What is the Gaia project?
Gaia is a modern take on the intermedi of the 16th century. Intermedi were major music and drama spectacular shows with special theatrical machinery effects, the most famous of which wowed the Medici court in 1589 as part of the most expensive wedding celebrations of all time!
We’re bringing together music and drama from the 16th and 17th centuries with a very 21st century alternative to the impressive stage machinery of the original intermedi. Instead of planets and stars operated by pulleys we’re using film, projections, lighting effects, mime, yoga and dance to tell the story of our Earth and how humans have perceived it through the ages.
The music includes extracts from Antoine Brumel’s earth-shattering ‘Earthquake’ Mass and from Monteverdi’s Orfeo to beautiful pastoral madrigals and motets celebrating the Queen of Heaven.
“BREMF is doing a great job in promoting accessible and generally affordable cultural events” - Audience member
Why is it important?
The particularly exciting thing about Gaia is that as well as professional performers such as the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble it also involves local singers from the BREMF Consort of Voices and the BREMF Community Choir. The Community Choir is a vibrant, non-auditioned choir in the best traditional of community music-making, which specialises in the wealth of beautiful music written before 1800.
It would be very easy to programme a festival full of ‘off the peg’ programmes from established artists, but BREMF has always taken a lead in devising and commissioning our own projects which give us more leeway to feature a wide range of performers.
And commissioning our own projects costs money….
Make it happen
Gaia is an ambitious project, which will increase the festival’s budget for 2016. As a small charity which has to start each year’s fundraising from scratch in an increasingly difficult financial climate, we need to attract support from a variety of sources in order to be successful. While funding from trusts and the Arts Council plays a part in underpinning the festival, it is our grass-roots support and embedding in the local community which makes BREMF truly unique. And what better way to show this uniqueness than through a community-funded community project!
We are thrilled that a group of generous donors have promised us £5,000 if BREMF can raise a further £5,000 through our Gaia Appeal by 12th September 2016.
“It's the extras that make BREMF concerts special: innovative ideas for spectacles which enhance the musical experience, whether through costume, cabaret settings or dance - most wonderfully, aerial dance!” - Audience member
Find out more about the Gaia performances on 12th November here