Category Archives: RE:Imagine

Retrospective on CLoSer: Sketches of Miles

We do things differently here at CLS, and on Wednesday 6 April we lived up to our promise to surpise with a concert of the music of Miles Davis – CLoSer: Sketches of Miles.

For this, the final CLoSer concert in the RE:Imagine series, we were joined by the exceptional talents of Gwilym Simcock and his trio, vocalist Cleveland Watkiss and – in a last-minute addition – saxophonist Tim Garland.

Relive the experience

Checkout the highlights video below and some beautiful photos from the concert by the wonderful James Berry along with your reactions from Twitter. Just tweet us at @CityLdnSinfonia to let us know what you thought!

Photos by James Berry:

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Read the review by Schmopera:

Last night’s concert at the Village Underground will go into the books as one of the most memorable shows we’ve seen yet.” – Schmopera

From Twitter:




Join us for the season finale

Paris Reflected
Wednesday 20 April, 7.30pm

The sounds of Paris are reflected across the centuries in this finale of the season. Providing the centrepiece to the programme is Duruflé’s Requiem setting based on ancient plainsong melodies, preceded by Fauré’s Pavane with its ancient dance forms and Ravel’s tribute to the earlier French composer, Couperin. Composer Charlotte Bray provides the final instalment in our ‘Bach RE:Imagined’ series.



Roderick Williams: The Great English Songbook

On Wednesday 9 March, renowned baritone Roderick Williams joins us at Southwark Cathedral for a very special concert of English song and string music – including Roderick’s own arrangements of Bach and Butterworth. We caught up with him about what he thinks ‘The Great English Songbook’ is, the early 20th Century folk song revival and how arranging works has shaped his performances.

What do you think ‘The Great English Songbook’ is?

I guess we’re all used to the phrase ‘American Songbook’ and have a vague notion of what does and doesn’t belong in that category.  I’ve only recently become aware of the idea of an ‘English songbook’ and I suppose it to mean the flowering of song-writing in the UK that spans the end of the nineteenth century from Stanford, Parry and Elgar through to the regressive composers still writing tonal music during the second half of the twentieth century.  So that would obviously include the songs of Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Gurney and Finzi who are represented in the CLS programme, but also John Ireland, Peter Warlock, Roger Quilter, E J Moeran and Benjamin Britten.  I’m not so sure that the Manchester Group for example, (i.e. Maxwell Davies, Goehr and Birtwistle) would fit the bill, although there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.  But I think the term alludes to a certain pastoral, tonal tradition of song setting that inspired amateur and professional singers alike to rejoice once again in singing English repertoire rather than necessarily being in thrall to the German Lied or opera arias.

How important was the collection of English folk melody in developing an English voice in the early part of the twentieth century?

To my mind,the most important aspect of this work was the nurturing of a sense of cultural identity.  The end of the nineteenth century saw this in music from all across Europe and beyond; what composers such as Grieg, Dvořák, Nielsen, Smetana and Sibelius were creating in their own countries was being copied in the UK.  Serious musicologists such as Kodály and Bartók were placing folk traditions centre stage and so those English musicians who followed the lead of Cecil Sharp and his colleagues were no longer seen as eccentric enthusiasts but as a necessary and important part of the mainstream.

I’m sure that in, for example, Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad settings, the template of English folksong is fundamental.  Butterworth matched the outwardly simple nature of Housman’s poems with deliberately simple melody; the profundity is in the subtext in both words and music but the restraint derives from folksong.

We will be performing your arrangement of Butterworth’s Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad. Has arranging them changed the way you think about, and perform, them?

If anything, arranging the songs for strings has been an exercise in making the chamber music experience as close as possible to performing with a pianist.  For example, I was keen that each player should have the vocal line in the instrumental part, as a pianist would, so that they can each take responsibility for accompanying the voice.  I hoped this might also foster a connection with the poetry, so that everyone knows what Butterworth’s accompaniment is designed to illustrate.  In essence, I try to perform the piece exactly as I would with a pianist, wherever practical.

Do you have a favourite out of the Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad? If so, why?

