Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Brighton Early Music Festival 2012 – Early Music with a distinctive Brighton twist

Today we hand over to a guest blogger - Cathy Boyes is the new Festival Producer for the Brighton Early Music Festival...

This year is my first as Festival Producer for Brighton Early Music Festival and I’m feeling at this stage slightly overwhelmed (as well as overexcited) by all the fantastic acts that have played at the Festival over the past ten years (this year is our 10th birthday) and hoping my organisational skills are up to the challenge. By this stage we are juggling press interviews, volunteer and van lists, music printing, rehearsal logistics and much more - with almost 300 performers taking part, that’s a lot of rehearsal cups of tea!

BREMF is a million miles away from an early music festival for aficionados only, and is known for the vibrant and often eclectic take it brings to its performances. This year is no different with costumed nuns, a celebration of medieval food, and a recreation of the most extravagant Medici wedding involving aerial dancers.

If you’ve never heard ‘early music’ before (music written before about 1800) then there are some great opportunities to try it out in BREMF 2012.

The first of these is a completely FREE event which is part of Autumn Lates and a follow on from last year’s BREMF @ White Night – five ensembles performing in St Bart’s Church on Saturday 27th October. For this event we strip all the chairs out of the church and light it atmospherically, with the audience free to move around and come and go as they please. Several of the groups are collaborating with dancers, actors, shadow puppeteers and film artists so this should be a really special evening.

We were so bowled over by two of the groups who played at BREMF @ White Night last year that we’ve invited them back to give their own concert – a sort of White Night 2 on 1st November in St Mary’s Rock Gardens. This will also feature atmospheric lighting and an informal vibe with the musicians introducing the pieces from the stage.

And BREMF wouldn’t be BREMF without a major spectacle – and what could be better than seeing aerial dancers running down the walls of St Bart’s Church (the highest nave in England) as we recreate one of the most spectacular weddings of all time! Ferdinando Medici married Christine of Lorraine in 1589 and the entertainment provided was a set of “intermedi” featuring nymphs, sorcerers and a whole host of classical gods – not to mention a serpent and a couple of dolphins. This is going to be something else!

So if you thought early music was boring maybe BREMF 2012 is the time to think again!

Cathy Boyes, Festival Producer

Concert Listings 
  • Journeys Through Europe: BREMF @ Autumn Lates – Saturday 27th October, 8.30pm & 10.30pm St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann St, Brighton BN1 4GP FREE event – no ticket needed. Come and go as you please (until 12am).
  • Follow the Tide: Young Artists @ BREMF – Thursday 1st November, 8pm St Mary’s Church, Rock Gardens, Brighton BN2 1PR Tickets £12 (£10 conc) from www.bremf.org.uk or 01273 709709
  • The 1589 Florentine Intermedi - Saturday 3rd November, 9pm St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann St, Brighton BN1 4GP Tickets from £12 (£10 conc) from www.bremf.org.uk or 01273 709709

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