Child’s Play

Peter & the Wolf at the 2016 Southwell Music Festival. Photo: Nick Rutter

At Southwell Music Festival we want to share the thrill of live musical performance: a mission to broaden the audience for classical music is part of the Festival’s DNA.  In particular we want to give the very youngest people and their families the chance to start their journey of discovery.  So last year we held our first Family Concert.

Peter and the Wolf was a huge success – delighting a large number of young people, their parents and grandparents.  As the short video shows, this joyful occasion dispensed with all the conventions of classical concert going.

The 2017 Festival will present another animal story which is perfect musical entertainment for young families.  In Jean de Brunhoff’s charming tale, set to music by Francis Poulenc, a baby elephant called Babar loses his mother to a hunter in the jungle. Terribly upset, he runs away to Paris where he meets a rich old lady who loves looking after elephants.

The old lady gives Babar everything he needs to become an elegant gentleman but not to find happiness: this is only found when he is reunited with his cousins Artur and Celeste.  He returns with them to the jungle, becomes King of the Elephants, and discovers true happiness with Celeste as his Queen.

This is a very informal event for families with children up to and including junior school age.  Cushions for sitting on the floor are recommended though chairs are also available.

The Story of Babar will be told by the actress Victoria Newlyn accompanied by Festival musicians on Saturday 26th August at the Minster School, Southwell.  The performance begins at 11am however to be part of the action there is mask-making from 10.15.  The performance is sponsored by Hockerwood Park.

To make the event even more accessible, tickets are free to people aged 12 and under. For everyone else – £8.  All tickets may be booked in advance.  A £1 donation on the day is suggested towards the cost of craft materials.  Tickets can booked online here, by calling 0115 989 5555, or by visiting the Southwell Cathedral shop.

After last year’s Family Concert one parent said: “We loved all of it!!  So amazing to see all those children having such a lovely time.”  I’ve no doubt that Babar will help us conjure the same magic and look forward to your company to enjoy his story.

So, if you have not already done so, please encourage family members of whatever age to join us for this musical treat.

See you in August.