To celebrate the 400th anniversary of his birth, the Milton Consort present Samson Agonistes by John Milton in the Cathedral.
Samson Agonistes is Milton's signature poem, recounting Samson's final hours as he travels from despair to triumph in an extraordinary verse drama that is as much about the author as the biblical hero it portrays : both blind, both outcasts, both failed by love, but each at the end of their lives clinging to the belief that they will once again become God's champion.
The Milton Consort were formed at Shakespeare's Globe where they all still regularly perform after Peter Hamilton Dyer was asked by the Ledbury Poetry Festival to revive his recital of Samson Agonistes for their Poetry Festival this year. The performance had previously been given at the Edinburgh Festival and at the British Library for the Millennium Celebrations in 2000.
Using electronic effects and loops as appropriate, The Milton Consort interweave their core repertoire of C17 masque music played on historical instruments with this remarkable poem to create a performance that is thrilling, classical, and completely contemporary.
The performance has already excited interest abroad after the performances earlier this year in Ledbury, Oxford and at Milton's Alma Mater, St Paul's School, London.
The Milton Consort are:
Peter Hamilton Dyer: Voice
Keith McGowan: C17 flutes, pibcorn, threehole pipes
Arngeir Hauksson: Lute, sound engineer