Art Sung – Edith Sitwell, Behind her Façade

Date: Thursday 14th March 2024

Time: 7.30

Venue: St Mary's Church, Barnes, SW13 9HL

Location: Barnes Music Festival

Artists: Lucy Stevens - Contralto/Actress Michael Gibson - Tenor Elizabeth Mucha and Nigel Foster - Pianists James Symonds - Video Artist Roxani Eleni Garefalaki - Director and Movement

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We are delighted to be taking part in the Barnes Music Festival whose theme this year is legends. Our semi-dramatized recital Art Sung – Edith Sitwell, Behind her Façade is a celebration of the legendary 20th century poet Dame Edith Sitwell. Settings of her poetry by Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Michael Head, Ned Rorem, and Robert Marchant are at the core of this semi-dramatized recital as well as music by Erik Satie, Leonard Bernstein, and specially commissioned songs by Hayley Jenkins and Dominique le Gendre. Woven through are excerpts from “Façade”, the extraordinary musical entertainment she created with composer William Walton. The narrative, drawn from her letters and autobiography, together with bespoke visual images inspired by her fantastical, whimsical poetry experiments, the Façade curtain backdrops, and the many portraits of Sitwell by artists including Wyndham Lewis, Roger Fry and the Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew, reveal the private Edith behind her façade.