Latest Event Updates

Rossini Puccini soloists Tim Mirfin

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Tim Mirfin – Bass

Tim Mirfin

We are very happy to welcome Tim Mirfin back to sing with us once more in our Rossini and Puccini concert on 21 April at Central Church, Torquay #sdevonchoirconcert

As a full time opera singer, Tim has sung in all major European countries, Australia, the US, Russia and the Middle East. He has performed major roles by Mozart, Handel, Britten, Puccini, Verdi and many others.

Opera companies he has worked with include Hamburg State Opera, Theater an der Wien, Frankfurt Opera, Lyon Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Holland Park Opera and The Bolshoi, Moscow.

He has a wide, varied concert repertoire ranging from the Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Verdi standards to rarities and premières. He has given concerts in the Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam’s Conzert-gebouw, Melbourne Town Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Usher Hall, Edinburgh (for the Festival) and various cathedrals and churches throughout the UK.

Tim has worked with a range of conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Donald Runnicles, Martyn Brabbins, Edward Gardner, Robin Ticciati.

He read Law at Cambridge, studying postgraduate singing at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio.

Join us and hear Tim sing.  Tickets are available online, from choir members and on the door.

Rossini Puccini soloist Arthur Swan

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Arthur Swan – Tenor

Arthur Swan – Tenor

We are excited to be joined by the exciting tenor, Arthur Swan, at our concert on Saturday 21 April at Central Church, Torquay #sdevonchoirconcert

Arthur studied opera at the South African College of Music and was a member of Cape Town Opera’s Young Artists’ Programme.  After completing his undergraduate studies in 2004, he performed in theatres throughout Southern Africa before moving to London in 2008, where he is still based.

Arthur’s lyric tenor is in demand on both the concert and opera stage, in repertoire ranging from the baroque to late romantic, thanks to what critics have described as a “nobility” and “warmth” of tone, as well as his natural vocal flexibility and versatility.

His opera repertoire includes works by Mozart (Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni), Rossini (Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, and Osiride in Mosé in Egitto), Donizetti (Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale), J
anáček (Steva in Jenůfa), Bizet (Don José in Carmen) and Puccini (Prunier in La Rondine, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly).

In addition to his regular performances with regional and touring opera companies in the United Kingdom, Arthur’s association with Cape Town Opera has continued, with engagements including Hoffmann (Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and, more recently, the principal part of Whiteman in extended tours to the UK, Dubai and Hong Kong of The Mandela Trilogy, a musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela.

Arthur has just returned from South Africa, where he reprised the part of Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) at the Brooklyn Theatre in Pretoria. Future engagements include the role of Fenton in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor for Duchy Opera in Cornwall.

This is the first time that Arthur has performed with the Choir and we are anticipating meeting him and hearing him sing with a great deal of interest and excitement. You can find out more about Arthur from his website.

Tickets are available online, from choir members and on the door.

 

 

 

Rossini Puccini soloist Rebecca Smith

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Rebecca Smith – Second Soprano

Rebecca Smith – Second Soprano

We are also very pleased to welcome one of our regular soloists, Rebecca Smith, who will be singing in our Rossini & Puccini concert on Saturday 21 April at Central Church, Torquay. #sdevonchoirconcert

Hannah graduated from Trinity College of Music where she won many prizes and awards including the Morag Noble Scholarship for further study, Wilfred Greenhouse Prize for Oratorio and Cantata Singing, and the English Song Prize.
Since moving to Devon Rebecca teaches privately and adjudicates in competitions, as well as continuing to perform.

Operatic roles vary from Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to Jocaste in Oedipus Rex, Stravinsky, and The Traveller in the premier of the opera, Victory over the Sun by Jeremy Arden performed at the Barbican.

She was a member of Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and Touring Opera for several seasons, touring also to Paris.

She has sung at the Purcell Room, London with the Company of Singers and Players to critical acclaim, at the Festival Hall, at several BBC Promenade concerts at the Albert Hall, and other venues such as the British Embassy, Brussels, St George’s, the Wigmore Hall, Hanover Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Exeter and Truro Cathedrals.

Future engagements include performances of Handel’s Messiah, Stabat Mater by Roger Bosustow, Mozart Requiem, several performances of Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle and Schumann Frauen-Liebe und Leben.

Tickets are available online, from choir members and on the door.

Rossini Puccini soloists

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Hannah Sawle – First Soprano

Hannah Sawle – First Soprano

Performing in our Rossini and Puccini concert on Saturday 21 April at Central Church, Torquay #sdevonchoirconcert we are pleased to welcome soprano soloist Hannah Sawle.

