Choir Festival Confirms Soloists

The 2014 Henley Choir Festival taking place on Saturday 25 January at St Mary’s Church has now confirmed two soloists who will performing along with local choirs from area.  Both soloists are giving their performances for free and all funds raised from the festival will be going to local charities.

Rebecca Bell studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Anne Wood, Margaret Lensky and choir-festival-rebeccaPeter Gellhorn.  She has worked with Lillian Watson and Paul Esswood and currently studies with Marion Olsen through whom she gained her Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Performances include: Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s ‘Messiah’, the Durufle Requiem, Haydn’s St. Nicholas Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the Faure Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria.  She has recently performed the Pergolesi Stabat Mater in this Parish with Marion Olsen and Nigel Foster.

Rebecca has appeared in recitals and concerts countrywide with the pianist Anthea Fry and with Nigel Foster, including concerts for the Wimbledon Festival , the Elizabethan Consort and Lawyers’ Music.  She has sung with Bryn Terfel and the Brythoniad choir at the Criccieth festival and also on television.

Rebecca Bell teaches singing at St. Andrew’s School, Pangbourne and trains the junior choir at All Saints’ Rotherfield Peppard, where she also occasionally plays the organ.  She is married to Robert and has four children, all singers!

choir-festival-marionNew Zealand born singer, Marion Olsen began her studies at Otago University in 1974 and in 1981 she received grants from the Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council NZ, and the Blair Trust, to study singing in England.

She has performed frequently as an oratorio soloist, appearing (in London) at the Barbican, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Blackheath Concert Halls, in many concert halls and Cathedrals throughout Great Britain; and in Porto Paris and New Zealand in repertoire that includes the Verdi, Mozart and Dvorak Requiems, Bach Mass in B Minor and St Matthew Passion, Tippett’s A Child of our Time, Elgar’s The Apostles, The Kingdom and The Dream of Gerontius, the Beethoven Choral Symphony, and Britten’s Spring Symphony.

In opera Marion Olsen has performed Opera Gala Concerts at Covent Garden, in Glasgow and with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin. For Wellington City Opera she has performed the title role in Carmen. Other roles include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with The European Opera Company in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore; Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw at the Aldeburgh Festival; Credo Soloist in Busoni’s Doctor Faust for English National Opera; Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana; Ludmilla in The Bartered Bride; Sixth Flower Maiden in Parsifal; and The Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas.

Marion is particularly at home as a recitalist and has performed in this capacity in England, New Zealand, France, Germany and The Far East. She has returned to New Zealand a number of times to broadcast recitals for Radio New Zealand and most recently, in 2008, to perform a series of five recitals with Nigel Foster. In 2013 The Occasional Song Ensemble, (Mezzo Marion Olsen, Tenor Wills Morgan, and Pianist Nigel Foster) performed a programme of songs for the Britten Centenary in St Paul’s, Covent Garden.

Tickets available on the door from 2pm and the concert starts at 7.00pm