Memory and imagination inspires Norfolk choir’s new production

The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir
Photo by Simon Finlay. The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir Photo by Simon Finlay.

Emma Knights emma.knights@archant.co.uk
Monday, April 14, 2014
7:00 AM

About 150 Norfolk singers are preparing to take to a very grand stage for a special performance being created for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

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The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir
Photo by Simon Finlay.The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir Photo by Simon Finlay.

The Voice Project will this year be performing its latest festival commission as a promenade performance in and around the grounds of Holkham Hall in north Norfolk.

Called Souvenir, the singing spectacle will focus on the themes of memory and imagination, and the whole performance is being devised and directed by Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker.

The open access choir – which includes long-standing Voice Project members as well as new singers – has been busy rehearsing since the beginning of March.

Joining the choir for the shows on May 17 will also be the Voice Project Quintet and a collection of musicians.

The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir.
Photo by Simon Finlay.The Voice Project who are rehearsing for their Norfolk and Norwich Festival show Souvenir. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Sian said: “Souvenir is about the function of memory and imagination and how the two play with each other and merge together.

“We have got a fantastic backdrop of Holkham Hall which gives us an opportunity to explore lots of different things in a magical world where fragments of memory and images of the past are brought together in a new piece of work.

“We imagine that every member of the audience will have a slightly different experience.

“This is a year of remembrance with the centenary of the First World War, and although this is not explicitly about 1914, we could not help but draw on those themes.”

The music in Souvenir is by Jonathan Baker, Helen Chadwick, Orlando Gough and Karen Wimhurst, and the words are by Esther Morgan, Tom Warner, EE Cummings, Jane Draycott, and Thomas Nashe.

Souvenir follows the project’s previous festival performances which include Ideas of Flight and Singing the City. The Voice Project was an EDP People’s Choice Award winner at last year’s Norfolk Arts Awards.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is from May 9 to 25. Souvenir is at Holkham Hall on Saturday, May 17, at 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm. Tickets £16. Visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

Do you have an arts story? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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