Cornerstone Arts Festival Brochure 2017

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CORNERSTONE ARTS FESTIVAL Monday 6th- Saturday 11th March 2017

CORNERSTONE ARTS FESTIVAL 2017 An introduction by Festival Director Dr Alberto Sanna Photo credit: Dan Kenyon

The Creative Campus of Liverpool Hope University is one of the hidden gems of our city. It consists of two Grade-II Listed buildings, an award-winning Renaissance-style garden (the Angel Field Garden) and a hall of residence offering en-suite accommodation for up to 180 students. The state-of-the-art facilities include two theatres (the Capstone Theatre and the Cornerstone Theatre), a polyfunctional open space (the impressive Great Hall) and an exhibition space (the Cornerstone Gallery), two dance studios and two black box performance spaces, a music technology laboratory, a recording studio, music practice rooms and studios for painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics, metal and textiles. Home to three academic departments - Music, Fine Art & Design, Drama, Dance & Performing Arts - and two cultural organisations - Milap Festival Trust and the European Opera Centre - the Creative Campus bursts with performances and exhibitions on a weekly basis throughout the academic year. The annual appointment with the Cornerstone Arts Festival is the one time when staff and students from across the University, international artists and local audiences come together to engage with, appreciate and question works of art and events from morning till night for six consecutive days. They do this in several ways: by attending the concerts, drama and dance shows featured in the two daily series of events (the young artists series at 5pm and the high-profile series at 7.30pm); by participating in the workshops offered by the same artists who present their work at the Festival; and by socialising and sharing

reflections on the festival activities, their content and broader implications. The 16th edition of the Cornerstone Arts Festival takes place, for the first time, in the early spring rather than, as has always been the case, in the late autumn: from Monday 6 to Saturday 11 March 2017. As in the two previous editions, I have attempted to strike a balance between the opposing needs of identity and internationalisation. Thus, you will be able to see artists not only from the UK, but also from Belgium, France, Germany, Moldova, Russia and Spain; and you will be able to admire the talent of Liverpool Hope graduates in music and in drama, as well as that of Hope composers, actors, directors and producers. Whether I have succeeded or not will be for you to judge. Be that as it may, my team and I look forward to welcoming you in the blossoming and luminous Creative Campus to celebrate with us the very distinct role the arts play in shaping contemporary society and higher education. Dr Alberto Sanna Cornerstone Arts Festival Director The Cornerstone Arts Festival is sponsored by:


MICHAEL STUBBS: PAINTINGS Admission Free (please pre book at Michael Stubbs’s paintings, which operate at the interface of abstraction and pop, are constructed by combining poured, abstract configurations of transparent varnishes and opaque household paints with ready-made graphic stencils. The repeated pouring, in conjunction with the pop signs, form a physical process of sensual flat-on-flat layering that reveals multiple perspectives and optical depths. This layering is part of the fracturing process, the breaking up or ‘exploding’ of a recognisable image, a response, says Stubbs's, to the ever-expanding proliferation of broadcast and internet-based images that fill our world. Amorphous shapes, sharp-edged logos, scything blocks of colour and silky veils of tinted varnish intrude into Stubbs’ picture planes, fragmenting the surface; it is as though the physicality of the works are coming up against the pixilation of the flattened, immaterial space of the digital image. Yet there is an overriding seductiveness in these works; the perfection of the finish and the boldness of the palette alleviate the chaos of the visual explosion. This is picture making being interrogated in a serious, sensual and often irreverent way. Stubbs critically re-configures the medium in an age of internet information overload. The exhibition runs from 7 February to 16 March 2017 in The Cornerstone Gallery.


Monday 6 March 2017, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre)

RECKLESS SLEEPERS: NEGATIVE SPACE Admission Free (please pre book at Artistic Director - Mole Wetherell Choreographer - Leen Dewilde Producer - Kate Perridge Dramaturg - SJ Bailes To begin, Reckless Sleepers built a roomsized wooden frame and lined it with plasterboard. For several weeks they started smashing it up, smashing it down, then piecing together the fragments of their destruction back together. The result is this show, Negative Space. From a blank architectural canvas, something fantastical emerges. It's a love story. It's a slapstick comedy. It's slasher, action, melodrama ‌ and not a single word is spoken. Soon different possible stories are spiralling around, hurtling towards an ending. Performed by Mole Wetherell, Alex Covell, Leentje Van De Cruys, Kevin Egan, Rebecca Young, Tim Ingram and Leen Dewilde. Negative Space was funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Photo credit: Jonathan Turner for Compass Live Art


Monday 6 March 2017, 7.30pm

EDUCATING RITA Admission Free (please pre book at Written by Willy Russell Performed by Sarah Donovan and John Bennett Directed by Niamh Malone Willy Russell’s contemporary classic, Educating Rita, burst onto the English stage in 1980 as a poignant and comic dramatic encounter between working class Rita and her Open University Professor Frank. Russell’s astute juxtaposition of class and gender makes for a social documentary, where questions about access to education, what it is to be ‘educated’ and social capital preoccupy the narrative. A play of the early 1980s, its overarching questions find a new concern in 2016 where higher education, with the introduction of student fees, has become a commodity and barriers to access have been reinstated. In the face of a tidal wave of public austerity rhetoric, this play finds resonance in a new era where inequality between classes and the commodification of education reinvigorate the gallows humour of Russell’s masterpiece.


