Beowulf Diary, 30 October 2017, Final post, future thoughts

It is with sadness that I came to the end of the Beowulf project. As a musician, it is always such a privilege to be part of the creation of something new, and to nurture it as it begins its fragile journey into the world.

To spend a week in the company of such incredible professional musicians and almost 1000 young people from different AC Academy projects, building and rebuilding the performances on each of the four days, was a tremendous privilege and one I will never forget. 

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Beowulf Diary, 14 September 2017, Mark Williams joins the cast

We are thrilled to announce that Mark Williams, better known for his roles as Mr Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, Doctor Who and Father Brown for BBC TV, will be our special guest narrator in the forthcoming tour of Toby Young’s epic musical tale, Beowulf.

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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

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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