Beowulf Diary, 21 July 2017, Christopher Monks, conductor

Beowulf Diary, 21 July 2017, Christopher Monks, conductor

About two years ago the soprano Elin Manahan Thomas came to me having just worked on another project elsewhere with our composer in residence, Toby Young.  She, like I was really taken by his music and his ability to work proactively and inspiringly with the musicians he was writing for. Elin convinced me that the epic story of Beowulf was the right starting point for a collaboration.

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Tony Hadley at Oz & Armonico

Tony Hadley at Oz & Armonico

We’ve just returned from our summer festivals tour of Oz & Armonico Drink to Music which included the privilege of being artists-in-residence at Harrogate Festival and a trip to beautiful Buxton. Our final concert before the summer break was at Lichfield Festival where we found we had a surprise visitor: the Spandau Ballet and I’m A Celebrity star, Tony Hadley, was at the Swinfen Hall Hotel event having recently become a patron of the Lichfield Festival. He thoroughly enjoyed the evening of music, wine and anecdotes.

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Beowulf Diary, 4 July 2017, Toby Young, composer

The oldest surviving poem in Old English, Beowulf is a fantasy saga which has inspired countless retellings of the myth, including Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Armonico Consort’s composer-in-residence Toby Young, who has previously worked with the likes of Duran Duran and The Rolling Stones, has set this touching epic drama to music.

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