Two world-class Grammy Award-winning artists, Elvis Costello and Angélique Kidjo join Patti Smith, Gruff Rhys, Passenger and Billy Bragg as headline music acts at this year’s Festival of Voice (7-17 June, across Cardiff). Elvis Costello & The Imposters (17 June) will close this year’s 11-day festival at Wales Millennium Centre, with the skilled wordsmith and unique vocalist covering everything from politics to love songs.
Beninese vocalist and activist, Angélique Kidjo (9 June), performs her latest project, a reinterpretation of the classic Talking Heads album ‘Remain in Light’. Well-known songs including Once in a Lifetime will be rearranged with electrifying rhythms, African guitars and layered backing vocals in a spectacular genre-bending presentation.
As well as headline music shows, the second announcement from Festival of Voice includes new multi-arts and theatre projects, commissioned especially for this year’s festival. Experimental psych-pop purveyor Gwenno will present Edrica (15 June), a live electronic audio/visual performance celebrating the life and work of patchwork pioneer Edrica Huws, the impact of motherhood on creativity, and the parallels between creating modern electronic music and patchwork stitching.
Other female-led premieres created for Festival of Voice include: Welsh actress and singer Carys Eleri’s Lovecraft (from 5 June), a one-woman science-comedy musical looking at the scientific underpinnings of love and loneliness in our modern society; Highway One (from 5 June), directed by Mathilde López, a touching and absurdly funny tale of the tribulations of travel in search for meaning, featuring live performances from Katell Keineg including songs from her forthcoming album; Double Vision (from 6 June), a new thriller and multi-sensory inclusive experience inspired by Hitchcock and Lehman from Cardiff-based gig theatre specialists, Gagglebabble, featuring an original score from Lucy Rivers performed by a live band fronted by 9Bach’s Lisa Jên; and Camille O’Sullivan performs the songs of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Cave (12-13 June), a theatrical exploration of the dark and light of Nick Cave’s music from the enigmatic Irish singer story-teller.
Graeme Farrow is the Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre and Festival of Voice. He is looking forward to the second instalment of the event.
“Women and song are at the heart of this year’s new commissions. They will move you, make you think, laugh, and even frighten you. You can’t see these shows anywhere else but in Cardiff and we are showcasing some of the extraordinary talent we have here in Wales.”