I enjoy them all for different reasons.  I’m sure the final song is a favourite for many people but I also note that this is the song in which I’ve suffered most lapses of concentration in past performances, perhaps because it is the last song, with several, very similar verses.  So I’ve learned to give this song special respect in performance.

Gurney’s and Finzi’s cycles hark back to a bygone age – but they are unmistakably from the twentieth century. How ‘Elizabethan’ are they, how ‘20th Century’ are they?

As in architecture, with the fashion for Elizabethan cladding, so many twentieth century composers liked to re-invent a concept of Elizabethan song.  In a sense it is an attempt to connect one golden age of song with another and there is everything to be gained from learning from past masters.  In the last fifty years or so the whole concept of ‘period performance’ has made some of this faux renaissance feel a little mannered but, on the other hand, it has inspired composers to write some beautiful melodies too.

The concert on 9 March features CLS’s strings in works like Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus. Is there any parallel between vocal music and string music?

I’m sure many instrumental players will tell how they have been coached to play more ‘vocally’ and, in some cases, singers have been asked to think a little more instrumentally.  Fundamentally the difference is, of course, in the conveying of text.  An instrument can copy articulation in imitation of vocal inflection but it can’t deliver actual text; its language is more abstract.  Then the whole question of breathing in music becomes an issue when comparing vocal to instrumental music, especially for strings as opposed to brass and woodwind.  So parallels may be drawn in order from one to learn from another but those parallels are, essentially, artificial.

We will also be hearing the world première of your arrangement of the Bourée from Bach’s Cello Suite in C, as part of our ‘Bach RE:Imagined’ series. Why did you pick the Bourée – what is it like to rework a piece by a composer such as Bach?

This particular Bourée is one that I remember especially clearly from my cello-playing days as a schoolboy; it is one that I found myself scat singing from time to time, in the knowledge that I could most likely sing it far better than I could ever play it.  It is daunting to be asked to expand on music by Bach as his music is so complete; there is hardly room for any further work by a composer.  In treating the Bourée as I have, I am only really paying homage to an iconic piece for me and adding layers to the original in a personal flight of fancy.

Tickets for The Great English Songbook are available online at

Wine, Song and Music with Amelia Singer

Amelia Singer writes about why she thinks wine is an art, ahead of her wine tasting event before our concert, The Great English Songbook, on 9 March.

Amelia will next join us for an evening of wine tasting at Bedales of Borough paired to our Paris Reflected concert programme – the finale of our RE:Imagine series.

Amelia Singer
Amelia Singer is a TV Presenter on The Wine Show, Jamie Oliver Vlogger and Blogger and Founder of Amelia’s Wine – a fun, authentic wine tasting service

Next week I will be doing a wine tasting in conjunction with the CLS’ Re:Imagine series. I was super excited to be included in this programme as not only do I love wine,  the CLS and Southwark Cathedral as a concert venue, I also strongly believe that wine and music complement each other and help create new visions and re imaginations of both art forms.

And yes, I do think it is possible to consider wine as an art form. Both wine and music are experimental, both are creative, both can be extremely technical but ultimately they are meant to be fun and enhance the world around us.  There have been experiments which have proven that music can actually  influence the way we taste wine, and I hope that next Wednesday evening I can demonstrate how wine can absolutely add new nuances and an extra depth of appreciation to musical pieces that you may already know and love.

The wine-cup is the little silver well,
Where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell.

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Amelia Singer at a Wine Tasting Event

Next week’s music programme will be looking at ‘The Great English Song book’. All of the featured music has been written or adapted in the last century. However, the inspiration, lyrics and musical form  of these pieces have been mostly based on an enthralling collection of English songs, poems and plays from the 16th century. A particularly apt period of time for this concert due to it being  in the midst of the Renaissance, that pivotal era of re-birth, re-vision and re-imagining  of  Man’s place in the world.

Amelia Singer - Wine Tasting Group

Pairing wines to specific pieces, I hope will add an extra appreciation to this collection of Song. There will be British bubbles to start which will open our minds to the English songs and to the notion of what it means to be ‘English’. This idea will then be further explored by comparing wines from around the world to three of the pieces. The variety of wines will be used to explore the different nuances and influences behind the Songs as well as to explore this idea of ‘Englishness’.  Is it something that is innate and untouchable or something that evolves with the time? Is there an ideal we can aspire to or is that just a fanciful idyll? And just as  importantly, through these Re:Imagined works and their wine pairing, what new visions, if any, of ‘Englishness’ can transpire and resonate.

