Thames Festival 2012: XX Scharnhorst

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Composer Orlando Gough contributes to the Thames Festival with 'XX Scharnhorst', a performance responding to HMS Belfast's history. The piece is inspired by the Battle of North Cape, which took place in the waters of the Arctic on Boxing Day, 1943, when the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst, sent to attack convoys as they passed the northern tip of Norway, was sunk by Royal Navy warships including HMS Belfast. Only 26 members of the 1,968 crew survived. Gough's piece sees HMS Belfast used as a giant percussion instrument, playing rhythms based on the last Morse Code transmission from the Scharnhorst, accompanied by three choirs (a womens' choir, a Russian choir and a German choir) singing lullabies and shanties along the sides of the ship. Some 120 performers will line the decks, the audience watching the event from riverbank.

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Event website: http://www.thamesfestival.org
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