Freedom Song returns to the Hackney Empire

In a triumphant new oratorio, composer Harvey Brough and librettist Justin Butcher tell the inspiring story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group of freed slaves who took to the road in 1871 to raise money for their university. Their aim was not only to build the first university for black students set up after Emancipation, but to fight for the right of all African American students to be educated. In doing so, they introduced Plantation Spirituals to the world.

‘An exquisite project’ – Emma Thompson

Arriving in the UK, the Singers performed in palaces and parish halls. They introduced Queen Victoria to ‘Steal Away’ and inspired the Hackney Poor School to set up the UK’s first gospel choir. They went on to become heroes of the civil rights movement with a message that speaks as urgently to us today as it did 150 years ago.

Vox Holloway joins forces with the Hackney Empire Community Choir and Stoke Newington school singers, for a return of the soulful hit

Starring: Greg Wise as Prime Minister Gladstone and Justin Butcher as George White

Soloists: Emily Dankworth, Christina Gill, Mike Henry and Wills Morgan

Band: Liam Dunachie, Mike Outram, Finn Peters, Nic France

Where: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ

When: Sunday 29 March, 6pm. Buy your tickets here

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