As part of its new online series of events, #LiveFromTheDora, RWCMD is offering care homes across Wales free tickets to watch classical concerts from some of the world’s leading performers live streamed from its Dora Stoutzker Hall.
Since the start of the pandemic last March the doors at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama have been closed to audiences. However as a place of training the College has been allowed to continue teaching, blending live performance with online learning. For music students aural learning and performance techniques are an integral part of their course, and performances and masterclasses by professional artists have been available to students to attend, under strict social distancing guidelines.
The College has now opened its virtual doors to show these performances online, and they will also be available, free of charge, to all care homes across Wales.
‘I’ve been enormously privileged over the years to have been able to take live music into care homes and see first hand the difference it makes to residents and staff,’ said Tim Rhys-Evans, Director of Music at the College.
‘We’ve all seen the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the care sector and how disconnected some of our most vulnerable people have become from their family and friends. I’m delighted that the power of technology is enabling us to livestream our performances into care homes so that residents might be able to experience the power and beauty of live music from some of the world’s greatest performers.
I really hope that #LiveFromTheDora will give some moments of relaxation and transportation from the difficulties of our current situation, and look forward to the days when our students and staff can once again take live music into the community.’
Chloe Hare-Jones who along with fellow final year Voice student Chloe Newman helped to arrange this Care Homes project said,
‘For my vocational project, I knew straight away that I wanted to bring some joy to people’s lives through the art of music.
So many people right now are isolated and are feeling alone and struggling. Music is said to improve mental health and is used to relax, lift, and boost your mood.’
Chloe was inspired to put this project together by the response she got from her grandfather and his carers when she sent them video clips of her singing.
‘It amazed me how just one video a day gave them something to look forward to and just a few minutes away from all the sadness and hurt that is going on, an escape from reality.
It made me realise the power of music. It’s so true, as the American philosopher Debasish Mridha said, “Music can heal the wounds that medicine cannot touch”.’
The first live streamed concert took place last week, featuring Llyr Williams’ exploration of the early works of Chopin. Two Schubert Song recitals follow with Gerald Finlay and Julius Drake, and Ian Bostridge and Antonio Pappano on 5th and 12th February.
Full details of the #LiveFromTheDora series is available on www.rwcmd.ac.uk/whatson.
For care homes interested in free tickets, please contact RWCMD Box Office email@example.com
Press Photos can be found here.
Fri 5 Feb, 7.30pm: Gerald Finley & Julius Drake (Dora Stoutzker Hall)
Schubert: Die Schöne Müllerin
“When love conquers pain, a new star shines in heaven…” Die Schöne Müllerin is a tale of heartbreak wrung from the most tender depths of the soul – and bass-baritone Gerald Finley is among Schubert’s finest living interpreters. With the incomparable Julius Drake on piano, this isn’t just a song recital: it’s a passionate journey into the Romantic imagination.
This event will be followed by a Q&A with RWCMD Director of Music, Tim Rhys-Evans.
Fri 12 Feb, 7.30pm: Ian Bostridge & Antonio Pappano (Dora Stoutzker Hall)
“I came here as a stranger / As a stranger I depart…” A lonely wanderer, a frozen landscape, and a shattered heart: for the British tenor Ian Bostridge, Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise is one of music’s greatest and most intimate tragedies. Add the dramatic insight of Antonio Pappano at the piano, and this should be a winter journey to remember.
This event will be a followed by a Q&A with RWCMD Director of Music, Tim Rhys-Evans.
Sun 21 Feb, 11am: Steinway International Piano Series – Clare Hammond (Dora Stoutzker Hall)
Hélène de Montgeroult Études Nos. 37, 55, 28, 26, 74, 36, 38, 111
Brahms 6 Piano Pieces, Op.118
Casken Six Wooded Pieces
Piazzolla (arr. Davies) Suite from incidental music to A Midsummer’s Night Dream
Rachmaninov Sonata No.2 in B flat minor
The Guardian calls Claire Hammond “a dazzling athlete” of the piano, and everything she plays is charged with rare – and refreshing – imagination. Today, she launches headlong into a musical journey through wooded landscapes and hot-blooded tangos, from Revolutionary Paris to the glittering peaks of Rachmaninoff’s huge, wildly romantic Second Sonata. Join us: it’ll be a thrilling ride!
Sun 14 Mar, 11am: Steinway International Piano Series – Pavel Kolesnikov (Dora Stoutzker Hall)
Schumann Kinderszenen, Op.15 (1838)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No.30 in e major, Op.109
Bach Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
They say that Bach wrote his Goldberg Variations to soothe a sleepless nobleman. A timeless melody unlocks a chain of musical puzzles; beautiful, intricate and endlessly fascinating, pianists have been drawn to them for centuries. Pavel Kolesnikov has paired them with equally timeless masterworks by Schumann and Beethoven -“It is rare to be so transported” said one critic.
Sharing RWCMD’s work with its audiences is vital and the new streaming platform means that the College can now reach audiences online across the world. Since March 18 live performances have been externally streamed, with over 40,000 views – reaching an audience of well over 8,000 in December.
Since the summer RWCMD has produced seven operas as well as socially distanced concerts, a steady stream of masterclasses and, in the Christmas countdown, five drama productions.