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in association with

March 2013


Welcome

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t George’s Bristol is proud to be launching, in association with BBC Radio 3, the first Bristol Baroque Festival. It unwraps an abundance of great music and artistry that flourished during the baroque era, bringing it into the light of the modern day in a way that underscores its zest and glorious originality. The musical genius of JS Bach is a particular focus this year, with two of his greatest devotional works book-ending the festival, but there are plenty of other programmes to grab attention, from a dramatic Handel and the Rival Queens offering from the Early Opera Company to an exploration of Spain’s Golden Age with The Harp Consort — and even a children’s concert that journeys from Rome to the rain forests of South America in the company of a magic pearl necklace. BBC Radio 3 has been at our side from the very start of our ventures into this era of music-making, and it’s a particular pleasure that they will be broadcasting Radio 3 Live in Concert from St George’s from Monday 25 to Friday 29 March as well as creating a number of interviews and spoken word events to illuminate the baroque, as part of a wider BBC Radio 3 Baroque Spring. Radio 3 presenter Tom Service will be introducing all the live broadcast concerts and helping to send the St George’s sound out around the country — so all that remains is for you to take your seat and ensure you’re on board for this celebratory festival! Suzanne Rolt, Director

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BBC Radio 3’s A Taste for Baroque’

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BC Radio 3 presents a series of specially commissioned pre-concert talks from writers and scholars exploring the manifold legacy of baroque style — in rock ‘n’ roll, in building design, in the convoluted jokes of a master of long sentences and elsewhere. Discover how the baroque — the Spanish, Portuguese and French word for an imperfect pearl — can be found thriving in the most unexpected places and lives on even in epochs defined by austerity and simplicity. Each talk is produced by Tim Dee and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Radio 3 broadcaster Tom Service will introduce these fascinating live essays which will be recorded for later transmission. Come and take part in these unique events and put your questions to our speakers.

Running time: 30 minutes/no interval. Each talk will be broadcast later that evening at 10.45pm. Tickets available on the door from 5.15pm for each event. Free Admission

Monday 25th March 6pm

Wednesday 27th March 6pm

Alexandra Harris, teacher at the University of Liverpool, author of Romantic Moderns and a Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, on the legacy of baroque style in Twentieth Century English design.

Ed Hollis, former architect and teacher at the University of Glasgow, on Twentieth Century architecture’s battle with the baroque.

Tuesday 26th March 6pm

Chloe Aridjis, Mexican novelist, on the survival of home-grown baroque style in Mexico.

Paul Farley, poet and professor of creative writing at the University of Lancaster on baroque ‘n’ roll: ornamentation at the root of all delight.

Friday 29th March 6pm

Thursday 28th March 6pm

Writer Tessa Hadley on Henry James’s long and sinuous sentences and his jokes. Is there such a thing as baroque prose?

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Enrich your experience at St George’s

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s well as an explosion of Baroque music on the main stage, there are many other ways of engaging with our Baroque festival — and most of them are free. Come along during the daytime to fi nd out more about not just the music but the BBC Radio 3 team involved in this festival.

Strange Conceits: Poems for an Imperfect Pearl Poetry exhibition in our Cafe/Bar

Behind the Scenes with BBC Radio 3 Tuesday 26 march 11.45am & Thursday 28 march 11.45am

Look to the walls of the cafe/bar in March and indulge yourself in a poetry exhibition of delightfully sparkling dark poems, all written in a contemporary baroque style by some of the most engagingly inventive poets from Bristol, the South West and beyond. Be prepared to be thoroughly and happily boggled in paradox, to be driven all the way around a thousand and one bends of surprising twists and turns of phrase. Be assured that all metaphors will be both suitably and unsuitably extended and idiosyncratically explored.

Are you curious about just what happens when the BBC arrive to record a live event? This is your chance to talk to the studio team who are at the heart of broadcast events. Find out about microphone set-ups, recording equipment and just what it takes to keep everything on track at a live event!

Presented by Poetry Can and St. George's Bristol. Check daily opening times with our Box Office.

Behind the Scenes of Baroque Spring with BBC Radio 3

Baroque Exploratorium

Wednesday 27th march 5.15pm

monday 25th march 12 midday The Baroque is a rich tapestry of particular ideas, sounds and visions ... but what is it really all about? Why do Baroque musicians play at a different pitch? Were gut strings really made from the intestines of cattle? Your burning Baroque questions are answered in this special live interactive exploration led by BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service and players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Approximate running time 50 minutes. Places are limited so advanced booking recommended.