We may not come to any conclusions, but wine and music combined will definitely ensure an entertaining, engaging and effusive evening!

Read Amelia’s blog on how music can actually influence the way we taste wine.

Tickets for Amelia’s next Wine Tasting event are just £22 – book now at 


Retrospective on CLoSer: Song of the Earth

Our RE:Imagine series continued in style last night as Village Underground transformed into London’s most intimate and relaxed concert venue for CLoSer: Song of the Earth. The elegance of Johann Strauss distilled for salon orchestra and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue (arranged by up-and-coming young composer Luke Styles) set the scene. Storyteller Rachel Rose Reid enthralled the audience before we heard Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley and Tenor Gwilym Bowen took centre stage as all the mastery of Mahler’s epic symphony, concentrated into an ensemble of just 15 world-class musicians.

The concert was live-streamed online – checkout the highlights below and some beautiful photos from the concert by the wonderful James Berry along with your reactions from Twitter. Just tweet us at @CityLdnSinfonia to let us know what you thought!

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Forthcoming concerts

We hope you can join us at a concert soon – for full listings visit

The next concert in our RE:Imagine series is The Great English Songbook  when we will be journeying through England’s Elizabethan age and Shropshire countryside with baritone Roderick Williams on 9 March at Southwark Cathedral.

We are next back at Village Underground for CLoSer: Sketches of Miles on 6 April when  we will transport you to New York as we explore the musical marriage of the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis and composer/arranger Gil Evans.

The Great English Songbook
Wednesday 9 March 2016, 7:30pm
Southwark Cathedral, London, SE1 9DA
Tickets £25, £15, £5* (*restricted view) / 020 7621 2800

CLoSer: Sketches of Miles
Wednesday 6 April 2016, 7.30pm
Village Underground, London, EC2A 3PQ
TICKETS: £15 (includes a free drink) / 020 7621 2800

CLoSer with Rachel Rose Reid

The next CLoSer concert of our RE:Imagine series is just around the corner on Wednesday 17 February. CLoSer: Song of the Earth features Mahler’s epic song of despair Das Lied von der Erde, which  was originally written for a vast orchestra. We perform the piece in a salon arrangement by Schoenberg, written for the Society for Private Musical Performances, which performed scaled-down versions of new music to interested Viennese citizens. (Read more about the twentieth century Viennese cultural landscape here). 

Das Lied von der Erde shows Mahler at his most turbulent and hopeless, reeling from three personal tragedies. We’re so pleased that storyteller Rachel Rose Reid will be on hand to navigate Mahler’s emotional turmoil with us in a specially-commissioned introduction to the piece.

We asked Rachel what we can expect from her story

“It will be lyrical prose which summons Gustav and Alma to us so we can comprehend a little of the context of the composition. Mahler wrote to a friend that he thought this might be his ‘most personal piece’.

“My work is to build a bridge between Mahler, writing this piece, and ourselves, listening to it over a hundred years later.

“Mahler is sitting in nature, where he always sat for inspiration, but not permitted to explore it. Inside a marriage but not at home in his marriage. Inside his society but not at home in society. His music is a place he can inhabit. Meanwhile, Alma struggles to fit in also, with social roles, with grief, with marriage. She struggles with Mahler’s music – in her diary she writes that there are just two pieces of his she really loves. And then she adds, in pencil ‘and the Song of the Earth’.”

Take a look at some of Rachel’s other work…

If you missed Rachel Rose Reid on The Verb earlier this month, celebrating national storytelling week, you can still catch up

Join us on Wednesday for CLoSer: Song of the Earth with storytelling introduction. Can’t make it? The event will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.

