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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 writes programme notes for BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus concert

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The BarbicanDr Christopher Wiley has written programme notes for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus concert at The Barbican, London (pictured) on Thursday 15 November 2018.

Dr Wiley contributed programme notes for Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D as well as a biographical profile of the composer.

Dr Wiley previously wrote programme notes for a BBC Proms concert featuring Smyth’s music in August of this year.

The concert presented Smyth’s Mass in D alongside Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 (original version).

Further information on the event may be found here: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/bbc-sobrabbins-ethel-smyth-mass-in-d

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-concert talk in Southwark Cathedral, London

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Southwark Cathedral Entrance

Dr Christopher Wiley has given a pre-concert talk on Ethel Smyth for a performance of the composer’s Mass in D in Southwark Cathedral, London (pictured) on Saturday 3 November 2018.

In the 15-minute talk, Dr Wiley addressed some 150 audience members in the Cathedral’s transepts.

The concert, by the London Oriana Choir and Meridian Sinfonia, presented Smyth’s Mass in D alongside J.S. Bach’s Magnificat.

The listing for the concert may be found here: https://www.londonoriana.com/past-performances

Further information on the concert is available here: https://www.planethugill.com/2018/10/ethel-smyths-mass-in-g-at-southwark.html

Dr Christopher Wiley serves as historical adviser and scriptwriter for community play on Ethel Smyth

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Ethel Smyth - A Furious LongingDr Christopher Wiley has acted as historical adviser as well as one of the team of scriptwriters for the community play Ethel Smyth: A Furious Longing – The Story of Woking’s Composer.

Several years in the planning, the play was performed by Woking Community Play Association from Thursday 4–Saturday 6 October 2018 at the H.G. Wells Centre, Woking.

Dr Wiley was one of five scriptwriters who collaborated on the 90-minute play, as well as advising on its historical and musical elements.

Dr Wiley’s contributions to the script drew directly on his research on Ethel Smyth, including her involvement with the suffragette movement, her operas The Wreckers and The Boatswain’s Mate, and her relationship with the writer Virginia Woolf.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers presentation at Ethel Smyth’s childhood home

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr Christopher Wiley has given a talk on Ethel Smyth at her childhood home, Frimhurst Family House, Frimley Green, on Saturday 15 September 2018.

The event was organised for Heritage Open Days by Surrey Heath Museum and the charity ATD Fourth World, which now operates at Frimhurst Family House.

It marked the unveiling of blue plaques commemorating both Smyth and the philanthropist Grace Goodman, who transformed the house into its present function as recuperative facility for families in extreme poverty.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley previously gave a talk at Frimhurst Family House on the composer and suffragette back in 2016.

Further information on the event is available here: https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/surrey-heath-museum/museum-events/heritage-open-days-surrey-heath

Dr Christopher Wiley at the unveiling of the blue plaque to Ethel Smyth in Woking

Update: The following weekend, on Saturday 22 September, Dr Wiley attended a private ceremony (pictured, above) at which a blue plaque was unveiled at Smyth’s former house in Woking.

Dr Wiley’s interview about the event for That’s Surrey TV may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiBN2ZXVPz0

Media coverage may also be found at the following link: http://surreyresidents.co.uk/2018/09/24/blue-plaque-marks-the-duchess-of-wokings-former-home/

As well as on Woking Borough Council’s website: https://www.woking.gov.uk/news/blue-plaque-marks-duchess-woking%E2%80%99s-former-home

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk for Heritage Open Days at Farnham Maltings

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Farnham MaltingsDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk on Ethel Smyth in the Cellar Bar at Farnham Maltings as part of the annual programme of Heritage Open Days on Friday 14 September 2018.

Speaking to an audience of over 50 people, Dr Wiley discussed Smyth’s music, literature, and activity as a suffragette, illustrating his presentation with music examples.

Further information about Dr Wiley’s talk may be found at the following link: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/dame-ethel-smyth-composer-and-suffragette

Media coverage of the Heritage Open Days activities taking place in the local area may be viewed online here: http://www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm?id=129364, http://www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm?id=129629

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Woking History Society

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley gave a talk on Ethel Smyth for Woking History Society in The Gallery at Christ Church Woking on Monday 3 September 2018.

Addressing over 50 audience members, Dr Wiley’s hour-long presentation discussed Smyth’s activity as composer, author, suffragette, and, for the last several decades of her life, a Woking resident.

Dr Wiley previously spoke about Ethel Smyth at The Lightbox, Woking for International Women’s Day earlier in the year, as well as hosting and performing in a concert of Smyth’s music at Christ Church Woking in 2014, to mark the 70th anniversary of her death.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives interview on Ethel Smyth for Swedish television

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Dr Christopher Wiley has been interviewed for Sveriges Television (SVT) as part of a mini-series of half-hour programmes focusing on orchestral music composed by women.

