Suffolk’s highly acclaimed, all-female vocal group, Seraphim, has hand-picked some Broadland and north Suffolk church gems – each home to glorious or gilded painted screens – for their autumn musical pilgrimage on Sunday 7th October 2018.
The intimate and all-inclusive full day ‘pilgrimage’ features four mini-concerts of especially collected exquisite works for upper voices, programmed and presented to perfection by eminent director, Vetta Wise – a much admired and unique formula which has already wooed past ‘pilgrims’ as they enjoyed themed, ‘divinely different days’ out around the hidden villages of Suffolk and Norfolk.
“East Anglia has some really wonderful survivals and revivals when it comes painted rood screens, even in its most rural churches,” enthuses Ms Wise, who formed Halesworth-based Seraphim in 2014. “The exquisite paintings were just part of the rich and awe-inspiring religious picture in medieval times. Their colours may have faded over the centuries, but with a delicate gilding of fine musical context, how they come back to life in their full glory!”
This October’s pilgrims are assured of many golden moments when the eight incredible voices of Seraphim fill the secret spaces of the ‘Cathedral of the Broads’, St Helen’s at Ranworth and St Michael’s and All Angels, Barton Turf (both amongst England’s finest rood screen survivals); St John the Baptist at Lound (with 20th century shining ‘wonders’ by Ninian Comper) and St Peter & St John, Kirkley (home to a replica of a rare wrought-iron screen and a place associated with Sir Benjamin Britten in his childhood).
Evocative soundscapes from Monteverdi and Palestrina will be complemented by works from a wide range of composers including Poulenc and living composer, Gjielo. “The painted screens were created as expressions of joyful beauty and have become national treasures – they deserve to be celebrated, and when better than amidst the golden ambers of autumn?”
A gentle journey, an unhurried day of surprises and unique experiences, Seraphim’s musical pilgrimage on Sunday 7th October 2018 includes morning and afternoon refreshments, a sit-down lunch with waterside views and escorted coach travel from a range of local pick-up points. Tickets cost £69.00 per person, but book before 14th September and enjoy an early bird offer of just £62.00.