This year’s Chorus Festival is nothing if not varied and international, but with a Northern European accent, as it fits into the Southbank’s Nordic Matters programme.
On the more serious side, English National Opera will present its staging of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. Widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work, it tells of the journey of a man’s soul from his deathbed to his judgement before God.
The performances (there will be two, on 1 and 2 July at the Royal Festival Hall) are conducted by the internationally acclaimed Australian Simone Young, with operatic soloists Patricia Bardon, Gwyn Hughes and Matthew Rose and, of course, the ENO chorus.
At the opposite end of the spectrum there sits Huutajat, the Finnish screaming men’s choir. Yes, screaming...
In between these two extremes – and extremes they certainly are – there will be a variety of events, some more formal, some simply pop-ups, so that whole of the Southbank will be alive with choral singing for most of the weekend.
The South Icelandic Chamber Choir invite you to immerse yourself in their performance piece, entitled Surrounded by Strangers, a meditation on loneliness in our hyperconnected world; Swedish folk singers Åkervinda will host a workshop where they’ll reveal some of the secrets of their trade; and visitors of all ages have an opportunity to take part in Big Sing: Songs from the Nordics.
In fact, families are very much the target audience of Chorus, so if you’ve got young ones to entertain that’s one added reason to visit the Southbank this weekend.
There are far too many events to list – you’ll find the complete programme here.
|What||Southbank Chorus Festival 2017|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
01 Jul 17 – 02 Jul 17, Times vary according to events; some are ongoing
|Price||£8-£55 (some are free)|
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank website|