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Be not afeard: language, music and cultural memory in the operas of Thomas Adès

April 24, 2017 - April 25, 2017

With invited contributions from: Thomas Adès, Philip Hensher, Meredith Oakes, John Roeder (University of British Columbia), Peter Evans (Queen Mary University of London) and Mark Millington (University of Nottingham).

Thomas Adès has drawn attention to the ‘mysterious thing that happens when you set actions to music: a third shape that emerges when something non-visual like a musical score is acted out by people moving on a stage’. This conference will explore Adès’s three operatic shapes of music, text, and performative realisation through the lenses of language and cultural memory.
The event will take place over two days. The first day will focus on analytical and theoretical approaches to Adès’s operas, and will conclude with a round table on The Exterminating Angel prior to the UK premiere of the opera at the Royal Opera House that evening. The second day will focus on Adès’s operas and their broader contexts.

The conference is held in collaboration with the Institute for Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study, Music and Letters Trust, and the Society for Music Analysis. It has been organised by Dr Edward Venn (University of Leeds), Professor Catherine Davies (IMLR, SAS) and Dr Paul Archbold (Kingston University/IMLR, SAS).

Registration information:

Day 1 – Standard (£20), Concession (including SMA members and students)(£10). Registration fee includes refreshments and lunch.
Day 2 – Free, all welcome.

Day 2 is free for all to attend, but please register to guarantee a place.

Click here to register >>

Provisional programme

Praise for ‘Be not afeard…’

I had an amazing time, and it was such an honor to be among fellow Adèsians (Drew Massey)

I rather dread these things but I found I was enjoying myself (Meredith Oakes, librettist for The Tempest)

Thanks also for helping organize easily one of the most enriching, encouraging, and stimulating conferences I’ve attended in many moons. I’m always thrilled to walk away from such a meeting feeling as though a community has been established or strengthened, and I think this is one of those moments. (Nicholas Stevens, Case Western Reserve University)

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of the conference and the opera. A very stimulating couple of days. (Mark Millington, Emeritus Professor of Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham)

I’m back home, with many happy memories of the intellectual, social, and artistic highlights of my visit.  Many thanks again for all your efforts, and for your invitation. (John Roeder, Professor of Music Theory, University of British Columbia)

Thanks again for an amazing conference, it was great meeting you and participating in everything (Scott Lee, Duke University)

I’m still feeling on a bit of a weird high after the whole thing – it was a great couple of days. Thanks again for organising it! (Emma Gallon, independent)

…A splendid two-day conference, and congratulations for it being such a huge success. Everyone I spoke to mentioned how much they enjoyed it. I learned so much from the other presentations and conversing with other Adès scholars.  (Phil Stoecker, Associate Professor of Music, Hofstra University)


April 24, 2017
April 25, 2017
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