7th Summer Music at Ansells Weekend, 2015

June 26th-28th 2015

Singer Stephen Varcoe and his wife Melinda have been running extremely successful Song Workshop Days at Ansells Farm, Alphamstone for twelve years. And this summer for the seventh time they’re presenting a whole weekend of musical delights, in conjunction with workshops for solo singers, all taking place in the barn at Ansells.

The weekend begins with “The Golden Bough” at 8pm on Friday June 26th, a celebration of the chiaroscuro world of legend, myth & fantasy in songs and words, with baritone Stephen Varcoe & distinguished actor Andrew Harrison, and pianist Christina Lawrie. Programmes for this are available from Ansells at £14.00, to include a glass of wine.

Why not bring a picnic and enjoy it in the garden before the concert, from 6pm?

On Saturday night June 27th, also at 8pm, we welcome the fantastic Mellstock Band, with their programme of songs, dances and stories from the Thomas Hardy Songbook, ‘Sing Melodious all the Day’. All sorts of country instruments (including a serpent) plus surprise contributions from Stephen Varcoe, mean this is going to be a real treat and great fun! Programmes are on sale from Ansells at £14.00, to include a glass of wine.

Again, any concert-goers who want to enjoy a picnic beforehand are welcome, from 6pm.

Lastly, the informal concert by course participants will be on Sunday June 28th at 3pm. This is a chance for each of our course participants to perform the songs on which they’ve been working with Stephen, accompanied by pianist Susi Morrow. Tea and plenty of homemade cakes (which are the real reason for the popularity of our workshops!) are included in the admission cost of £5.

This promises to be a really special weekend, and space is limited, so book your seats for these musical treats as soon as possible; and for those who choose to come to all three, we offer a special price of £28, a saving of £5.00!

Contact: Stephen and Melinda Varcoe

stephen@varcoe.com

Ansells Farm
Alphamstone
Bures
Suffolk

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Singing Workshop at Ansells Farm, 21st February 2015: The Italian Spirit

[Update] This workshop is now fully booked.

We invite you to join us for our first Singing Workshop of 2015. Our theme this time is Songs & Arias in Italian, that most musical of singing languages. Here’s your chance to be a Pavarotti or a Sutherland for a day (though no concessions for celebrities); or maybe you love the gentler baroque cadences of the Aria Antiche or the wonderful traditional songs of Naples and the Commedia dell’arte? However your love of the Bel Paese and its music grabs you we want to hear it!

£110 for the workshop, £35 to bring your own accompanist, and £30 deposit. We also encourage observers if people aren’t ready to take part as singers – this costs £55, including lunch.

Tel: 01787 269570
Email svarcoe1@googlemail.com

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Forthcoming Song Workshops in 2015

If you are thinking of attending some of Stephen’s song workshops or classes, here are some advance dates for your calendar. Further details will be posted in due course.

February 21, 2015
Ansells workshop – Italian songs and arias.

February 27 – March 1, 2015
A weekend of English song at Jackdaws with Sarah Leonard.

May 2, 2015
‘On Wings of Song’.

August 9-15, 2015
A week of classes at the Sherborne Summer School of Music.

August 16-23, 2015
A week of classes at AIMS, Eastbourne College.

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Recent concerts, October 2014

In October 2014, Stephen appeared in the following concerts:

October 4 – WW1 recital in Farley Church, Salisbury, with William Cole.
October 11 – conducted a ‘Come and Sing’ Mozart Requiem in Long Melford Church, Suffolk.

A date for your diaries:

November 12 2014 – concert with the Dante String Quartet in Kendal.

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Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 29th November 2014: Out of the Darkness, songs from the composers & poets of WW1

In this centenary year of commemmoration, regret and gratitude it would be a strange omission if we didn’t celebrate the legacy to music of those precocious talents who died in or were profoundly affected by the Great War.

