Out of the Shadows: An evening of music by Brixton-based contemporary classical composer Robert Hugill

Out of the Shadows: An evening of music by Brixton-based contemporary classical composer Robert Hugill
Out of the Shadows, an evening of music by Brixton-based contemporary classical composer Robert Hugill on Sunday 16 June, is part of Omnibus Theatre, Clapham's 96 Festival, its celebration of queerness and theatre

As part of 96 Festival, Omnibus Theatre, Clapham’s celebration of queerness and theatre, on 16 June 2024, tenor Ben Vonberg-Clark, baritone Jonathan Eyers and pianist Nigel Foster will be performing Out of the Shadows, featuring two of Robert Hugill’s recent cantatas and love songs. On Friday 5 July 2024, the programme will be presented at St John’s Church, Tartu as part of the Glasperlenspiel Festival.
The festival is a leading musical event in Estonian Summer and was
founded in 1995 by Estonian composer and music producer, Peeter Vähi.

Ben Vonberg-Clark was until recently precentor at St John the Divine, Kennington, and conducts the London Youth Boys’ Choir and is conductor of the University of Essex Choir and the UBS choral society.

Baritone Jonathan Eyers was Young Artist at the National Opera Studio for the 2023/24 season, and was Figaro in Charles Court Opera’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at Wilton’s Music Hall

Pianist Nigel Foster is the artistic director of the London Song Festival.

The evening features two of Robert Hugill’s cantatas. Out of the Shadows, inspired by a re-reading of Graham Robb’s Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century, uses historic texts to explore homosexual men’s gradual emergence in the 19th century. Et expecto explores ideas of life after death via Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Burke & Hare, the Wikipedia entry on Cryonics and Whitman’s poetry.

As a little taster, here are two songs from Robert Hugill’s song cycle, For David, on his Birthday performed by Ben Vonberg-Clark and Nigel Foster and recorded at Hinde Street Methodist Church in 2023 when Out of the Shadows was premiered. The recording engineer Christopher Braine. The video is available on YouTube.

In the 1990s Robert Hugill came across two book of poems by the Black American poet Carl Cook, The Tranquil Lake of Love and postscripts, using Cook’s poems for the chorales in his Passion setting, and setting seven of them as annual birthday presents for his boyfriend (and now husband) David. Here we hear ‘to see you happy’ and ‘perhaps’, this latter was a finalist in the English Poetry and Song Society’s Diamond Songs competition, organised to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Out of the Shadows s
at Omnibus Theatre, Clapham at 7pm on Sunday 16 June 2024, with tenor
Ben Vonberg-Clark, baritone Jonathan Eyers, pianist Nigel Foster.
Further information from the
theatre website.



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