Independent Opera & Britten Sinfonia celebrate bicentenary of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert’s births

An Independent Opera commission, Talbot took inspiration from Queen
Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet designed for her by Prince Albert,
which was purchased for the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2017 through
the generosity of IO co-founders, Bill and Judy Bollinger, and Douglas and
James Bollinger as a gift to the Nation and the Commonwealth. The coronet,
which will go on permanent public display from 11 April in the newly
refurbished William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, is the highlight of the
V&A’s bicentenary celebrations, alongside events, displays and new

For his new cantata, Joby Talbot has set poetry from across the world that
explore themes of love and loss: “A Sheen of Dew on Flowers sets sacred
texts by women, collected from all parts of the world and written across
three millennia. The poems (translated into English by the American poet
Jane Hirshfield) speak of love and mourning and are put together in a way
that suggests a burgeoning love affair that is cut short by bereavement. It
thus mirrors the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s own
relationship, while celebrating the great museum that was such an important
part of their shared vision,”

Conducting Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices for the first time
is Natalie Murray Beale, IO’s Creative Director, who will be joined by
soloists Kelley O’Connor and Tobias Greenhalgh. The evening will also
include a performance of Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony No. 3 in
recognition of the composer’s relationship with Queen Victoria and Prince
Albert. This performance marks IO’s third collaboration with Britten
Sinfonia following productions of Hartmann’s

Simplicius Simplicissimus

and Vose?ek’s

Biedermann and the Arsonists


Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells was founded in 2005 to support
outstanding young artists in every discipline of opera. Seeing the need to
bridge the gap between raw talent and a professional career, co-founders
Bill and Judy Bollinger, together with Alessandro Talevi, devised a series
of initiatives to support young and talented artists. IO mounted its first
production – Rossini’s La Scala di Seta – directed by Alessandro Talevi,
within the year and, two years later, launched its comprehensive Artist
Support scheme with Natalie Murray Beale as consultant. She has overseen
the running and development of the scheme which to date has awarded
scholarships, fellowships and one-off grants to 116 artists in the fields
of singing, directing, design, choreography and production. In addition to
the 137 grants worth more than £800,000, part of IO’s ethos is also to
provide professional mentoring support.

In 2017, IO added a further string to its bow when it launched the first of
its annual recitals at the Wigmore Hall, held for IO’s current vocal award
recipients, all recent graduates from the UK’s leading music
conservatoires. The same year IO announced the start of their sponsorship
of the biennial Wigmore Hall International Song Competition from 2019, with
Natalie Murray Beale as a member of the jury.

Bill and Judy Bollinger were recognised as Philanthropists of the Year at
the 2016 International Opera Awards

product_title=Independent Opera and Britten Sinfonia present Joby Talbot’s A Sheen of Dew on Flowers; Britten Sinfonia, Natalie Murray Beale (conductor);
Thursday 11 April 2019, Barbican.
product_id= Above: Joby Talbot