Wed 5 June | Oysters (Oysters Creatives)

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Wednesday 5 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £14 / £12 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

A new dark comedy with live music shining a powerful spotlight on composer Johannes Brahms.  At a party to celebrate the first performance of his Violin Concerto the composer’s genius is overshadowed by his self-destructive ego. On his quest for perfection we meet a mesmerizing gallery of characters – the arthritic, embittered and ageing Clara Schumann; the mad, jealous unstable virtuoso Joachim; the pompous and waspish critic Hanslick; and the gentle friend and disciple Von Herzogenberg. As the evening progresses and emotions turn on a sixpence, the play moves to its extraordinary conclusion fuelled by turbulent feelings and farcical misunderstandings. And at the centre of it all is the question ‘Why art…and what price do we pay for it?’

Performed by an award-winning cast including Nicholas Collett (RSC, West End), Neil Salvage (RNT, Old Vic) and Eleanor Ryan as Violinist – directed by Amy Bonsall, designed by Maddy Sinclair

Sat 8 Jun | Frank Griffith & Tina May: Jazz Meets Broadway

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Saturday 8 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £15 / £13 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

The songs of the Broadway and West End stage have historically provided a rich trove of repertoire for jazz artists. The Frank Griffith Quartet (Frank Griffith – sax and clarinet, Robin Aspland – piano, Jeremy Brown- bass, Rod Youngs- drums) along with singers Tina May and Michael Roberts will present an evening of gems from Guys and Dolls and West Side Story as well as Sondheim’s song Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch. There will also be a premiere of Frank and Tina’s new song, Lucky Lady.

Vocalist, Tina May, was the first winner of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Artist Award and has fifteen CDs to her name. Tina recorded “Sings the Ray Bryant Songbook” in 2002 featuring her lyrics to the legendary pianist’s tunes. She has appeared with Stan Tracey at St Paul’s Cathedral performing Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts.

Vocalist, Michael Roberts has appeared with the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr, Sir John Dankworth, Imelda May and Supergrass.

American saxist and clarinetist, Frank Griffith, has been resident in the UK since 1996 and his Nonet appeared regularly at the Ealing Jazz Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Pizza Express and Ronnie Scotts. He curated and led the Festival Tentet for the Billy Strayhorn Centenary Concert at Cadogan Hall as the part of the 2015 London Jazz Festival. Frank has also played with and/or arranged for Sir John Dankworth, Dame Cleo Lane, Kenny Wheeler, Mel Torme, Ron Carterand Lionel Hampton.

Thur 4 July | Dorchester Piano Quartet

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Thursday 4 July
  • 11.30am
  • FREE (donations welcome)
  • 1 Hour approx.
  • Seated

de Falla – Suite of Spanish Folksongs for violin and piano

Dvorak – Piano Quartet in D major

Manuel de Falla’s Spanish Folksongs (1914) proved so popular that they were arranged for a number of different instruments. In this version, the violin imitates the voice of the original and also the style and techniques of a Spanish guitar. 

Folksong, especially Slavonic-style melody, influenced Dvorak’s piano quartet. Dvorak wrote it at a time when composing came easily to him – the result is a fluent and sunny work.

Fri 5 July | Alistair McGowan | Introductions to Classical Piano

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Friday 5 July
  • 8.00pm
  • £17 / £15 members and concessions
  • 1 Hour 30 Mins
  • Seated

Alistair McGowan is a hugely popular impressionist, stand-up comedian, actor, writer…and latterly, pianist. 

After the success of ‘The Piano Album’ (Sony Classical) Alistair is on tour with this tremendous show bringing together all his  talents. The evening will feature classical piano pieces from his album, alongside short pieces by composers as varied as Philip Glass, Chopin, Grieg, Debussy, John Field and Bill Evans. Join Alistair as he talks a little about the history of each piece, each  composer  and  the problems and benefits of starting to learn the piano at the age of 49. 

Expect a lot of beautiful  music  (with  the  odd  mistake!) and  more than a  sprinkling  of  his  trademark  impressions. 

