Victoria's Secret - Songs of Passion


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songs_of_passionA sublime combination of good food and music. The performance by the Late Night Trio – Janna Bulmer (voice), Adrian Janssen (violin) and Trevor Wiggins (piano) – gives a fascinating insight into an unexpected side of Queen Victoria, through songs and duets in German, Italian, French and English by Mendelssohn, Tosti and Elgar. In the interval, you can enjoy a delicious Italian meal.

Our image of Queen Victoria is typically that of a diminutive elderly lady in a bonnet who was offended by the sight of legs on pianos or tables, and said ‘We are not amused’ rather a lot. On the evidence of the music at her court, the reality is probably rather different. Victoria’s husband, Albert, brought with him a love of music and the arts, and composers like Felix Mendelssohn were frequent visitors. Victoria then appointed Francesco Paolo Tosti as singing teacher to her children and put him in charge of her private vocal concerts. Tosti was a composer and teacher – one of the two finest of his time, according to Verdi. Tosti drew on his Italian heritage to write lyrical sensual songs in Italian, French and English (though he struggled to find true passion in the words in English!). His songs are full of love, kisses, and death – which has the same connotation in Italian poetry as it does in Shakespearean English. Tosti became a British citizen in 1906 and was knighted by Victoria’s son, Edward, in 1908. In the next generation, Edward Elgar would have grown up knowing the songs of Tosti and his fascination with things Italian can be seen in his visits to Italy and overtures, as well as the Germanic inheritance found in his oratorios and symphonies.

A very special private vocal concert (with translations) awaits you in Littlehempston Church. Entrance is £15, which includes a delicious Italian meal and wine. Book early to avoid disappointment!

This event will actually take place in the Community Space – St John’s Church which has been cleverly adapted so that it can be used for much more than just Church services. The Community Space is just along the road from the Tally Ho.

Perhaps you’d like to drop into the Tally Ho before or after Victoria’s Secret?

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