12.05.13 7.30pm, Town Hall, Birmingham; £35 (£33.50) / £25 (£24) / £17.50 (£17) / £9.50
Timothy West is Louis XV in French Baroque Showcase Actor recounts remarkable life of great 18th century singer
The actor Timothy West has been named as guest narrator for Ex Cathedra’s forthcoming showcase of some of the hidden gems of the French Baroque at Town Hall, Birmingham on Sunday 12 May at 7.30pm.
West, a familiar figure on the classical stage, as well as a popular figure on TV and radio, will share the limelight with Carolyn Sampson and Ex Cathedra Choir and Baroque Orchestra as he recounts the remarkable story of the greatest singer of the 18th C, the soprano Marie Fel. She was renowned throughout Paris not only for her unmatched artistry but for her unconventional lifestyle and was adored by some of the most famous members of French society. These included Louis XV, Voltaire, Casanova, Rousseau and Rameau.
Timothy West plays the role of Louis XV looking back with very fond memories over the life, loves and music of Marie Fel and introduces some of the glorious music that she made her own.
Soprano Carolyn Sampson will perform the role of Marie Fel. She was introduced to the music of the French Baroque by Ex Cathedra while singing with the choir when she was studying music at Birmingham University.
“Carolyn is now widely regarded as the outstanding Baroque soprano of her generation and I am delighted that we have two such distinguished artists as Timothy West and Carolyn Sampson helping us celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Marie Fel this year,” said Ex Cathedra’s Director Jeffrey Skidmore.
The programme maps her travels to Paris and her debut performances through a selection of the sacred and operatic music by the greatest of the French Baroque composers including Lalande, Mondonville and especially Rameau who called her his ’Muse’.