Please note, Waddesdon will be completely closed 29 June–5 July with the exception of the ticketed live music events. From 6-8 July the property reopens but there will be potential disruption to the Manor.

The live music events from 2-5 July are organised by Senbla. The grounds of Waddesdon have been hired as a venue only, and our staff are not involved in the organisation of these concerts. For any enquiries relating to these concerts, please contact Senbla here or email info@senbla.com

Stables projection at christmas
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Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Waddesdon is delighted to welcome back students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for the second year running.

This year they were commissioned to produce a series of light and sound installations inspired by the theme of Christmas Carnival at Waddesdon Manor.

Stables light projection

A magical light and sound show projected onto the Stables façade celebrates winter festivities, both inspired by and featuring dozens of objects and details from Waddesdon, from prints, drawings and paintings to lace, buttons, books and ceramics. Characters from 17th-and 18th-century ballets and masked balls, alongside members of the Rothschild family, weave through the wintery celebrations as they skate, dance and enjoy a fantastical procession of floats.

The soundtrack to the projection has been designed and arranged by musicians from Guildhall School’s Electronic Music Department, taking inspiration from the score for the Ballet de la Nuit, first performed by the young King Louis XIV of France in 1653, alongside his courtiers and even the future King James II of England. Waddesdon has a unique book with drawings for the costumes and set designs for this ballet, owned by the man responsible for organising the spectacle.

Stables projection christmas

Light and sound show created by Eleisha Brand, Nicholas Wong and Nina Thoene, BA (Hons) Video Design for Live Performance at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Additional support from Josh Garner, AV Technician.

The new score has been exclusively recorded for this presentation. Musicians: Christopher Short, Jasper Trim, Finn Bognuda, Guy Sharpe, James Grout-Smith, Sam Dinley, Will Davenport and James Allen. Sound design by Miky Drees, Liam Noonan and Sam Nunez-Doyle. Curated and supervised by James Allen. Directed by Mike Roberts, Head of Electronic Music.

Tunnel of Light

The Tunnel of Light is made of individually-mapped LED’s that allow video and complex patterns to dance around the audience. The sound design, created by musicians of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s Electronic Music Department, draws inspiration from the themes of ice, snow and pixilation. The multi-channel system distributes the sounds throughout the tunnel to produce a sonic experience that unfolds as you move through the structure.

Lighting artist: Tom Mackey, BA (Hons) Production Arts. Lighting design: Jon Armstrong, Lecturer in Lighting Design & Technology. Concept and design by Dan Shorten, Lecturer in Video. Sound design: curated and directed by Mike Roberts, Head of Electronic Music. Sound artists: Giacomo Fargion, Raphael Ninot, Jacob Titterton, Jamie Farrington, Finn Murphy, Sean Norris, Pablo Drexler, Eric Fabrizi, Asher Kingham, Vicky Sanders, Sam Nunez-Doyle, Joel Plowright, Guiorgi Smith and Mike Roberts. Sonic technical lead: Sean Norris.

Woodland Playground audio trail

Soundscape trail at christmas

The immersive sound trail is inspired by some of the extraordinary figures and characters from Waddesdon’s collections. Encounter the 13 characters along the woodland playground. Each silhouette has its own story to tell, with sounds that bring them to life. Hear the ice-skaters at a Christmas market, be entertained by the music from royal spectacles such as the Ballet de la Nuit (Ballet of the Night) and feel the spirit of Christmas with traditional carols, church bells and festivities.

The sound trail has been created by students and staff at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Sound design: Eleanor Coxall BA (Hons) Production Arts. Statue design: Tom Downing, Construction Lead.

To go behind the scenes and find out how these incredible installations came together from inspiration to execution take a look at these blogs written for us by the students themselves.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Christmas Carnival Week One>

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Christmas Carnival Week Two>

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Christmas Carnival Week Three>