As the countdown to Three Choirs Festival gets underway we thought we would take a look at some of the events which will form part of the festival this year. First up is the Opening Night:

Opening Night - Saturday 28 July, 7.45 pm

We open the festival with Ethel Smyth’s magnificent Mass in D, which according to George Bernard Shaw was a sign of the rise of women composers. Smyth’s music carefully reflects the mood and content of the mass setting: the radiant, joyful Gloria triumphantly crowns this richly coloured setting. Alongside this, a rare chance to hear John Ireland’s only substantial choral work, which offers a utopian vision of future peace and equality.

“I very much look forward to presenting a rare performance of Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D on the opening night of the festival. This work has been on my ‘must do at Three Choirs’ list for several years and 2018, commemorating the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, presented a perfect opportunity with Smyth’s links to the suffragette movement. It’s a fascinating amalgam of all the mainstream European influences which the composer experienced during her period of study in Leipzig, and what has struck me forcefully in the course of rehearsing the work with the chorus this term is how much anger there seems to be in the music, amongst some other moments of great lyrical beauty.” Geraint Bowen

Tickets are available for this event via the Three Choirs Website: 3choirs.org/whats-on/opening-night