Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Versatile orchestra added to concert line-up

THE Henley Choral Society has lined-up leading sopranos and a renowned orchestra for its spring concert in Henley.

This will be Peter Asprey’s first major concert with the choir since he started as director of music in September.

Taking place on Saturday, March 25 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church in Hart Street, the choir will perform the dramatic mid-Baroque classics, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, alongside leading sopranos Samantha Crawford, who will perform the role of Dido, Queen of Carthage with Lauren Zolezzi singing the part of Belinda, Dido’s sister.

The role of Aeneas will be sung by international award-winning baritone Matthew Durkan. Acclaimed mezzo soprano, Mae Heydorn, will take the part of the Sorceress.

Sealing the exceptional high standard of performers for this concert is the Brandenburg Sinfonia, one of the most versatile musical organisations in the country, which will accompany the choir and the soloists.

The chamber orchestra performs regularly in major venues across the country and in London at the Barbican Halls, Royal Albert Hall, and Queen Elizabeth Hall, including the Autumn series of Brandenburg Choral Concerts in St Martin-in-the-Fields.

They have have worked with an impressive number of artists of international standing, including Sir James Galway, Lesley Garrett, Emma Kirkby, Yvonne Kenny and John Wallace.

Mr Asprey said: “I am so excited by this project because of the dramatic potential in both of these works. We have a wonderful line-up of soloists who will be able to communicate this to the full.

“Samantha Crawford, recent winner of the prestigious Wagner Singing Competition, brings so much depth and power to the role and I look forward to hearing how she contrasts with Lauren Zolezzi with all her flair and vocal agility. This makes Lauren the ideal person to sing Vivaldi’s challenging but beautiful Nulla in Mundo.

“Matthew Durkan will be taking time out from the English National Opera to be with us and will be a commanding Aeneas. This promises to be a most engaging evening.”

Susan Edwards, who chairs the choral society, said: “The evening will be one of exceptionally beautiful music from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, that includes cackling witches, drunken sailors as well as the heart wrenching emotional dying lament of Dido, to Vivaldi's sacred music.”

Ticket prices are £18 for adults and £8 for children under 16. To book, call (01491) 572795, visit Gorvett and Stone in Duke Street or visit www.henleychoralsociety

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