Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB Show on map
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Performance and Q&A session with Nitin Sawhney - 7.30pm Thur 27 Jan
On Thursday 27 January, we are proud to host Nitin Sawhney CBE for a special Q&A session after the performance (detailed below). Nitin will only be with us on Thursday 27 January, so please make sure you book in advance.
Performance only - 7.30pm Fri 28 and Sat 29 Jan
Guideline Audience Age Range: 10+. Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
To mark the 60th anniversary of Coventry Cathedral, we have commissioned Nitin Sawhney CBE, recipient of the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement, to create a new site-specific performance in response to Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece War Requiem.
Ghosts in the Ruins reflects Coventry as a city of sanctuary, and its stand against war and violence, with a strong history of helping refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. The work will explore themes of acceptance, hope, resilience, regeneration and reconciliation in relation to contemporary conflicts.
The performance will be in two linked parts - the first part is seated inside the modern Cathedral, with a focus on intimate and reflective choral moments, including singers and musicians rising from and moving around the audience, interspersed with sections of ambient music and sound. The audience will then be invited to move into the ruins of the Cathedral to experience a bold, performative ending, where the Cathedral singers will be joined by community singers from in and around Coventry. The singers will be led and directed by Coventry Cathedral’s Director of Music Rachel Mahon, who is also a Creative Associate on the project.
Ghosts in the Ruins is a chance to not only to remember and acknowledge the destruction of past events, but also a time to have hope for our future and for the world to find another way to resolve conflict.
The original piece, co-conducted by the composer and Meredith Davies, premiered at the Cathedral in May 1962 as part of the 1962 Coventry Festival and is internationally regarded as one of the iconic highlights of British twentieth century choral music. Sixty years on, Ghosts in the Ruins will use the human voice at the centre of the work, with intimate and reflective choral moments being performed against a backdrop of specially commissioned images projected onto the interior walls of the Cathedral.
Ghosts in the Ruins has been commissioned by Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City of Culture Trust as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. Supported by funding from Arts Council England.
Image: Mark Murphy