These Days - The Manchester Peace Song Cycle
Remembrance Sunday, 10th Nov, 7.30 pm Manchester Cathedral
Performance lasts approx 1 hr 10 mins.
These Days is a beautiful piece for this special day of Remembrance. Set in Heaton Park and told through the eyes of the iconic and cherished lions ‘These Days’ takes you on a beautiful and visceral journey from sunrise to sunset sharing the tears of war and the laughter and joy of all that we value in peace time over the last 100 or so years.
In 2018, this stunning piece had its world premiere in Heaton Park and the RNCM to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Frist World war and to celebrate peace. Now, due to critical acclaim and popular demand it will be performed in Manchester Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday at 7.30 pm. Fusing music, poetry and drama, it ’ is a modern classical song cycle’ with libretto by the acclaimed Manchester poet Tony Walsh, dramaturgy and direction by Caroline Clegg, and musical direction by Thomas D Hopkinson.
From Suffragette rallies to Harold Grimshaw’s joyous gramophone concerts of Caruso to the Manchester Pals First World War army camp and the 1939 RAF base. From Pope John Paul II’s visit, to family picnics, boat rides, Oasis concerts and generations of photos by the lions. This piece is a legacy for our times and revels in the sunshine days of childhood whilst commemorating our universal quest for peace and all that we cherish across our region.
It is especially composed for solo voices and choirs by a team of outstanding women composers, all based in the north, whose combined experience covers over five decades: Nicola LeFanu (lead composer), Emily Howard, Ailis Ni Riain, Anna Appleby, Lucy Armstrong , Lizzie Gur, Lucy Hayles, Freya Ireland, Grace Mason, and Carmel Smickersgill. Sung by tenor Chris Littlewood, and Jenny Carson soprano with actor Joseph Jordan. Joining them will be Cheetwood Primary School, the Xvarian College and played by a specially commissioned chamber ensemble.
The whole piece of ten songs and narrative was gifted to the city of Manchester and accepted by the 2018 Lord Mayor, Councillor June Hitchin. The whole piece or songs can be used free of charge by schools and community groups and any monies raised will be given to the Forever Manchester charity.
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