From the 23rd of October, Brighton will play host to one of the most innovative music festivals in the UK. The Brighton Early Music Festival focuses on world, folk and classical music from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century. The Festival helps promote musicians who put on historically informed performances, performed on period instruments and who explore past composers and their works. The truly unique event puts on performances over the course of a few weeks and have a new part of Early Music to celebrate each year.
This year the theme is Women. Female composers are often forgotten about and the Early Music Festival is looking to celebrate the early women composers. For a long time it was thought that women’s role in music was either domestic or in theatrical performances, little was known about the greatly successful female composers such as Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini and this year’s Early Music Festival aims to change that. Shows such as the Daughters of Abraham, which are songs by women about life and love from ancient Arabic, Jewish and Christian traditions from the likes of a 9th century Greek nun called Kassia and work from the slave poetess Safiyaa Al-Baghadiyya. One of shows that I think will be extremely interesting will a show called The Lions Pride, which will be a performance of the love songs written to Anne Boleyn by Henry the eighth, selected from Anne’s personal book. Both Henry the eighth and Anne Boleyn were very skilled musicians so it will be fascinating to hear some of those performed. Another show is one that tells the story of a Biblical Heroine, as well as a spooky show for children on Halloween called The Day of the Witches.
There are so many events being put on my the Early Music Festival this month and it’s wonderful that they are celebrating women that are so often overlooked and forgotten about, even though they were just as successful as their male counterparts. Tickets are reasonably priced and it’s not something you would go to everyday, so if you fancy something different, head to their website for more information about the Festival.