Phoenix Cantata - 2011

Previous Next


Music and words – Helen Glavin


The Phoenix Cantata is inspired by our connection to the landscape, the elemental forces of fire and water and the timeless presence of the surrounding South Downs. Helen Glavin has explored myths and legends, oral histories, folk music and folklore of Sussex and beyond, and the Cantata narrative weaves the human with the mythic and themes such as war and the power of nature.


Helen was originally inspired to create the new choral work by the people and legacy of The Phoenix Ironworks in Lewes where cast iron for the sea- fronts and piers along the south coast, as well as agricultural machinery and tools for farmers were made.


The Phoenix Cantata has been commissioned by Artemis Arts and it is being developed in partnership with Glyndebourne Opera Education. It is a people’s Cantata involving community choirs, a children’s and youth chorus, soloists and the specially created Everyman Ensemble group of male singers. 


The Cantata has already had a wonderful response from the community and people of all ages have taken part in choral workshops and performances led by the distinguished musical director John Hancorn.


Our love of trees, rivers and the earth are universal themes and play an essential part in our lives today. From a story beginning in a foundry, the path of iron returns to the source, to the Neolithic, to the forests that once covered the landscape - the sheep still graze as we follow the river to the sea…..


If you would like to know more about the Cantata or to support the project in any way please contact.


Helen Glavin – 01273 401973

Music and words – Helen Glavin