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If Music be the Food of Love, Curse Me

Ian Bostridge joins us for a tour through tainted love with English music by Henry Purcell, John Blow and Benjamin Britten.
London, Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall £10 - £75 Book now

Purcell Curtain tune on a ground from Timon of Athens
Blow Suite from Venus and Adonis
Britten Serenade for tenor, horn & strings

Ian Bostridge tenor
Steven Devine director
Roger Montgomery horn

Free pre-concert talk, 6pm | Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer

Do you find there’s something about love that’s always tinged with sadness? Blame Venus, the bereaved goddess who cursed love so that it would forever be mixed with longing. This concert with tenor Ian Bostridge tells a tale of tainted love through English music from across the ages.

Composed for the court of King Charles II, a suite from John Blow’s 17th-century opera Venus and Adonis explores Venus’ story with a distinctly English ambience.

From 250 years later, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings opens and closes with haunting horn solos. It sets poems by William Blake, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Keats and others to music.

Bostridge takes us on a journey through the night from the calm to the sinister, including Blake’s sombre reflection on love and death, The Sick Rose.

Our Principal Keyboard, Steven Devine, directs this concert. Meanwhile our Principal Horn, Roger Montgomery, plays the haunting solo horn parts in Britten’s Serenade.

"This concert tells a tale of tainted love through English music from across the ages."