Middle Temple Hall is special for many reasons: for the beauty of its design and architecture, for the glorious double hammer beam roof begun in 1562, for the historic law courts that still surround it. It is special for the great oak table cut from one tree in Windsor Forest and floated down the Thames to take up residence before the hall opened, for the halls importance to Elizabethan London and because Shakespeare almost certainly performed here in Twelfth Night at Candelmas, 1602 when the play was given it’s first ever performance.
Over the last few years, since the inauguration of Temple Song in 2006, we have found that Middle Temple Hall is also special because it has one of the best acoustics for chamber music and song in London.
I have performed here now with an array of the best singers in the world, most of them discovering Middle Temple Hall for the first time, and they all say the same thing: what a wonderful place to sing.
Olaf Bär, Thomas Allen, Felicity Lott, Christoph Pregardien, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Sergei Leiferkus, Gerald Finley, Willard White, Robert Holl, Danielle De Niese – they all say it is one of the very best acoustics for song that they know.
The first concert in the 2015 season on April 29th is ‘The Sea’, a celebration in words and music of the oceans that cover more than two thirds of our planet. The outstanding young actor Rory Kinnear, tenor Mark Padmore and baritone Roderick Williams join me for a programme that includes the works of among others Brahms, Britten, Coleridge, Eliot, Fauré, Hardy, Haydn, Kipling, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Tennyson.
On June 8th the tenor Toby Spence and the Doric Quartet join forces for an all British programme.
Vauhan Williams’ setting of Houseman’s ‘On Wenlock Edge’ is one of his finest works, scored for tenor, string quartet and piano. It will be the final work with two other masterpieces as companions, Britten’s song cycle On this Island and Elgar’s Piano Quintet.
Finally on October the 29th the great Jamaican bass Sir Willard White makes a welcome return to Middle Temple Hall with a feast of American music, including Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, Kurt Weill (his Walt Whitman settings) Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.
So do join us for one or all of these rather special concerts. A glass of wine is included in the ticket price and you will given a warm welcome!
Julius Drake – Temple Song Artistic Director
We are indebted to the Temple Song Founders, a group of enlightened and generous supporters, without whose sense of adventure, advice and encouragement, the series could not have come to fruition.
Sir Richard Aikens
Michael Brindle QC
Timothy Dutton QC
Graham Eklund QC
Julian Flaux QC
James Flynn QC
Jonathan Gaisman QC
Michael Howard QC
Michel Kallipetis QC
The Hon. Michael McLaren QC
Jeffery Onions QC
David Owen QC
Lionel Persey QC
Nigel Pleming QC
Sir Jeremy Stuart Smith
Rex Tedd QC