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Spooky setting for spy premier

PUBLISHED: 18:30 05 June 2002 | UPDATED: 15:27 03 March 2010

THE shadowy world of spies has inspired a new choral work that will be premiered in the unlikely setting of the former Bentwaters Airbase, near Woodbridge.

THE shadowy world of spies has inspired a new choral work that will be premiered in the unlikely setting of the former Bentwaters Airbase, near Woodbridge.

The foreboding venue in Rendlesham will host this Saturday two renditions of the ConSPIracy Cantata, a new work by Yannis Kyriakides, as the world renowned 55th Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts begins.

In the unusual work, young Anglo-Cypriot composer Kyriakides uses spy number transmissions on the shortwave radio, which anyone can intercept but not understand: the former second world airfield should be the ideal setting!

The festival kicks off the night before with the stage premiere of Gerald Barry's opera for television The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Alfred Brendel, one of the world's greatest pianists, will also perform as well as fellow pianist Imogen Cooper and cellist Steven Isserlis. The respected City of Birmingham Orchestra will also be residence for the two-week festival.

Founded in 1948 by singer Peter Pears and composer Benjamin Britten, one Suffolk's most famous sons, this year's Aldeburgh festival takes on a Viennese whirl as it explores the relationship between Britten and the music of the Austrian capital, Vienna.

But the festival – which is about community participation and education at the centre of the art - isn't just about music.

There are films – by Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett and Laurence Oliviers acclaimed Henry V – at the Aldeburgh Cinema. Visual art comes in the form of an exhibition of stage deisgns by the Turner Prize-winning artist Howard Hodgkin and a talk on Suffolk's noted aural historian George Ewart Evans will be given by his son.

Lighter moments can be found on the resort's seafront when a huge percussion orchestra strikes up, as well as the Suffolk Phoenix brass band.

Even alternative comedy is on offer among many other acts at the Pumphouse, Aldeburgh's disused pumping station, which hosts the festival 'fringe'.

Though many of the concerts are already sold out, every Snape Maltings event, there will be 20 tickets that will be made available at the Aldeburgh box office at 9.30am the day before each concert. Call 01728 687110.

Weblink: www.aldeburgh.co.uk

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