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16 hours 57 min ago

The Canticles (2002)

By Benjamin Britten
In co-production with Tête à Tête Opera Festival
World Premiere staging at Westminster Abbey (May 2002)

Streetwise Opera’s inaugural production starred participants from our workshop programmes in four London homeless centres alongside professional opera singers. The project blended Streetwise Opera’s unique experience of working with the homeless with Tête à Tête’s extraordinarily high standard of musical and dramatic presentation.

‘It’s dangerous to use the word ‘unique’ about anything at Westminster Abbey. This great place has seen most things in life. But we do believe that Streetwise Opera’s performance of Britten’s Canticles, with a cast of homeless people, is a particularly special event. The Dean and Chapter has been fascinated by this project since it was first raised with us and we look forward to the performances with pleasure and enthusiasm.’ The Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr Dean of Westminster
 

'Truly awe-inspiring. Cynics detecting political correctness in overdrive would have felt satisfied if the results were makeshift and amateurish, but the opposite was true. Musically the performances were superb.'

The Times
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The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

'Beyond moving... The arts have this magical power to bring us closer together through our own creativity and through our responses to that of others. This event proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I doubt whether the performers or anyone else present will ever forget this inspired and inspiring occasion.'
 

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Opera

'Every performer and director – for there were many – should be proud: a witty, brave, imaginative evening.'
 

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Independent on Sunday

'I could sing a hundred praises of this superb stage premiere, yet still undersell it. This was peripatetic drama at its best: powerful, involving, sympathetic, touching, inspiring.'
 

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The Independent

'Truly awe-inspiring. Cynics detecting political correctness in overdrive would have felt satisfied if the results were makeshift and amateurish, but the opposite was true. Musically the performances were superb.'

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The Times

'Proof that it is worth investing in the arts because they can improve people’s lives, at ground level, where it’s needed.'
 

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The Guardian
The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

Dan Norman – Tenor
Simon Baker – Countertenor
James Bowman – Countertenor (Voice of God) .
Ian Partridge (Voice of God)
Tom Guthrie – Baritone
Alice Trentham – Harp
Evgeny Chebykin – French Horn
Tim Blowfield – Dancer
Dominic Harlan – Pianist, Music Director
Bill Bankes-Jones – Director
Matthew Peacock – Producer
JJ - Project Co-ordinator
Carrie Southall – Designer
Tom Albu – Production Manager
Mark Doubleday – Lighting Designer
Marius Ronning – Stage manager
Lucy Khan – Wardrobe
Terry Doyle – Production Assistant
Una Murphy, Nicole Proia, Claire Parry-Jones, Nina Brazier, Jemma Gardner – Assistant Directors
 

The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

'Truly awe-inspiring. Cynics detecting political correctness in overdrive would have felt satisfied if the results were makeshift and amateurish, but the opposite was true. Musically the performances were superb.'

The Times
starstarstarstarstar
The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002

The Canticles at Westminster Abbey, 2002