Interview with Swedish television

Talking about Ethel Smyth, Dr Wiley was filmed in conversation with the acclaimed Norwegian conductor, Cathrine Winnes.

Filming took place on Tuesday 28 August 2018 both in Dr Wiley’s office, and on location at Smyth’s former home in Woking.

This television appearance evidences Dr Wiley’s reputation as an internationally leading researcher on Smyth, and follows his previous interviews on Smyth for radio and television earlier in the year.

The television series is due to be broadcast in Sweden in early 2019.

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 50th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has written 50 reviews since February 2014 for the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live events internationally, ranging from pop gigs to opera in addition to musical theatre, and is Vuelio’s no.2 theatre blog.

Among the many highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of Elaine Paige’s ‘Stripped Back’ tour, of Mandela Trilogy by Cape Town Opera at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Other highlights include the 2014 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel; Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and solo shows by leading West End stars Daniel Koek and Nadim Naaman.

Coincidentally, Dr Wiley’s first and 50th reviews were of two shows written and performed by the same artist, comic songwriter Alexander S. Bermange. The artist most frequently reviewed by Dr Wiley is Pippa Winslow, who features in seven different reviews.

Dr Wiley has also reviewed student productions by many of the major performing arts institutions and organisations, particularly Guildford School of Acting and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as many new works of musical theatre, and one-off productions in popular London venues such as The Pheasantry.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://musicaltheatrereview.com/?s=Christopher+Wiley

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes programme notes to BBC Proms programme

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Royal Albert HallDr Christopher Wiley has contributed notes to the programme for The BBC Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London (pictured) on Wednesday 1 August 2018.

Prom 24, ‘A Hero’s Life’, presented Ethel Smyth’s ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ (Prelude to Act 2 of her opera The Wreckers), as well as Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and Richard Strauss’s tone poem Ein Heldenleben.

As an internationally leading researcher on Ethel Smyth, Dr Wiley was invited to write programme notes for ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ as well as a brief biographical profile for the composer.

A regular fixture at The Proms during her own lifetime, Smyth’s ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ was programmed for the 2018 season mindful of the composer’s period of activity as a leading suffragette, in the centenary year of many women receiving the parliamentary vote in the UK for the first time.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Surrey Local History Symposium at Surrey History Centre

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Surrey History CentreDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled Dame Ethel Smyth, Ground-breaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at the Annual Symposium of Surrey Local History Committee on Saturday 21 April 2018.

The one-day symposium, whose theme was The Changing Role of Women’, featured presentations from five speakers who work in areas of local history. Organized by a committee of Surrey Archaeological Society, the event was held at Surrey History Centre, Woking, and attracted around 40 audience members from across the county.

In addition to his internationally recognized academic research, Dr Wiley has previously spoken on Ethel Smyth at a range of local history events in the Surrey area, including talks at The Lightbox, Woking, The Guildford Institute, and at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

The programme for the Surrey Local History Symposium is available at the following links:

Surrey History Centre – https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/heritage-culture-and-recreation/archives-and-history/surrey-history-centre/heritage-events

Surrey Archeological Society – https://www.surreyarchaeology.org.uk/content/changing-role-of-women-surrey-local-history-symposium

Celebrate Woking – https://www.celebratewoking.info/events/annual-symposium-changing-role-of-women

Dr Christopher Wiley gives interview on Ethel Smyth for Pyrford TV ARTS

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Dr Christopher Wiley at Woking Golf Club

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured in an eight-minute segment for the Spring Edition 2018 of Pyrford TV ARTS, on Woking’s famous former resident, Dame Ethel Smyth.

Speaking to presenter Tim Matthews (see picture), Dr Wiley discussed Smyth’s activity as composer, author, and suffragette, as well as her passion for sports including golf.

The eight-minute segment was filmed at Woking Golf Club in Hook Heath, near Woking, of which Smyth was a member for many years. So keen was she on the sport that she had her house built adjacent to the golf course, where she lived from 1910 until her death in 1944.

Pyrford TV ARTS produces 20-minute programmes several times a year, featuring the arts and creative worlds of Pyrford, Woking, and North Surrey. The segment on Smyth was included to tie in with the centenary of women’s enfranchisement in the UK, which falls this year.

The segment on Ethel Smyth is available for viewing online here: https://vimeo.com/262660959

The full 23-minute programme may be viewed here (the segment on Smyth starts at 09:18): https://youtu.be/fFAuVmbmmPw

The programme is also available at the Pyrford TV ARTS website: https://www.pyrfordtvarts.com/

In addition, it is featured on the webpage of the Woking Remembers 2018 programme, part of the Celebrate Woking festival: https://www.celebratewoking.info/woking-remembers

Credits: Pyrford TV (video); Surrey History Centre (images); Retrospect Opera (musical excerpt from Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate)

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers public talk on Ethel Smyth for International Women’s Day 2018

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Dr Christopher Wiley at The LightboxDr Christopher Wiley has delivered a public talk on Dame Ethel Smyth at The Lightbox, Woking for International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March) 2018.