CLoSer: Song of the Earth
Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.30pm
Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ
Tickets £15 (includes a free drink), £5 students / 16-25s
Box Office / 020 7621 2800

Mahler, Schoenberg and superstitions

The world of classical music has seen quite a few characters in its time. From composers prone to violent tantrums (Beethoven, Lully) to singers seemingly out of touch with reality (Florence Foster Jenkins), eccentricities abound. Mahler and Schoenberg, who come together in CLoSer: Song of the Earth, were both fervently superstitious…

Mahler and the Curse of the Ninth

The Curse of the Ninth referred to the ill-fated composers who died after writing their ninth symphonies, before completing a tenth. For Mahler, it was Beethoven who embodied this, though he did not refer to it as a ‘curse’. To say that Mahler was spooked by the idea is an understatement; he so feared dying after composing a ninth symphony, he forwent numbering what would have been his ninth, naming it Das Lied von der Erde and subtitling it instead Symphony for Tenor, Alto and large Orchestra. But Mahler’s preoccupation with his own mortality as he was writing Das Lied von der Erde is understandable – his life had descended into turmoil. Just one year earlier he suffered three great traumas: he lost his position as Director of the Vienna State Opera; his eldest daughter, Maria, contracted scarlet fever and died; and a doctor diagnosed him with a fatal heart condition.

In a twist of irony though, believing that he had cheated fate, he numbered his next symphony his ‘ninth’ and died leaving his ‘tenth’ incomplete.


Schoenberg and 13

Like Mahler’s, Schoenberg’s great superstition was also numbers-based. A life-long triskaidekaphobe, Schoenberg went out of his way to avoid the number 13. It has been suggested that he even went as far as deliberately misspelling his opera Moses un Aron as the correct spelling resulted in the title being 13 letters long. His fear came to a head on Friday 13 July 1951, when Schoenberg was 76 years old. Not only was the date Friday 13, but the digits in his age also added up to 13. Schoenberg spent the day in bed, fearing the worst was to happen, and just before midnight it did. His wife, Gertrud, recalled  “about a quarter to twelve I looked at the clock and said to myself: another quarter of an hour and then the worst is over. Then the doctor called me. Arnold’s throat rattled twice, his heart gave a powerful beat and that was the end”.

Schoenberg, by Man Ray


Delve deeper into Mahler’s mind on 17 February and explore his life and emotions as he was writing Das Lied von der Erde. Storyteller Rachel Rose Reid joins us for a new commission based on Mahler’s turbulent relationship with his wife, Alma.

CLoSer: Song of the Earth
Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.30pm
Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ
Tickets £15 (includes a free drink), £5 students / 16-25s
Box Office / 020 7621 2800

1900s Vienna – a who’s who

With the first of our two Vienna-inspired concerts, The Viennese Salon, almost upon us, we take a look at just some of the key cultural players living in the city in the early years of the 20th century…


Richard Strauss, born in Germany in 1864, was descended from a musical family; his father, Franz was one of Germany’s leading horn players. Between 1919 and 1924, Strauss was musical co-director of the Vienna State Opera, where he concentrated on staging new productions, particularly of works by Wagner and Mozart. Strauss returned to Vienna during World War II, after falling foul of the Nazi regime in Germany. It was during this second stretch in Vienna that Strauss wrote his last opera Capriccio, a meditation on the values of art. In it the Countess Madeleine must choose between two suitors, one a composer and one a poet, representing the argument over which is the more important art form, music or poetry.

Gustav Mahler, like Strauss, was influenced by the works of Wagner. When he took up his position as director of the Vienna Court Opera 1897, Vienna had newly elected a conservative, anti-Semitic mayor and the city was in a state of mounting tension. Mahler had to prove himself as Germanic enough, having been born to Jewish parents in Kaliště, a village in the Bohemian part of the Austrian Empire (in the present-day Czech Republic). He converted to Catholicism to secure the role, and staged Wagner’s opera Lohengrin and the Ring Cycle early into his appointment. Mahler remained with the Opera for 10 years, during which time he continued to compose, writing five symphonies and numerous other works. Growing anti-Semitism in Vienna and politicking within the Opera itself eventually forced Mahler out, and he left Vienna in 1907.

