Two-time Olivier Award and Golden Globe Winner Ruth Wilson will narrate the world premiere performance of Iain Bell’s Beowulf. The performance will take place at the Barbican Hall, London on Friday 17 March 2023, 7.30pm and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 18 April 2023.
Iain Bell has created a thrilling new choral retelling of the epic ancient poem that tells the tale of the warrior Beowulf preparing to battle a bloodthirsty monster. The concert will be conducted by Martyn Brabbins, who leads tenor soloist Stuart Skelton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Ruth Wilson says: “It is rare that artists from different fields get to collaborate on such a scale, on such a story, so I am utterly thrilled to be part of this epic rendition of Beowulf. Iain Bell is the master of uniting voice and instrument and by combining a 200 hundred piece choir and orchestra, with sung and spoken word he has created a truly wild, elemental and mythic Beowulf. It is a great privilege for me to work alongside the wondrous talents of Iain, Stuart Skelton, Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.”
Iain Bell says: “Myth has long been a source of creative inspiration to me, and I’ve felt drawn to the elemental world of Beowulf for years. The prospect of two such electrifying, world-class story-tellers as Ruth Wilson and Stuart Skelton breathing life into this musical adventure is beyond thrilling, and to have the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus weaving their technicolour tapestry throughout is a dream come true. The scope of the legend itself is an embodiment of the phrase ‘go big or go home’, and I don’t believe we could have gone any bigger with the quality of all the performers involved.”
The work is 45-minutes long and was commissioned by BBC Radio 3, and will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 18 April (time TBC).
Also programmed for the concert is Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Job.