FRee AdmiSSion Approximate running time 45 minutes.

FRidAY 8 mARCH − 7.30Pm

La Nuova Musica St John Passion J S Bach – St John Passion La Nuova Musica made its St George’s debut with a breathtaking performance of Handel’s Messiah that brought the audience to its feet and proved beyond doubt that this is one of the most essential ensembles of our time. We’re delighted to welcome its return for what will surely be an unforgettable presentation of Bach’s devotional baroque masterpiece, the St John Passion, creating a suitably heightened and emotionally charged opening to this landmark Bristol Baroque Festival. Sung in German. £24(£22); £21(£19); £19(£17); £13(£11) lanuovamusica.co.uk Promoted by St George’s Bristol

Jessica isaacs, Editor of Essential Classics, In Tune and Private Passions for BBC Radio 3, and presenter Tom Service talk about their work and the station’s own Baroque Spring series which runs throughout March. Put your questions to them and learn more about the station and the festival. FRee AdmiSSion Approximate running time 30 minutes. Places for all talks are very limited so advanced booking recommended.

TiCKeTS £5

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FRidAY 15 mARCH − 7.30Pm

The Imperfect Pearl A Baroque Musical Fairytale mark Latimer piano William Towers actor/countertenor miles Golding violin Julia Barker violin Sophie Gledhill cello A musical drama of fun, vespers (and vespas!) drives this Baroque fairytale telling the story of seventeenth century Italian composer Domenico Zipoli’s journey from Rome to the rainforest of South America (complete with magic pearl necklace), to teach music to the indigenous inhabitants. Musician Mark Latimer and director Emma Rivlin combine the beautiful sounds of Baroque music with Brothers Grimm-style fairytale fantasy in a wildly imaginative clash of cultures, music and theatre.

SATURdAY 16 mARCH − 7.30Pm

Bristol Bach Choir/ Canzona Mass in B Minor J S Bach – Mass in B Minor Christopher Finch music director Alexandra Kidgell soprano matthew Venner countertenor edmund Hastings tenor Frederick Long bass

The B Minor Mass is undoubtedly Bach’s most spectacular choral work and one of the crowning glories of Western culture. Through its staggering musical and textual range, it resonates with every human emotion, speaking of joy, pain and sacrifice in equal measure. Bristol Bach Choir is augmented by the acclaimed period orchestra, Canzona, and a fabulous collection of soloists for this Bristol Baroque Festival concert. £26; £21; £16; £11 £6 (Students; Under-18s – subject to availability) bristolbach.org.uk

£15; £12; £5 Under-18s; Family Ticket available

‘It is Mark Latimer’s sheer range and depth of imagination that immediately impresses’ The Times perolabarroca.com / marklatimer.com Promoted by St George’s Bristol in collaboration with Whitehouse Productions. Supported by Arts Council England.

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THURS 21 mARCH / WedS 27 mARCH − 1Pm

Lunchtime Concerts Richard TunnicliΩe cello Bach Cello Suites I & II Thursday 21 March

J S Bach Suite No 1 in G BWV 1007 Suite No 4 in E flat BWV 1010

Wednesday 27 March

J S Bach Suite No 5 in C minor BWV 1011 Suite No 6 in D major (for 5 string cello piccolo) BWV 1012

Bach’s Cello Suites are arguably the greatest pieces ever written for the instrument, and the gold standard against which other cello works are judged. Revered by performers and listeners alike, they take the form of a sequence of dances through which Bach channelled his unbridled creativity and energy. The music roams from simplicity to sublimity, offering up exquisite melodies and a myriad of textures and colours. Richard Tunnicliffe, who performs regularly with the Avison Ensemble, OAE, Fretwork and Boston Symphony, brings refined intonation and panache to this astonishing music.

SATURdAY 23 mARCH − 7.30Pm

Exultate Singers/ His Majesty's Sagbutts & Cornetts Splendours of Venice exultate Singers His majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts david ogden conductor monteverdi Magnificat Primo a 8 Gabrieli Jubilate Deo a 8 Gabrieli Plaudite a 12 (tutti) Gabrieli Omnes gentes Giovanni Croce Mass for Four Choirs a 16 Giovanni Rigatti Dixit Dominus