Hannah studied at Chethams School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and on the English National Opera’s Opera Works Course. She is currently studying with Janice Chapman. Whilst at the Guildhall School of Music she won awards for her English and Contemporary Song and she has been guest soloist on BBC World Service, Radio 3 and Radio 4.

Recent roles include covering Ismene (Mitridate Re di Ponto) for the Royal Opera, Queen of the Night for Charles Court Opera and the title role in Lakme for Swansea City Opera. Other roles include Adina and Gianetta (L’elisir d’amore), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Queen of the Night, Papagena and second boy (Die Zauberflote), Elletra (Idomeneo), Nedda (I pagliacci), Serpetta (la finta Giardiniera), Frasquita and Micaela (Carmen), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Mademoiselle Silberklang (The Impresario), Diana (Orpheus in the Underworld), Lena (la Princess Jaune), Slim Girl (A Village Romeo and Juliet), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement), Tsarevna (Kashei the Im-mortal) and Trio Soprano (Trouble in Tahiti).

Hannah has sung with South Devon Choir in the past and we are very much looking forward to hearing her sing again.

Tickets are available online, from choir members and on the door.

Cream Tea and Quiz

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Cream Tea
Go on – indulge yourself

Knowledge and Taste hand in hand

It’s that time of year again.  The days are getting longer, the daffodils are starting to poke their heads out cautiously at the sun, and thoughts turn to an afternoon out and the South Devon Choir Cream Tea and Quiz.

Where better than Castle Barton Tea Rooms where you can indulge in a thoroughly satisfying cream tea in cosy surroundings, safe in the knowledge that you are fully justified in doing so for several reasons.

 

 

  1. You have just burned up lots of calories using your brain and digging out all that general knowledge you thought you’d forgotten.
  2. You have spent money in a good cause – because this is a social fundraiser for South Devon Choir.
  3. You have also bought a ticket or two in the raffle, which will also contribute to South Devon Choir funds.

Tickets at £8.00 per person are available from Prim Wood Telephone 01803 872296 or from choir members.

Join us on Wednesday 28 March at 2pm until approximately 5pm at Castle Barton Tea Rooms, Compton, Nr Marldon. For a map click here.

S’no joke no choir practice

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Amber Weather Warning Forces Cancellation of Choir Practice

No choir practice in this weather

For the first time in years, South Devon Choir will not be rehearsing on a Thursday night in term time #3wordweather #snow #below-zero #Torquay  Winter definitely has a sting in its tail this year.

The rehearsal scheduled for Thursday 1st March has been cancelled due to a Met Office amber weather warning for snow and ice on Thursday and Friday.  Heavy snow is expected possibly followed by frozen rain, producing hazardous conditions for travelling.  In the circumstances, we thought staying tucked up indoors, warm, snug and safe was a pretty good option.

The good news is that the weather ahead is looking less cold, spring must surely be on the way and we shall be singing again next week.  Practice makes perfect for the wonderful Rossini and Puccini concert programme to be performed on Saturday 21 April.

Please do let any choir members you know who are not on the choir email list, or on Facebook, that there is no practice on 1st March.

 

Glorious Russian Choral Music

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A Talk by Simon Dunbavand

Simon Dunbavand
Simon Dunbavand

#torquay #music #Russia # choral –  South Devon Choir are adding to their social calendar this spring with a talk by lecturer and musician, Simon Dunbavand.  He has entitled the talk “Glorious Russian Choral Music” and it promises to be gloriously illustrated with music and a fascinating account by Simon which you can be sure will include some interesting personal anecdotes.

Simon describes himself as an organist, pianist, conductor, choral animateur, lecturer, researcher, writer, composer, teacher, and traveller.  Not only that, Simon is also a Cambridge graduate and was an Organ Scholar of Peterhouse, now resident in Torquay he is also organist at Paignton Parish Church and is accompanist to South Devon Choir among his many other roles.

One of Simon’s passions is Russian Choral music and he has directed performances of Russian Orthodox music, which he researches and collects in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev.

Simon is also a frequent lecturer on classical music themed-cruises, as well as inspiring singers in the Choirs-at-Sea programme. Travel is his greatest pleasure, and when combined with music, produces a thrilling anthropological and ethnographical cocktail, from the ghats of Varanasi, to the monasteries of Luang Prabang in Laos. Simon is proud to have played the ceremonial gong at a Hindu watermelon ritual on Moheshkhali Island in Bangladesh, and trekked to the ancient Buddhist Monasteries of Inle Lake, Burma, across the mountains of the forbidden Shan State to the two-thousand stupas of Kakku with their bells tinkling in the breeze. Simon has visited the Mursi tribe of the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia and attended the chanting of the St George’s Day rites in the rock-hewn orthodox churches of the holy city of Lalibella. Recently he took the infamous Tazara train from Dar es Salaam to Zambia, and continued onwards into Zimbabwe and South Africa. In 2015 he has particularly enjoyed visiting the Corcovado district of Costa Rica, Bocas del Toro in Panama, and travelling by train across Uzbekistan.

