Friday, 1 June 2012

Grand opening weekend to London 2012 Festival in Birmingham and Coventry

Six world-class events will take place in Birmingham and Coventry over four days from 21 June 2012, as part of the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival.
Birmingham’s Symphony Hall hosts one of three UKopening night concerts for the Festival on 21 June 2012, the premier ofJonathan Harvey’s epic choral workWelthethos, performed by the CBSO and conducted by Edward Gardner. Based on texts from six of the world’s largest religions, the piece celebrates the common values between these different faiths and traditions in a powerful manifesto for world peace.
Visitors can stay in the city centre for The Voyage, a late-night dance spectacular in Birmingham’s Victoria Square. An enormous ship will sail into the centre of Birmingham, docking itself beside the city’s Town Hall. High above dancers and aerialists will perform in the ship’s rigging, alongside a huge amateur choir and more than 140 performers.
This free outdoor multimedia spectacle is created by Motionhouse,one of the UK’s foremost dance theatre companies, and world-renowned physical theatre company Legs On The Wall, from Australia, produced by Birmingham Hippodrome.
The opening weekend continues in Coventry, where Coventry Cathedralis the venue for the premier of James MacMillan’s new work Gloria, a choral piece written to celebrate the Cathedral’s Golden Jubilee in 2012, performed by the CBSO and a choir of local school children.
mac Birmingham will devote the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival to the work of Heiner Goebbels, one of the world’s most sought-after contemporary composers, including the premier of his new work Walden.
Also in Coventry, Spill will bring Allesley Park Playground alive with high energy street gymnastics and dance. A performance created especially for playground equipment by Australian choreographer Shaun Parker, this is a free event that will appeal to all, young and old.
A new animation voiced by David Walliams and Catherine Tate, Itch of the Golden Nit, will be screened in Stratford Upon Avon from 23 June. Made from thousands of drawings and sound effects compiled by the Tate gallery and Aardman Animation, this BAFTA-award winning film follows 11 year old hero Beanie as his bland life changes forever.
The London 2012 Festival is a 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, opening on Midsummer’s Day, 21 June, and running until 9 September 2012. It forms the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the four year programme of arts and cultural events celebrating London 2012.
In total, over 70 arts and cultural events will take place over the summer in the West Midlands as part of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.

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