Brighton Festival 2020Public booking opens: Wed 19 Feb, 9am

New London Consort: The Tempest in Musick

Join us to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and years of diverse and imaginative adaptations of his most magical masterpiece.

One of the world's leading early music ensembles, the versatile New London Consort explores a uniquely wide and colourful repertoire of Renaissance and Baroque music. The principal artists, all established soloists in their own right, share a rare unanimity of purpose and style, resulting in the New London Consort's undisputed reputation for artistry, flair and virtuosity. Preparations have been underway for their Brighton Festival performance of Music for The Tempest which premiered at Cité de la Musique in Paris on 2 April 2014.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest has been adapted numerous times and lends itself to artists as inspiration, who frequently forge it in new styles and formats: in music, at least 46 operas by composers such as Halévy, Fibich and Adès; orchestral works by Tchaikovsky, Sullivan and Honegger; and songs by such diverse artists as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Michael Nyman and Pete Seeger; in literature, Shelley's poem With a Guitar, To Jane and W. H. Auden's The Sea and the Mirror; novels by Césaire and The Diviners by Margaret Laurence; in paintings by Hogarth, Fuseli, and Millais; and on screen, ranging through a hand-tinted version of Herbert Beerbohm Tree's 1905 stage performance, the science fiction film Forbidden Planet in 1956, Peter Greenaway's 1991 Prospero's Books featuring John Gielgud as Prospero, to Julie Taymor's 2010 film version which changed Prospero to Prospera, played by Helen Mirren.

Now, the New London Consort present all the music written for the 17th- and early 18th-century revivals of the play, creating a dramatic collage of enchanting symphonies, songs, choruses and dances, including daring instrumental music by Locke, Draghi's evocative character dances, contrasting versions of Ariel's songs, Purcell's 'Dear pretty youth' and the exquisite Masques of Devils and of Neptune & Amphitrite by Humfrey and Weldon.

Revelling in the power of nature and the supernatural, an ensemble of 11 singers and a colourful late-Restoration theatre band evoke the exuberance of London's playhouses around 1700. Take a musical voyage into the sound-world of the Restoration theatre with The Tempest in Musick.

Listen to the ravishing and seductive echo song – which features Ferdinand and Ariel

Listen to The Tempest on the France-Musique website (available for streaming until the end of the month) here.

A beautiful and evocative picture which will be projected behind the orchestra during the performance. The designer Cam Pickering is only 18 and already promised to a great career, whether as an artist, musician and/or DJ. 

Get your ticket for the UK premiere of The Tempest in Musick here.