Addressing an audience of over 80 members of the public in The Lightbox’s Ambassador Room, Dr Wiley (pictured, left) spoke about Smyth’s life, music, and prose writings, with particular emphasis on her connections to Woking (her town of residence for over 30 years at the end of her life) and the surrounding area.

Dr Wiley also addressed the extent to which Smyth broke new ground for women both within and beyond the field of music composition, discussing her activity as a leading suffragette in the early 1910s as well as her war service, mindful of this year’s centenaries of women’s partial enfranchisement in the UK and of the end of the First World War.

A recognized expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley is frequently invited to give public lectures on the composer and writer, including recent appearances at The Guildford Institute and Frimhurst, Frimley Green (Smyth’s childhood home). This was the first of his several talks in the Surrey area this year, as well as one of a number of events commemorating Smyth for the Celebrate Woking Festival 2018.

Further information on Dr Wiley’s talk may be found here: https://www.thelightbox.org.uk/Event/ethel-smyth-composer-suffragette

The previous day, Dr Wiley had given an interview on Ethel Smyth at Woking Golf Club for an episode of Pyrford TV ARTS due to be released online in April.

 

Dr Christopher Wiley addresses interdisciplinary Suffragette Symposium at Edge Hill University

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Dr Christopher Wiley - Edge Hill University - Suffragette SymposiumDr Christopher Wiley has spoken at the Suffragette Symposium hosted by the interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Group (GenSex) at Edge Hill University on Wednesday 28 February 2018.

His paper subjected to renewed critical scrutiny the claim that Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate, composed following her two years’ service as a suffragette in the 1910s, constitutes a ‘feminist opera’.

The presentation, entitled ‘Ethel Smyth, Music, and the Suffragette Movement: Reconsidering The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’, explored the work’s refashioning of pre-existing music including two of Smyth’s suffrage songs used in its Overture, as well as a range of adaptations of traditional music.

Addressing an audience of some 35 delegates comprising both academics and members of the public, Dr Wiley also discussed the opera’s indebtedness to the short story by W.W. Jacobs on which it is based, and made consideration of Smyth’s creative process as documented in contemporaneous correspondence with Emmeline Pankhurst.

Edge Hill University shieldFurther information on the Suffragette Symposium may be viewed online: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/wonder-women/gensex/

The full programme is available here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/wonder-women/files/2018/02/Suffragette-Symposium-Programme.pdf

Speaker biographies and abstracts may be found at the following link: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/wonder-women/files/2018/02/Suffragette-Panel-Bios.docx.pdf

 

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes to media discourse on the UK centenary of women’s enfranchisement

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Dr Christopher Wiley - photo from Get SurreyDr Christopher Wiley has given expert comment to the media on the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which granted the vote to over 8 million women in the UK for the first time.

Coverage of Dr Wiley focussed on his research on Ethel Smyth, who, in addition to being an internationally successful composer, was active for two years as a leading suffragette in the early 1910s, developing a close friendship with Emmeline Pankhurst.

Together with a University of Surrey colleague, Dr Lucy Ella Rose, a leading expert on the suffragist Mary Watts and author of Suffrage Artists in Partnership: Gender, Word, and Image, Dr Wiley gave a live interview on BBC Radio Surrey for the ‘Breakfast on BBC Surrey’ show hosted by James Cannon and Lesley McCabe on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

Dr Wiley was also featured alongside Dr Rose in an article in Get Surrey, ‘Suffragette Vote 100 anniversary: University celebrates two Surrey women who were highly influential during the suffrage movement’, by Shona Duthie and Hannah Dodd.

The online Get Surrey article includes a video in which both academics give interviews on their respective research subjects, with Dr Wiley performing Smyth’s famous suffragette anthem, ‘The March of the Women’, on piano.

The full Get Surrey article, including video, may be viewed here: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/suffragette-vote-100-anniversary-university-14249832

The BBC Radio Surrey live interview may be heard here: https://mms.tveyes.com/Transcript.asp?StationID=7180&DateTime=2%2F6%2F2018+8%3A52%3A52+AM&Term=University+of+Surrey&PlayClip=TRUE

The live interview is also available on BBC iPlayer (listen from 2:52:11): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vm2m4

Ethel Smyth - Darling magazine Spring 2018 pp.12-13

Update: A text on Ethel Smyth contributed by invitation by Dr Wiley has been printed in the North Surrey edition of darling magazine for Spring 2018 (see image above). It may be viewed online here (see pp. 12–13): https://issuu.com/darlingmagazine/docs/darling-north_surrey-spring_2018

An article on Smyth written by Dr Wiley, ‘Dame Ethel Smyth: Remembering a Pathbreaking Artist, Suffragette, and Lesbian’, has appeared on the LGBT History Month website here: https://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/lgbt-history-month-resources/desarticle2018/

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2017

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Rhoda McGaw Theatre, WokingDr Christopher Wiley delivered a pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2017, to introduce its production of Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

Dr Wiley’s talk focussed on two principal issues, the portrayal of women in Così fan tutte and the work’s relationship with the genre of opera buffa, illustrated with a slideshow and audio excerpts. Held in the Rhoda McGaw Theatre adjacent to the main auditorium, it was attended by a large audience of some 150 opera-lovers.

