No Strings Attached is a free ticket scheme that aims to encourage local people who’ve never been to one of our concerts before to try something new, for free, with no obligations.
What sets this scheme apart from others is that all the tickets are funded by other audience members. When people are purchasing a ticket for a concert, they may choose to ‘buy one, donate one’ so they can share the experience. Over the past two Festivals, No Strings Attached has provided tickets for over 100 people to come to our Festival for the first time, for many, the first time they’ve experienced live classical music.
Along with residents of Tower Hamlets, we invite staff, clients and participants from our local community organisations. Audiences have come to us through the Sundial Centre, Providence Row, Cardboard Citizens, Crisis and Futureversity among others.
Thomas, a client of Crisis homelessness centre, came to some of our Winter Festival performances and wrote the following about his experience:
I was delighted to receive complimentary tickets to attend some of the concerts along with other members from Crisis. I really enjoyed the instrumental and choral recitals from ensembles from different countries. Before Christmas a few of us attended the Icelandic Song Book which I really enjoyed, there was a great atmosphere which was inspiring. I was also fortunate to attend Monteverdi, Opera & Beyond in January. This again was wonderful – it made me feel happy to hear this music. In sincere thankfulness I look forward to the summer festival.
If you are a resident in Tower Hamlets and would like to take up the offer of free tickets, please send an email to:
or call us on 020 7377 0287. If you need help deciding which concert to attend, we’ll talk you through the festival programme to find out what you might like and we’l keep you updated with other activities and opportunities to get involved in our work. Alternatively, if you are a local charitable organisation and would like to find out about getting some free tickets for your staff, participants and clients, please do get in touch.
Posted in General
Tagged buy one donate one, Cardboard Citizens, Crisis, Free tickets, Futureversity, Icelandic Song Book, monteverdi, no strings attached, Opera & Beyond, Providence Row, Sundial Centre, Thomas, Tower Hamlets
So here we are, at the point which five months ago looked so far away but has arrived more quickly than a speeding kangaroo. (Happy Australia Day!)
My final few weeks at Spitalfields Music has seen the wrapping up of the brilliant 2010 Winter Festival, with some truly amazing performances of Monteverdi’s madrigals. Since then, the office has become very reflective, evaluating all our activity since June. It got me thinking about all the things I’ve had to do while being an intern (which as it happens, was a lot!). Writing press releases, designing e-flyers, managing leafleters, formatting programme book text, learning how to use Twitter, lots of social networking, writing blog posts, engaging local press, distributing publicity, market researching, time on Facebook, creating Spotify playlists, website management, recording a webcast, planning sessions with big felt-tip pens, and engaging with all parts of Spitalfields Music’s programme. I guess I’ve been pretty busy!
It’s very sad to be leaving a team that is as brilliant and fun as Spitalfields Music’s. I’d like to thank everyone for the opportunities, advice, and laughs I’ve had since I sat down in that first team meeting, unsure of what exactly was going on!
Marketing & Communications Intern (Sept 2010 – Jan 2011)
Annabelle in action © Celine Smith
As a newcomer to Spitalfields Music, I was a little nervous but all of the staff and volunteers were very welcoming. Being a festival steward involved a variety of tasks each night. I welcomed people outside the church, sold programmes and showed people to their seats. There were some pretty big turn-outs at the concerts, so we were all kept busy beforehand!
The acclaimed Italian ensemble La Venexiana began the second half of the festival with Monteverdi madrigals. The sheer beauty of this Italian genius’ music and the blend of voices seemed to go down very well with the audience. Thursday was probably the highlight of the January concerts for me, the acclaimed tenor Paul Agnew gave a highly informative lecture-recital about the development of recitative. I didn’t know much about this topic, so it was interesting to hear from a specialist baroque singer. The programme was really varied and dramatic and made me realise how important recitative is in opera. Friday gave us two concerts, the first the exciting vocal group EXAUDI, who also sang Monteverdi madrigals. Again, another hit with the audience. The a capella sound certainly suited the acoustics of Christ Church Spitalfields. Then, the Retrospect Ensemble ended the Festival on a real high as they presented a selection of virtuosic instrumental works from Monteverdi’s contemporaries. I was totally amazed by the inventive writing of these composers and the skill of the performers.
So, all in all, three wonderful nights. Being a steward is very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend volunteering, if you’d like to do something good for the paying public and see concerts given by some of the best artists in the business. Roll on the Summer Festival!
Spitalfields Music Festival Steward
Posted in Festival
Tagged christ church spitalfields, EXAUDI, monteverdi, music, Restrospect Ensemble, spitalfields, spitalfields music, Steward, Volunteer, winter festival, Winter Festival 2010
Tonight we have the last two concerts of our Winter Festival. A fantastic double bill beginning with the wonderful EXAUDI in what will be a stunning rendition of Monteverdi’s Third Book of Madrigals at 6.30 pm followed by Retrospect Ensemble with a programme of Italian instrumental music exploring the styles and aesthetics of the Baroque era (8.30pm). There will be tickets available on the door for both of tonight’s performances (Cash & Cheque only).
We hope to see you there but if you’re unable to make it, don’t fret – we’ll be announcing our fantastic line-up for Summer Festival 2011 in February and we promise it won’t disappoint!
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To find out more about priority booking and supporting us click here.
For our final instalment of the Spitalfields Music staff’s picks from the Winter Festival and the rest of cultural London, we have Marketing & Communications Intern, Michael sharing his favourite forthcoming events.
The concert I’m most looking forward to this festival is Monteverdi, Opera & Beyond (6 January) being given by some of the most renowned names of the English early music scene. In addition to the superb tenor Paul Agnew, there is harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani, gambist Jonathan Manson and lutenist David Miller – a truly great line-up! Their exploration of recitative (an unusual take on the Monteverdi madrigal strand running through this winter’s programme) also allows them to touch on some lesser known gems, such as Nicholas Lanier’s epic Hero and Leander, as well as some more well-known items from Henry Purcell.
After a well-earned rest following the end of the festival this week, I’m quite looking forward to mezzo-soprano Christine Rice and pianist Roger Vignoles in concert at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday 16 January. The programme includes some real musical gems, such as chansons by Debussy and Poulenc, and Britten’s brilliant Cabaret Songs.
Posted in Festival
Tagged Britten, cabaret, Christine Rice, david miller, hero and leander, jonathan manson, mahan esfahani, michael duffy, monteverdi, Nicholas Lanier, Paul Agnew, Poulenc, recitative, Roger Vignoles, wigmore hall, Winter Festival 2010