Sun 5th May at 7:30pm
@ Firth Hall, Sheffield
Also appearing: Kate Kennedy, Students Of The Department Of Music
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Lyric Festival 2013: A Boy Was Born - Britten And Auden: Simon Armitage, Kate Kennedy, Students Of The Department Of Music
Benjamin Britten and poet W.H. Auden met in 1935 and quickly developed a close friendship and collaborative working relationship.
Through the General Post Office Film Unit they created short films, Britten providing music for Auden’s texts, including the iconic documentary film Night Mail.
The two young men mutually influenced each other’s work, and developed their political and artistic views alongside each other and Auden, already an established poet, admired the young composer’s ‘extraordinary musical sensitivity in relation to the English language’.
Britten’s settings of Auden poems, including the jazzy cabaret Songs and the compelling song cycle On This Island, (Britten’s first published song cycle) are performed by students from the Department of Music in this joint event with the University’s ‘A Boy Was Born’ series.
Interspersed are readings of Auden poetry by Simon Armitage, and insight into Britten and Auden’s relationship by musicologist Dr Kate Kennedy, the evening also includes the world-premiere of a new song cycle of Simon Armitage’s poems by Department of Music composers.
Image © Simon Armitage