Bristol’s accomplished chamber choir Exultate Singers is joined by one of the world’s leading period instrument ensembles for this concert of baroque music originally written for St Mark’s Venice. Experience the grandeur, opulence and drama of the wonderful multi-choir motets of Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Croce and Rigatti as the sound reverberates around the hall and balconies of St George's. All the pieces are characterised by flamboyant operatic solos and virtuosic instrumental and choral writing, perfect for this Bristol Baroque Festival. £21(£19); £18(£16); £15(£13); £11(£9) exultatesingers.org Promoted by St George’s Bristol

Richard will perform a final set of Bach Cello Suites on Friday 7 June at 9pm, on sale in March. £8; Free Under-25s, Students & Jobseekers Promoted by St George’s Bristol

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mondAY 25 mARCH − 7.30Pm

TUeSdAY 26 mARCH − 7.30Pm

Radio 3 Live in Concert Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Radio 3 Live in Concert Early Opera Company — Handel and the Rival Queens

J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 4 in G Cantata No 161 Komm, du süße Todesstunde Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D Cantata No 9 Es ist das Heil uns kommen her

Introduced by Tom Service and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Introduced by Tom Service and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

£26(£24); £21(£19); £16(£14); £11(£9)

£26(£24); £21(£19); £16(£14); £11(£9)

oae.co.uk Promoted by St George’s Bristol Supported by Orchestras Live

earlyoperacompany.com Promoted by St George’s Bristol

The first of fi ve consecutive nights of dazzling Baroque to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 sees the OAE under the direction of renowned Bach expert and harpsichordist John Butt. Together they present the timeless wonders of two of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, alongside a pair of oft-overlooked cantatas that feature a wealth of masterly detail.

Don’t miss the ‘Baroque Exploratorium’ at midday, see page 4 for details. 10

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Ricardo Alcaide

Sir Nicholas Kenyon joins John Butt and Tom Service on stage for a live interval talk.

Two feisty modern-day sopranos, aided by one of the rising-star conductors in the Baroque opera world, take on the roles of the great rival divas of Handel's London operas of the 1720s, Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni. So notorious was their competition that a play was written about them, and even Handel's best attempts to provide them with precisely equal parts could not prevent their animosity boiling over into a fight on stage! The programme includes overtures, arias and duets from Handel's Ottone, Flavio, Alessandro, Admeto, Riccardo Primo and Siroe, Hasse's Cleofide, Porpora's Polifemo and Gay's The Beggar's Opera, as well as lively readings from contemporary letters, newspapers and other literary sources.

John Butt director/harpsichord Soloists of the orchestra of the Age of enlightenment and Choir of the enlightenment

Christina Raphaelle

Christian Curnyn conductor and harpsichord eleanor dennis & mhairi Lawson sopranos Christopher Benjamin actor

Don’t miss our series of fascinating talks, see Page 3 for details. Book now www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

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WedneSdAY 27 mARCH − 7.30Pm

Radio 3 Live in Concert Mahan Esfahani plays Bach's Goldberg Variations

THURSdAY 28 mARCH − 7.30Pm

Radio 3 Live in Concert The Harp Consort— El Arte de Fantasia

J S Bach The Goldberg Variations

Andrew Lawrence King director

mahan esfahani harpsichord

Experience the Spanish golden age in all its cosmopolitan variety and stylistic diversity. From popular dances and Spanish villancicos to French chansons and high-art fantasías or tientos, this is an explorer’s guide to Hispanic baroque music. The Harp Consort is an ensemble that excels at improvisation within the distinct styles of baroque, renaissance and medieval music, bringing together diverse solo instruments – harp, lutes, keyboards, strings – and voices, to create colourful new combinations in the fashion of the day.

One of the most exciting young musicians to emerge from the BBC’s ‘New Generation Artist’ scheme, Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani has already established a formidable international reputation for the depth and sensitivity of his playing. An appearance at the 2012 BBC Proms confirmed Esfahani’s extravagant promise and we’re thrilled that he is part of our Bristol Baroque Festival to talk about and perform Bach’s relentlessly intricate Goldberg Variations, a true landmark of Baroque keyboard music.

‘The harpsichord comes out of hiding ... magnificent.’ The Daily Telegraph Introduced by Tom Service and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. £21(£19); £18(£16); £15(£13); £11(£9)

‘Uniquely expressive and seductive.’ Gramophone Introduced by Tom Service and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. £21(£19); £18(£16); £15(£13); £11(£9) theharpconsort.com Promoted by St George’s Bristol

mahanesfahani.com Promoted by St George’s Bristol

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Children

£21(£19); £18(£16); £15(£13); £11(£9)

Bike racks can be found at the Great George Street entrance, so why not cycle to St George’s!

