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Flights of Fantasy

Sinfonia Viva Invites Derby Audience To Join A Flight of Fantasy

East Midlands’ regional orchestra Sinfonia Viva will be joined by 1623 Theatre Company Artistic Director Ben Spiller for a unique concert on Thursday June 9, celebrating the art of storytelling through words and music.

The ‘Flights of Fantasy’ concert, starting at 6pm, will be part of Derby Book Festival and the regional Grand Tour 2016 – a series of cultural exhibitions and events across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire inspired by the 19th century European cultural travellers.

The venue for the concert will be Viva’s innovative inflatable mobile venue which will be erected in the Market Place.

The venue, which houses a stage and auditorium for a 250-strong audience has been called ‘The Cabinet of Curiosity’ – inspired by 17th century patrons who brought together their personal collection of ‘items of wonder’ which led to the creation of museums across the world.

Ben Spiller will join the Orchestra ensemble on stage to narrate passages from the Shakespeare classic ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as part of the concert featuring extracts alongside Mendelssohn’s score of the same name.

Mendelssohn was the great composer of The Grand Tour era, having gone on The Grand Tour of Europe during his lifetime. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is among his best loved works and is itself a journey into the beautiful dreamlike world of Shakespeare’s classic play.

The concert will also feature extracts from Weber’s ‘Der Freischütz’ - based on the German folk tale of the same name which is considered a monumental moment in German storytelling and music.

Telling a tale of love, dark magic and feudal rivalry, it is an epic story that takes the audience on an incredible journey to 17th century Eastern Europe.

1623 Theatre Company are renowned for bringing Shakespeare to life in exciting new ways. The June 9 concert will be the third time that Sinfonia Viva and 1623 Theatre Company have worked together having previously focused on Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Richard III’.

Ben Spiller explained: “It's very exciting to be working with Sinfonia Viva again, this time by speaking Shakespeare's words alongside Mendelssohn's music.

“I'll be playing magical fairies, young lovers and funny workmen including Bottom the weaver, who's turned into a donkey by cheeky goblin Puck. It's set to be a lot of fun.

“We are very lucky to have Sinfonia Viva, a world-class orchestra, based here in our home city. I'm delighted to be working with these wonderful artists to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and his incredible legacy in the worlds of theatre and music.”

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps continued: “’Flights of Fantasy’ will be an exciting experience in so many ways.

“Our aim is to transport the audience into the magical world that Shakespeare created in words and the composer evoked through his music.  

“We are particularly delighted that this concert is part of Derby Book Festival and the Grand Tour 2016 – setting it in a literature and historical context.

“And the return of our inflatable mobile venue to the Market Place will create a unique setting for this special combination of words and music.”