Intimate Letters

MOZART Divertimento in F, K.138 
SMETANA (arr. from string orchestra) String Quartet No.1 “From My Life”
JANÁČEK (arr. Valve) String Quartet No.2 “Intimate Letters”

Peter Evans Co-Artistic Director, Bell Shakespeare
Susanna Dowling Assistant Director, Bell Shakespeare
Nicholas Rayment Lighting Designer

With Marshall Napier and Ella Scott Lynch
Concept by Timo-Veikko Valve


In a dramatic collaboration with Bell Shakespeare, we perform Janáček’s Intimate Letters and Smetana’s From My Life, sharing the stage with esteemed actors who give life to the stories which inspired the music.

Our theatrical staging of Janáček’s first quartet, the Kreutzer Sonata, received glowing reviews and it is exciting to give his second quartet Intimate Letters the same treatment, performing an arrangement for string orchestra under the direction of London Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Gordan Nikolic.

Inspired by more than 700 passionate letters written between Janáček and his much younger, married muse, Intimate Letters explores their overwhelming and obsessive love. Smetana’s autobiographical From My Life soars with the joy and hope of childhood which gradually derails and ultimately descends into despair, as the composer faces the inescapable fate of impending deafness.