By Bike

The nearest mainline railway station is Bristol Temple Meads, a twenty-five minute walk from St George’s or a short taxi ride. Bus services 8 and 9 serve the station regularly. Q

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The information given in this brochure was correct at the time of going to press. Programme subject to change.

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St George’s Bristol is equipped with a T-loop hearing system.

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St George’s welcomes concertgoers with additional needs, the venue is fully accessible from Charlotte Street. Please mention your particular needs to the Box Office when you book and all assistance will be given. Limited parking is available for Blue Badge holders, but must be reserved in advance. Toilet facilities are located in the bar and accessed by lift.

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Facilities for disabled patrons

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bbc.co.uk/orchestras/singers Promoted by St George’s Bristol

Children are welcome at all Bristol Baroque Festival events, but parents are asked to remember that concerts broadcast by the BBC may not be suitable for very young children. Babes in arms and young toddlers cannot be admitted to the auditorium for ticketed events unless otherwise stated. All children must be issued with a ticket.

By Train

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Book online 24 hours a day at stgeorgesbristol.co.uk. Booking fee: £2.50 for each transaction (irrespective of the number of tickets being booked).

St George’s Bristol is located just off Park Street in the West End of Bristol. On-street parking is metered, with the nearest car parks located on Trenchard Street, Berkeley Place, College Street, Frog Lane and Millennium Square. Visit bristol.gov.uk/carparks or ncp.co.uk for details.

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Online

By Road

Park Street is served by frequent bus services (1,8,9,40,41,54,U5,U6). Visit firstgroup.com for details of the best bus for your journey. The nearest stops B are located on Queens Road and College Green, while Bristol Bus Station is served by regional and national services and is a fifteen minute walk or short taxi ride away.

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Introduced by Tom Service and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

By Bus

All major credit cards (except American Express), Maestro, and Delta cards are accepted. There is a £1 charge for each transaction where the total spend is over £15.

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BBC Singers St James Baroque orchestra

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J S Bach Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit BWV 106 Jesu meine Freude BWV 227 St Mark Passion

The final word of our Bristol Baroque Festival must go to Bach, whose St John Passion began this celebration earlier in the month. For this finale we turn to music from another of his great devotional works, the incomplete St Mark Passion. Breathing life into the surviving elements of this piece is the BBC Singers, hailed as one of the greatest choirs in the world. Expect a vivid and dynamic performance in what is a fi tting denouement to the festival and the culmination of a week of thrilling live broadcasts from St George’s.

How to find us

C OL S TO N S T

Radio 3 Live in Concert BBC Singers — St Mark Passion

Booking Information

N A R RO W Q UAY

FRidAY 29 mARCH − 7.30Pm

T H E GR OVE Arnolfini

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The Bristol Baroque Festival at a glance These events form part of a wider BBC Radio 3 season, Baroque Spring, a season of live music, drama and comedy dedicated to shedding new light on the baroque era. For further information please visit bbc.co.uk/radio3

March Fri 8

7.30pm

Concert

La Nuova Musica — St John Passion

Fri 15

7.30pm

Concert

The Imperfect Pearl — A Baroque Music Fairytale

Sat 16

7.30pm

Concert

Bristol Bach Choir — B Minor Mass

Thu 21

1pm

Concert

Bach Cello Suites I

Sat 23

7.30pm

Concert

Splendours of Venice

Mon 25

12pm 6pm 7.30pm

Talk Talk Concert

Baroque Exploratorium Alexandra Harris Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Tues 26

11.45am 6pm 7.30pm

Talk Talk Concert

Behind the Scenes with BBC Radio 3 Paul Farley Early Opera Company — Rival Queens

Wed 27

1pm 5.15pm 6pm 7.30pm

Concert Talk Talk Concert

Bach Cello Suites II Behind the Scenes of Baroque Spring with BBC Radio 3 Ed Hollis Mahan Esfahani — Goldberg Variations

Thu 28

11.45am 6pm 7.30pm

Talk Talk Concert

Behind the Scenes with BBC Radio 3 Chloe Aridjis The Harp Consort

Talk Concert

Tessa Hadley BBC Singers — St Mark Passion

Friday 29 6pm 7.30pm

Book Now Online (24 hours) stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

In Person St George’s Bristol Box Office, Great George Street Bristol BS1 5RR

By Phone 0845 40 24 001

Box Office Open 12 noon-6pm. Monday-Saturday and from ninety minutes prior to any event start time.


Bristol Baroque Festival Brochure