28 October – 13 November 2016
Brighton Early Music Festival is riding high after being listed as one of The Guardian’s Top 10 Classical and Opera performances of 2015 for their production of Francesca Caccini’s opera ‘La liberazione di Ruggiero’. Festival Co-artistic Director Clare Norburn says, “We’re really excited about this year’s festival programme which gives us so many creative opportunities to explore the worlds of nature and science – two interconnected subjects which run closely alongside the history of music.”
Music evolved before humans even developed the ability to talk. The end of the 16th century and beginning of the 17th century saw an explosion of scientific thought, and this was mirrored in the development of music.
The 2016 festival focuses on Nature and Science with flagship events including a new play with music about the life and work of Galileo (29 & 30 Oct). Set during his final days, the play will relive key moments in Galileo’s life including his trial, excommunication and house arrest – illustrated by music that Galileo would have known, including pieces written by his father, performed by vocal ensemble the Marian Consort and the Monteverdi String Band.
Another 2016 Festival production is ‘Gaia’ (2 performances on 12 Nov) – a modern take on the intermedi spectaculars of the 16th century. Gaia brings together music and drama from the 16th and 17th centuries with 21st century effects such as film, projections, lighting effects, mime, yoga and dance to tell the story of the Earth and how humans have perceived it through the ages. The music ranges from Antoine Brumel’s earth-shattering ‘Earthquake’ Mass, to beautiful pastoral madrigals and motets celebrating the Queen of Heaven. Performers include the English Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble, Lacock Scholars, BREMF Consort of Voices, and the BREMF Community Choir which is an integral part of the festival’s grass-roots connection.
Other programmes include ‘L’Avventura London’ showcasing the work of 17th century musician, alchemist and polymath Athanasius Kircher; chamber orchestra Spiritato! exploring the development of the natural trumpet; and a brand new family show with recorder consort Palisander and puppets from Rust and Stardust Productions – ‘Dr Dee’s Daughter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.
Tickets for all festival events (£5-£25) are on sale at www.bremf.org.uk or 01273 709709