A work well-known to Dr Wiley from his undergraduate teaching, he also discussed the opera’s historical background, characters and plot, and the ways in which its reception has changed over time, as well as the specific interpretation taken by Glyndebourne Tour in this revival of the 2006 production directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Dr Wiley has previously given pre-performance talks for Glyndebourne in 20162015, and 2014, mainly on operas by Mozart.

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes international multi-disciplinary conference on Writing About Contemporary Artists at the University of Surrey

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Keynote - Annie Yim, Christopher Le Brun, and Christopher WileyDr Christopher Wiley was Chair of the Conference Committee for an international, multi-disciplinary three-day conference entitled Writing About Contemporary Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities’, held at the University of Surrey from 20-22 October 2017.

Hosted and sponsored by the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, the conference brought together scholars and practitioners in fields including musicology, theatre studies, dance and choreography, literature, film, digital media, and the visual arts. Its 70 participants represented a strongly international delegation drawn from North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and across Europe and the UK.

Dr Wiley compèred and co-authored the event’s central Keynote Concert and Dialogue (pictured above) given by MusicArt London, featuring the distinguished painter Christopher Le Brun (President of the Royal Academy of Arts) and pianist Dr Annie Yim (St John’s Smith Square Young Artist in Residence 2016/17), with additional contributions by composer Richard Birchall.

Dr Wiley also acted as chair and panel member for the final conference session (pictured below), a roundtable on ‘Contemporary artists, contemporary writing: Internet and social media’, at which he spoke about his reviewing activity across the art disciplines for digital magazine Musical Theatre Review as well as his guest-blogging for sites such as the Association of National Teaching Fellows blog and Oxford University Press Blog.

Further information may be found at the conference website: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/

The full programme (including abstracts) may be downloaded here: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/papers/Writing%20About%20Contemporary%20Artists%20conference%20_%20Proggramme.pdf

Roundtable - Christopher Wiley, Björn Heile, Katie Beswick, and Ian Pace

Update: Online reports on the conference are available at the following links:

http://www.planethugill.com/2017/10/writing-about-contemporary-artists.html

http://annieyim.com/keynote-concert-and-dialogue-at-an-international-multi-disciplinary-conference-at-the-university-of-surrey-21-october-2017/

http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/arts/2017/10/22/international-conference-in-pats-building-writing-about-contemporary-artists/

Dr Christopher Wiley leads post-show discussion on the suffragette movement at Cranleigh Arts Centre

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Jacqueline Mulhallen as Sylvia PankhurstDr Christopher Wiley addressed an audience of theatre-goers on Ethel Smyth as part of a post-show discussion following the one-woman play Sylvia, presented by Lynx Theatre and Poetry at Cranleigh Arts Centre, Surrey on the evening of Friday 26 May 2017.

The main performance, a theatrical production based on Sylvia Pankhurst’s life, activity as a painter, and service to the suffragette movement, was performed by professional actress Jacqueline Mulhallen (pictured, as Pankhurst) having been developed from original research.

After a brief interval, the post-show discussion led with Dr Wiley’s talk on Smyth, following which the audience were able to put questions to Dr Wiley and the creators of Sylvia, and to engage in further general conversation on women’s suffrage.

Internationally acknowledged for his substantial contribution to scholarship on Smyth across the past 15 years, Dr Wiley has more recently acquired a reputation as a local historian, many of the audience members already being familiar with his work on the Surrey-based composer, writer, and suffragette.

Further information about the event is available here: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?agency=CRAN&organ_val=40629&pid=8410211

Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert

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Barry WordsworthDr Christopher Wiley acted as host and interviewer for a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Glass Room studio theatre at G Live, Guildford on Friday 7 April 2017.

Dr Wiley provided a brief introduction to the programme to be performed that evening, before interviewing the conductor, Barry Wordsworth (pictured), whose many career highlights include long-standing associations with the Royal Ballet and the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 1993.

Over 100 audience members were present for the half-hour talk, which preceded a concert whose programme included Sibelius’s Karelia Suite, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F# minor (with soloist Natasha Paremski), and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, the latter specially compiled from the full ballet by Barry Wordsworth himself.

Dr Wiley has previously hosted pre-concert talks for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at G Live in 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth’s (feminist?) opera, The Boatswain’s Mate at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 27 February 2017, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

The Boatswain’s Mate was the fourth of six operas composed by Smyth (who suffered from distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life), and was the most popular and most frequently performed during her own lifetime. It was recently released in its first complete modern recording by Retrospect Opera (of which Dr Wiley is a part).

