Trees, walls and cities: City of London Festival 2013

Published on : Sunday, February 3, 2013

The 2013 Festival offers an entertaining and thought-provoking programme rooted in three interlocking themes: city walls – connecting the City of London with Derry~Londonderry and other historic walled cities from Utrecht to Jerusalem; conflict and resolution; and trees, sustaining the Festival’s artistic responses to the environment (bees in 2010, birds in 2011 and flowers in 2012).

The Festival will reflect on significant historical landmark anniversaries, including the 400-year relationship between the City of London and Derry~Londonderry and the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten – one of Britain’s most important composers.

Programme highlights include:

World class concerts: great artists will appear in St Paul’s Cathedral for high-profile ticketed concerts, starting with Britten’s War Requiem and concluding with a special, one-off combination of Barber’s iconic Adagio and Agnus Dei.

Bringing the City to life: the 2013 Festival will bring to life the City’s historic buildings. In addition to concerts in many of the unique Livery Halls, new choral and orchestral work will be performed simultaneously in both the Guildhalls of London and Derry. On the other side of the Thames, Mahogany Opera will perform each of Britten’s Church Parables in Southwark Cathedral, where the composer himself directed the first London performances; in Mansion House, the official home and office for the Lord Mayor of London, there will be a concert by the Britten Sinfonia.

In the outdoors, the squares and gardens of the City will have music, street theatre, circus and dance, free for all to enjoy. Highlights include the Festival Children’s Parade in which a thousand young people will process through the City in a display of music, dance, sculpture and puppetry.

Free summer events programme: the Festival will open up the outdoor spaces of the City and beyond to a wide range of audiences with over 100 free events programmed across a wide range of art forms. Highlights include a Family Day on Hampstead Heath.

Mobile Orchard: a pop-up mobile orchard with real and manufactured trees will take root at a number of City locations throughout the Festival period. Part installation, part performance platform, passersby will be transported from the inner city to a leafy glade to take in music, street theatre, dance and participatory activities as well as discovering more about native British orchards and the City’s trees.

Since its inauguration in 1962 the City of London Festival has brought the Square Mile’s monumental architecture, wealth of buildings, outdoor spaces and ancient streets to life with a rich and extraordinary programme of events.

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