Guildhall School of Music & Drama is pleased to share its programme of events for spring 2022 including concerts, plays, opera, jazz and ResearchWorks talks on offer for the public to enjoy. Some events will be subsequently broadcast online via the School’s website.

Highlights:

  • Guildhall Artists perform in a bi-annual showcase at Carnegie Hall, New York
  • An opera double-bill of Judith Weir’s Miss Fortune and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone
  • Four varied pieces of theatre including Guildhall School’s first musical since 2019 (Road, Pilgrims, Intimate Apparel and Urinetown, The Musical)
  • Three concerts in collaboration with the BBC for its latest Total Immersion
  • Guildhall Studio Orchestra host concerts celebrating Motown and the Great American Songbook
  • Guildhall Big Band features special guests: Tony Kofi joins for a concert featuring repertoire from Duke Ellington’s legendary 1940’s Carnegie Hall concert, and Colin Skinner joins for Benny Carter’s Kansas City Suite
  • Top artists Roderick Williams, Kate Royal and Malcolm Martineau give masterclasses to students

Music

Guildhall Artists at Carnegie Hall, 6pm, 14 & 18 January, Milton Court Concert Hall & Carnegie Hall

In this bi-annual showcase, mezzo soprano Alexandra Pouta, pianist Élisabeth Pion and clarinettist Marian Bozhidarov will perform two concerts of works by Lili Boulanger, Debussy, Messiaen and Jacques Brel – one concert taking place in London, and the other in New York.

A recording of the concert at Milton Court will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Guildhall String Ensemble: 21 January, 7pm, Milton Court Concert Hall

András Keller was appointed Béla Bartók International Chair in recognition of his world-class performing career and services to music in 2018; in January he directs  Guildhall String Ensemble in an exciting programme of music composed for strings. From Germany to Hungary, this concert includes Bartók’s Divertimento for String Orchestra, Mahler’s arrangement of Beethoven’s String Quartet in F minor and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht.

A recording of this concert will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra with Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas: 17 March, 7:30pm, Barbican Hall

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra returns to the Barbican Hall to perform a programme of works including Ravel’s Scheherazade, Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy. The soloist for Scherezade is mezzo soprano Laura Fleur, a student of Guildhall School’s Opera course who was previously a Leeds Lieder Festival Young Artist (2019) and a Garsington Alvarez Young Artist (2020).

A recording of this concert will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Guildhall Studio Orchestra: The Great American Songbook: 23 March, 7pm, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Studio Orchestra and the Songbook Company, conducted by Malcolm Edmonstone, present a tribute to the composers and arrangers responsible for creating the Great American Songbook – an immortalising collection of the most influential American popular song, musical theatre and jazz standards of the early 20th century. Musically directed by Samantha Malk and Jonathan Jarvis.

A recording of this concert will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Masterclasses

Multiple prestigious artists visit Guildhall School this spring to give masterclasses to students. These include Malcolm Martineau (piano accompaniment, 1 February), Roderick Williams (voice, 21 February) and Kate Royal (voice, 23 February).

BBC Total Immersion Days

Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time, 23 January, 3:30pm & 7:30pm

Guildhall students collaborate with BBC musicians on two concerts for a Total Immersion Day centred on the music written amid the hopelessness of prison and concentration camps. The BBC Singers will join Guildhall students in a performance including Gideon Klein’s Folk Songs for Male Chorus, Jewish songs and cabaret songs written in Theresienstadt concentration camp, Klein’s String Trio, and Song Without Words for String Quartet composed by Frantisek Domazlitsky, a survivor of Theresienstadt (23 January, 3:30pm).

This is followed by an evening concert where the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform Viktor Ullman’s Der Kaiser of Atlantis, a one-act political satire opera in which Death goes on strike, thwarting the emperor’s plans to maintain his power through endless war. Written in Theresienstadt, the original saw concentration camp inmates perform, using whatever instruments were at hand. Guildhall students then perform Oliver Messiaen’s Music for the End of Time, which was also written in a labour camp. Described as ‘an intimate expression of awe, a prophetic collective scream and a delirious dance all at once’, its closing eulogy expresses the ascent of humankind to paradise (23 January, 7:30pm)

Total Immersion: Frank ZappaThe Yellow Shark, 19 March, 2:30pm, Milton Court Concert Hall

The BBC Symphony Orchestra will take a deep dive into the diverse musical worlds of Frank Zappa – one of the 20th century’s most idiosyncratic musicians. This BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion Day, led by conductor Brad Lubman, will include a concert by

Guildhall students, paying homage to Frank Zappa’s iconic last album The Yellow Shark, harvested from his appearance at the 1992 Frankfurt Festival. This performance will focus on works that rhapsodize on Zappa’s intense, disciplined interest in classical counterpoint as well as music by the composer’s beloved Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky and Anton Webern to provide essential context.

