Louth Festival of the Bees


Conference Day Thursday 23rd May

Art Exhibition 17th to 23rd May

The Louth Concert for Bees - Sunday 26th May

4pm - an afternoon performance.

Main sponsor - East Lindsey Distric Council

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne. - - Marcus Aurelius, ~160AD

Playgoers Riverhead Studio Theatre

Concert performance from

Silence of the Bees: A Science Opera

Hybrid Pollination

A bee cantata for solo voices, children’s choir and piano
Composed by Kelvin Thomson

Songs of Bees and Flowers

Performed by Kate Witney.

Tickets are £8 and are available from Off the Beaten Tracks in Aswell Street and Royston's Deli in Queen Street, Louth or phone Biff on 01507 358413 to order tickets by post.

The concert was inspired by the bee poetry of Sylvia Plath and Jo Shapcott and the scientific work of bumblebee biologist Mark Brown.

Texts have been drawn from original sources including famous beekeepers Leo Tolstoy, Marcus Aurelius, Francis Bacon, Emily Dickinson and others.

Danae Eleni – Soprano
Sophie Yelland – Mezzo Soprano
Patrick Ashcroft – Tenor
Andre Refig – Baritone

With Music Director and pianist Wyn Hyland

Fame is a bee.
It has a song—
It has a sting—
Ah, too, it has a wing.

Emily Dickinson

In an exciting and ambitious collaboration between the worlds of art and science, Royal Holloway University of London, presented in March 2013 the world première of a new one-act opera by composer Kelvin Thomson, Silence of the Bees: A Science Opera, based on the work of scientist and bee expert Dr Mark Brown.

What happens when a scientist wants to tell the world about a crisis but the world isn’t interested? And when even science may not have all the answers? Others may hold the truth: how can the science facts be separated from the science fiction? Mixing verbatim material with poetry by Jo Shapcott and Liz Bahs, this brand new opera, addressed a little-understood crisis, was daring, thrilling and funny.

Mark Brown is a leading figure in current research into the dangerous decline in bee populations in Britain, and has been instrumental in re-introducing species to this country.

Performed by a professional cast and musicians, The Silence of the Bees was innovative, accessible and thought-provoking, providing a new way of communicating science and challenging our ideas of what science, art and opera really are.

As part of The Louth Festival of the Bees, Transition Town Louth is delighted to present a concert performance from the opera. Hybrid Pollination is sung by members of the original cast with the addition of tenor, Paddy Ashcroft. Supporting the work will be Louth's own Kate Witney singing her own selection of Songs of Bees and Flowers.

Silence of the Bees - A Science Opera - Facebook Page

Review from The Pod Delusion

Hazel Adams - Wildlife Painting

We—Bee and I—live by the quaffing—
'Tisn't all Hock—with us—
Life has its Ale—
But it's many a lay of the Dim Burgundy—
We chant—for cheer—when the Wines—fail—

Do we "get drunk"?
Ask the jolly Clovers!
Do we "beat" our "Wife"?
I—never wed—
Bee—pledges his—in minute flagons—
Dainty—as the trees—on our deft Head—

While runs the Rhine—
He and I—revel—
First—at the vat—and latest at the Vine—
Noon—our last Cup—
"Found dead"—"of Nectar"—
By a humming Coroner—
In a By-Thyme!

Emily Dickinson (1830-86)

The Arrival of the Bee Box Sylvia Plath.

The Arrival of the Beat Box (2011) for soprano and speaking body percussionist
Texts: Kelvin Thomson,
Greek translation. Danae Eleni; Socrates; Timotheus
Italian translation. Enrico Bertelli ; Pindar 10’00
First performance at the 2nd Athens Composer/Performer Conference 15.10.2011
Danae Eleni, soprano and Enrico Bertelli, body.percussion

Kelvin Thomson; Composer, arranger, piano, keyboard.

The People

Kate Witney - Soprano

Danae Eleni – Soprano

Sophie Yelland – Mezzo Soprano

Patrick Ashcroft – Tenor

Andre Refig – Baritone

Kelvin Thomson - Composer

Wyn Hyland - Musical Director

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. - Audrey Hepburn

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