The recording for Chris Weeks' Concerto for Violin and Chamber Ensemble is now 'in the can! Three busy days at the start of November saw us rehearse and record the concerto at the historic and picturesque St Michael's and All Saints Church in Lower Machen. Hopefully the recording will be available early in 2024...
Unfortunately, March's planned concert programme of film music has had to be postponed, due to the Harlequin Theatre currently being closed indefinitely. Instead, we will perform an exciting programme of late romantic classics - the orchestral version of Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, Richard Strauss' wonderfully lyrical Oboe Concerto, and Sibelius' First Symphony.
Green Octopus Band
The first mention of a new project that I hope will take shape during 2024. A small, crossover ensemble which will be recording original music by myself, as well as putting on some concerts of existing 20th Century Classics. Watch this space...
Swansea City Opera's 2023 tour of Shoulder to Shoulder is getting closer....
Here's a glimpse of what to expect.
July 2023. A date has now been set for the full recording of Christopher Weeks' Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra - Saturday 4th November. A workshop performance has been pencilled in for the evening of Friday 3rd November, though details are still to be confirmed.
The first public performance of the work will be given early in 2024; again details have yet to be finalised, though the concert programme will also feature Mozart's concerto for Flute and Harp, Gerald Finzi's Romance for String Orchestra, Opus 11 and Beethoven's sprightly First Symphony.
The soloist for the Violin Concerto is Robert Atchison, to whom the work is dedicated. Composed in three movements, the tantalising movement titles are 'ab initio', 'grimoire' and 'serenade: nocturne: alba'.
March 2023. Dates for the second mini-tour of Swansea City Opera's new opera have just been confirmed. A total of seven extra performances will take place across Wales, with me at the helm for six of them. Full details can be found on the Diary page of this website, or at www.swanseacityopera.com .
Ensemble Eos. Sadly, the world premiere of the Christopher Weeks Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra has had to be postponed. The new date will be confirmed as soon as possible.
December 2022. Ensemble Eos with Robert Atchison gave the world premier of Serenade: Nocturne: Alba - part of Chrisopher Weeks' concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra - back in April (2022). Chris has now finished writing the concerto, and the first complete performance will be given in April 2023, with Robert Atchison again as soloist (and me conducting). An informal performance on April 28th will be followed by a more formal one on the 29th, in a concert also to include works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.
Also this month, rumours have started circulating that Swansea City Opera's new opera-cum-musical about Men's Sheds may be returning for more performances in autumn 2023 (details tbc). If you would like to sample the flavour of the show, then check out https://www.dropbox.com/s/lqmge81fsmngkue/PROMO_2.mp4?dl=0 or - for a shorter excerpt - try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJJuHZUB9wY .
July 2022. A long associate with Swansea City Opera will continue this autumn; John has just been engaged to conduct the first performances of a new opera called Shoulder to Shoulder.
Backed by a grant from the Arts Council of Wales, the opera is centred around - and created in association with - the organisation Men's Sheds Cymru, which provides supportive, welcoming spaces for socially disadvantaged men (and women). At the various 'sheds', they can make new friends and develop new skills in a mutually supportive environment
The opera features a brand new libretto by Brendan Wheatley, which reflects both the struggles that members have encountered, as well as conveying the strength and humour with which they have confronted their life situations. An attractive and imaginative score composed by Lenny Sayers will be performed by professional soloists and local community choruses, accompanied by a professional instrumental ensemble.
Further information about the Shoulder to Shoulder project can be found at www.swanseacityopera.com/productions/shoulder-to-shoulder
June 2022. Every so often, Redhill Sinfonia like to have a day when they play through some epic repertoire that they might not otherwise programme for a concert. The next such event is planned for 7th January 2023, and the orchestra have just confirmed the repertoire that will be tackled: Respighi's The Pines of Rome and the suite from Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier.
The event is open to non-members. Details can be found at www.redhillsinfonia.org.uk where the contact form can be used to express an interest in taking part.
August 2021 Ensemble Eos' recording of What the Angel Said... by Christopher Weeks is finally available on the disc "Silver Apples of the Moon", and can also be experienced on Youtube - click the link below.