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The annual world-renowned festival, celebrating books and music in a beautiful city, will run from Friday 13 May to Saturday 21 May 2022, with a series of citywide live events. Day 5's highlights include Classical Music Rising Star Ariel Lanyi, Patrick Mackie, Francesca Beauman, a free Bath Arts Workshop, Susan Stokes-Chapman, poets from Lyra Festival and exciting music performances from the Tallis Scholars at Bath Abbey and contemporary jazz band Empirical at Walcot House.
Walking Tour: The Great Spa Town
Wednesday18 May, 10am-12pm, Meet at Kingsdown Parade Square
In 2021 Bath gained a rare second UNESCO World Heritage Site listing as one of The Great Spa Towns of Europe. This revealing walking tour by Fred Mawer Tours focuses on Bath's fascinating spa history. You will learn about the city's naturally hot springs, and how everyone from the poor to royalty came to Bath seeking cures for all sorts of ailments by bathing in and drinking the thermal waters. The tour, led by professional Blue Badge Tourist Guides, also reveals historic hospices and hospitals where pilgrims and patients heading to the baths stayed, and looks at après-spa attractions designed to keep visitors entertained in Georgian times when Bath was a fashionable health resort.
Katherine Rundell on John Donne
Wednesday 18 May, 10.30–11.30am, BRLSI
In his myriad lives John Donne was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, an MP – and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. Join celebrated author and scholar Katherine Rundell as she introduces us to Super-Infinite, her sparkling and very modern biography that brings him and his poems to life.
Classical Music Rising Star Ariel Lanyi
Wednesday 18 May, 11am-12pm, The Holburne Museum
Ariel Lanyi announced his presence as a major musical talent as a prize winner in the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2021 where he performed Brahms with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze. He has also performed at the Wigmore Hall and at the Marlboro Festival.
Lunchtime Lecture: Latitude with Nicholas Crane
Wednesday 18 May, 1pm–2pm, BRLSI
In 1735, 12 men boarded ships bound for South America with the mission to discover the true shape of the Earth. Beset by egos and disease, storms and earthquakes, mutiny and murder, they struggled for ten years to reach the single figure they sought. Award-winning writer, geographer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane presents this epic story of survival and science.
Walking Tour: Bath Blitz
Wednesday 18 May, 2pm-4pm, Meet at Orange Grove
2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Bath. On two moonlit nights in April 1942 more than 400 people in the city were killed and thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed. Join Bath Walking Tours to discover why the Georgian city was targeted by the Luftwaffe. Professional Blue Badge Tourist Guides will lead you around the city centre and other bomb-affected sites, including the Royal Crescent, Circus and Assembly Rooms. See reconstructed and restored buildings, bomb craters and shrapnel damage, and hear about air raid shelters, child evacuees and the aftermath.
Greek Myths Retold
Wednesday 18 May, 3.30pm–4.30pm, BRLSI
Myths have long held readers fascinated. Jennifer Saint's Elektra is a lyrical retelling of the three women at the heart of the cursed House of Atreus and Sarvat Hasin's The Dark Giant reimagines the story of Orpheus & Eurydice, exploring the consuming effects of using a lover as a muse. They talk to Judith Robinson about their fresh takes on ancient tales.
Mozart in Motion: Patrick Mackie
Wednesday 18 May, 3.30-4.30pm, The Holburne Museum
Patrick Mackie's 'Mozart in Motion' allows us to look at this extraordinary composer anew. The biographical narrative is illuminated by examination of the composition and social environment of a series of masterpieces through Mozart's life which reveal a musician in dialogue with culture at its most sweepingly progressive, when Europe was caught between two historical worlds. Alistair Hogarth performs musical examples to set Patrick's beautiful writing in context.
Walking Tour: Bath on Screen
Wednesday 18 May , 5.30pm-7.30pm, Meet at No1 Royal Crescent
Bath has long been used as a scenic backdrop for films and TV shows. Screen tourism is a major factor in attracting visitors to the city, and production companies contribute around £2m a year to the local economy. This entertaining tour, created by Bath Walking Tours and led by professional Blue Badge Tourist Guides, covers recent large-scale filming in the city, including for Seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton, a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion and Wonka, a prequel to the famous Roald Dahl story. The tour also takes in filming locations for classic older movies such as The Duchess and Les Miserables, and a 1960s thriller about a smallpox epidemic in Bath.
