It was a week-end of wonderful concerts in Fitzwilliam. It started with an extraordinary (professional) staged performance of Handel’s ‘Acis & Galatea’ by Mid-Wales Opera. The versatility of the small orchestra, directed by Nicholas Cleobury, provided a glorious ‘duet’ with the singers.

Then on Saturday 22 February Fitzwilliam’s Hannah Roper (Music 2013) organized a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. This professionally-led performance is reviewed here by Giverny McAndry (Music 2012).

Two more musical treats on Sunday 23 February. Our Organ Scholar, Charles Gurnham (Natural Sciences 2012) showed what he could do with Mussorgsky’s virtuoso ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ and works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Sadly, I couldn’t attend that – we were on a wonderful tandem discovery of local villages with an enthusiastic group of postgraduate and undergraduate cyclists (pictured). Finally on Sunday, Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble presented a rare chance to hear both versions of Bach’s fourth Brandenburg Concerto, with violin and harpsichord solos.  We are truly spoiled.

Bike ride


Today and tomorrow, Fitzwilliam Chamber Opera (the only permanent college-based opera group in Cambridge) is putting on a new production of ‘Spirit Harbour’, composed by Fitz alumnus Lliam Paterson (Music 2010). ‘Spirit Harbour’ explores the emotional and physical dislocation caused by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience contemporary opera with elements of Japanese Noh and kabuki-style theatre here at Fitz. And look out for the Fitzwilliam Quartet who return to College in March…

Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

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