Shakespeare on Tour: the journey so far
15 July, 2016
This year Stile Antico has been marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with a special programme, The Touches of Sweet Harmony, which combines settings of Shakespeare’s own words with music connected to his royal patrons and the great events of his life. After intensive rehearsal at New Year, The Touches of Sweet Harmony was presented for first time in Westerley, Rhode Island – home state of Nico Muhly, whose delicious Gentle Sleep, setting words from Henry IV, Part 2, is one of two contemporary works in the programme.
Blizzards in Washington DC led to the cancellation of two performances in collaboration with the DC-based Folger Consort of viols, but the group was able to offer a preview performance before the weather hit, and despite the record-breaking snow accumulation in New York City, their concert for Music Before 1800 went ahead as planned. After one performance back in the UK, at the Newcastle Early Music Festival, Stile Antico returned to the US, singing the Shakespeare programme to great acclaim in Seattle, Concord, NH, and Houston.
During May and June, Stile Antico toured extensively in the UK, performing the programme at Sherbourne Abbey Festival, Newbury Spring Festival, Swaledale Festival, Purbeck Arts Weeks and the Stour Festival. The summer sees performances at Petworth Festival, Dartington, and – as the climax to Stile Antico’s tenth-anniversary season – the BBC Proms, where they appear alongside long-time collaborators Fretwork on 15th August. The Proms performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
Later in the year, the group will take this programme to Cowbridge, West Malling, Warwick, Canterbury, Cambridge, Wimbledon and Malvern, whilst performances in 2017 include BOZAR in Brussels, and the Concertgebouw in Bruges. Details of forthcoming performances can be found on the concerts page. We hope you will be able to catch it at a venue near you!