Our Acting Executive Director, Sarah Macnee shares with us a selection of the treats on offer at this year’s Winter Festival.
This is my first Festival with Spitalfields Music, and I could not be more excited. Our Executive Director, Abigail Pogson, has just had a baby, and I have stepped into her shoes; being here for the Festival is one of the best parts of my temporary role.
I have yet to meet so many of the people who will be making the Festival a success, including all of the volunteer stewards – we couldn’t do without them. I am also beginning to become aware of the great work done by the temporary team who join us and manage the events to make them work technically, creatively and logistically, ensuring that the audiences have a wonderful hitch-free experience.
Now that we’re getting closer, I can ruminate on what I’m most looking forward to, although in truth I want to mention all of them!
There are five concerts featuring the work of Monteverdi, and our opener on Monday 13 December promises to be a great introduction to the baroque form with La Nuova Musica’s performance of songs from the Book Seven of Madrigals, illuminating the turning point from renaissance to baroque. We are also delighted to welcome a filetta from Corsica and Carmina from Iceland. I can’t wait to hear Carmina’s interpretation of renaissance polyphony in their performance of songs from two renowned Icelandic songbooks.
I have a deep rooted affection for fables of all kinds, so it is a great pleasure to be able to host the premiere of Fables – A Film Opera on Friday 17 December. The whole event, part film, part opera, is created by Streetwise Opera and promises to be a magical experience. I’m also looking forward to hearing other fabulous work from the composers involved with Fables, in Songs in the wires a couple of nights earlier.
The great thing about all Spitalfields Music Festivals is the way they mix great artists, amazing and diverse locations and engage the local community as participators and performers as well as audience members. I know that local primary school children, our young musicians and our community choirs have also been hard at work preparing seven fabulous free events. I’m particularly looking forward to Spitalfields Soundings where our winter stage will play host to musicians and bands performing in the market, enticing shoppers to stop and listen for a while.
Spitalfields Music Winter Festival
13 – 18 December & 5 – 7 January
Full listings here.
[ A filetta photographed by J M Colonna ]