The event will take place in The Rougemont Room, Toorak Hotel, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JS on Tuesday 6 March commencing at 7pm.  There is a bar and tea/coffee are also available.  The cost for the event is £7.00 per person – tickets are available from Prim Wood, Telephone 01803 872296, or on the door.

Find out more about Simon Dunbavand on his website.

Coffee Morning in Brixham

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Saturday 24 February at 10am

We were mugged!

Come along to Brixham Christian Community Centre in Fore Street, Brixham on Saturday 24 February at 10am till 12 noon.

South Devon Choir are holding a coffee morning in aid of Choir funds and, in addition to coffee (or tea) and plenty of cakes for sale there are stalls and a lucky dip to tempt you.

If you are not sure exactly where to come click here for a map.

See you there!

 

Thank you all

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After the concert

Following the Choir’s concert on Saturday 25 November, Sally Laird, Chair of South Devon Choir, posted the following message.

I’m feeling a very proud and happy Chairperson today! Our Choir gave a superb concert last night – a huge thank you to every single person involved- and there were a lot! And we all enjoyed it so much – so many dramatic and thrilling not to say moving moments, from pickled Choirboys to the glorious singing of our soloists- Nick Hawker as St Nicolas was stunning, the sounds of that superb trumpet solo are still ringing my ears with the lovely soprano Elinor Chapman, the rich tones of Julian Rippon, and as for the duetti on the piano – fantastic! There were dramatic moments during the week before the concert when it looked as though the organ might not be playable – I think that Simon Dunbavand proved beyond any doubt that it had been repaired – what an exceptional musician he is.
As for my committee, all the volunteer helpers – what can I say – just a huge thank you. And as for John Hobbs – he’s incomparable! And a delicious buffet too. Hooray for South Devon Choir

St Nicolas-Julian Rippon

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Julian Rippon – Bass

Julian Rippon treats us to the well-known solo ‘Mighty Lord’ by Bach from his famous ‘Christmas Oratorio’  in our forthcoming concert on Saturday 25 November at St Matthias’ Church, Wellswood, Torquay.  In addition, he will perform in the beautiful Bach Cantata, ‘Sleepers, Wake!’ together with Elinor Chapman and Nick Hawker.

Julian is in constant demand as a soloist around the South West, performing in a wide range of choral and operatic works with many of the foremost groups in the region. He is also a full-time member of Exeter Cathedral Choir.

Julian began his singing career as a boy chorister with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, and continued to sing regularly while an Engineering
undergraduate at Cambridge
University. He moved to Japan in 1990, and later to Shanghai,
returning to the UK in 2007. While in the Far East Julian appeared
frequently as soloist, both on the stage and in the concert hall.

His solo repertoire includes Monteverdi Vespers, Handel Messiah and Judas Maccabeus, J.S. Bach B
Minor Mass
, St John Passion, St Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Mozart Requiem, Beet-hoven Symphony No. 9, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Mendelssohn Elijah, Verdi Requiem, Brahms German Requiem, Stainer Crucifixion, Fauré Requiem, Mahler
Symphony No. 8, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Carl Orff
Carmina Burana, Duruflé
Requiem, Britten War Requiem and Howard Goodall Requiem.

Julian recently performed in Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Britten’s War Requiem, and has a busy round of concerts leading up to Christmas, including Handel Messiah, Bach Magnificat, and Durulflé Requiem. He has also been invited to perform
Mahler’s ‘Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen’ (‘Songs of a Wayfarer’) in Sidmouth next spring.

To hear Julian join us on Saturday 25 November at the earlier time of 7pm.

Tickets are available priced £12 for the concert with a separate ticket of £4.00 for the finger buffet.  As usual children and students under 19 are welcome to the concert free of charge but will require a finger buffet ticket at £4.00. Tickets can be obtained from Choir Members and online and of course, on the door.  Please  note that because we have to cater we are asking people to book tickets no later than Saturday 18 November.  There may possibly be extra buffet tickets available on the night but first come, first served as they say.

#sdevonchoirconcert

To buy tickets now please use our secure online booking system


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