Tippett, A Child of Our Time

Our first workshop day in May 2017 featured Michael Tippett’s masterpiece, A Child of Our Time, under the direction of John Hancorn and Nick Houghton, and accompanied by pianist Nancy Cooley. Our guest soloists for the informal performance were Lucy Mair, Briony Lambert, Nicolas Chisholm and Andrew Robinson.

About the piece

Tippett’s great secular Oratorio was the composer’s response to a real-life incident, the persecution of Jewish people in the pogrom of 1938 known as Kristallnacht. Despite its portrayal of horror and despair the work is also one of redemption and hope. A Child of Our Time is inspired by the great Passion settings of Bach and Handel. Tippett, however, wanted his work to speak to atheists, agnostics and people of all faiths. He sets five Spirituals in place of Bach’s Lutheran Chorales and includes many short, dramatic and challenging choruses.

A Child of Our Time is one of the choral masterworks of the 20th century, rarely staged by amateur choruses but a truly exciting sing. Come and learn it (or refresh your knowledge of it) in a relaxed atmosphere with expert coaching and accompaniment. We welcomed 70 singers to the workshop day, concluding with an informal performance of parts of the piece.