Contemporary Music Festival: Gala Concert
  • The House, University of Plymouth

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"The BBC Singers were on luminous form"  The Daily Telegraph

The BBC Singers hold a unique position in British musical life. The choir’s virtuosity sees it performing everything from Byrd to Birtwistle, Tallis to Takemitsu. 

Its expertise in contemporary music has brought about creative relationships with some of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Britten, Maxwell Davies, Poulenc and Judith Weir, Associate Composer of the BBC Singers and Master of the Queen’s Music. 

Gala programme

Illusions (Choir) by Linas Baltas
Lampedusa (Opera in three acts. Choir, Mezzo-soprano, Bass and Electronics) by Eduardo R. Miranda.

Libretto: Eduardo R. Miranda and David J. Peterson | Director: Victor Ladron de Guevara | Choreographer: Josh Slater | Conductor: Nicholas Chalmers | Visual design: Kaz Rahman | Costumes: Hedy Hurban


Neuroscience tells us that our perception of reality are a construction of the brain. Sounds are fabrications of our mind and music is an illusion. Linas’ Illusions is inspired by the intriguing notion that our brain can listen to sonic properties that seem to pop up out from nowhere. Yet, these properties do not show up when we analyse recordings of the actual sounds.


Eduardo’s opera Lampedusa is set in a parallel Shakespearean universe. The plot takes place before the arrival of Prospero and Miranda in Lampedusa, allegedly the island portrayed in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. The opera tells the story of Sycorax, a refugee from Europe, her son, Caliban, and Ariel. Ariel is an invisible native inhabitant who objects to Caliban’s ambitions of reigning over the island. 

Lampedusa includes materials composed with an unprecedented piece of software developed at ICCMR. It renders high-energy particles collision data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider into sounds and music. The libretto is in the imaginary island’s language Vōv, created by celebrated language inventor David J. Peterson.

Date: Saturday 23 February 2019
Time: 20:00–22:00
Venue: The House
Tickets: £12/£10/Friends Free/UoP students free via SPiA.
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Today's events

The soloists for Lampedusa

Edward Price 

Edward will be playing the role of Caliban in Lampedusa.

He is our bass soloist for this opera and has been a baritone in the BBC Singers since 2001. 

He appears throughout the UK as a soloist and has given numerous world premieres including Carl Rütti's Requiem which he recorded with the Bach Choir and David Hill. Edward also takes a keen role in education and outreach work and is passionate about sharing his love of singing.

Emma Tring 

Emma will be playing the role of Sycorax in Lampedusa.

She is a successful soloist and ensemble singer in the UK and abroad, and joined the BBC Singers in 2008 as one of their full-time sopranos, appearing regularly as a soloist in their concerts and recordings. 

As a soloist she has premiered several works and has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra most recently in Elgar's Starlight Express with Roderick Williams and Sir Andrew Davies.

Key players

  • Director: Victor Ladron de Guevara

  • Choreographer: Josh Slater

  • Cast member: Hayley Bentley

  • Conductor: Nicholas Chalmers

  • Visual design: Kaz Rahman

  • Costumes: Hedy Hurban

  • 'Illusions' choir: Linas Baltas

<p>Lampedusa costumes designed by Hedy Hurban<br></p>
<p>Ariel from Lampedusa</p>
Ariel – costume by Hedy Hurban

Contemporary Music Festival 2019

Friday 22 – Sunday 24 February 2019

The theme of the 2019 festival, Multiverse proposes a weekend of musical interpretations of the quantum world. 

This annual festival is in partnership with Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) and is now in its 14th year. It has developed a national reputation for combining artistic creativity with scientific development, opening up new research opportunities and musical avenues that would not normally have been explored.

This year we will be welcoming the BBC Singers, David J. Peterson the creator of the Dothraki language spoken in the TV series Game of Thrones and many more to the festival. 

Find out more about CMF 2019

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