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Sage Gateshead

Friday 28 May 2021 | 7:30pm  


RNS: John Wilson's Summer Songs

John Wilson_026_credit Sim Canetty-Clarke

Part of New Beginnings

Please note there will be no interval and this performance will last approximately 60-70 minutes.

Tickets will remain on sale until midnight tonight. (Watch on demand until midnight on Sunday 30 May)


📺 To access the live stream, please log into your account and click ‘My Live Streams’.

Download the concert programme

John Wilson conductor
Francesca Chiejina soprano
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Bennett Summer Music
Delius A Song Before Sunrise
Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op.24
Copland Appalachian Spring Suite

A hot, sultry summers evening in small town America is evoked by Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, the centrepiece of a programme that points the way to warmer, longer, days. Staying with the American theme is Copland’s ever-popular Appalachian Spring, a soaring masterpiece that captures the sound and spirit of the USA. Crossing the pond back to England, the concert opens with Richard Rodney Bennett’s graceful Summer Music and Delius’ mesmerising A Song before Sunrise, which captures that moment of stillness before the sun slips below the horizon. Gateshead-born RNS regular John Wilson joins us to conduct this beautiful programme.

Download the concert programme here.

How many people will be watching the live stream in your home? We now have three ticket options for our livestreams: Single Viewer (£8), Pair of Viewers (£15) and Family Viewers (£30). Please select the best option for you.

Watch On Demand!

Join us from the comfort of your own sofa for the live stream of the performance, which will be streamed as a live experience from our iconic Sage One hall. The live stream will be also be available to watch on demand for 48 hours from midnight on Friday 28 May.

Streaming FAQs

To get the best possible experience, please read our Streaming FAQs, which includes information on how to view the stream on your TV.

Orange Trees and The American Dream

What’s the story behind the music?

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Samuel Barber

More than just Adagio.

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Five Minutes with… Francesca Chiejina

More about tonight’s soloist, including music she loves and her guilty pleasures!

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Francesca Chiejina, soprano


Nigerian-American soprano Francesca Chiejina is a recent graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where her roles included Countess Ceprano Rigoletto, Lady-in-Waiting Macbeth, Voice from Heaven Don Carlo, Ines Il trovatore, Micaëla La tragèdie de Carmen (Wilton’s Music Hall), Melantho/Love The Return of Ulysses (Roundhouse), and the soprano solos in Gorecki’s Third Symphony for The Royal Ballet.

In the 2020-21 season she sings Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw for OperaGlass Works, Freia Das Rheingold for Birmingham Opera Company, Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress for Blackheath Halls Opera, and Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.

Recent highlights include her debut with Capella Cracoviensis as Aldimira Sigismondo; her house and role debut as Clara Porgy and Bess at Grange Park Opera; her debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Serena Porgy and Bess); and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music at the Last Night of the BBC Proms.

Chiejina studied at the University of Michigan and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won the GSMD English Song Prize and Aria Prize. She was a finalist in the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018 and the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

John Wilson, conductor

John Wilson is in demand at the highest level across the globe, working with some of the finest orchestras and opera houses. In the UK, he performs regularly at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms with orchestras such as London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony. Elsewhere, he has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw, Budapest Festival, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras amongst others. Recent and future highlights include his debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Basel Symphony orchestras and his return engagements include DSO Berlin, BBC Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra.

Born in Gateshead, Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, where in 2011 he was made a Fellow. In 1994, he formed his own orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, dedicated to performing music from the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway, and with whom he has appeared regularly across the UK. In March 2019, John Wilson was awarded the prestigious ISM Distinguished Musician Award for his services to music.

Read More.

John Wilson_089_credit Sim Canetty-Clarke
RNS Angel

Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.

The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at major festivals, including the BBC Proms. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.