The 70th Aldeburgh Festival takes place from 9 – 25 June 2017. One of the strands of programming will be a celebration of Snape Maltings and its 50th anniversary of the Concert Hall which opened in 1967.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The 2017 festival opens on Friday 9 June with a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed and designed by Netia Jones. In 1967 seven years after its premiere, Britten chose his new opera to open the Snape Maltings Concert Hall which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. Conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth the cast features internationally renowned singers including Iestyn Davies (Oberon), Sophie Bevan (Tytania), Clive Bayley (Theseus), Matthew Rose (Bottom) and Andrew Shore (Quince). Netia Jones returns to Aldeburgh to bring to life this captivating tale of lovers, rustics and fairies with four performances on 9, 11, 12 and 14 June.
Olga Neuwirth and Jörg Widmann are two of the featured composers in the 2017 festival. Despite being born only five years apart in 1968 in Austria and 1973 in Germany respectively, they have chosen contrasting compositional directions. Neuwirth’s output remains influenced by the composer Luigi Nono’s radical politics and includes film and stage work, as well as much music which requires electro-acoustic treatment. Widmann has chosen to work more regularly with standard classical ensembles and instruments, although they both share an extraordinary imagination which produces music of great colour and playfulness. Highlights at the festival include Olga Neuwirth’s Maudite soit la guerre – A Film Music War Requiem. One of the first anti-war films in history, Maudite soit la Guerre, was made in 1914 shortly before the First World War. In 2013 Neuwirth wrote a score to the silent movie which will receive its UK premiere by the London Sinfonietta under the baton of Gerry Cornelius on 10 June. Widmann’s Viola Concerto also receives its UK premiere by the work’s dedicatee Antoine Tamestit with the CBSO and its new Music Director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla. Tamestit describes the work as, ‘a unique audience experience’ including inventive playing techniques such as the imitation of a sitar, percussive use of the viola’s body and the soloists having a theatrical role.
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla
The CBSO’s newly appointed Music Director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla makes her Aldeburgh debut with two concerts. On 17 June, Gražinyt?-Tyla and the CBSO raise an anniversary toast to Snape Maltings with the overture Britten wrote for the concert hall’s opening night – The Building of the House. This is set alongside two Beethoven masterpieces: his Leonore Overture and Symphony No. 5 and the UK premiere of Widmann’s Viola Concerto. On 18 June Gražinyt?-Tyla and the CBSO perform Stravinsky’s Petrushka.
Snape Maltings – its past, present and future
There are ambitious plans for further development of the site over the next 5-10 years, including redeveloping further derelict maltings buildings in order to expand the creative campus and the organisation’s artist development, learning and inclusion programmes, which run throughout the year. The masterplan for the site development will be unveiled in June 2017 as the Concert Hall’s 50th anniversary is celebrated. The unifying of the site has begun and will now be known by the single name Snape Maltings with a new logo and brand inspired by reedbeds that extend from the site far into the Alde Estuary. The existing Aldeburgh Music and Snape Maltings websites have been replaced by a new, unified Snape Maltings website (www.snapemaltings.co.uk) which showcases all aspects of the site – its music and arts offering alongside its natural environment and shops.
Full programme to be announced on Wednesday 11 January
Priority booking will open from 11 January
General booking will open on 14 February