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley provided an outline of the circumstances of the composition of The Boatswain’s Mate, its plot, and interesting features of the music. He also discussed the extent to which the work constitutes a ‘feminist opera’, as has previously been suggested.

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has addressed Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, having delivered a presentation on Smyth’s life and works two years ago in January 2015. Dr Wiley has also recently given talks on Smyth at The Guildford Institute and at the composer’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers talk on Ethel Smyth at The Guildford Institute

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Dr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Dame Ethel Smyth, Groundbreaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at The Guildford Institute, Guildford on Wednesday 18 January 2017.

Speaking to a capacity audience of 70 in the Institute’s Assembly Room, Dr Wiley outlined Smyth’s significance to music, literature, and women’s suffrage, as well as her local connections to Surrey, illustrating his talk with excerpts from a variety of her works.

An acknowledged expert on the subject, Dr Wiley has recently given several talks on Ethel Smyth in the local area, including one at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green, Surrey last September.

Further information on the event is available on The Guildford Institute’s website: http://guildford-institute.org.uk/whats-on2/dame-ethel-smyth-groundbreaking-composer-writer-and-suffragette/

the-guildford-institute

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-performance talks for Glyndebourne Tour 2016

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mk-galleryDr Christopher Wiley has delivered two pre-performance talks for Glyndebourne Tour 2016, to preface its productions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, on 8 and 9 November, respectively.

Both talks were delivered at the MK Gallery, Milton Keynes prior to performances at the nearby Milton Keynes Theatre. Speaking to some 60 audience members, Dr Wiley introduced the plots and characters of the operas, their historical backgrounds, noteworthy features of the music (such as Puccini’s use of authentic Japanese tunes in the score of Madama Butterfly), and aspects of the interpretations taken by Glyndebourne’s productions.

Dr Wiley has previously given pre-performance talks for Glyndebourne in 2014 and 2015, but this is the first time that he has been invited to speak at Milton Keynes.

Update: Dr Wiley reprised his pre-performance talk on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly to some 60 opera-goers in the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking on 30 November, by way of introduction to Glyndebourne’s production later that evening in the adjacent New Victoria Theatre.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk at Ethel Smyth’s childhood home

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dr-christopher-wiley-gives-talk-on-ethel-smyth-at-frimhurst-family-houseDr Christopher Wiley gave a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth: Composer, Author, Suffragette, and Surrey Resident’, at Frimhurst Family House, Frimley Green (Ethel Smyth’s childhood home), on 11 September 2016.

Dr Wiley addressed an audience of some 50 members of the public during an event celebrating Ethel Smyth, part of the ‘Century of Sound’ Festival organised annually by Surrey Heath Borough. The full programme for the Festival is available here: http://www.centuryofsound.co.uk/event-programme.

Other features of the afternoon event included included performances of Smyths solo piano music by Dr Maureen Galea and of some of her songs by the Surrey Heath Singers, as well as a tour of the premises and a talk about the work of the charity ATD Fourth World, which now operates at Frimhurst Family House.

The event was jointly organised by Surrey Heath Museum, the University of Surrey, and ATD Fourth World.

Dr Christopher Wiley guest-hosts Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Twitter chat (#LTHEchat)

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SocioViz Visualisation of LTHEchatOn 3 February 2016, Dr Christopher Wiley was invited to guest-host the 44th Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Twitter chat, which runs weekly on Wednesdays from 8-9pm GMT using the hashtag #LTHEchat, and involves HE practitioners from across the UK and beyond at all stages of their career.

Dr Wiley’s #LTHEchat, on the subject of ‘Using music creatively to enhance non-music teaching’, generated a large volume of lively debate from its many contributors and resulted in some 500 tweets in the course of the scheduled 60 minutes. A SocioViz visualisation of the network of participants during the chat is pictured above right, and a Storify of the session is available here: https://storify.com/LTHEchat/tweetchat-no-44

Update: Following the #LTHEchat, Dr Wiley was invited to contribute a guest post to the University’s Surrey Social Media blog, on Twitter chats and their value to academics. He discusses his experiences of #LTHEchat in his post, ‘Twitter chats – why are they useful and how do they benefit academic staff?’, which appeared on 5 February and may be read here: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/socialmedia/twitter-chats-why-are-they-useful-and-how-do-they-benefit-academic-staff/

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2015

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Rhoda McGaw Theatre, WokingDr Christopher Wiley delivered a pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2015, as a prelude to its production of Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail in the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, the tour’s final venue, on 1 December 2015.

Dr Wiley’s talk was held in the adjacent Rhoda McGaw Theatre, which was at capacity with some 200 opera-goers in attendance. Over the course of half an hour, Dr Wiley discussed the historical context of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, its extensive use of spoken dialogue, the virtuosic nature of some of its vocal writing, its orchestration and its portrayal of the East, as well as exploring aspects of Glyndebourne’s critically-acclaimed production.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which Mozart composed in 1781–2, holds a special place in Glyndebourne’s history: it was the work that brought its founder, John Christie, into contact with the soprano Audrey Mildmay, whom he subsequently married and who inspired the Glyndebourne Festival. This year’s production was the company’s seventh of the opera in its 80-year history.

The invitation for Dr Wiley to deliver this talk followed the success of his pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour in October 2014 on another Mozart opera, La finta giardiniera, and was similarly well-received.

Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert

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Andrew GreenwoodDr Christopher Wiley hosted a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Glass Room at G Live, Guildford on 15 May 2015.

In the half-hour talk, Dr Wiley provided a brief introduction to the works being performed that evening, which he then discussed with the conductor for the concert, Andrew Greenwood (pictured).

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s programme comprised Rossini’s The Barber of Seville Overture; Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467 (with soloist Tom Poster); and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, ‘From the New World’.

With over 90 members in the audience for the talk, G Live’s studio theatre was at capacity. Dr Wiley previously hosted pre-concert talks for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 23 October 2013 and 7 November 2014.

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured on the Turning Technologies website and Surrey Research Insight blog

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EVS as a Springboard for Student EngagementDr Christopher Wiley has recently been profiled in an interview on the Surrey Research Insight blog as well as a case study written by Turning Technologies.

Turning Technologies’ feature on Dr Wiley’s pioneering use of electronic voting systems (EVS) in arts and humanities teaching, ‘TurningPoint in the Arts: Electronic Voting Systems as a Springboard for Student Engagement’, was published on their website on 14 April 2015. It discussed various aspects of Dr Wiley’s use of EVS in higher education teaching including multiple-choice questions that test deep-level understanding, game-based learning employed alongside flipped classroom techniques, and the technology’s moment to moment and demographic comparison features.

Surrey Research Insight (SRI), which manages the open access repository of academic publications for the University of Surrey, interviewed Dr Wiley in a blog post entitled ‘SRI talks to Dr Christopher Wiley’, which appeared on 1 May 2015. Dr Wiley spoke about his published work on Michael Jackson (which is available on open access), his interests in musical theatre and film music, and his current research on literature and music and on student evaluation of teaching.

The full texts may be viewed at the following links:

Surrey Research Insight: https://surreyresearchinsight.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/sri-talks-to-dr-christopher-wiley/

Turning Technologies: http://www.turningtechnologies.com/pdf/content/INTLCaseStudy-UniSurrey-DrWiley.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 20th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has contributed 20 reviews over the past year to the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live musical theatre events internationally.

Highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of the acclaimed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Arcola Theatre, London; of Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Dr Wiley has also enjoyed reviewing student productions by Guildford School of Acting, Performance Preparation Academy, and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as new musical theatre works presented in Guildford and the neighbouring areas, and several live gigs at The Pheasantry, London. His reviews have attracted much attention on social media.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://www.scoop.it/t/christopher-wiley-bibliography-of-reviews

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Dame Ethel Smyth for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley presented a talk entitled ‘The Composer Dame Ethel Smyth and her Deafness’ at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 26 January 2015, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

Smyth, who was active as composer, writer, and suffragette, was afflicted by distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life, particularly from the later 1910s until her death in 1944.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley has previously given public talks on the artist at the University of Surrey and The Women’s Library, London, as well as writing for the OUP Blog and organizing a recital of Smyth’s music to commemorate the 70th anniversary of her death last year.

Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for all-Beethoven Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert

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Dr Christopher Wiley hosted a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the studio theatre at G Live, Guildford on 7 November 2014.

Eduardo PortalDr Wiley opened by providing a brief introduction to the repertoire being presented that evening, before engaging in some lively discussion with the conductor, Eduardo Portal (pictured).

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s all-Beethoven programme featured the Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 2 (with soloist Joaquín Achúcarro), and the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.

The 25-minute pre-concert talk was attended by approximately 80 concert-goers. Dr Wiley previously hosted a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 23 October 2013 (see here).

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2014

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Rhoda McGaw Theatre, WokingDr Christopher Wiley has given a pre-performance talk for Glyndebourne Tour 2014, to preface its production of Mozart’s opera La finta giardiniera in the New Victoria Theatre, Woking on 28 October 2014.

Speaking to an audience of over 100 opera-goers in the adjacent Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Dr Wiley endeavoured to enhance the audience’s experience and enjoyment of the evening’s performance by providing some contextual knowledge of the opera.

In the course of the half-hour talk, Dr Wiley explored the plot of La finta giardiniera, its historical background, and its significance within Mozart’s output, as well as drawing attention to noteworthy musical features and key aspects of Glyndebourne’s performance.

Mozart composed the score to his comic opera La finta giardiniera in 1774, at the age of 18. Glyndebourne’s acclaimed 2014 production was its first ever of this work.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-screening talks at the University of Surrey

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007 logoDr Christopher Wiley has delivered two pre-screening talks at the University of Surrey as part of its programme of film screenings in the Rik Medlik Building during the 2014/15 season.

Dr Wiley’s talk ‘Music and the James Bond Phenomenon’ preceded a screening of Goldfinger on 23 October 2014, which inaugurated a series dedicated to some of the best-loved Bond films. The 45-minute presentation examined the celebrated phenomenon of the theme songs to individual Bond films as well as their relationship to their associated films’ musical scores, showing how they have become an integral and instantly recognizable part of the franchise.

On 5 November 2014, Dr Wiley gave his talk ‘Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in Context’ prior to a screening of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, part of a scheduled series of films directed by Tim Burton. Dr Wiley discussed the literary origins of the Sweeney Todd story, situated Sondheim’s musical within his wider theatrical output, and explored the show’s cinematic adaptation.

Both events were well received by their respective audiences – more people attended Dr Wiley’s pre-screening talk on Sweeney Todd than stayed on to watch the film itself!

Dr Christopher Wiley participates in People’s Questions for Universities Week 2014

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Universities Week 2014Dr Christopher Wiley was among the researchers and academics who took questions from members of the public via Twitter as part of Universities Week 2014.

Using the hashtag #PeoplesQs, Dr Wiley took questions about his research on the music of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on Dame Ethel Smyth, as well as on challenges faced by music education today.

A round-up of the week’s activity from University of Surrey academic staff may be viewed here: https://storify.com/UniOfSurrey/universities-week-2014 (click on the ‘Read next page’ button for some details of Dr Wiley’s contribution)

The complete list of panellists is available here: http://www.universitiesweek.org.uk/stories/Pages/PeoplesQs.asp

Twitter - People's Questions

 

Dr Christopher Wiley writes on Dame Ethel Smyth for the OUP Blog

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley has contributed a text to the OUPblog, Oxford University Presss Academic Insights for the Thinking World, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the death of Dame Ethel Smyth, the pioneering composer and writer, on 8 May 1944.

Dr Wiley’s 1,000-word post, ‘Five facts about Dame Ethel Smyth’, may be read here: http://blog.oup.com/2014/05/facts-dame-ethel-smyth/

This blog entry follows Dr Wiley’s article on Smyth published in Oxford journal The Musical Quarterly last year.

To mark the anniversary, Dr Wiley also organized a lunchtime recital of Smyth’s music which took plan on 8 May 2014 in Woking, the town where she was resident from 1910 until her death.

Update: Dr Wiley’s blog entry was subsequently selected as one of the Editor’s Picks, appearing on the front page of the OUPblog for some weeks.

Dr Christopher Wiley leads recital of the music of Dame Ethel Smyth on the 70th anniversary of her death

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Christ Church WokingDr Christopher Wiley organized a recital of the music of Dame Ethel Smyth, given at Christ Church Woking by staff and students of the School of Arts at the University of Surrey, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the composer’s death in Hook Heath, near Woking on 8 May 1944.

The one-hour lunchtime recital of chamber, vocal, and solo keyboard works featured pianists Maureen Galea and Margaret Roberts, Isabella Stocchetti (flute), and Christopher Wiley (oboe, organ), as well as members of the University Chamber Choir. The full programme was as follows:

  • Two Interlinked French Folk Melodies (1928, from the opera Entente cordiale) for flute, oboe, and piano (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Aus der Jugendzeit!! E. v. H. (c.1878–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Nocturne (Kanon in Gegenbewegung) (c.1877–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • ‘O Gott du frommer Gott’ and Canon on ‘O Gott du frommer Gott’ (Nos. IIa & IIb from Short Choral Preludes, c.1882–4) (Christopher Wiley, organ)
  • Piano Suite in E major (c.1877–1880) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin (Ophelia’s Song) (1928) (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Overture to the opera The Boatswain’s Mate, Piano transcription (1913–14) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • ‘Laggard Dawn’ and ‘The March of the Women’ (Nos. 1 & 3 from Songs of Sunrise, 1910) (University Chamber Choir, dir. Isabella Stocchetti; Maureen Galea, piano)

Dr Wiley, who has been conducting research on Ethel Smyth for over a decade, also gave spoken introductions to each piece, and Surrey History Centre provided their ‘Musical Passions’ exhibition celebrating Smyth’s life.

Attended by some 50 audience members, this commemoration followed the Ethel Smyth Symposium hosted at the University in February of this year.

Update: The event was favourably reviewed by Sebastian Forbes, who wrote that ‘Senior lecturer Christopher Wiley, who has done much research into Smyth, not only devised and introduced the concert but also, very expertly, played oboe and organ.’

The review is available here: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/arts/2014/05/12/celebrating-the-life-and-work-of-dame-ethel-smythe-concert-at-christ-church-woking/

Ethel Smyth Symposium at the University of Surrey features Dr Christopher Wiley as speaker and performer

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Dr Christopher Wiley addresses Ethel Smyth SymposiumDr Christopher Wiley contributed to a Symposium dedicated to Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), the Surrey-based composer and writer also noted for her suffrage activity in the early 1910s, which was held in the Performing Arts Technology Studios at the University of Surrey on 19 February. This was the University’s first ever event for LGBT History Month, for which Smyth was named as one of the faces of the 2014 theme of Music.

Introduced by Professor Diane Watt, Head of the University’s School of English and Languages, the Symposium commenced with a talk by Dr Wiley entitled ‘Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944): In Search of a Lesbian Identity in Music and Literature’, in which he discussed possible ways of interpreting Smyth’s artistic output as reflecting her sexual identity and feminist sensibilities, with musical illustrations provided by Maureen Galea (piano) and the University Chamber Choir. 

A drinks reception followed the talk, during which audience members were able to view the ‘Musical Passions’ exhibition celebrating the life of Ethel Smyth, provided courtesy of Surrey History Centre.

Drinks Reception at Ethel Smyth Symposium

The Symposium closed with a concert of solo, chamber, and vocal works by Ethel Smyth, featuring staff and students of the University including pianists Maureen Galea and Margaret Roberts, Isabella Stocchetti (flute), and Christopher Wiley (oboe), as well as the University Chamber Choir. Highlights included a performance of Smyth’s Violin Sonata with guest artist Sophie Langdon and the Head of Performance, Professor Clive Williamson. The full programme was as follows:

  • Two Interlinked French Folk Melodies (1928, from the opera Entente cordiale) for flute, oboe, and piano (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Aus der Jugendzeit!! E. v. H. (c.1878–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Ethel Smyth TrioNocturne (Kanon in Gegenbewegung) (c.1877–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 7 (1877) (Sophie Langdon, violin; Clive Williamson, piano)
  • Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin (Ophelia’s Song) (1928) (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Overture to the opera The Boatswain’s Mate, Piano transcription (1913–14) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • ‘Laggard Dawn’ and ‘The March of the Women’ (Nos. 1 & 3 from Songs of Sunrise, 1910) (University Chamber Choir, cond. Isabella Stocchetti, dir. Russell Keable; Maureen Galea, piano)

Audience at Ethel Smyth SymposiumThe Symposium was held in association with the University of Surrey Equality and Diversity, the School of Arts, the School of English and Languages, LGBT History Month, and Surrey History Centre. Both the talk and the concert were attended by around 50 people, including staff and students of the University and external visitors.

Further information

Event website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/music/events/ethel_smyth.htm
Poster: http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/LGBT-History-Month-Final-2014-21-01-14.pdf
Surrey History Centre: http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/lgbt-2014/

Update

An academic response to Dr Wiley’s talk, ‘Musical Inversions: Ethel Smyth’ by Dr Heike Bauer (Birkbeck University of London), appeared on the blog A Violent World of Difference on 21 February 2014: http://violentworldofdifference.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/21-feb-2014-musical-inversions-ethel-smyth/

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured on the BETT Show 2014 Blog

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Dr Christopher Wiley has been featured on the BETT Show 2014 Blog in an post entitled ‘How Hand-Held Electronic Voting Systems Add A New Dynamic To Lectures’, which profiles his work using EVS as a University lecturer in the arts and humanities.

One of the major annual international trade shows for educational technology, BETT (formerly the British Educational Training and Technology Show) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Its 2014 event is being held on 22-25 January at ExCeL London.

The full blog post on Dr Wiley may be read here: http://www.bettshow.com/page.cfm/action=library/libID=12/libEntryID=47

BETT Show 2014 Blog

Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert

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Ivor SetterfieldDr Christopher Wiley hosted a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert at G Live, Guildford on 23 October 2013.

In the half-hour talk, Dr Wiley presented a brief introduction to the works on the programme, as well as interviewing the conductor for the concert, Ivor Setterfield (pictured), and soloist Alexander Sitkovetsky.

The evening’s programme comprised Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, and Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony.

Sandi Toksvig, Dr Christopher Wiley, and Velvet Fist at The Women’s Library, London – Tuesday 27 September, 18:30-20.00

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Sandi Toksvig
Dr Christopher Wiley
appeared alongside writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig at The Women’s Library, London on Tuesday 27 September, providing an introduction to the life, works, and suffrage activity of Ethel Smyth.

Dr Wiley has been researching and writing on Ethel Smyth for over a decade, including a groundbreaking article on Smyth’s intellectual relationship with Virginia Woolf, published in one of the UK’s foremost journals of musicology, Music and Letters.

The event, entitled ‘Shout! Shout! Up With Your Song!’, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Smyth’s celebrated suffragette anthem ‘March of the Women’, and also featured a recital by the acclaimed a capella feminist choir Velvet Fist.

The flier for the event is available for download here.