When Eric died at the end of January 2021, in the middle of that ghastly pandemic, it was impossible to have anything other than a very small funeral for him. Knowing that there would be many people who would have attended if it had been possible, and who would like the opportunity to remember Eric and celebrate his life and achievements, our good friend Ben England has set up a concert in his memory.
Please join us on November 19th 2022 at 7.30pm in the glorious surroundings of St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol, for this special celebration of Eric’s life and music, performed by an array of choirs, soloists and orchestras who knew and admired his work.
This special evening will showcase Eric’s broad range of compositional skills, from his lyrical writing for choir, to his tender, emotional operatic music to his expansive and thrilling writing for orchestra.
Members of the local choir Miscellany will perform a number of Eric’s choral works, joined for some by singers from the Bristol G&S Operatic Society, which Eric conducted for many years.
During the pandemic, Eric generously allowed his music to be shared widely to bring joy to thousands, and he found a substantial audience for his work around the world. The concert will showcase a new digital performance of Eric’s arrangement of My Lagan Love, recorded by Homechoir – a choir started online and featuring thousands of members worldwide.
A selection of movements from Eric’s two acclaimed operas A Foreign Field (2010) and The Snow Child (2012) will be performed by celebrated soloists with full orchestra. These two works, composed when Eric was in his 80s, were performed to excellent reviews and A Foreign Field was restaged in November 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. The revival performance won the NODA Award for Best Operatic Performance 2018.
The World Premiere of Eric’s final work, Portrait of a City, a suite for full orchestra written for and dedicated to the City of Bristol will take place, alongside movements from the Bristol Quay Suite and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings, with guest performer Chris Gradwell from the Little Big Band.
The audience will also be treated to a performance of movements from We Are The Women, a powerful work exploring the themes of war from the female perspective. This collection of songs never fails to inspire and move audiences and at this point in human history has never been more relevant.
The programme for the concert has been specially chosen to highlight Eric’s talent for writing exceptionally beautiful melodies and harmonies that support but never overwhelm them. Eric used to say “I was born in the wrong era” when describing his music, and those who appreciate excellent tunes will very much enjoy his music.
The performance will be narrated by John Telfer (Rev Alan Franks from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers) and conducted by Ben England who was awarded the BEM in October 2020 for services to choral music and the community.
The concert will support the wonderful work of St Peter’s Hospice where Eric spent
some of the last months of his life and was inspired and comforted by his visits.
All profits, plus a retiring collection, will go to this essential charitable organisation.
We do hope we will have the pleasure of your company on this occasion of music, memories and love.
Tickets available: www.ticketsource.co.uk/remembering-eric-wetherell
Or early bird tickets and other rewards can be selected by helping us via our fundraiser: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/remembering-eric-wetherell2