8th Summer Music at Ansells Weekend, June 2016

The 8th Summer Music at Ansells Weekend June 24th-26th 2016 – workshops, concerts, food and fun. All eight participants’ places are already filled, but we keep a waiting list, so please enquire if you’re interested.

8th Summer Music at Ansells Weekend, 2016
June 24th-26th 2016

Singer Stephen Varcoe and his wife Melinda have been running extremely successful Song Workshop Days at Ansells Farm, Alphamstone for thirteen years. And this summer for the eighth 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 “Saints & Sinners – or does the devil really have all the best tunes?” at 8pm on Friday June 24th, a programme in songs and words exploring all sorts of delights sacred and profane, with baritone Stephen Varcoe, pianist Christina Lawrie &, to our great delight, a return visit from actor Andy Harrison who was such a brilliant success last year. 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 June 25th, also at 8pm, we welcome once again the fantastic Fibonnacci Sequence, the renowned chamber ensemble, with music for violin,cello and piano. 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 26th 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
CO8 5HN

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Singing Workshop at Ansells Farm, 2nd April 2016: “The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, breathe promise of merry sunshine…”

So sings Nanki Poo in The Mikado, and this gave us the idea that floral felicity and burgeoning buds would make a very good theme for our spring Song Day at Ansells. The vocal repertoire is full of flowers – lilies, violets, roses with and without thorns, to name but a few – and if you stretch the imagination to include other plants and trees too – well, where to start? Even if by April this year all the daffodils will be over, and we’ll have reached Storm Zoe in the extreme weather league, it’s still a wonderful time of year and has inspired poets and composers from Chaucer to Cole Porter. Why not make a day of singing and study at Ansells one of your post-Easter treats?

As always, a whole day workshop for singers 9.45 -5pm, including the services of our accompanist. 2 course lunch with wine, coffee and tea breaks with homemade cakes.

Price £110

Contact us at stephen@varcoe.com for more information

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Singing Workshop at Ansells Farm, 7th November 2015: Written on Water

You are welcome to join us for our Singing Workshop on November 7 at Ansells Farm. Our theme is anything connected with water, from the smallest raindrop to the mightiest ocean via a whole landscape (waterscape?) of marshes, streams and rivers. Nor should we forget the ever-popular poetic teardrop.

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

Tel: 01787 269570
Email svarcoe1@googlemail.com

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Recent and forthcoming events, autumn 2015

As well as the events listed below, details of the November 2015 Singing Workshop at Ansells Farm are now available.

September 2015. Ten days in Munich adjudicating the presigious ARD International Music Competition with fellow panellists Anja Silja, Robert Holl and Helen Donath among others.

October 10: Conducting “Come and Sing” performance of Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man in Long Melford church.

October 18: Lecture recital with Graham Johnson at the Oxford Lieder Festival on the late songs of Fauré.

October 25: Celebration of the life and work of Australian poet Michael Thwaites at King’s Place, London, with Timothy West and Penelope Thwaites.

October 30 and December 6: Recitals in Trinity School, Dundee and Chelsea Arts Club, London, with Christina Lawrie.

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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 commemoration, 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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