features Returning Journeys, an exhibition of Drawings, Paintings and Poetry by Rev. Andrew Vessey who recently retired from St.Mary’s Church. Locws International invites a group of international and Welsh visual artists to create contemporary artworks for public sites across Swansea – Art Across the City. There is an opportunity to visit all of these exhibitions, in an Art and Pasta coach tour, ending with a pasta lunch and glass of wine. The coach will leave from outside the Guildhall at 10.30am prompt on 16 October.

Completing this full programme of diverse events, Live Music Now will again be taking the Festival to schools, hospitals, residential homesm centres for people with learning disabilities and other community venues during October.

NB: Events at St Mary’s Church and the Brangwyn Hall are half price to students in full-time education. Concessions are also available at the Grand Theatre and Taliesin Arts Centre.

Full details are available from the Festival website www.swanseafestival.org

The Box Office opens on Monday 25 July 2011.

The Editorial Team

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