Princess of punk to narrate Prokofiev to close this year’s organ festival

Salisbury Cathedral is excited to announce that the actress and singer Toyah Willcox will narrate Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf on Saturday, 5th November. It will be the last concert of this year’s successful 2022 Organ Festival.

Cunningly timed to complement fireworks displays taking place later in the day, the concert starts at 14.00.
No stranger to the area (Toyah and her husband Robert Fripp lived in Broad Chalke in the 1980/90s), Toyah will tell the story of the heroic Peter, a small boy who takes on a fearsome wolf, accompanied by a duck, a bird and a cat.

The performance promises to be an adventure for all ages, but particularly children, as Toyah and John bring to life the fearless boy Peter and the ferocious wolf and his victims. It’s also a fun way for youngsters to discover the story-telling power of music, as Toyah well remembers.

Toyah has been practising the role at home, photo by Gary Clutterbuck

Toyah has been practising the role at home, photo by Gary Clutterbuck

Toyah Willcox said: “When I heard it as a child I was captivated by the way that the orchestra became the cast of animals and I’m really looking forward to seeing how John achieves that on the organ. I have been practising being the wicked wolf and the heroic Peter at home and I can’t wait to play the parts when I get to the Cathedral.”
John Challenger, assistant director of music at Salisbury Cathedral takes on the musical role in this performance. His challenge is to realise Prokofiev’s orchestral work on the 140-year-old Father Willis organ, which will involve a deal of experimentation ahead of the concert. Also in the programme is the final movement of Saint-Saens Third Symphony, used in the much-loved film Babe, which tells the story of a brave little pig that wanted to herd sheep, and The Swan from his Carnival of the Animals.

Peter and the Wolf

The evening will be compéred by the well-known local choir director and singer, Steve Abbott. Steve heads up the Cathedral’s Youth Choir and is musical director of the St. John Singers. He began his career as a Cathedral chorister and now sings counter tenor in the Cathedral Choir.
Tickets are already on sale: Adults £10 (free carer tickets available) and Children £5.

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