For our summer 2012 commission we worked with Bedford-based composer Johnny Parry, who creates operatic contemporary music for orchestra and voice.
Johnny brought together a big-hearted army of people to develop this cycle of songs, written and performed in collaboration with the public. Hundreds of local people were involved in contributing lyrics, before a new community choir was formed to rehearse and finally perform the songs. The Bedford Arts Choir worked hard rehearsing the songs that form Bedford’s Concerto Magnificent. The choir includes a massively diverse range of abilities and backgrounds, and has now become a dedicated and enthusiastic new addition to Bedford’s music scene.
The premiere performance of Concerto Magnificent: An Anthology of All Things was at Bedford Corn Exchange in September 2012. A sold-out audience of 400 experienced grand gestures of love and death expressed through an all-consuming spectacle. Another sell-out crowd enjoyed a second performance at Bedford’s Almanac Festival.
Johnny and the choir also recorded a cd of The Anthology.
Watch a film of the making of Concerto Magnificent on YouTube: