- The Living Orchestra ‘playathon’ – stay for ten minutes or two hours, settle in a deck chair and soak up the music
- Family concert with the perennial favourite, Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals
- Hum About Mine Ears, a musical based on The Tempest, is led by Harvey Brough of Harvey & the Wallbangers fame
- Stratford Music Festival returns 13 – 21 September
Orchestra of the Swan begins its 2019-2020 season with a host of events at Stratford Music Festival, including a family-friendly community weekend.
On Saturday 14 September, The Living Orchestra is a two hour playathon by 35 members of Orchestra of the Swan. Settle into one of the 15 unique deckchairs created by textile artist Barbara Fidoe with community groups from Clopton and Stratford Escape, and enjoy a programme of popular classics from Mozart, Vivaldi and Barber. Doors will open every 10 minutes for visitors to come and go at their leisure.
Younger audiences are invited to a Family Concert on Sunday 15 September. OOTS performs Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, with humorous poems by Ogden Nash describing each of the ‘beasties’, read by Matthew Sharp.
Orchestra of the Swan also appears later in the festival week with Hum About Mine Ears, a musical based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, retold for children (and adults). Featuring twenty 9-12 year olds, an adult community choir, professional players from Orchestra of the Swan, soloist Clara Sanabras and conductor Harvey Brough (of Harvey & the Wallbangers fame), A Hum About Mine Ears draws on blues, jazz and European folk traditions.
David Le Page, Artistic Director of Orchestra of the Swan, explains: “Orchestra of the Swan is deeply interested in contributing towards the community here in Stratford, our home for 23 years. Our Living Orchestra playathon allows us to throw out all the conventions that people associate with classical music – the tail coats and formality of it all – and gives our audiences the chance to experience the power and beauty of music up-close, enjoying a lazy time on a deckchair. It’s our way of showing people that the orchestra is made up of real life human beings – that we are a living orchestra. I can’t think of a better way to begin our 2019-2020 season.”
The Stratford Music Festival is a nine-day feast of chamber music, featuring a rich programme of works with both established musicians and emerging new talent. Set up in 1996, it is now considered one of the most important annual cultural events in the town. The Stratford Music Festival is presented in partnership with Orchestra of the Swan, Escape Arts, the Human Library and the Stratford Literary Festival.
Set at the Stratford Play House, the Stratford Music Festival is also part of National Heritage Open Days (13-22 September). This is a chance for local people to come in and explore their exceptional local theatre, free of charge.
The Stratford Music Festival Community Weekend is supported by Arts Council England and Stratford Town Trust.
Orchestra of the Swan at Stratford Music Festival:
The Living Orchestra
Saturday 14 September
2.30-4.30 (doors open every 10 minutes)
A two-hour playathon by Orchestra of the Swan
Carnival of the Animals
Sunday 15 September
Eleven Orchestra of the Swan musicians perform Saint Saens ‘Carnival of the Animals’ with narration by Matthew Sharp.
A Hum About Mine Ears
Wednesday 18 September
A musical retelling of The Tempest with blues, jazz and European folk.
All events are at Stratford Play House14 Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6LU
Tickets and full details at www.stratfordmusicfestival.com