Internationally renowned pianist Lucy Parham makes her fourth visit to the Quarry Theatre in Bedford to present another of her acclaimed ‘Composer Portraits’ in aid of the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre’s ‘Warm-up’ Appeal this time accompanied by the celebrated actor Simon Russell Beale.
Premiered in 2012,‘Reverie’ was the fourth biographical programme of composers’ words and music compiled, scripted and performed by Lucy Parham. A crucial element of Debussy’s complex intellectual and emotional worlds was an entangled love life that brought illicit trysts in Jersey, a brush with a revolver and even a suicide attempt. The narrative takes the form of a personal journal following him from initial success with the Prix de Rome in 1885 to his untimely death in 1918. It is punctuated with piano solo works ranging from the ever-popular lyricism of Clair de Lune, reverie and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair to such virtuosic showpieces as Jardins sous la Pluie, the Etudes and L’Isle Joyeuse.
In previous years with Joanna David and Robert Glenister, Lucy has performed ‘Beloved Clara’-the story of the intense relationship between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara and the young Johannes Brahms-and last year Joanna and Robert returned with ‘Odyssey of Love’, the story of Liszt and his women. The year before last, with Henry Goodman, Lucy presented ‘Elegie’ chronicling the life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. All three concerts were hugely successful and enjoyed by capacity audiences.
This performance is in aid of the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre’s £300,000 ‘Warm-Up’appeal to enable green energy-based heating and natural ventilation systems to be installed at the theatre. The heating system, using water-source heat pumps, has been installed, is fully funded and is workimg very effectively. The next phase is to install the new ventilation system-essential in view of the 2018 heatwave.