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Gareth Malone, Contraltos, Louise Wallwein

Gareth Malone on his Great British Home Chorus, Contraltos coming in from the cold? Creative Industries Federation, and Louise Wallwein reads her new poem marking Spring's arrival

It was a call from Dame Esther Rantzen for choirmaster Gareth Malone to bring the nation together under his metaphorical baton that has inspired Gareth’s latest choral idea – The Great British Home Chorus. He talks to Katie about the challenge of creating a virtual choir from amateurs and professionals at a time when we are all being told to keep our distance from each other.

The contralto voice used to have a regular presence on opera, recital, and choral stages across this country but in recent decades there seems to be have been a concerted effort to excise this particular voice category with singers, directors, agents, and teachers all turning away from the deep tones this voice can provide in favour of higher and brighter voices. Music critic and writer Jessica Duchen, and founder-director of the Kinder Choirs of the High Peak and a former professional contralto Joyce Ellis, discuss why contraltos have been frozen out and whether it’s time they came in from the cold.

The Creative Industries Federation are calling for a Temporary Income Protection Fund for the many hundreds of thousands of freelancers in the creative sector who have seen their contracted work vanish overnight in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. CEO Caroline Norbury discusses why her organisation wants the government to act now.

To celebrate the first day of Spring, Radio 4 has commissioned poets to write new poems marking the arrival of the new season which listeners will be able to hear throughout the day. On Front Row, award-winning poet, playwright, and performer Louise Wallwein will be premiering her new poem.

Presenter: Katie Popperwell
Producer: Ekene Akalawu

Available now

29 minutes

Gareth Malone British Home Chorus

Gareth Malone British Home Chorus

Sing with others without leaving home. Join Gareth Malone in his nationwide venture to make music together. Link HERE.

Image Credit: BBC Images

Contraltos Coming In From The Cold

Contraltos Coming In From The Cold

Music critic and writer Jessica Duchen and founder-director of the Kinder Choirs of the High Peak and a former professional contralto, Joyce Ellis, discuss the contralto voice.

Image: Kathleen Ferrier BBC images

The Creative Industries Federation

The Creative Industries Federation

Caroline Norbury CEO of  The Creative Industries Federation want the government to introduce a Temporary Income Protection Fund for the many hundreds of thousands of freelancers in the creative sector.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons

To celebrate the first day of Spring, Radio 4 commissioned poets to mark the arrival of the new season. Award-winning poet, playwright, and performer Louise Wallwein premiered her new poem.

Broadcast

Inspire

Inspire

A season discovering where artists find inspiration and helping listeners get creative.

BBC Arts Digital

BBC Arts Digital

The best of British culture live and on demand.

Front Row on TV

Front Row on TV

Join Mary Beard and guests for live and late debate on Friday evenings on BBC Two.

Podcast