Alston creates final work for his company

Published: 20 September 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

Sir Richard Alston's final work for his company, Shine On, danced to Benjamin Britten’s song cycle On This Island performed live by soprano Katherine McIndoe and pianist Jason Ridgeway, will receive its UK première will be at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh on 1 and 2 November 2019 and Sadler’s Wells, London on 7 and 8 March 2020.

On This Island, Britten’s 1937 song cycle, his first for voice and piano, is set to five poems from W H Auden’s collection of the same name, two of which were dedicated to Britten.

Aldeburgh also sees the UK première of Voices and Light Footsteps (a name Alston liked so much he recycled it from a piece he made for Rambert in 1984). The piece is inspired by the expressive vocal madrigals and instrumental sinfonias of Claudio Monteverdi. The evening is completed by two works from 2019, Martin Lawrance’s Detour and Alston’s Brahms Hungarian.

Sadler’s Wells, in March 2020, will see Richard Alston Dance Company’s final ever performances. Shine On will be performed alongside Voice and Light Footsteps, Mazur and a new work by Martin Lawrance, A Far Cry.

Shine On is the ninth work Alston has created to Britten's scores. The others are: The Brilliant and the Dark (Cello Sonata); Dances from the Kingdom of Pagodas (Prince of Pagodas); Rumours, Visions (Les Illuminations), Lachrymae, Phaedra, Hölderlin Fragments, Ceremony of Carols, Rejoice in the Lamb.