Join us for this special open-air fundraising concert for Cumberland Lodge, presented by our friends from Cantata Dramatica, on Saturday 12 September.
Bring your friends and family to enjoy a magical performance of music and dance on the lawn by Danyal Dhondy, based on the great Persian poem The Conference of the Birds, by the Sufi poet Farid ud-din Attar, known as ‘the Attar of Nishapur’.
These mystical words from the 12th-century have been reimagined in a new song-cycle. The tale is both amusing and thought-provoking, and speaks to the unique methodology of Cumberland Lodge, in bringing people together to discuss pressing issues, collaboratively.
Cantata Dramatica is a not-for-profit organisation that commissions and promotes new music, and works with both professional and amateur performers.
Gates open at 4pm and the performance will commence at 5.30pm, lasting about an hour-and-a-half.
Don’t forget to pre-book your picnic (see below)! Overnight accommodation is also available, should you wish to stay.
Setting the scene
Conference of the Birds begins with the Sufi Master asking this question of the birds around him: ‘Why was Adam driven from the Garden?’
The birds assemble for a conference to work out the answer, but each one gets confused, trapped in its own personality and unable to see the bigger picture.
Parables, interspersed with a song from each of the birds, guide them to a more thoughtful way of seeing the world, and they finally come together in an ensemble that celebrates the finding of wisdom.
A new song-cycle
This light-hearted adaptation of the famous 12th-century poem is set for singers, instrumentalists and dancers, drawing on musical sounds and motifs from the Middle East and South Asia.
It features seven solo songs from the Birds - the Hoopoe, Owl, Crow, Swan, Falcon, Nightingale and Peacock - and a trio for Thee Moths. There are Indian raga-style improvisations on the oud, tabla, oboe, violin and keyboard.
The band and singers are conducted by James Potter, and the dancers twirl like Dancing Dervishes under the direction of Sian Hopkins.
How to book
This performance will be performed with additional hygiene and social distancing measures in place, to ensure the safety of staff, guests and performers.
Tickets are now on sale through our Events & Meetings team. Please email us at email@example.com or call 01784 220521 to book.
Tickets cost £25 per person (sold on a first-come, first-served basis) and £5 per young person aged 12-16 and accompanied by an adult. In order to help with maintaining social distancing, we are unable to admit children under 12.*
Each ticket buys a space on the lawn, from which to watch the performance. Please bring your own picnic rug and/or folding chairs. We recommend warm layers in case it gets chilly as evening falls, and an umbrella if rain looks likely.
Priority spaces will be reserved for members of the Friends of Cumberland Lodge.
All proceeds from ticket sales will support the work of Cumberland Lodge, whilst we are unable to reopen to visiting groups, which is the main source of our charitable income.
* If the weather is too bad, please note that we may have to cancel the concert, in which case refunds will be given.
Why not book one of our Head Chef’s picnic boxes, to enjoy with the performance?
Each box includes a tasty selection of: homemade hummus with raw vegetable crudités; Cumberland sausage rolls (or vegetarian alternative); Coronation chicken with rice salad and toasted almonds (or vegetarian alternative); roasted vegetable frittata; tomato and basil salad; homemade coleslaw and mixed leaf salad; and fresh strawberries and cream for dessert.
Pre-booked picnic boxes for one cost £25, and boxes for two to share cost £40.*
Please note that no alcoholic drinks should be brought into the grounds, as a condition of our licence. Drinks will be available to purchase from the Bar.
** We regret that, in the event of cancellation due to bad weather, we will be unable to offer refunds on food orders, but your box will still be available to collect from the Lodge from 4pm till 7pm on the day.
We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of rooms for overnight accommodation on the night of Saturday 12 September 2020, on a bed-and-breakfast basis, for our concert guests.
Rooms are £130 for double occupancy, £115 for single, and should be booked separately, through our Events & Meetings team.
Please call 01784 220521 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
There is free parking on site, and the gardens are easily accessible from the parking areas. Please enter the Great Park via the Bishopsgate entrance, from Englefield Green.