Opera 

Opera Double Bill: 28 February, 2, 4 and 7 March, 7pm, Silk Street Theatre

Miss Fortune

by Judith Weir

The Telephone

by Gian Carlo Menotti

Commissioned by Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera House and premiered in 2011, Miss Fortune is a contemporary re-telling of a Sicilian folk story. Judith Weir’s opera is a story about Tina and how her life dramatically changes course overnight; it is a story about fate and fortune. The double bill will conclude with Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone. Written specifically for performance on American television in 1947, The Telephone is a romantic comedy in one act, written for just two singers and a hand-picked chamber ensemble of instrumentalists. The performance will be conducted by Dominic Wheeler, directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans and designed by Anna Reid.

Two recordings of this Opera Double Bill, featuring each cast, will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Opera Scenes: 24, 25, 28, 29 March, Milton Court Studio Theatre

Directed by Rodula Gaitanou, outstanding singers and repetiteurs from the first year of the Guildhall School’s Opera course perform classical and contemporary operatic excerpts with piano accompaniment. 

A recording of this production will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Jazz

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra: Paul Klee Suite, 3 February, 7pm, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra and its director Scott Stroman perform Jim McNeely’s Paul Klee Suite plus music by Bob Brookmeyer. Originally written for the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and inspired by the paintings of Klee, the Paul Klee Suite stands for McNeely’s open-mindedness and receptiveness to other art forms. This endlessly fascinating work also reveals some of Klee’s ‘musical background, his own concern with polyphony and rhythm in his work’.  

Guildhall Big Band with Tony Kofi: 18 February, 7pm, Silk Street Music Hall

Guildhall Big Band and their director, Matt Skelton, are joined by special guest, British Jazz multi-instrumentalist Tony Kofi, to celebrate the legacy of baritone saxophone player Harry Carney who spent over four decades as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Renowned saxophonist Tony Kofi joins the band on the baritone-sax chair in a performance featuring repertoire from Duke Ellington’s legendary 194o’s Carnegie Hall concert.

Guildhall Big Band – Benny Carter’s Kansas City Suite: 25 March, 7pm, Silk Street Music Hall

The Kansas City of the ’20s and 30s is now a place of legend. The music that saw its beginnings there developed and moved into the mainstream of jazz, taking with it the likes of Walter Page, Benny Moten, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Andy Kirk, and Coleman Hawkins to name a few. It reached its full maturity and greatness in the music of Benny Carter, and the great Basie band. In this performance featuring alto saxophonist Colin Skinner and directed by Matt Skelton, the Guildhall Big Band perform Benny Carter’s Kansas City Suite. Originally recorded for an album by Count Basie and his Orchestra in 1960, the music is the pinnacle of the Kansas City sound.

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra with Nikki Iles: 29 March, 7pm, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra and director Scott Stroman are joined by composer, pianist and Guildhall Jazz professor Nikki Iles as guest director for a concert featuring Iles’ arrangements and compositions for big band. Nikki is Professor of Jazz Piano at Guildhall School, the Royal Academy of Music and Middlesex University as well as giving masterclasses around the world. In 2020 Iles won the Seattle Jazz Orchestra Composition Prize, plus The US based International Society of Jazz Composers and Arrangers Best Performance. 

A recording of this concert will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Drama

Intimate Apparel: 9 performances from 4 February, Milton Court Studio Theatre  

1905, New York. Seamstress Esther has lived in her boarding house for 18 long years.  Other girls arrive, marry and then move on but Esther remains, crafting beautiful, delicate garments for women to wear on their wedding nights. But everything changes when letters begin to arrive from George, could they hold the key to Esther’s last chance at happiness and the life she’s always dreamed of? Named as one of the 40 Best Plays of All Time (Independent), Pulitzer prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s moving, play explores the extraordinary history of the playwright’s great-grandmother, and the search for hope in the face of hardship. Actor, director and Guildhall School Equality & Wellbeing Associate Mumba Dodwell directs.   

