Snape Maltings wants outdoor stage for summer concert series

Snape Maltings wants to build a temporary outdoor stage for events this summer

Snape Maltings wants to build a temporary outdoor stage for events this summer - Credit: MATT JOLLY / SNAPE MALTINGS

Suffolk's world famous concert venue is seeking permission for an outdoor stage and seating to allow it to continue its programme of events this summer.

Snape Maltings is asking East Suffolk Council for consent for a temporary stage on the Henry Moore Lawn next to the Concert Hall and RIver Alde.

Managers at the venue in Bridge Road, Tunstall, say the stage and seating is needed due to the Covid-19 restrictions on the capacity use of the Concert Hall and will not mean bringing extra people to the venue.

The aim would be use the stage for outdoor daytime concerts for seven weeks from July 19 to September 5.

The facility will be a five-metre high dome stage with seating in an arc arrangement on three steps.

Roger Wright at Snape Maltings

Roger Wright at Snape Maltings - Credit: Archant

The Henry Moore Lawn is an open space which occasionally features sculptures and currently is home to Henry Moore: Reclining Figure, which will be unaffected by the proposed stage and seating.

In documents submitted to the council, Lance Stanbury, head of property services at Britten-Pears Arts, said: "This proposal will have no material effect on the car parking capacity as the staging is being provided to cater for an audience which would normally occupy the Concert Hall in pre-Covid times.

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"The audience numbers would merely be transferring to this temporary outdoor structure."

In a recent letter to supporters, chief executive Roger Wright said everyone at Snape Maltings was excited about the prospect of starting concerts again.

He said: "Having played a leading role as one of the first venues to open and give live concerts indoors last year, we are keen to employ musicians again and give back to our community."

From next month, the venue is planning a special series of events. In the absence of a full Aldeburgh Festival, Britten-Pears Arts will offer a special summer programme that is recognisably connected to the ethos of the Aldeburgh Festival, with a focus on Britten’s music, new work and commissions.  

In August, as part of Summer at Snape, the Concert Hall will host daily performances in the spirit of the Snape Proms from outstanding artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, folk and jazz.

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