Whispering Woods

Whispering Woods / Events / Sat 23 Jul 2011

Whispering Woods 2011 @ West Dean Arboretum

Whispering Woods 2011 @ West Dean Arboretum

If you go down to the woods tonight…

Whispering Woods, the second of three annual events created to bring together hundreds of residents from all over West Sussex to sing in the landscape at night, is being staged in the beautiful setting of St Roche’s Arboretum, West Dean at 8.30pm on Saturday 23rd July, 2011.

The audience will be taken on a guided walk through the specially lit woods, encountering 150 singers performing in 6 specially created choirs drawn from all over the County. The event begins at twilight and will end in the dark giving both the audience and singers a unique experience of our familiar Sussex landscape.

Producer Paul Ackerley said: ‘It is inspired by Laulupidu, the largest amateur choral event in the world which takes place in a forest amphitheatre in Estonia. The programme is accessible to every type of singing and ability and includes new commissions and premieres.’

The 50 minute programme includes the world premiere of Sussex-born, award-winning composer, Lynne Plowman’s White Stars, Green Leaves, specially written for Whispering Woods.

Whispering Woods Music Director, Dessi Stephanova said ‘The overall theme of our repertoire is ‘elemental’ - linking our songs to the landscape in which we are singing, and drawing from polyphonic singing traditions from around the world. We will be repeating iconic Bulgarian composer, Kyril Todorov’s piece, Goro Le, commissioned for last year’s pilot event and Australian composer, Sarah Hopkin’s hugely popular Honour The Earth.

Dessi, a BBC Open Choir of the Year winner, is leading a talented team of choral leaders including other award winning and nationally regarded directors: Emily Barden (Chichester area), Jo Cornell and Kaytie Harding (Crawley and Horsham areas), Rebecca Askew (Shoreham and Worthing areas) and Jan Winstone, University of Chichester. The performance is enhanced by light installations from the Brighton arts company, Same Sky and dance by University of Chichester Musical Theatre students.

The event is part of the Ahead of the Game Cultural Programme that is inspired by the London 2012 Games Cultural Olympiad and is supported by the West Sussex Arts Partnership and Arts Council England.

How to book your tickets

Audiences can book tickets for Whispering Woods through the Chichester Festival Theatre Box Office on 01243 781312 at £5 (and £3 unwaged).

The event is suitable for families with interested children and involves a circular walk of approximately 2 miles over uneven terrain with gentle inclines, including the 20 minute walk from the car park to the entrance. Suitable clothing should be worn and audience members should bring torches and arrive in time to make the 20 minute walk to the site. Free parking will be available at West Dean Gardens (sign-posted from the main road).

Event Location

St Roche’s Arboretum, West Dean

West Dean Gardens
West Dean
Nr Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 0QZ

Event Details