Tuesday 7 March 2017, Cornerstone Theatre, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre)


ENSEMBLE OF ST LUKE’S: A QUARTET OF QUARTETS Tuesday 7 March 2016, 7.30pm Admission Free (please pre book at Craig Wakerley - new commission (2017) Ian Percy - Just Look at All the Places We Call Home (2017) Stephen Pratt - Aphrodite's Rock (2001) Maurice Ravel - String Quartet in F Major (1902-1903) Stephen Pratt

Ian Percy

Craig Wakerley

Alexander Marks - first violin Sophie Coles - second violin Robert Shepley - viola Gethyn Jones - violoncello Just Look at All the Places We Call Home is a single movement string quartet composed specifically for the 16th edition of the Cornerstone Arts Festival. The work - the sixth quartet from the composer Ian Percy - contains many references to Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, also featured in the programme, through quotation, pitchscheme and formal structure. However, with pitch organisation and harmony exploring combinations of twelvetone consonances with rotating modal dissonances, this lyrical and atmospheric work is clearly an original product of the 21st century.

After several false starts, Aphrodite’s Rock was begun in Crete in the summer of 2000. An earlier work, Undulations and Other Movements, relates in part to the physical landscape of the Charente and Stephen Pratt began Aphrodite’s Rock with a similar starting point, but this time also trying to capture some of the extraordinary sounds of the village where he was staying. Visiting Cyprus for the first time in the summer of 2001, there was some dramatic coastal scenery to inspire shapes and patterns to add to the earlier ideas, especially the gentle swirling waters around Aphrodite’s Rock and the ever-present evening chorus of insects and birds.

The single movement that emerged should not really be seen as a series of musical picture postcards, for in some cases the musical imagery has travelled far from the original sketches. Dedicated to his teacher Gabriel Fauré and written in four movements (Allegro moderato. Très doux - Assez vif. Très rythmé - Très lent - Vif et agité), Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major conjures reminiscences of Claude Debussy, whilst exploring Iberian influences and quasiSpanish flavours wrapped within the unmistakably French DNA.

Wednesday 8 March 2017, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre) Admission Free (please pre book at Anne Freitag - transverse flute Jean-Christophe Dijoux - harpsichord

At the turn of the eighteenth century, London, with its vibrant musical landscape, attracted scores of foreign musicians: Handel settled there in 1711, Geminiani arrived in 1714 and Castrucci in 1715, followed by other famous Italian violinists. At the same time, Corelli’s music was extremely appreciated in England where it ‘cleared the ground of all other sorts of musick whatsoever’ (Roger North). The numerous ornamented versions of Corelli’s violin sonatas op. 5 show how popular this particular collection was. Adaptations of this opus aureum for recorder (1702) and transverse flute (c.1745) were published too. From the 1720s onwards, a number of anthologies of Scottish, Irish and English tunes appeared in London. In turn, these tunes inspired such learned composers as Geminiani, Barsanti, Giordani and Arne. Charles Burney wrote about this savoury blending of traditions: ‘The general melody of our countrymen, if analysed, would perhaps appear to be neither Italian nor English, but an agreeable mixture of Italian, English and Scots.’ The transverse flute was considered especially suited to this repertoire. The first solo concert on the instrument was given in 1706 in York Buildings in London and the translation of the French treatise of Hotteterre in 1715 increased the instrument’s popularity. Furthermore, through the end of the century, English publishers produced transcriptions for flute and thorough bass - a practical combination for domestic purposes - of such famous works as Handel’s oratorios.



MARCO VARGAS AND CHLOÉ BRÛLÉ: IN THE ROOM Admission Free (please pre book at Music - Diego Amador, Venetian Snares, Raúl Cantizano and Mouse DJ Light design - Ada Bonadei, Vancram Light technician - Carmen Mori Wardrobe - José Tarriño, La aguja en el dedo Production, Vargas Brûlé S.L. Performed by Marco Vargas and Chloé Brûlé We would like to invite you to our Dance Gallery, where you can discover In the Room some of the most prestigious pieces of our private collection. Ranging from the most minimalist to the most exuberant works, the most classic to the most contemporary works, and of course including our latest acquisition. Each unique oeuvre is entirely part of this collection. We urge you to relish this experience and tap into all of your senses. In the Room takes on the previous works of the Vargas & Brûlé repertoire, whilst simultaneously including their new creation. The idea is to revisit certain dancing duos that we have a specific interest in. We wish to reinvent these pieces by transforming them and placing them in another context, a more intimate context. In the Room is our testimony, our vision of dance.

