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Vanessa Redgrave to join Chetham’s Sinfonia to remember WWI

We are delighted that acclaimed actor Vanessa Redgrave will join Chetham’s Sinfonia and composer Laura Rossi for two special performance linked to the centenary of the First World War in Manchester and Jersey.

Vanessa Redgrave is celebrated for her performance on stage and screen, most notably Howard’s End (1992).  A six-time Oscar nominee, she was described by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams as “the greatest living actress of our times”.  In Voices of Remembrance she will read moving poetry written during WWI, alongside Rossi’s richly evocative orchestral and choral work combining stunningly beautiful music with these historically important poems.

Rossi worked with Chetham’s in July this year when Chetham’s Sinfonia became one of the first orchestras to perform in an international tour of the celebrated 1916 film, The Battle of the Somme, with a new score which she created with Imperial War Museums.  That performance saw Manchester Cathedral filled to capacity, and we’re delighted to welcome her back to Manchester with what promises to be another very special and moving evening of music.  During her research for the Somme film, Laura discovered that her Great Uncle Fred was a stretcher-bearer attached to the 29th Division in July 1916, and featured in the film.  Drawing on his diaries and extensive research into the conflict, Laura’s latest work moves us closer to the thoughts and feelings of the soldiers: their spirit, their strength, their hopes and fears.

Voices of Remembrance will be performed by Chetham’s Sinfonia and Chamber Choir at Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday 18 October, alongside performances by ensembles from across the School.  It will be repeated at Jersey Opera House on Saturday 22 October, with new poems by schoolchildren from Manchester and Jersey set to music for children’s choir and ensemble by Laura Rossi.  The children’s poems may be heard in Manchester on Thursday 6 October in a free concert in Chetham’s Whiteley Hall.

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