“Of all the events during the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, that of Ex Cathedra’s Shakespeare Odes was for me the most memorable.
“Performed in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was both baptised and is buried, the evening brought together the Ode written by the actor David Garrick for Shakespeare’s Jubilee in 1769 with music by Thomas Arne (composer of Rule Britannia), and a new work by the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, A Shakespeare Masque, with music by the composer Sally Beamish.
“Garrick’s Ode is performed by soloists, choir and orchestra of Ex Cathedra under music director Jeffrey Skidmore, with actor Samuel West in a powdered wig as Garrick.
“A Shakespeare Masque is commissioned as a community work, involving Ex Cathedra’s Academy Of Vocal Music and local schoolchildren recruited for each performance. The Masque is accompanied by a consort of viols, lutes, flutes and percussion.
“Beamish’s melodic score combines beautifully with Duffy’s text linking Shakespeare’s images and his life. Dance elements and children’s chorus add to the visual interest.”
Read online at the Sunday Express