Headingley LitFest in partnership with Leeds Lieder+ presents GreatSongs - Great Poets
Three classically trained singers, recent graduates from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, will perform in the Shire Oak Room of the Headingley Heart Centre at 7.30pm on Saturday 17 October, in an evening highlighting the great
poetry which inspired some great composers.
The event has been organised by Jonathan Fisher, staff pianist at the RNCM and pianist-in-residence at the University of Huddersfield, and LitFest Secretary Richard Wilcocks. It is dedicated to the memory of Headingley resident Jane Anthony, founder of Leeds Lieder+, who died last year.
Baritone James Berry will be singing settings of poems by Walt Whitman and Shakespeare, mezzo-soprano Hollie-Anne Bangham will be singing a set of fivesongs in German based on letters written by Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots) withmusic by Schumann, and soprano Kimberley Raw will deliver a song cycle by Benjamin Britten on poetry taken from Auden's Look, Stranger!
Composer Ned Rorem took the texts for his fiveWar Scenes fromSpecimen Days, a memoir of his time as a Civil War nurse by Walt Whitman (pictured) and dedicated them to "...those who died in Vietnam, both sides, during the composition 20 - 30 June 1969".
Mary Stuart's letters seem to have been well-known all over Europe in the nineteenth century. Robert Schumann read them in German and based his Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart on the ones which most moved him. You will hear extracts from them read in English as well.
A couple of the Cabaret Songs created in the 1930s by Benjamin Britten and W H Auden (pictured) are in the programme for the evening - Britten's treatment of Funeral Blues ("Stop all the clocks... ") has been described as a forewarning of the dark world of the Second World War, but the harmonic, jazz-influenced soundscapes he provided for Look, Stranger! are very different.
Headingley Library North Lane Headingley Leeds LS6 3HG
Iby Knill survived the Holocaust after helping the Resistance in Hungary, being caught and tortured and transported to Auschwitz. She did not speak of these experiences for more than half a century.
Now, after her husband’s death and at the age of 91 she feels the need to explore how we might stop the continuing murder and genocide that are still happening. Her book, The Woman Without A Number, is a testament to resilience and courage. Come and hear Iby, a most remarkable woman, tell her story.
"Perhaps I survived to bear witness, to talk to you, to build bridges between people. What have I learned? What do I know? I know that human cruelty knows no bounds". (Iby Knill)
A telling of Iby’s story will be followed by discussion of what society needs to change.
This event is a partnership between the LifFest and the new Headingley Festival of Ideas.