Some of the finest poems in English, and some of the most moving and astonishing songs, remain as the promise of what might have been had things been different. In contrast to the exquisite songs of e.g. Butterworth, Gurney, Farrar, Denis Browne, Vaughan Williams and Holst are the hundreds of popular songs written to keep up the spirits of the folk at home.

Of course this was truly a world war, so what wartime songs from other countries can you find to balance this feast of Englishness? We invite you to choose those which sum up for you the pride, patriotism and pity of that extraordinary time, and move us afresh as we try to imagine what it must have been like.

Contact us at stephen@varcoe.com for more details of these days, or to be added to the mailing list for future workshops.

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Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 18th October 2014: Lyric Landscapes

We invite you to join us for the first of our Ansells Song Workshop Days after this warm and pleasant summer.

One of the themes which has constantly inspired composers and poets through the ages is the landscape. In Britain alone we have open heaths, hills and dales, cityscapes and village greens, woodlands and farm fields, open roads and hidden paths – and then there’s the rest of the world! Close your eyes and let some armchair travel carry you to deserts and oases, mountain ranges and icy wastes, azure seas and exotic jungles…. and if all that’s not purple enough to get you thinking of songs to bring to our next workshop, your imagination needs an MOT!

Contact us at stephen@varcoe.com for more details of these days, or to be added to the mailing list for future workshops.

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2014 Summer Music Weekend a success

Ansells 6th Summer Music Weekend June 27th-29th 2014

Once again our annual festival of words and music was a marvellous success. We had a brilliant evening on Friday 27th when husband and wife actors John Woodvine & Lynn Farleigh joined Stephen Varcoe for the delightful programme ‘The Best Years of our Lives?’ Songs ranging from Schubert to Sting, and the unforgettable transformation of venerable actor into uncouth teenager for Martin Newell’s poem ‘I wanna be a Goth’ were just some of the highlights.

Saturday evening saw a welcome return by international chamber ensemble The Fibonacci Sequence, for this occasion morphing into a piano, horn and oboe trio. Wonderful musicianship and exuberant, joyful music-making of the highest quality!

Sunday afternoon found our group of singers presenting their short programme of songs on which they had worked with Stephen – and as always, there were lots of cakes for tea!
We missed the showers by the skin of our teeth all weekend, and from the feedback we’ve received the consensus is that it was our best festival yet.

Next year’s festival will be from Friday 26th – Sunday 28th June, so put it in your diary now!

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Ansells Summer Music Weekend 2014

In conjunction with our annual Workshop for Singers Weekend, two fantastic concerts with world-renowned artists plus a relaxed tea-concert to hear what our students have achieved during the weekend workshop:

Friday 27th June 8pm THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES? A celebration of childhood and youth in songs & words with Stephen Varcoe (baritone), distinguished actors Lynn Farleigh & John Woodvine (readers) & Christina Lawrie (piano)

Saturday 28th June 8pm THE FIBONACCI SEQUENCE, internationally acclaimed chamber ensemble with Stephen Varcoe, music for oboe, horn, voice & piano by Saint-Saens, Schumann, Dukas, Berlioz, Schubert and more.

Audience welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the garden from 6pm before concerts

Sunday 29th June 3pm INFORMAL CONCERT by singers on the course, plus tea and homemade cakes.

Friday concert 8pm £13 incl. glass of wine

Saturday concert £13 incl. glass of wine

Sunday concert 3pm £5 incl tea and cakes

BOOK ALL THREE FOR ONLY£26.50, a saving of £4.50!

Tel: 01787 269570 or

email svarcoe1@googlemail.com

to reserve seats. Programmes on the door.

Limited space so hurry!

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Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 10th May 2014: Songs of the Stage

Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 10th May 2014: Songs of the Stage

Another successful workshop, with all places filled.

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Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 22nd March 2014: Planning a Programme

Song Workshop at Ansells Farm, 22nd March 2014: Planning a Programme.

The workshop was full and a tremendous success.

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