Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Joseph’s coat suits young soprano nicely

MANY of us will have fond memories of the Seventies Lloyd Webber/Rice musical Joseph and the

MANY of us will have fond memories of the Seventies Lloyd Webber/Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat â?? remember Close Every Door to Me, There’s One More Angel in Heaven and the rock ’n’ roll Pharaoh?

So it was a pleasure to hear the entire show sung by the Aliquando Chamber Choir as part of their Concert of Many Colours.

Perfect for a warm early summer’s evening, the clever programming offered a kaleidoscope of songs to open the concert.

Directed by Anne Evans and accompanied on the piano by Anita D’Attellis, the choir performed favourites that included Fields of Gold, Blue Moon and the Scottish folk song Oh my Love is like a Red Red Rose.

These were interspersed with solos by members of the choir, with David Banbury, who went on to play Pharaoh, putting a smile on our faces with his Blue Suede Shoes and a very deep note to finish.

D’Attellis, whose effortlessly stylish playing we are becoming familiar with in Henley, displayed her virtuosity in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, her handling of the intensely rhythmic sections coupled with the slow, broad, rich jazz melodies demonstrated her versatility. Although she got the very best out of the upright piano in the church, hopefully we will have a chance to hear her perform this work on a concert grand piano some time.

It was then over to Joseph and the stage was set for this iconic musical. The Aliquando Chamber Choir, the men sporting bright shirts of many colours, was joined by five young singers as “the adoring girls” and by 17-year-old Callum Chamberlain, playing the lead role. It was a fun performance and it was clear the singers were enjoying themselves, and by the end the audience too were beginning to join in.

I was struck by the purity and musicality of Callum’s soprano voice. He is a very promising young singer who carried the Lloyd Webber songs with maturity and engaged with his audience. Currently studying for his A-levels at Radley College, Callum will study music at Bristol University in September and hopes to make a career as a male soprano.

A donation from funds raised at the concert will go to Henley Music School (HMS) which provides tuition and group music activities for young people.

Laura Reineke from HMS said: “I am grateful to Aliquando not only for a fantastic evening of musical entertainment, but for so generously donating to Henley Music School. It was brilliant to see such a huge audience enjoying the choir who themselves were having a great time! Music is all about having fun.”

Review: Mandy Beard

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