Peter Boyer has been commissioned to compose a new work to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, by ORA Singers and their Artistic Director and founder, Suzi Digby OBE. The premiere will be part of a Coronation Celebration at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden (“The Actors’ Church”), London, on May 3, 2023, three days before the Coronation.
Boyer’s new work, titled Today We Ask, sets text written specially for the occasion by Welsh poet Grahame Davies, known for his collaborations with composers such as Karl Jenkins and Paul Mealor. In addition to ORA Singers, Boyer’s new work calls for brass quintet and timpani.
The concert will feature music from Coronations and Royal occasions through four centuries, including works by Byrd, Purcell, Handel, and Vaughan Williams, and such contemporary masters as John Rutter, Judith Weir, James MacMillan, and Bob Chilcott. ORA Singers will be joined by the renowned actor Simon Callow CBE (Amadeus, Shakespeare in Love), reading first-hand accounts of Coronations across the centuries.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with Peter Boyer for this very special and unique commission. It’s wonderful to see the wealth of new music being commissioned as part of the official Coronation celebrations, and we’re proud to be making an offering of our own as tribute to our new Sovereign, whose support for music and the Arts has made a lasting impact on our cultural landscape.” — Suzi Digby OBE, Artistic Director & Founder of ORA Singers
“As an American composer, it is a most special and unexpected honor to be commissioned for a new work to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. I have great admiration for the British choral tradition, and ORA Singers are superb performers, representing that tradition at the highest level. I am grateful to them and Suzi Digby for offering me this remarkable opportunity, and am making my best efforts to compose a piece worthy of such a notable occasion.” — Peter Boyer