Five professional soloists will join Henley Choral Society at St Mary’s Church in Henley this Saturday 1 April in a Gala Concert to celebrate the Society’s 50th anniversary.
The concert, which features the Vivaldi Gloria, and Bach Mass in G Major is also the World Premiere of a new piece called The Ice is Listening, specially commissioned by the Society from Ivor Novello award-winning British composer Cecilia McDowall and Oxford-based poet Kate Wakeling.
Joining Henley Choral Society under conductor Richard Harker are: Emily Armour, soprano, whose career highlights include touring with The Monteverdi Choir in Russia and Brazil, singing as a soloist at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and singing Christmas carols to Her Majesty’s horses at Buckingham Palace; Elinor Rolfe Johnson, soprano, whose extensive recital and oratorio experience has garnered reviews such a ‘commanding stage presence and the voice to match’ (Seen and Heard International) and) ‘superlative singing’ (Tim Ashley in The Guardian); London-based baritone Alistair Sutherland who completed the MA vocal studies course at the Royal Academy of Music and whose repertoire ranges from acclaimed performances in The Marriage of Figaro, to working his way through the American songbook; Lara Harvey, who completed her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music where she held the Annie Ridyard Scholarship for Mezzo Sopranos and joins the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus this summer; and tenor Nick Allen, whose recent oratorio experience includes the Evangelist in Bach St. John Passion, Handel Messiah, Haydn Creation and Nelson Mass, Mozart Requiem and Mendelssohn Elijah. They are joined by the London String Collective.
Henley Choral Society chairman Dr Tim Wilson explains: ‘As a charity, one of our objectives is to bring the highest quality musical talent to our local community. For our special Gold Anniversary, we have gone one step further by commissioning one of the UK’s most respected composers to create a completely new work on a compelling contemporary theme. The Ice is Listening It is by turns warm, witty, atmospheric and thought-provoking and we can’t wait to perform it.”
Tickets and details www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk