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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 delivers paper at Women’s History Network annual conference at the University of Portsmouth

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Women's History Network logoDr Christopher Wiley was among the many speakers who presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Women’s History Network, held at the University of Portsmouth on Friday 31 August–Saturday 1 September 2018.

Entitled ‘The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage: National and International Perspectives’, the conference attracted a large delegation of scholars of women’s history internationally.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Ethel Smyth, Music, and the Suffragette Movement: Reconsidering The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’, was presented in one of the conference’s parallel sessions to an audience of some 25 academics.

Dr Christopher Wiley at the University of Portsmouth

Dr Wiley considered the extent to which Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate might be considered a feminist opera, with reference to the composer’s suffragette activity, the story on which the work was based, and her creative process, including her adaptation of pre-existing music in the score.

Dr Wiley has presented previous versions of his paper at several other UK universities including Surrey, Royal Holloway, and Edge Hill.

The conference website is here: http://www2.port.ac.uk/centre-for-european-and-international-studies-research/events/womens-suffrage-2018/

The complete programme for the event is available for download here: http://www2.port.ac.uk/media/contacts-and-departments/ceisr/events/Suffrage-Conference-2018.pdf

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.

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