Amateurs to give premiere of Maxwell Davies’s last work

A mixed choir and orchestra of professionals and amateurs conducted by Sir Simon Rattle is to give the world premiere of the last major work by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, a children’s opera called The Hogboon.

 

The concert will be at the Barbican Centre on June 26, the second in a series of London Symphony Orchestra commissioned mixed ability operas.

Maxwell Davies, who died earlier this year, based the story on a local golf tale in Orkney, where he lived and worked. The Hogboon tells of a boy who saves his island community from a sea monster.

Directed by Karen Gillingham the opera is performed by the LSO’s Discovery Choirs made up of children aged seven to 18, the amateur London Symphony Choir, and musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama performing alongside the LSO.

“The LSO has always been a ground-breaker in music education, and believes that we all have a responsibility to share our art with as many people as possible” said Rattle, who is the LSO’s music director designate. “Their work with children all over London is inspiring, and was one of the reasons I was so attracted to work with the orchestra. We have embarked on a series of commissions, realising that there were very few works in the mould of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, in which children, adults and professionals could all perform together. Max’s last piece is a magical addition to that canon, and enables the LSO to work together with the greatest variety of amateur musicians, from the ages of 6 to 65, and bringing in the hugely gifted musicians of the Guildhall as well. This is vital work for us all, and I am thrilled that this kind of project will be a constant theme over the next years.”

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