Peterborough Cathedral
16 February, 18.30

Why do you want to go to the moon?

As part of their residency at Metal Peterborough artist Bettina Furnée and writer Lucy Sheerman have created a choral work based on candid responses from a series of interviews with twelve Peterborough couples about a potential extended trip to the moon. Excised, edited and rearranged, these transcripts form the basis of a new libretto, which reflects the format of Evensong, and explores issues of faith and changed perspectives.

Could you take a journey into space with your long-term partner?

Celebrated composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad set the new libretto to music. This contemporary fifty-minute work for cathedral choir, children's choir and organ is modelled on the structure of Evensong, and sets both traditional texts (including the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis) and the new libretto. Cheryl Frances-Hoad is described as ‘an extraordinary talent’ (The Times) whose work is ‘mercurial, always compelling’ (The Spectator).

What would you disagree about?

Even You Song invites the city into the cathedral with the participation of 120 schoolchildren and the twelve Peterborough couples who volunteered to do the interviews.

Even You Song is an artwork inspired by the structure and themes of Evensong, a service that goes back to the earliest days of the Church. The piece celebrates that tradition and the return of the organ to Peterborough Cathedral in 2017, re-pitched from ‘Old Philarmonic’ to ‘Standard’ concert pitch. The project was influenced by the cathedral’s invocation of a heavenly sphere through its soaring pillars, its beautiful otherworldly evensong service and the sheer force and power of the organ, which figures as a kind of ‘lift off’.

What would you miss most?

The first performance of Even You Song will take place at Peterborough Cathedral on 16 February 2017. The music is directed by Cathedral Director of Music Steven Grahl, and performed by Cathedral and Community Choirs, with assistant Director David Humphreys as organist. The Community Choir brings together choirs from St. Augustine’s CE (VA)

Junior School, Bishop Creighton Academy, West Town Primary Academy & William Law CE Primary School.

The production incorporates digital projections of domestic interiors captured during the interviews and a printed libretto.

Bettina and Lucy developed Even You Song as artists in residence at METAL, Peterborough with support from Arts Council England and Peterborough Cathedral.

Also generously supported by:

Ambache Charitable Trust, Arts Council England, Metal, Peterborough, Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough Presents, RVW Trust

Read this review from Planet Hugill