December update

Although this has been a quiet year for us, as it has for many, we were so pleased to be able to complete our Continuing the Conversation project in the summer. The final performance was filmed in an empty church in Bristol in July and can be watched in full below:

We hope to be able to resume project delivery in 2021. In the meantime, we want to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who have supported us this year, particular during our period of hibernation. We are ready to make music again as soon as social distancing restrictions are eased. Watch this space…

July 2020 newsletter

Our July newsletter is available to download at the link below and contains a round-up of the 2019/20 season, including project updates and important news about the year ahead

Our office will be closed for a summer break over August 2020 but we look forward to being in touch with all of our supporters again in September.

Click here to read La Folia’s July 2020 newsletter


Stone Songs radio premiere

An excerpt from Howard Moody’s Stone Songs, commissioned by La Folia, was premiered on BBC Radio Wiltshire’s breakfast show on Sunday 31 May.

Click here to listen to the interview and the exclusive rehearsal recording (from 33 mins in)

Rehearsal recording mixed by Adrian Zolotuhin and featuring soloists Katy Crompton, Helen Charlston, Nick Pritchard, Sam Poppleton and Edward Grint with Howard Moody, composer on piano.

Stone Songs was due to be premiered at Salisbury Cathedral in May 2020, produced in association with Wiltshire Creative, underpinned by the power of the newly-refurbished Cathedral organ and featuring the 120 voices of Salisbury Festival Chorus. It is hoped that the piece will be presented once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Click here to receive updates about the Stone Songs postponement

May 2020 newsletter

A virtual Epilogue from the opera PUSH, a video interview with Howard Moody and Sue Kent for the Wiltshire Creative Connects programme, and Major Andrew Johnston’s marathon: full details of the latest goings-on at La Folia can be found in our May 2020 newsletter.

PUSH virtual finale

‘My life is only miracles’, the finale of Howard Moody‘s opera PUSH, has been performed virtually by singers in Salisbury, Chichester, London and Brussels to mark the 77th anniversary of protagonist Simon Gronowski’s escape from a train bound for Auschwitz.

‘Celebrate Life’ digital downloads

CD postage is currently on pause, but we’re very pleased to say tracks from our Celebrate Life album are now available to buy digitally via Bandcamp! All the songs were created and performed by foundation students from Wiltshire College & University Centre alongside La Folia musicians as part of our Continuing Songs project in 2018.

Click here to buy tracks
All proceeds will go to future La Folia projects with young people with special needs.

March 2020 newsletter

Stones Songs booking has opened today! This brand new community opera has been written by Howard Moody and will be performed by Salisbury Festival Chorus alongside professional singers and musicians. Further information and La Folia project updates can be found in our latest newsletter:
March 2020

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La Folia’s 2019-20 season

La Folia’s 2019-20 season includes a series of workshops in schools and Salisbury Cathedral as part of a project exploring Howard Moody’s Brussels Requiem, three months of music therapy sessions in a residential dementia care setting in Devon leading to the commissioning of a new work by composer Richard Barnard, and working with Wiltshire Creative to produce a Festival Chorus performance at Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020.

800 people attended Evening Songs 2019

A new group of Exeter House students and cathedral choristers devised their own words and music in response to the traditional Evensong liturgy, directed by Howard Moody and alongside acclaimed tenor Mark Padmore and soprano Charlotte Shaw. Over 800 people joined the congregation for the service on Tuesday 9 July. Click here to read more.

Inclusive Evensong service returns to Salisbury Cathedral

Following the success of Evening Songs 2016, which attracted a congregation of over 700 people, La Folia returns to Salisbury Cathedral this summer to present another innovative Evensong service.

Evening Songs 2019 is a creative collaboration between La Folia, Exeter House Special School, Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury Cathedral School and Salisbury Cathedral.

Cathedral choristers and students from Exeter House Special School, Exeter House Vocational Centre and Wiltshire College & University Centre have joined together to devise a new Evensong service that represents each young person’s highly individual response to the Christian Liturgy.

This ground-breaking church service will be sung by the composers themselves in Salisbury Cathedral at 5.30pm on Tuesday 9 July, 2019.

La Folia have been invited back to the Cathedral to present Evening Songs 2019 following widespread enthusiasm for the 2016 project. Speaking about the trail-blazing service Canon Anna Macham, Canon Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral said:

‘I know my predecessor, Canon Tom Clammer, felt Evening Songs was one of the most important things we have done at the Cathedral. It brought a fresh voice to familiar liturgy that proved unique and transformative, and I feel fortunate to be able to share in this joyful and exuberant act of worship.’

The Evening Songs 2019 project is led by La Folia’s artistic director Howard Moody, alongside tenor Mark Padmore, soprano Charlotte Shaw and Salisbury Cathedral Lay Vicars. Visual artist Susan Francis has worked with Exeter House pupils to create designs for an order of service to guide the congregation through what might well be an unfamiliar Evensong experience.

The Evening Songs concept grew from Magna Songs, La Folia’s special needs project performance in Salisbury Cathedral in July 2015. Ian Wicks of Salisbury Cathedral School wanted to share something of the Magna Songs experience with the choristers, which led La Folia Artistic Director Howard Moody to explore a long-held dream: pupils from Exeter House and the Cathedral School devising words and composing music together for Evensong. This year, the project has expanded to include students at Wiltshire College & University Centre, some of whom are former Exeter House students.

Evening Songs 2019 has been funded by the following individuals and organisations: Arts Council England; The Arts Society Wylye Valley; The Girdlers’ Company Charitable Trust; Golsoncott Foundation; Anton Jurgens Charitable Trust; Irwin Mitchell; Salisbury Cathedral; The Geoff and Fiona Squire Foundation; Michael Tippett Musical Foundation; Verdon Smith Charitable Trust; Wallace Curzon Charitable Trust; Wiltshire Music Connect; Individual supporters of the Evening Songs crowdfunder campaign and La Folia’s the singing trust