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd. 

A recording of Intimate Apparel will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Road: 9 performances from 7 February, Milton Court Studio Theatre   

Set in 1980s Britain; Road explores the lives of the inhabitants of an unnamed street in a small Lancashire town. Unemployment is high, an unpopular leader is re-elected and the country is recovering from a recession. But tonight, there’s a party to go to. Poignant, funny and poetic, Jim Cartwright’s Road is a portrayal of ordinary people’s lives set against the backdrop of a nation divided. Paul Foster directs this production of Road.

Presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd.

A recording of Road will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Pilgrims: 7 performances from 25 March, Silk Street Theatre

With Everest already conquered aged 18, Dan and Will’s latest challenge is a peak that’s never been scaled. As well as their struggles during the adrenaline-fuelled climb – one pulling back, the other pushing on – they also both love Rachel. But Rachel isn’t interested in waiting on the side-lines or being a character in someone else’s story, she’s out to make her own. Can love conquer ambition? And whose story will ultimately be remembered? Georgia Green directs this fast-paced play about falling in love, betrayal and adventure by Elinor Cook, winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2013.

A recording of Pilgrims will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.


Musical Theatre

Urinetown, The Musical: 8 performances from 14 February, Milton Court Theatre

A twenty-year drought and chronic water shortage. Public toilets privatised in a government attempt to control water consumption. Urinetown: a tale of greed, corruption and revolution of the people. Winner of three Tony Awards, Urinetown, The Musical explores the effects on a community in a parallel universe when water is worth its weight in gold.  Expect laugh-out-loud comedy, beautiful songs and a truly original tale. Award-winning Guildhall School alumnus Ashley Zhangazha directs this ‘sharp, smart, funny’ musical (Telegraph). 

A recording of Urinetown: The Musical will be available to watch online for free. Broadcast dates to be announced.

Guildhall Live Events

Into the Light at Love Light Norwich

17–19 February

Inspired by themes of growth and development, new beginnings and looking to the future after the challenges of a national lockdown, experience Into the Light, a stunning video and light installation projected onto the ceiling of The Forum, a unique space in the heart of Norwich, as part of Love Light Norwich festival. Expect spectacular geometric animations, fascinating evolving patterns and shapes, vibrant colours and an upbeat, specially commissioned sound track.

Created by Guildhall Live Events, this work is a collaboration between students on the Video Design for Live Performance and Electronic & Produced Music programmes at Guildhall School, as well as students studying Events Management and Production at City College Norwich.

Love Light Norwich is a free festival taking place across two nights, with magical experiences in the streets of Norwich through light, fire, collaborative exhibitions, music, and much-loved landmarks transformed into vibrant artworks.

REAL TALK with Paula Varjack, online

Paula Varjack‘s acclaimed digital conversation series REAL TALK returns by popular demand in spring 2022. Join Paula and a stellar line-up of guests from across the spectrum of artistic disciplines as they bring fresh and frank insight to some of the most pressing subjects affecting early-career artists in the UK today. Previous guests include Travis AlabanzaStacy MakishiSelina Thompson and The White Pube, with the spring season’s guests to be announced in early 2022.

REAL TALK events take place online and are free to attend, no booking required.

ResearchWorks, online

Research at Guildhall School explores fundamental questions about the creative arts. It embraces a wide range of disciplines within music and drama including composition, performance, pedagogy, institution studies, historical musicology, music and literature studies, cultural history, electronic music, creative writing and music therapy. Throughout the year, the department runs a regular series of online ResearchWorks events that are open to all. Topics this term include Learning from Early Recordings: a new research network (7 March, 6pm), The Invisible Audience (14 March, 6pm), and The Brahms-Schumann Circle: Performance Practice and Style (21 March, 6pm), with more to be announced.

ResearchWorks events take place online and are free to book. Advance booking required

Tickets and more information
For more information on Guildhall School’s autumn season and to book tickets, visit gsmd.ac.uk/spring2022 
 

Priority booking for Guildhall School members: Monday 29 November, 10am
Public booking: Monday 6 December, 10am