Competition: WIN tickets to The Immortal at MIF15

Polly Checkland Harding

Enter our competition to win tickets to The Immortal at MIF15, a one-off, haunting performance at The Bridgewater Hall.

Frederick Myers, the man whose story The Immortal is based on, was supposed to have written two books from beyond the grave. This gives you some idea of the macabre strangeness behind this new oratorio for MIF15, written by rising-star composer Mark Simpson and inspired by Myers’ attempt, as president of the Society of Psychical Research, to scientifically prove the existence of an afterlife. Drawing on transcripts of a series of séances undertaken in the first decades of the 20th century – otherwise known ‘Cross Correspondences’ – the Immortal is to be performed by the BBC Philharmonic, EXAUDI and Manchester Chamber Choir. As voices and instruments swell together, however, the thwarted love story driving the music’s drama will start to emerge.

“I want the listener to feel like they’re taking part in a musical séance”

Picture this: eight soloists and acclaimed baritone Mark Stone will be in a line at the front of the stage, and behind, a full choir. Over two hundred voices in total, and each with a different role; the eight soloists will recite fragments from the séances canonically, while Stone brings Myers to life in short monologues. The first half of the piece builds and builds to a tragic climax of faith, as Myers’ use of the Society of Psychical Research as an attempt to contact his childhood sweetheart, Annie Marshall, who drowned herself in her early 20s, is hinted at. This was a married man’s secret and, as award-winning young composer Mark Simpson explained to me, “would have discredited the whole philosophy behind the institution”.

It’s this desperate attempt to take the sting out of death that makes The Immortal so powerful, whether you’re a classical music aficionado or not. “I want the listener to feel like they’re taking part in a musical séance,” explains Simpson. It’s an atmospheric description of the piece, one that hints at how haunting it’s likely to be. Gripped yet? If you want to win a pair of tickets to the one and only performance of The Immortal at The Bridgewater Hall (7.30pm, 4 July) as part of MIF15, all you have to do is enter your details in the form below. The competition closes at 10am on Friday 26 June – good luck.


Terms and Conditions: The winner will be the first correct entry selected at random from all correct entries received. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative given. Employees of Creative Tourist, the Manchester International Festival or associated companies are not eligible to enter. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners will be notified as soon as possible after the closing date. Only one entry per person. We apologise for the fact we are unable to post prizes outside of the UK. Entrants will automatically be added to the Creative Tourist mailing list – don’t worry, we never share data and we promise not to bombard you with endless emails. The offer is for a pair of tickets to The Immortal at The Bridgewater Hall, 7.30pm, 4 July. Closing date: 10am, Friday 26 June.

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