It's just over a week now until 160 musicians from Music for Everyone gather on the stage of the Albert Hall in Nottingham to perform Benjamin Britten's opera Noye's Fludde. The past few weeks have been a very odd mix of leading workshops with kids doing animal impressions whilst singing 'Kyrie eleision', to checking the relative pitch of different cups and enquiring about wind machines.
Stephen Godward as Noye and Joan Self as Mrs Noye are an incredible force on stage and have been a hoot to rehearse with - as have the three sons and their wives, an impressive example of great young singing talent here in Nottingham.
There is a real sense of buzz about this particular project which has been in the pipeline since last September. We were thrilled to be awarded Arts Council funding for the project which has given us the opportunity to go the extra mile in making the performance a night to remember.
Tomorrow will bring together the principal cast members with the 100 or so children playing the animals in a day of singing, acting and crafting. With the help of local creative Steve Stickley, the children will be making their own headsets which they will be wearing as part of the performance.
It's be an enormous undertaking but promises to be a fantastic show! You can book tickets online or via the Music for Everyone Box Office - 0115 958 9312
You will have no doubt heard if you are a twitterer that I am MDing the upcoming co-produced Sweeney Todd with New Street Theatre Company and Lakeside Arts Centre. It's shaping up to be a terrific production, directed by Martin Berry and designed by Lucy Bignell.
Open auditions are taking place on the 16th and 17th of March at Lakeside to discover the cast to bring this thrilling new production to life.
To register your interest or book your audition slot please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with Sweeney Todd Auditions as your email subject.
Saturday 16th March 12 noon - 5pm
Sunday 17th March 12 noon – 5pm
Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RDhttp://www.lakesidearts.org.uk/About-Us/Directions-and-Parking.html
Click attending and find out more information!
As I type, World Event Young Artists is in full swing across Nottingham. The whole city is buzzing with artists from across the globe engaging with other artists and their work - and what a lot there is to see. I feel like I've barely started with the shear amount there is to explore...
As part of the festival, as you should hopefully already know, we are putting on the second public performance of my opera Entr'acte which was performed last year. This time round we've changed a few things, there's an incredible new cast to start with, some changes in orchestration, and we've been able to build of the experience of the first performance. As part of the ongoing Entr'acte story, we've also put together a short Prologue which gives us a bit more insight into the events leading up to Entr'acte itself.
It's all happening tomorrow, Wednesday 12 September, with a short Prologue taking place in the Cast Bar of Nottingham Playhouse at 1.30pm. Entr'acte returns to the Pavilion Café @ Lakeside Arts Centre at 6pm, and charmingly, the Pavilion Cafe are serving up some pub food as part of a £5 ticket so why not join in that fun! Places are restricted for Entr'acte and admission is by ticket only, so to avoid disappointment, call the Box Office NOW: 0115 846 7777. Click here for more info on how to book.
Months ago, I was commissioned by Ann Miller of The VoiceBox, Derby, to write a setting of WB Yeats’ ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ which would be performed on the Voices & Derby Youth Choir 2012 Tour to Belgium and Germany.
Over the past four days, I have had the enormous privilege of taking part in the final rehearsals and hearing the finished piece come to life. It’s always an interesting experience and I was thrilled to hear the choir grapple with my obsession with semitones with gusto. Under the tutelage of Ann Miller and Dan Miller, the touring choir have managed to achieve an astonishingly clear and natural sound which is bang in tune and a joy to listen to. I couldn’t be more pleased with their interpretation of my piece
In a few hours, I will accompany the choir on their tour and wanted to highlight a few of their performances, in case you were in the area and wanted to check them out (shameless plug: and hear my new piece).
