Poet Laureate's Ukraine words to be put to music at Ludlow concert

Britain’s Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has joined Ludlow's effort to raise funds for Ukraine by agreeing to a request to set a new poem to music to be premiered a concert in town later this month.

Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage

Mr Armitage, who was appointed Poet Laureate by Her Majesty The Queen in 2019, wrote his poem “Resistance” in response to the war in Ukraine.

Now he has given permission for his new work to be set to music by local composer David Gaukroger, who will accompany opera singer Elizabeth Begley in its premier performance at the at the “In Unison With Ukraine” concert in St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow on May 14.

Mr Gaukroger said: "We are grateful to the Poet Laureate for agreeing to allow us to set his poem “Resistance” to music and for it to be performed by Liz Begley and myself.

“We are hoping that this will have a commercial future, raising more money for the Ukraine cause.”

Mr Armitage has joined a stellar cast of local, national and international talent contributing to the event for the Disaster Emergency Committee Ukrainian humanitarian appeal.

The list includes world renowned Ukrainian bass-baritone Vassily Savenko, who will be joining St Laurence’s Church choir singing a Ukrainian folk song arranged by local composer and musician Steve Dunachie.

Mr Savenko, who has sung principal roles for major opera houses in his native Ukraine and also with the Bolshoi and Kirov Opera Theatres in Russia, said: "This brutal, senseless war has created a terrible humanitarian crisis and vast sums of money and support are needed to help the millions of refugees and for the rebuilding of the nation, so I’m particularly happy to participate in this concert ‘In unison with Ukraine’.”

The latest additions to the bill come on top of news of the involvement of such stars as Ludlow resident Alastair McGowan, the hugely popular TV impressionist, comic, actor and singer, his wife Charlotte Page, a leading lady in international opera houses and theatres alike, and event organiser Kim Begley, former principal tenor at the Royal Opera House and fellow tenor Tom Elwin, from Leominster.

Ludlow’s beautiful St Laurence’s will also echo to the sound of the brilliant Tom Bowes, widely recognised as one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinists, whose film credits include hit-movies as “Skyfall”, “The King’s Speech” and “The Da Vinci Code” and a host of other top rank musicians, composers, singers and performers in what will be a one-night only mini festival of performing arts.

Entry to the concert will be free but money will be raised for the charity by donations on the night.

In Unison With Ukraine will be held on Saturday May 14, from 7.30pm, at St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News