In Search of Mary Seacole
Wednesday 18 May, 6pm–7pm, The Holburne Museum
This wonderful, illustrated talk sees acclaimed writer Helen Rappaport describe her extraordinary discovery in 2003, of the lost painting of British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole that now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. She'll explore just how modern the painting was for its time, unravel the enigma of the totally unknown artist and detail her journey to shine a light on the real Mary Seacole, largely forgotten following her death in 1881.
The Literary Almanac
Wednesday 18 May, 6-7pm, Persephone Books
Author and bookseller Francesca Beauman talks about her latest book, The Literary Almanac: A Year of Seasonal Reading. Hear her suggestions about what, and what not to read during the month of May and beyond, and then contribute your own. Because 'to everything there is a season' and books are no exception. The perfect way to help solve the dilemma of What To Read Next.
Bath Spa Anthology Readings
Wednesday 18 May, 6-7pm, Forum Coffee House
A stimulating evening brought to you by the diverse and tenacious 2020 cohort of Bath Spa University's Creative Writing MA, whose work is gathered together in their self-produced anthology. Enjoy readings from a cross-section of poets, novelists, memoirists and experimental writers and also take the chance to talk to them about their experiences of the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA programme.
La Voix Humaine
Wednesday 18 May, 6pm-7pm, Secret Location
A co-production between Wales Millennium Centre and Welsh National Opera commissioned for Festival of Voice. A woman is on the phone to her lover who is ending their relationship. Her devastation unfolds before our eyes as we, the audience, eavesdrop on her despair in the confines of her home. Taking place in an apartment in Bath, Director David Pountney has taken a 20th century opera classic and created an intense theatrical experience. La voix humaine is opera up-close, intimate and unrestrained. Bookers will receive confirmation of the venue prior to the festival.
Before We Go
Wednesday 18 May, 6.30pm–7.30pm, Dorothy House Bookshop
Bath Arts Workshop, Counterculture In The 1970s is a candid and hilarious account of how a rowdy, inventive counterculture exploded upon our 18th-century city. In the words of co-author Jennie Potter-Barrie: 'It was outrageous to many, hilarious, irreverent, hard work and brilliant fun. Now we look back and ask if we changed anything other than ourselves.' Come meet the authors, Victoria Forbes Adam and Phil Shepherd and join the conversation!
The Tallis Scholars
Wednesday 18 May, 7pm-8.30pm, Bath Abbey
Peerless in this repertoire, The Tallis Scholars offer us a fascinating programme of music by composers who worked in the Sistine Chapel and wrote for the choir there . Wonderful mass settings by Palestrina are interweaved amongst a programme which includes Allegri's unforgettable 'Miserere', as well as other ravishing works of contemporaneous Renaissance polyphony.
Mr B's Presents: Susan Stokes-Chapman
Wednesday 18 May, 7pm–8pm, Mr B's Emporium
Join us in conversation with debut author Susan Stokes-Chapman as she talks about her instant bestseller. The year is 1799, and Dora is living under the thumb of her oppressive uncle, an antiques dealer who has just acquired an ancient Greek vase by questionable methods. Full of mystery, romance and rich with heady atmosphere, Pandora is the kind of book you put everything on hold to read.
Wednesday 18 May, 7.30pm, Walcot House
Empirical are one of the most admired and unique bands in contemporary jazz and will be bringing their award-winning sounds to this year's festival. The ensemble compromises of Nathaniel Facey alto sax, Tom Farmer double bass, Lewis Wright vibraphone and Shane Forbes drums.
Lyra Comes To Bath
Wednesday 18 May, 8pm–9.15pm, Forum Coffee House
Bristol's exhilarating new poetry festival brings together local, national and international poets with the aim of showcasing poetry in the widest range of forms. Three of Lyra's poets will delight and intrigue in a special Bath Festival performance: Tom Sastry (selected by Carol Ann Duffy as Laureate's Choice poet), Rebecca Tantony, author of three collections and Beth Calverley, founder of The Poetry Machine. Hosted by the Lyra Festival directors, Lucy English and Danny Pandolfi.
Aaron Akugbo and John Kitchen
Wednesday 18 May, 9.30pm-10.30pm, Bath Abbey
Aaron Akugbo, Trumpet
John Kitchen, Organ
Tomasi: Sainte Semaine a Cuzco
Damase: Trois prières
Messiaen: Apparition de l'Eglise éternelle
Telemann: Methodische Sonate
Callaerts: Toccata in E minor
Cecilia McDowall: Celebration
Florence Price: Adoration
Bach: Trumpet & Organ Concerto D major BWV 972
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