Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle

The story of Ethel Smyth; composer, writer and suffragette, who was born in Marylebone

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Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle

Time & Location

26 Jul 2018, 19:30

St Marylebone Church, 17 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5LT, UK

About The Event

The story of Ethel Smyth, composer, writer and suffragette, told in her own words and compositions, in a flowing fusion of drama and music. Born in Marylebone, Ethel was the first woman composer to be performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and is now acclaimed as “the missing link” between Purcell and Britten.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918,
the decisive step in the political emancipation of women in the UK. Ethel’s exploits and passions interwoven with her songs, the story of her greatest opera, ‘The Wreckers’ and her battle for an equal voice. Illuminated with anecdotes from her confidants, her letters and her own writing. “which is peculiarly beautiful and all of it rippling with life”. Ethel Smyth was the living embodiment
of the courage and passion with which Victorian women challenged the “male machine”. As an activist, she was imprisoned in Holloway with Mrs Pankhurst. As a composer, she wrote the anthem for the suffrage movement ‘The March of the Women’ as well as composing 6 operas and many sonata’s, quartets and song cycles. Meet Ethel, who smashed windows and defied boundaries to grasp her dreams.

Lucy Stevens, contralto

Elizabeth Marcus., piano


“Another absolute triumph! Your combined musical skills are tremendous…an extraordinary insight into the life and music of a truly remarkable woman. It was magical, moving and totally engrossing.”

Nick Barnes, Chairman & Programme Secretary, The Arts Society, Cambridge.