Mahler_conducting_caricature 1901
Gustav Mahler conducting, 1901

Arnold Schoenberg was a native citizen of Vienna. He was born in 1874 into a Jewish family, but like Mahler converted to Christianity in the hopes of avoiding the growing anti-Semitism spreading through Vienna at the turn of the century. In 1918 he founded the Society for Private Musical Performances (Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen), in which he presented salon-scale performances of new music to interested members of Viennese society. The programmes for these performances were repeated, both applauding and booing and criticism in the press were forbidden so as to give greater importance to individuals’ understanding the music.

Gustav Klimt was a founding member and the first president of the Vienna Secession, a group of painters, sculptors and architects who broke away from the Viennese art establishment in the last years of the 19th century. The artists were opposed to the conservative ideologies of the Vienna Künstlerhaus, and set about creating an organisation which was more forward-looking, and embraced many styles of art. Under Klimt, the movement took inspiration from naturalism, symbolism and other contemporary movements, including art nouveau and arts and crafts, particularly the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Secession building, built under Klimt’s leadership, bears the movement’s motto above its doors:

‘To every age its art, to every art its freedom’.


Gustav_Klimt_Adele Bloch Bauer 1907
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt, 1907

Sigmund Freud was a prominent member of Viennese society, a pioneer of psychology and psychoanalysis. Freud, like Schoenberg and the secessionists, sought to break free from the conservative thought of previous centuries. His theories, particularly on the unconscious mind and the expressive nature of dreams, had a profound effect on artists and musicians alike.  Following his wife’s affair, Gustav Mahler sought Freud’s help. Freud observed that Mahler’s domineering personality and prohibition of his wife’s composing has contributed to the situation. Alma Mahler had been a promising musician and composer, but was forced by her husband to abandon her musical pursuits. Following Freud’s advice, Mahler began to encourage and support his wife’s music making and relations between the two began to improve.

Blaues_Selbstportait schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg, self portrait 1910



The Viennese Salon
Sunday 24 January 2016, 2pm
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT
Tickets £62 (premium), £15 – £48, £10 (standing)
Box Office / 020 7401 9919

CLoSer: Song of the Earth
Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.30pm
Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ
Tickets £15 (includes a free drink), £5 students / 16-25s
Box Office / 020 7621 2800

Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

Our next RE:Imagine concert, The Viennese Salon, on 24 January celebrates the golden age of the Viennese salons, the drawing rooms of Vienna’s great and good, which became hotbeds of intellectual and cultural activity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this blog, we take a look behind closed doors and explore the world of turn-of-the-century Vienna.


Vienna in 1900 stood on a precipice of mounting unrest, between centuries of imperial rule and the chaos of war. As the seat of the Habsburg dynasty for more than 400 years, during which time it served as a capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, Vienna was well established as a city of aristocrats and nobles. It was not until the latter half of the nineteenth century that the middle classes took root in the city, and began to make their mark.

A series of revolutions in early 1848 shook the Austrian Empire’s conservative power base. In Vienna, liberal intellectuals gathered in coffee houses and salons to protest press censorship and demand religious and economic freedom, and labour reforms. Beyond Vienna, the numerous national groups which comprised the Austrian Empire fought for their own independence.

The Academic Legion, Viennese students in 1848

In March 1848, the conservative Prince Klemens von Metternich, the State Chancellor and Foreign Minister, and his ministers resigned and were replaced by several short-lived liberal governments. Over the following decades the liberals failed both to gain mass support and to quell the restless populations across the empire. They remained in power, however, by placing restrictions on who could vote.

Towards the end of the century, the new Viennese middle and lower classes demanded a more active role in political affairs and established new social conservative political parties to rival the liberal government. Among these new parties was the Christian Social party, which held deeply anti-Semitic views and swept to victory in Vienna shortly before 1900, the polar opposite of the liberal government it replaced.

Vienna, 1900

Against this backdrop of political uncertainty, Vienna’s coffee houses and salons flourished as spaces for the city’s writers, artists, musicians and thinkers. Indeed, among those living in Vienna at the turn of the century and in the early years of the twentieth century were Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler (whose wife, Alma, was herself a prominent salon hostess), Arnold Schoenberg and many other revolutionary figures in art and beyond. Women in Vienna, much like elsewhere, were mostly excluded from public life, and hosting salons served as one of the only ways in which they could engage with and shape contemporary issues and trends. These society hostesses provided the environment for much of the Modernist developments of the early 1900s, particularly the move towards a more psychological focus, drawing on the new ideas proposed by Freud.

