Stravinsky & Tale librettist Ramuz

The Hallé is delighted to announce that their performance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale will be broadcast at 8pm on BBC FOUR television on Remembrance Sunday, 13 November. Filmed during lockdown as an episode of the Hallé’s digital 2020-21 season, the performance features a star cast directed by Annabel Arden, co-directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr. and conducted by Sir Mark Elder.  

Conceived to ‘be read, played, and danced’ by three actors, a dancer and seven instrumentalists, Stravinsky broke new ground with The Soldier’s Tale, establishing music-theatre as a genre. Filmed in locations both outside and inside The Bridgewater Hall, the production was widely acclaimed on its release, and proved popular with audiences around the world. The small group of performers specified by Stravinsky was necessitated by the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which ultimately prevented the piece from being toured. Its vivid music incorporates jazz and popular dances, like tango and ragtime. The story explores the archetypal Faustian myth: a soldier, on his way home from the battlefields, is persuaded to sell his precious violin to an old man in exchange for a book in which he’ll find the secret of making untold wealth. Little does the soldier know that the buyer is the Devil and that he has sold his soul. 

Hallé Chief Executive David Butcher said: ‘We’re thrilled to be working with BBC FOUR who are broadcasting our film of The Soldier’s Tale by Stravinsky.  Produced in locations around our home at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester during lockdown, this was an ambitious project creating a company of actors and musicians in an imaginative re-working of Stravinsky’s masterpiece, directed by Annabel Arden and Femi Elufowoju Jr.’ 

Stravinsky – The Soldier’s Tale 


Sir Mark Elder 

Featuring:                                                                    Hallé Musicians: 

Annabel Arden – Director                                               Peter Liang – Leader/Violin 

Femi Elufowoju Jr. – Co Director                                    Billy Cole – Double Bass 

Dominic Best – Film Director                                          Sergio Castelló López – Clarinet 

Gemma Dixon – Film Producer                                      Emily Hultmark – Bassoon 

George Johnson-Leigh – Designer                                Gareth Small – Trumpet 

Richard Katz – Narrator                                                 Katy Jones – Trombone 

Martins Imhangbe – Soldier                                           David Hext – Percussion 

Mark Lockyer – Devil 

Faith Prendergast – Princess