Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 24th June - 2nd July 2017. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2017 team, please get in touch.


Life at the Cabaret
Derek Blyth

Emmanuel Church, 6 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 6TR

A lecture and recital which will take a light-hearted trip through Berlin from about 1900 to 1933, with songs by composers and lyricists of the time performed live by Jill Taylor and Derek Blyth.  

7 1 Life at the Cabaret   Derek Blyth large


Come to the Cabaret!

A lecture-recital about the development of Cabaret in early 20th century Berlin

Most people are familiar with the musical or film version of ‘Cabaret’, Kander and Ebb’s telling of the rise of Nazism through the medium of a Berlin Cabaret.  The story of how this form developed is less well known.  This lecture/recital will take a light-hearted trip through Berlin from about 1900 to 1933, with songs by composers and lyricists of the time performed live as part of it.  Some songs will be familiar, some less so. Come to the Cabaret!

Jill Taylor (Mezzo Soprano) and Derek Blyth (Piano)

About the Artists

Derek was born in and went to school near Edinburgh. He read music at the Universities of Aberdeen and Durham, making his conducting debut in performances of ‘Iolanthe’ for the AU G&S Society, of which he was co-founder. He spent most of his career in the north west of England, teaching music and conducting productions of all the Savoy operas as well as more serious operatic works and much of the orchestral repertoire. He has had strong links with Germany for nearly 30 years and visits there regularly, giving concerts and recitals. He has a particular interest in Richard Wagner and lectures regularly to Wagner societies in the UK.



Jill Taylor studied music and performance at Manchester Polytechnic. As well as being a regular soloist for weddings and funerals, oratorio performances have included Durufle and Faure requiems, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi Requiem, Vaughan Williams “Sea Symphony”, Mozart C Minor mass, Bach B Minor mass and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius.

Recital performances have taken Jill to the Lake District, Stoneyhurst College, The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Preston midday recitals. Concert work with small ensembles and chamber orchestras has included John Taverner’s Russian song cycle ‘Akhmatova’s Songs’ for voice and cello, Mahler’s song cycle ‘Leider Eines Fahrenden Gessellen’ and Ravel’s ‘Chanson Madecasses’.

Jill has toured with Bryn Tyrfel (and Julia) in the UK and Paris, and has appeared at The Royal Albert Hall and Sheffield Arena with Jarvis Cocker and Pulp, and in BBC Prom concert with Jarvis Cocker and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.  


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