Jonathan Dove in Spitalfields, East End, London - at the end of 2003

from Spitalfields Festival Brochure: 'On Spital Fields', page 6:

I collaborated with a lot of people in writing this cantata. During the autumn of 2003 I led composition workshops with different groups on several sections of the libretto. In each workshop as many as 30 people were singing and improvising together while I frantically scribbled down their ideas […] Two of the melodies are used exactly as they came out of two specific workshops [Poverty, poverty knock!, The Wessex Singers; A small white dove, St Anne’s Primary School]

cite as

Spitalfields Festival Brochure: 'On Spital Fields' (London, 2005), p. 6. accessed: 23 May, 2024

location of experience: Spitalfields, East End, London


Jonathan Dove
composer of opera choral works, plays, films and orchestral and chamber music

Listening to

hide composers
improvised singing
written by Jonathan Dove
performed by St Anne's primary school pupils, Wessex Singers over 50's Choir

Experience Information

Date/Time at the end of 2003
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public


The aim of the ‘On Spital Fields’ project was to devise, rehearse and perform a community cantata involving older people, adults and children from Tower Hamlets and a team of professional musicians and animateurs. The twelve pieces comprising the cantata tell the story of Spitalfields, based on fictional texts and historical documents relating to East End London. Makers included composer Jonathan Dove, librettist Alasdair Middleton, Gerry Cornelius conductor and Clare Whistler, director. Pupils from Osmani and St Anne’s primary schools and Mulberry School for Girls formed the children’s choirs (pupils from additional local schools participated in workshops to develop the project). Also performing were the Wessex Singers (Tower Hamlet’s choir for the over 50’s), The Joyful Company of Singers, an SATB choir and a community chorus, students from the Royal Academy of Music and Chroma Ensemble. The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths rang the bells of Christ Church, Spitalfields, its completed restoration celebrated by ‘On Spital Fields’, before both evening performances on 22 and 23 June 2005.

Originally submitted by 5011Henning on Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:55:53 +0100
Approved on Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:27:41 +0100