News Corner

For news and in-depth articles on the festival, its history, and more...


It's just a bit less than a month till the Festival begins, so we've been catching up with our Artistic Directors to find out what they love about some of the concerts in this year's Festival. Beginning with Worcester's own Artistic Director, Peter Nardone, here's what he had to say about some of July's events...


My Opening Night: A Child of Our Time

"Three Choirs Festival programme planning begins years before the event and I've known since 2014 that I wanted the opening night to be Tippett’s A child of Our Time.
At that point I was unaware that Tippett - a confirmed pacifist - had begun writing his oratorio on 3 September 1939: the day that Britain declared war on Germany. His great oratorio was a direct response to both fascism and the European disunity of the time. Contained within the libretto are the words 'Away with them! Curse them! They infect the state! We cannot have them in our empire. They shall not work nor draw a dole. Let them starve in No-Man’s-Land!'
I listen to A Child of Our Time as a reminder of those things which unite us. Yet in spite of this powerful attack on racial prejudice, bigotry and xenophobia, it seems we might have been complacent in ignoring its warnings and we find ourselves again in uncertain times. An Artistic Director rarely issues political statements in his line of work, but I highlight this context by way of encouraging you to come and hear Tippett’s masterpiece in Worcester. Seize the opportunity and judge the works conclusions for yourself."

A Child of Our Time features alongside Elgar's Great is the Lord and Britten's Four Sea

Interludes from Peter Grimes Saturday 22 July, 7.45pm 

Our Three Choirs family...

On Tuesday 25 July, the Three Cathedral Choirs perform two Baroque works dedicated to Cecilia, patron saint of musicians.

"For me the most engaging ingredient to each of the Saint Cecilia odes by Purcell and Handel is the way in which the composers deal with the musical instruments in turn. Using chorus, articulation and subtlety of phrase, they animate for the listener the spirit of the instrument in question.
As I counter-tenor myself I frequently recall a tale of the early music revival performance many years ago where, in the Purcell ode, the male alto struck up with the line '‘tis nature’s voice'. Another voice from the audience responded with 'Oh no it isn’t!'"



...and an old friend

"It is such a joy to welcome back David Hurley to the Festival. In recent years, he has appeared in Worcester with the Kings Singers but this time comes as a song recitalist. Our friendship pre-dates all of this by years. I have vivid memories of hysterical laughter shared in a hotel in Northumberland when David and I were both recording for the Gabrieli Consort's A Venetian Coronation at Brinkburn Priory in the ‘80s. David and I were placed on the stratospherically high alto lines (reserved for castrati in the olden days).
Whilst I found this quite a struggle, David seemed to have little problem scaling the heights. I have no immediate answer to why he finds these notes so easy but I would certainly encourage all to come and hear this wonderful musician exhibiting his fabulous voice."

David Hurley sings on Saturday 22 July at Huntingdon Hall






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 Gerontius and  Dream Catcher:  Passing the  Baton

 Discover how the precious legacy  of Elgar's work inspired pupils  from Ledbury and Eastnor Primary Schools and Franche Community Primary School in Kidderminster. They will perform the poems they have made into songs as part of a partnership project between the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Three Choirs Festival.


 'Speak through  the earthquake,  wind and fire'

 Discover the beautiful words of  Rich Arenschieldt, Chairman of   the American Friends of the   Three  Choirs Festival. A  harrowing article  describing the uniqueness of our beloved festival.

"And yet, festival week is more than music"