Battle Festival launches crowd funding bid for 1066 opera

Battle Festival world premiere with Glyndebourne. Howard Moody is pictured with children at Chantry School, Bexhill. SUS-160113-100219001
Battle Festival world premiere with Glyndebourne. Howard Moody is pictured with children at Chantry School, Bexhill. SUS-160113-100219001
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Battle Festival has launched a £5,000 crowd funding initiative to help it fund a major new opera marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Already receiving national media attention, Battle Festival’s opera, titled PUSH, has also stoked the interest of local choirs, professional and amateur singers and school children from across Hastings and Rother, many of whom will take the stage as part of the opera’s community choir.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow them to sing alongside soloists from Glyndebourne and many of the country’s top classical musicians at the world premiere on October 1.

Funding of PUSH has been ongoing since late 2015, with generous contributions from Arts Council England, Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex Arts Partnership, Chalk Cliff Trust, Magdalen & Lasher Charity and Battle Partnership.

However, organisers are now responding to a number of requests from the public, keen to be part of this historic event somehow but, in the words of one, ‘not necessarily blessed with a singing voice’.

Yesterday evening (Thursday, May 12), internationally-acclaimed composer Howard Moody introduced the opera’s music score to the community choir for the first time.

And festival chairman David Furness took the opportunity to launch the crowd funding initiative.

He said he was hoping for ‘a high uptake on participation by the public’.

Mr Furness said: “We would like to enable as many people as possible from across 1066 Country and the country as a whole to take part in this event – after all it marks the single most significant episode in our country’s history.

“However, there are geographic and logistical restrictions on both the number of singers we can accommodate on stage and on audience numbers, so here is a way for everybody, everywhere, to mark this momentous date.

“We welcome all contributions, however small – this is about creating a legacy and there are no restrictions on being part of it.”

If you’d like to contribute, visit www.youcaring.com/battle-festival-550850

Or, to find out more about the project and Battle Festival, visit www.BattleFestival.co.uk

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