Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Chorus promises ‘thrilling’ musical ride at next show

AFTER last year’s sell-out performance of Haydn’s The Creation Henley Choral Society and Southern Sinfonia return to Reading’s Concert Hall

AFTER last year’s sell-out performance of Haydn’s The Creation Henley Choral Society and Southern Sinfonia return to Reading’s Concert Hall in June to perform Verdi’s Requiem.

Musical director Will Dawes will conduct more than 200 performers on stage including a full symphony orchestra, double chorus and a cast of soloists.

Melissa Maple, who chairs the choral society, said: “Verdi’s Requiem is thrilling, dramatic and heart-rending, and widely regarded as one of the greatest works ever composed.

“Verdi uses every operatic trick in his considerable arsenal to take the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from the terror created by the wall of sound in the Day of Judgement to superb evocations of joy and sorrow, longing and regret.”

The double chorus of 150 singers will be joined by Southern Sinfonia, regarded as one of the premier orchestras in the south of England, and four professional soloists.

Soprano Elisabeth Meister has performed all over the world, including at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Festival Hall. She recently made her début in the title role of Lucrezia Borgia at La Monnaie in Brussels and was described by one critic as producing “an audible sense of electricity in the house”.

She is joined by mezzo-soprano Kate Symonds-Joy, whose voice has drawn high praise in performances at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Barbican, Purcell Room and in the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall.

David Butt Philip won a number of musical prizes as a baritone, before switching to tenor and returning to Glyndebourne as a Jerwood Young Artist. In 2012 he joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Baritone James Oldfield’s concert performances include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, while operatic engagements have included roles with Opera North, Garsington Opera, and Gothenburg Opera.

Mrs Maple said: “This is Will Dawes’ last performance as musical director of Henley Choral Society and it promises to be an exceptional and emotional farewell. For anyone who loves spectacle, opera and drama this requiem promises to be a sensational musical experience.”

lVerdi’s Requiem is at Reading Concert Hall on Saturday, June 8 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £16, £12 U18s, from the ticket secretary on (01491) 572795 or from the box office on 0118 960 6060 or www.readingarts.com Concert coaches will run from Henley via Shiplake dropping outside the concert hall and return. Tickets £7 return are only available from the ticket secretary on (01491) 572795. Visit www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk

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