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Britten Sinfonia & Nora Fischer

A side on profile of Nora smiling

Inspired by Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Sarah Kirkland Snider’s indie/folk-inspired song cycle Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity and what it means to come home.

Suspended somewhere between art song, indie rock and chamber folk, Penelope moves from moments of elegiac strings and harp reflection to dusky post-rock textures with drums, guitars and electronics, all directed by a strong sense of melody and a craftsman’s approach to song writing.

Penelope originated as a music theatre monodrama, co-written by Snider and playwright Ellen McLaughlin in 2007–8. A woman’s husband appears at her door after 20 years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn’t know who he is. While they wait for his return to himself, she reads him the Odyssey, on the way finding a way into his former memory. Reconceived as a song cycle for vocalist and chamber orchestra in 2009, Britten Sinfonia is joined by the extraordinary Nora Fischer, renowned for her adventurous approach to live performance. 

End-time to be announced nearer the event.


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Pre-concert talk


Photo of the Penelope album cover

Listen: Sarah Kirkland Snider's Penelope

Listen to Sarah Kirkland Snider's song cycle Penelope.

photo of roderick williams singing

Barbican Sessions: Roderick Williams and Andrew West


Filmed in an empty Milton Court Concert Hall, baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Andrew West perform a beautiful rendition of 'An die Nachtigall' by Johanness Brahms.

Milton Court Concert Hall