Sunday 19 August, 8pm – the Last Port Ceremony at the Menin Gate
Monday 20 August, 3pm @ Brussels Cathedral
Tuesday 21 August, (time tbc) @ Bacharach St Peterkirche
Wednesday 22 August, short recital (time tbc) @ Cologne Cathedral
Thursday 23 August, 6.30pm @ Koblenz Florinskirche
WEYA - the city wide celebration of International Arts taking place in Nottingham from the 07-16th September 2012, gets another ball rolling with a sneak preview of a very special musical performance happening as part of the festival.
Nottingham based composer and conductor Alex Patterson will bewilder patrons of Nottingham's Malt Cross with a bespoke Flash Mob Opera designed to deliver WEYA's key messages of unity and cultural integration in a fun yet immersive impromptu performance featuring numerous co-conspiring vocalists. Come along to the Malt Cross this Thursday 12th of July at 6pm to join in the fun and get a taste of things to come!
World Event Young Artists
I have been commissioned to compose a piece for the Voices Choir, based in the VoiceBox, Derby which will be premiered during their tour to the Rheinland this August. I am thrilled to be accompanying the choir on their tour which will include a lunchtime recital in Cologne Cathedral and also performances in Cologne and other Rhineland churches. The choir has also been invited to perform at the Menin Gate ceremony after a moving performance during their 2011 Tour and will also give an afternoon recital in Brussels Cathedral.
The Imperial College Chamer Choir recently commissioned me to compose a new setting of text by William Shakespeare. The piece 'Through the house give glimmering light' will premiere tonight, Friday 15 June in An Evening of Shakespeare Songs which is due to take place in the Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road, London. The text comes from words spoken by Oberon and Titania at the end of the Bard's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
The Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM), thanks to many supporters of the music at St Barnabas Cathedral, have announced that they will be giving the cathedral a cheque for £25,000 to go towards the Cathedral Choral Scholarship Endowment Fund. This is terrific news and timely with 2012/3 being the 10th Anniversary of Choral Scholarships at the cathedral so this is an extra excuse for us to celebrate.
FCM will present a cheque to the Cathedral Dean on Sunday 23 September during 11.15am Mass during which the choir will sing the Rheinberger Double Choir Mass and also my Lead, kindly Light setting.
I'm also thrilled to announce that from the end of June I shall be taking up the post of Assistant Director of Music and Joint Conductor of the Youth Choir at the Cathedral following the departure of Paul Hayward. We've already got stuck in to planning for the next year at the cathedral and there are some terrific things coming up (see Concerts for more info). Watch this space!
I am absolutely thrilled to annouce that I have been selected as one of the 1,000 artists to take part in World Event Young Artists (WEYA) 2012 with my immersive opera Entr'acte.
The festival is the first of its kind and will take place in Nottingham this September. It is a truly global event with artists from 100 nations across the world taking part. I'm still blown away by the thought of it and the wonderful experience and opportunity it will provide.
Read more about the event here and view a wonderful BBC Slide Show here.
In other news...
I realise it has been ages since I've posted an update but I promise it has been because I've been beavering away on some new projects. I have just recently completed Limbo a 7-minute octet for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and will be having an extract from my orchestral work Nocturne (the revised piece: Nocturne 0.4) performed by Toy Sound Circus in May conducted by Dan Watson. I have a few choral pieces lined up for St Barnabas Cathedral Choir which will now doubt premiere in June and be taken on tour with us to Northern Ireland in June/July 2012.
Tomorrow I screech out some high B-flat's in Mahler's 2nd Symphony in a performance by the University Philharmonia and Choir of the University of Nottingham including a wealth of current and former students. Rehearsals have been going really well and the performance promises to be incredibly exciting.
Next week sees the press launch of Architects of Air's EXXOPOLIS at Lakeside Arts Centre which will be coming in June. This will include performances of my music by a live choir inside the construction and should be a beautiful experience. If you've never experienced the Architects of Air's Luminaria, I really urge you to go - it had me amazed. I'm also going to be writing a new choral piece for the space itself which I'm really looking forward to.
That's all for now folks. I'll try to keep my updates a little more regular from now on.