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Out of the shadows: an evening of music for Pride 2024

Sunday June 16, 2024 at 19:00
Omnibus Theatre, London
£15, concessions £13, under 25s £6
Phone for tickets: 020 7498 4699
Book Online
Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Out of the Shadows - Robert Hugill
  2. Et expecto resurrectionem - Robert Hugill
  3. Songs of Love and Loss - Robert Hugill
    • The Dead Poet
    • Soft for music dies
    • Memorare
  4. Two Michelangelo Sonnets - Robert Hugill
  5. For David on his birthday - Robert Hugill
    • To see you happy
    • perhaps
  6. Summer Rain - Robert Hugill

As part of Omnibus Theatre's 96 Festival, its celebration of queerness and theatre, we present Out of the Shadows, an evening of music by Brixton-based contemporary classical composer Robert Hugill for Pride 2024.

Following the premiere last year, we feature two cantatas that take us from the twilight world of the 19th & early 20th century homosexual to a desperate search for eternal life, alongside songs celebrating love in all forms.

Out of the Shadows charts the emergence of gay men during the 19th century, and their gaining in confidence at being present and part of society. Taking in solos for tenor and for baritone, along with duets, the cycle moves from tentative admissions, setting texts from Carl Pontus Wikner's Psychological Confessions and Friedrich van Ramdohr's Venus Urania, through Joe Ackerley's description of cruising in a hostile climate from My Father and myself and Mikhail Kuzmin's more comic description of a Russian bath house visit, to Walt Whitman's unashamed declaration of same-sex attraction in To what you said.

Bringing the story more up to date, the evening will also include Hugill’s song Memorare from his 1998 cycle Songs of Love and Loss, setting MV Lively’s poetic description of an aids candlelit memorial. There are also love-songs, both the complexities of settings of John Addington Symonds’ translations of Michelangelo’s sonnets and the more direct experience of the 20th century Black American poet Carl Cook.

The cantata Et expecto resurrectionem looks at more general ideas of life after death. Written as a continuous sequence for tenor, baritone and piano it begins with the Latin affirmation of the Resurrection from the Creed, and then works through ideas of Cryogenics, the 19th century grave-robbing of Burke and Hare, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, ending in a landscape full of Walt Whitman's homo-erotic pantheistic transcendentalism.

Omnibus Theatre
1 Clapham Common, Northside

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