This event has now finished
A Ploughman's Tale is a wonderful recital which has been taken on tour across the UK by Bass-baritone Robert-John Edwards and Pianist Sara Wilander:
Following recitals in 2014 (to commemorate centenary of the beginning of The Great War), 2015 and a very successful 5 date tour of England (Bury, Peterborough, Birmingham, Grantham and London). in 2018 to commemorate The Armistice, Robert-John Edwards, along with fellow (now Royal) Birmingham Conservatoire post-graduate, Swedish pianist Sara Wilander, will again be performing “A Ploughman’s Tale” in the Autumn of 2021 at a number of venues in England.
Presently, there are confirmed bookings in October for the Glow Festival (formally “Gloucester Music Festival”) and in Ryde for Project Opera on the Isle of Wight.
“A Ploughman’s Tale” is a concept-recital of songs that have a link to the Great War in some form or other either by composer or poet from the period and whose life was likely shaped by the events of the time, interwoven with folksongs and music hall songs of the period. They are intended to form a narrative and run uninterrupted in the form of a song cycle (rather than simply a recital) lasting 52 minutes.
It tells the tale of a ploughboy, born in, say, the late 1880s/early 1890s. We follow him with his father in the fields, as has dreams of his future, falls in love, gets married, has a child and ultimately gets called up to war. We then follow his sorrow at leaving, the grim fun of training and joining the front line before realising the horrors of war first hand, witnessing death and pain before finally perishing himself.
The recital also includes a new original setting of McCrae’s “In Flanders’ Fields” composed by Robert-John Edwards, described by one reviewer privately as “Nothing short of a masterpiece.”
Copies of the CDs which was recorded to coincide with the 2018 tour are currently being sold at the recitals. CDs can also be purchased directly from Robert-John Edwards through https://robertjohnedwards.co.uk/recitals/a-ploughmans-tale/ . The CD was crowdfunded through the “GoFundMe” website and 50% of the profits from the CD (costing £10 each) will go directly to the British Royal Legion in memory of those who not only died, but those who survived, told us their tales and are now sadly gone themselves.