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Venue profile: Heath Street Baptist Church

Fri Jul 21 2017

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Audience boos for Salieri here @CamdenAssembly for rumours he poisoned Mozart. Unfair, says oboe Dan. #oaenightshift

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Heath Street Baptist Church (or Heath Street Baroque Church, as we’re inclined to accidentally call it in the office….) is becoming the unlikely alt-classical hub of North London.

Found half way between the bustle of Hampstead High Street and the tranquillity of Hampstead Heath, the intimate church was built in 1861 and still has regular services and community events.

But it’s the innovative music programme that has made The Night Shift take note. Double bassist John-Henry Baker (often seen on stage at OAE concerts and in our Education events) curates an eclectic series of events, from Finnish tango on Tuesday lunchtimes to the Baroquestock festivals, which showcase a wide range of Baroque music in a relaxed setting.

Our favourites are the Bach, Beer and Bratwurst gigs, with pre-music sausages on the BBQ in front of the church, and a special selection of craft ales.

We’re taking a little bit of inspiration from those events for The Night Shift at Heath Street, with Schoenburgers (get it?) to tuck in to as we play Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night).

Thursday 17 August, 8.30pm (doors 7.30pm). £10/ £5 students.

Nearest station: Hampstead (Northern Line, four stops from Euston)

Also in the neighbourhood: Several landmark pubs, including picturesque The Holy Bush and the bohemian Duke of Hamilton (closed for a refurb throughout August 2017), famous as a meeting point for Oliver Reed and Richard Burton. Some quality restaurants, including the unusual Woodlands, specialising in South Indian vegetarian cuisine. And, of course, the magical wild expanse of Hampstead Heath.

Fun fact: In 2013, the Church was asked to investigate ‘demonic’ images appearing on the roof of a local bus stop. The strange circles turned out to be Olympic rings still being projected from a TFL public art project to mark the London Olympics a year earlier.

 

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