Photo credit: Christopher  Dunlop

Sat 14 September | La Boheme (Opera Holloway)

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Saturday 14 Spetember
  • 7.00pm
  • £18 / £16 members and concessions
  • 1 Hour 30 Mins (Approx)
  • Seated

Opera Holloway are delighted to be performing Puccini’s La Boheme, a thrilling and passionate love story, as depicted by one of Opera’s true legends. La Boheme depicts the ever-changing fortunes of the lives of four flatmates, reluctant to leave their student days behind them. Conducted by Lewis Gaston and directed by Fiona Williams, we follow the unfolding love story of Mimi and Rudolfo from its joyous beginnings to the bitter end. Opera Holloway’s production moves the action to a seaside town, on the south coast of England. Four young men are living the youthful dream, yearning for love and not working too hard. Their flat is run down and they’re content to live on take-aways. They complain when they run out of money and have perfected the art of dodging the landlord. Their lives are filled with trips to the pub, late night dancing and girls. 

Until Mimi knocks on the door. Rodolfo opens it, eyes and hands meet and a passionate affair begins. We follow the impoverished lovers as their relationship unfurls on the chilly promenade.  

This contemporary new production of Puccini’s classic tear-jerker, captures the raw, consuming power of young love performed in Opera Holloway’s trademark intimate and immediate style.

Sun 17 November | Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Sunday 17 November
  • 7.00pm
  • £26 / £24 members and concessions
  • 1 - 2 Hours (Approx)
  • Seated

This offer is limited to:

Individual members: 1 ticket + one accompanying ticket
Joint members: 1 ticket each

Any ticket purchases that do not comply with this will be cancelled and refunded – thanks for your understanding.

Note that this offer is available on a strictly first come, first served basis.

(On 1 Feb we expect a high volume of bookings in a short space of time, so please be advised that we will not be regularly checking the DA answer machine. If telephoning, please do not leave a message requesting tickets.)

About the show

Beethoven: Variations in F Major, Op. 66
Lutosławski: Grave
Barber: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6
Rachmaninov: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his sister Isata are among the brightest young stars on the classical scene. This special performance is a rare opportunity to see Sheku and Isata together on stage for a programme of carefully selected pieces for cello and piano.

Isata was the first of the exceptionally talented Kanneh-Mason family to reach the finals of the BBC Young Musician competition in 2014, paving the way for Sheku to eventually win in 2016. Both musicians are already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide.  

Sheku became a household name worldwide in May 2018 after performing at the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle.  His performance was greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally.

Isata is a postgraduate student at The Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Carole Presland, having been awarded the Gwendoline Reich Memorial Scholarship.

She performed with Elton John in Los Angeles in 2013, and was awarded the prestigious Elton John Scholarship for her undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Hamish Milne.

The Steinway Grand Piano has been made available for this performance by The Dorset Musical Instruments Trust.

Not a member? Why not become one to take advantage of this and many other offers at Dorchester Arts.

Wed 22 January 2020 | Andreas Scholl with Tamar Halperin | The Twilight People

  • St Mary's Church, Dorchester
  • Wednesday 22 January 2020
  • 8.00pm
  • £30
  • Seated

Andreas Scholl is among the world’s finest countertenors. We are thrilled that St Mary’s Church, Dorchester is one of the venues he has selected for his 2020 tour entitled The Twilight People. He will be accompanied by the equally talented pianist Tamar Halperin in a programme of music that treads a path through a wide literary and musical heritage from the past 100 years.

This fascinating programme includes familiar songs such as Britten’s arrangements of The Ash Groveand Greensleeves, Arvo Pärt’s extraordinarily beautiful Vater Unser, and several songs by Vaughn Williams, including his setting of In The Spring by Dorset’s own William Barnes. There are also some wonderful discoveries and lesser-known works such as Copland’s solo arrangement of the hymn At The River and Beauty Is Life by Joseph Tawadros, which showcases Tamar Halperin’s piano playing as well as Scholl’s sublime voice.  

With repertoire that ranges over five centuries, Dr. Tamar Halperin performs worldwide as a soloist and with various chamber groups. While the focus of her activities is Baroque music, Ms. Halperin is also an enthusiastic performer of classical and contemporary music.

We are delighted to offer Dorchester Arts members an exclusive booking window from
Tuesday 7 May at 10am
for one week.

(tickets go on general sale on the morning of Tuesday 14 May)


Tickets will be available online, by telephone on 01305 266926 or in person at the Corn Exchange.

Not a member? Why not become one to take advantage of this and many other offers at Dorchester Arts.

As usual, members may purchase tickets at members’ prices. Tickets purchased for non-members must be purchased at full price.

Any ticket purchases that do not comply with this will be cancelled and refunded – thanks for your understanding.

Note that this offer is available on a strictly first come, first served basis.