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Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Byfleet Heritage Society

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St Mary's Centre for the CommunityDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Dame Ethel Smyth (1858–1944), Composer, Author, Suffragette, and Surrey Resident’ for Byfleet Heritage Society at St Mary’s Centre for the Community, Byfleet on Thursday 21 November 2019.

Speaking to an audience of some 50 society members, Dr Wiley introduced Smyth’s life, music, and connections to the local area, in a 50-minute talk illustrated with musical excerpts.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley has previously given many talks on the composer, writer, and suffragette including those for Woking Historical Society, Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, and at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

Dr Christopher Wiley co-writes essay in CD booklet for new Ethel Smyth recording

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FeteG_front_coverDr Christopher Wiley has co-written, with Dr Valerie Langfield, an essay published in the accompanying booklet to Retrospect Opera’s new CD of Ethel Smyth’s Fête Galante, entitled ‘Fête Galante: Ethel Smyth’s Neoclassical Dance-Opera’. He also contributed the work’s synopsis.

The disc represents the first recording of Smyth’s opera Fête Galante, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez. It also includes Liza Lehmann’s recitation The Happy Prince, recorded at the University of Surrey (Dr Wiley arranged and helped out with the recording sessions), together with some historical transfers of recordings of Smyth’s operas made during her lifetime.

This is the seventh CD release by Retrospect Opera, for whom Dr Wiley serves as one of four Trustees. Dr Wiley previously wrote essays for the liner notes to Retrospect Opera’s releases of Smyth’s operas The Boatswain’s Mate and The Wreckers.

For further information, and to buy the CD: https://retrospectopera.org.uk/SMYTH/FeteG.html

Full text

The full texts of both Dr Wiley’s synopsis and co-written essay are available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: https://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/853063/

Update: Dr Wiley has also co-written, with Lucy Stevens and Odaline de la Martinez, the liner notes for the CD Dame Ethel Smyth: Songs and Ballads (SOMM 2020), featuring Lucy Stevens (contralto), Elizabeth Marcus (piano), and the Berkeley Ensemble conducted by Odaline de la Martinez. Further information: https://www.somm-recordings.com/recording/dame-ethel-smyth-songs-and-ballads/