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The Glasshouse



Schumann's Paradise

Louise Alder - credit Gerard Collett

Schumann's Paradise

Part of Classical 2023/24


Price: £17 - £43

Elegant. Vivid. Bring tissues.

Whos on stage

Our own Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra and chorus (fancy word for choir), plus five solo singers.

What theyre playing

Just one piece, ‘Paradise and the Peri’, which is split into three parts. It was the first bit of music Schumann wrote that needed singers as well as musicians.


We would like to dedicate this concert to Tony Pender, who was the first Chair of The Glasshouse International Centre for Music and he helped create our building. He died in November 2023 and family and friends are gathering at this concert to celebrate his memory.

Need to know

Price: £17 – £43

Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

Discounts: Save if you’re local, unemployed, a first timer.

Age: Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

Concert programme: download your free programme now. There’s also a text and translation sheet so you’ll know what they’re singing about.

What you'll hear

Robert Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri (99′)   

Who's playing

Dinis Sousa conductor 
Louise Alder soprano
Marie-Sophie Pollak soprano*
Adèle Charvet mezzo-soprano 
Laurence Kilsby tenor 
Matthew Brook baritone 
Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia
Tim Burke
chorus director 
Royal Northern Sinfonia

* Marie-Sophie Pollak replaces Madison Nonoa, due to illness. We wish Madison a speedy recovery and thank Marie-Sophie for stepping in at short notice.

What's happening in the music

“The story of this song follows a Persian mythological creature called Peri, who is sent away from Paradise. If she wants to be allowed to come back she has to find a present for the gods. So she travels across the world – Egypt, Syria, India – and the music paints some of these places really evocatively.

It’s a journey of redemption so it has many reflective and tender moments, as well as some incredibly dramatic ones (there are even battle scenes). The music flows so gracefully with some beautiful harmonies and melodies taking unexpected turns. I absolutely love it.”

Dinis Sousa, Royal Northern Sinfonia’s conductor

Talk about a side hustle

Creating music takes non-stop focus, right? Days alone in a dark room? Zero distractions? Nope. Schumann had a full-time job as a teacher (plus he’d just got married and had two small children) when he wrote this song. Sure, it took him a few months. But it’s a pretty great advert for what you can do in your spare time.

Spot the Schumann

Like the sound of this dramatic, hardworking Austrian? His music (and his wife Clara’s) pop up in five other concerts this year – so keep your eye out.

Dinis Sousa credit Tynesight Photographic

Your Visit