Earth Hour 2020: Dido and Aeneas by candlelight


Join OFE to mark Earth Hour with a uniquely powerful performance of Purcell's shattering opera, Dido and Aeneas, performed entirely by candlelight. With a stark, minimalist production bringing out the raw power of Purcell's musical drama, an cast of rising stars and a specialist orchestra playing on historical instruments. Join millions around the world choosing to go 'lights out' for an hour in a show of solidarity for our planet. 

Come along in the afternoon to our free workshop to learn more about Purcell's music, the story of Dido, the special historical instruments we will be using from the musicians themselves, led by our creative outreach officer Georgia Russel in collaboration with WWF, to learn about how you can make a difference in building a sustainable future.

St Saviour's Church, Pimlico

Saturday 28th March 2020

1.15pm Workshop

8.15pm Performance

PURCELL Dido and Aeneas

(no interval)

Lily Dyble director

John Warner conductor

Helen Stanley Dido

Gabriella Noble Belinda

Michael Lafferty Aeneas

Tickets for Trees

Each ticket purchased to an OFE event plants 1 tree as part of our Tickets for Trees scheme, in partnership with the Eden Reforestation Projects.

Paradiso Hall, Weteringschans 6-8

Sunday 17th May 2020, 2pm


St Luke's Church, Chelsea

Sunday 24th May 2020, 7pm

KNUSSEN Ophelia Dances, Book 1


SEBASTIAN BLACK The Mosaique of the Aire*


MAHLER: Symphony No. 4

Gabriella Noble mezzo-soprano

John Warner conductor

*commissioned and generously supported by Bill and Pamela Richter and the Mahler Foundation

OFE performing at Het Concertgebouw's Mahler Festival 2020, marking the 100th anniverary of the first Mahler Festival there. Mahler's serene and breath-takingly beautiful Fourth Symphony, preceded by three contemporary pieces that all shed light on it in a different way. Oliver Knussen's Dances, inspired by Shakespeare's Ophelia, Abrahamasen's compact and touching meditation on love, and a world premiere of a new work by British composer Sebastian Black. 


This concert will include a talk by journalist, writer, George Monbiot on how rewilding has the potential to transform and ultimately heal our natural world. By restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can bring wonder back into our lives, creating ecosystems in post-industrial nations as profuse and captivating as any around the world.

Making use of some remarkable scientific discoveries, Monbiot champions this new, positive environmentalism, in which nature is allowed to find its own way. Already, large wild animals are beginning to spread back across Europe, and fin whales, humpback whales and bluefin tuna are returning to the seas around Britain.

Mahler 4: Rewilding Europe

St John's Church, Waterloo

Wednesday 10th June 2020, 7.30pm

MOZART Fantasia in C minor for piano
MOZART-STRAUSS: Orchestral interlude from Idomeneo
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor


STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

ANDIE HEYER new work (world premiere)

STRAUSS Alpine Symphony (finale)

Carson Becke piano

John Warner conductor

OFE launches its fourth annual Alpine Tour, this year celebrating Richard Strauss, who spent his life soaking up inspiration from this astonishing landscape. Every bar of his Alpine Symphony bursts with the sounds and colours of the mountains. We pair it with another Strauss classic, the wickedly funny Till Eulenspiegel, and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24. Strauss himself performed this concerto as a young man, and continued to adore Mozart throughout his life. We're delighted to be joined by internationally acclaimed Canadian pianist and long-standing friend of OFE, Carson Becke.

PLUS drop into St John's during the day to visit our special Alpine Plant Fair! Browse a variety of exciting stalls selling house and garden plants. Learn about gardening and houseplants from a host of experts from around London, and see the benefits that plants can bring into your life! 

Alpine Tour launch: Strauss in the Alps

St John's Church, Waterloo, London

Friday 12th June 2020, 1.15pm

PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf

Tony Hawks narrator

John Warner conductor


Join OFE and celebrated comedian and author Tony hawks for a fun-packed event including face-painting, other general activities, and a special performance of Prokofiev's classic Peter and the Wolf. Learn from the musicians about their instruments, and from Bill oddie about all the animals in Peter and the Wolf. Musicians dressed in costumes of animals

Suitable for ages 5–12.


Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf with Tony Hawks

St John's Church, Waterloo, London

Thursday 12th June 2020, 7.30pm

MOZART Bassoon Concerto


STRAVINSKY The Soldier's Tale

Tony Hawks narrator

Patrick Bolton bassoon

John Warner conductor


Stravinsky's chilling tale of one man's foolish decision to trade his violin for material gain, ultimately doesn't work out. Mozart's bassoon concerto played by LPO young artist and OFE principal bassoonist Patrick Bolton. Waterloo Festival celebrating 'transforming community', Importance of community for Stravinsky's lonely soldier.


This concert will include a panel with Jonathan Barnard (CEO of the World Land Trust), Bill Oddie, and some other people talking about the WLT's vital work in protecting some of the most vulnerable bits of our planet by buying them and supporting communities to maintain them.

The Soldier's Tale with Tony Hawks

King's Place, London

Thursday 27th November 2020, 8pm

MAHLER Symphony No. 9

John Warner conductor

‘It is the expression of tremendous love for this Earth, the longing to live upon it in peace, to enjoy nature to its greatest depths…’ (Alban Berg on Mahler’s Ninth Symphony)

Alban Berg's touching description of Mahler's Ninth have never seemed more prescient than they do now. The natural world that Mahler adored, and that his valedictory Ninth Symphony conjures up so beautifully, is under greater threat now than at any other point in history. The Alps have already undergone dramatic changes since Mahler's lifetime, none more apparent than the retreat of glaciers. Modern research shows that if significant action is not taken again global heating, Alpine glaciers will shrink by 95% by the end of the century. Experience Mahler's masterpiece like you never have before, in a chamber arrangement that is as intimate as it is visceral, performed under breathtaking images of Alpine glaciers. 

Concert in support of Cool Earth.

Mahler 9: a farewell to Europe's glaciers?