Photo credit: JLuis Castilla


Wednesday 8 March 2017, 7.30pm

VERVE Admission Free (please pre book at VERVE presents an exhilarating double bill of work by exciting international choreographers. Performed by a company of eleven dancers trained at some of the world’s leading conservatoires, the work is physically daring and thought provoking. For 2017 the company has a repertoire of four distinct dance works choreographed by James Cousins, Carlos Pons Guerra, Leila McMillan and Matthias Sperling. Two of these works will be presented as part of the Cornerstone Arts Festival.

VERVE is the postgraduate performance company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD). Each year the company commissions leading choreographers to create an exciting new programme of contemporary dance work which tours extensively across the UK and internationally. VERVE is led by Artistic Director Matthew Robinson.


Thursday 9 March 2017, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre)


RADU MARIAN AND SVETLANA PEKARSKAYA: L'ALBA SEPARA DALLA LUCE L'OMBRA Thursday 9 March 2017, 7.30pm Admission Free (please pre book at Radu Marian - voice Svetlana Pekarskaya - piano The sopranist (male soprano) Radu Marian and the pianist Svetlana Pekarskaya explore a number of romances by great Russian composers (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Sergei Rachmaninov) and Italian opera composers (Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Pietro Mascagni) as well as works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Francesco Paolo Tosti.

The programme also includes compositions for solo piano such as a Mozart rondo, an excerpt from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons and one of the most beautiful Songs Without Words by Felix Mendelssohn. All pieces share in the intense expressiveness and nostalgia characteristic of the Romantic literature. Some are more joyful, some more painful: all relate to some of the most intimate aspects of the human condition.

Friday 10 March 2017, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre) Admission Free (please pre book at Johannes Brahms - ‘Allegro’ from Clarinet Quintet Op. 115 Francis Poulenc - Sonata for Two Clarinets Elliot Carter - Gra Hannah Payne - new commission (2107) Louis Cahuzac - Arlequin Emma Haughton - clarinet Dianne Hammond - clarinet Northern String Collective In 1933, Arnold Schoenberg described Johannes Brahms as a ‘progressive’ composer. Even though the development of an Austro-German musical language was at the heart of this testimonial, the concept of a ‘progressive’ composer in clarinet repertoire appears to have been overlooked. Clarinettist Emma Haughton takes the audience on a journey to explore issues of ‘progressivism’ in the clarinet repertoire during the 20th and 21st centuries. The programme combines works by such prolific composers as Johannes Brahms, Francis Poulenc, Elliot Carter and Louis Cahuzac with the world premiere of a piece for two clarinets and spoken text by fellow Hope graduate Hannah Payne. How much more ‘progressive’ can we get?




SHE'KOYOKH: NICE ONE! Friday 10 March 2017, 7.30pm Admission Free (please pre book at ‘Among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet’ (The Australian), She'Koyokh is a Yiddish word roughly translating as 'Nice one!'. Musicians hailing from the UK, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey perform virtuosic, toe-tapping klezmer, Gypsy music, soulful songs and the best Balkan dance tunes. Their fourth studio album is being released in March 2017 and they take you on a journey sampling polyphonic singing from Bulgaria, a Serbian song about a pigeon on the raspberries, a steamy quarrel between mother-in-laws in a Turkish sauna, a duet between a father and daughter about who she's going to marry - in the end she chooses the drunken one! - and a love song for a Gypsy girl with penetrating green eyes. The Evening Standard say She'Koyokh are ‘one of London’s musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain’. Expect to go home feeling nourished, elated, and saying ‘Nice one!’

Photo credit: JAlex Harvey-Brown


Saturday 11 March 2017, 5pm (Cornerstone Theatre)

Admission Free (please pre book at

Admission Free (please pre book at

Written by Herman Melville Produced by Shelley Piasecka and Simon Piasecki

Written by Ian Salmon Performed by Callum Downes The life of young Scouse lad Robbie is thrown into disarray when a reincarnation of Elvis Presley takes over. Best friend Karl convinces him to use his spiritual powers for financial gain, but Robbie must learn how to embrace his new life, as well as the local nutter. Hilarious new comedy from local playwright Ian Salmon. Not to be missed! Thank ya v'ry much. The Comeback Special was a finalist at the 2015 Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize.

Saturday 11 March 2017, 7.30pm

At the end of the 19th century a New York customs inspector and writer died in relative obscurity. His name was Herman Melville and he would later come to be regarded as a literary giant, equal in stature to Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Jack London. Melville published numerous books in his lifetime but is best known for Moby Dick, a story of a young schoolmaster aboard the ill-fated voyage of the Pequod, a Nantucket whaling ship. Melville had experienced whaling himself and also spent some time in Liverpool, whilst travelling the oceans. Here, Melville’s classic is brought to life in a fast moving and thrilling stage adaptation. It is a timeless story that pits man against the forces of nature itself. How far will a man go to satisfy a vengeful obsession?