TO coincide with Pope Benedict XVI's visit to England and Scotland, and the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman the Elgar Birthplace Museum at Lower Broadheath will hold a special exhibition on Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, his sacred cantata using the text of Newman’s poem.
The exhibition will run from September 11 to December 23 and will include original manuscripts, letters and period photographs revealing all about the composition of this great work and its performance. On display will be Alice Elgar’s personal copy of the poem complete with the “Gordon Markings”, her copies of the markings of particular sections of the poem made by General Gordon of Khartoum in his own copy of the poem.
Normal museum admission charges apply. Also during the exhibition the Museum shop will have a special offer on two Dream of Gerontius CDs featuring Dame Janet Baker in the role of the Angel.
Cathy Sloan, museum director, said: “Elgar was given a copy of the poem as a wedding present, but had known it even before then. He said that that it had been soaking in his mind for years.We will be displaying some real treasures from the Museum’s archive here, some of which will have not been seen for many years.There will be the facsimile of Elgar’s great original manuscript score which was financed by Raphael Djanogly, a long-time supporter of the museum whose generosity also financed the copy for Birmingham which they are displaying for the Papal visit.”
The Elgar Birthplace Museum and Visitor Centre is open every day 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.15pm) until December 23 2010.