Arnold Schoenberg, 1917. By Egon Schiele


Join us in January at our very own salon with our wonderful patron, Dame Felicity Lott for an afternoon of music, dance and that very Viennese speciality Kaffee und Kuchen. On 17 February, CLoSer returns to Village Undergound with a rare opportunity to hear Mahler’s great Das Lied Von der Erde re-imagined for salon ensemble.

The Viennese Salon
Sunday 24 January 2016, 2pm
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT
Tickets £62 (premium), £15 – £48, £10 (standing)
Box Office / 020 7401 9919

CLoSer: Song of the Earth
Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.30pm
Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ
Tickets £15 (includes a free drink), £5 students / 16-25s
Box Office / 020 7621 2800

Month in pictures – September and October

We’ve had two very busy months at CLS. Our RE:Imagine concert series got off to a flying start in September with CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance at Village Underground, and continued at Southwark Cathedral with an atmospheric celebration of the music of one of the most romantic cities in the world, in Venice: Darkness to Light. But that’s not all we’ve been up to so far this autumn. Take a look at some of our highlights of the last two months…

CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance saw us return to the intimate setting of Village Underground with a programme exploring music written for dance from Rameau’s 18th century take on the classical Pygmalion myth to Copland’s evocative Appalachian Spring. The concert opened and closed with two brand new dance interpretations of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by choreographer Tony Adigun, one contemporary classical, one urban. Photographer James Berry was on hand to capture the concert as it happened. Take a look at some of his stunning pictures…

Whether you missed the concert, or would just like to relive the evening, you can still watch short highlights on our website.

Our second RE:Imagine concert took us to the magnificent Southwark Cathedral to celebrate one of the world’s most wonderful cities, with Venice: Darkness to Light. Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and countertenor Alex Potter joined us for JS Bach’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s Stabat MaterTilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, and Latvian composer Ugis Praulins continued our theme of re-imagining the works of Bach, with his arrangement of movements from the Mass in B minor. Here are some lovely photos of rehearsals by James Berry.

On top of all that, it’s been very busy in the education department, as we returned to Suffolk and Essex for our annual Lullaby Concert tour and workshops with Orchestras Live. We also brought a Very Special Bear’s first concert to Warwick, Basingstoke and Saffron Walden with the help of the excellent Simon Callow, who was an absolute natural at conducting! Take a look behind the scenes to see us wrestling with balloons, and a lovely Paddington Bear card made by one of our younger audience members in Basingstoke!

Our RE:Imagine series continues in the new year with The Viennese Salon in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, and our next Crash Bang Wallop! family concert will take place on 12 December. We hope to see you there!

Crash Bang Wallop! Let it Snow
Saturday 12 December 2015, 11.00am
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London
Tickets: £8 Children, £10 Adults, £30 Family (four tickets)
Box Office: 020 7730 4500 /

The Viennese Salon
Sunday 24 January 2016, 2.00pm
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Tickets: £62 (premium), £15 – 48, £10 (standing)
Box Office: 020 7401 9919 /

Elin Manahan Thomas on BBC In Tune

We loved listening to the wonderful Elin Manahan Thomas and Stephen Farr on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune yesterday evening, performing music from Bach’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and talking about our forthcoming RE:Imagine concert, Venice: Darkness to Light. You can listen again for 30 days on catch up (their interview and performances start at around 1:01:30).

And because we can never hear enough of Elin Manahan Thomas’ beautiful voice, we’ve put together a short playlist of some of our favourite recordings.


Join us on 14 October in the stunning Southwark Cathedral for a musical celebration of Venice, with Bach’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s haunting Stabat Mater by Elin Manahan Thomas and Alex Potter.

Venice: Darkness to Light
Wednesday 14 October 2015, 7.30pm
Southwark Cathedral, London
Tickets £25, £15, £5* (*restricted view)
£5 tickets available for students and 16-25s (pre-register at Box Office / 020 7377 1362