Dating from the mid-19th century, Wilton’s is the world’s oldest surviving music hall. With its tumbledown beauty and colourful history, it’s the perfect space for a staged performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King – a dramatic monologue exploring the crazed fantasies and crumbling visions of George III.
The fluttering and chattering of the king’s pet bullfinches which run through the work find an echo in bird-inspired pieces by Messiaen and Handel, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Luther Adams.
Sian Edwards conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with exciting young British soloists Jennifer France and Marcus Farnsworth.
There will be no interval
John Luther Adams – songbirdsongs(14 mins) excerpts, UK premiere
Olivier Messiaen – Le merle noir(6 mins)
Rebecca Saunders – Molly’s Song 3(11 mins)
Peter Maxwell Davies – Eight Songs for a Mad King
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Jennifer France soprano
Marcus Farnsworth baritone
Sian Edwards conductor
Olivia Fuchs stage director