VOICES will soon be raised in tribute to Shakespeare.
The launch concert for ‘Singing Shakespeare’, a new global choral project from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, takes place at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church on Thursday April 24.
The project aims to inspire choirs from all over the world to perform new and existing musical settings of Shakespeare, and to take part in the anniversaries – this year’s 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth, and also the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016.
Professional and amateur choirs from as far afield as Florence, Sydney and Alaska will be taking part and plans for performances throughout the UK in 2015 are underway.
The launch concert will form part of the town’s Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, and will feature four world premieres of works by world-famous composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and award-winning composer Gary Carpenter.
It will also include performances by the Stratford-upon-Avon Chamber Choir, Holy Trinity Church Choir and newly formed Stratford-based chamber choir Cantare.
They will sing a collection of Shakespeare-themed settings under their own respective musical directors, and will join together under the baton of artistic director David Wordsworth to perform Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music – an iconic musical evocation of Act V scene 1 of Merchant of Venice, together with the Sondheim and Carpenter works.
And celebrated actors Forbes Masson and Katy Stephens, who have both performed many times on the RSC stage, will be performing spoken interludes between the choral performances.
Four soloists from Birmingham Conservatoire – Eleanor Hodkinson (soprano), Ellie Edmonds (mezzo-soprano), Christopher Griksaitis (tenor) and Samuel Oram (baritone) – will also be singing.
For tickets and further details visit www.singingshakespeare.org.uk or call 01789 201844.