Conductor sings in his own concert
John Hobbs has been conducting South Devon Choir since 2007 and during that time the choir hears his rich baritone voice on a very regular basis. There is nothing like hearing a difficult piece of music sung correctly for cementing it into the brain.
At this concert our audience will have the opportunity to hear John’s wonderful voice as he sings a tenor and baritone duet with Arthur Swan. You can look forward to hearing the wonderful Au Fond du Temple Saint from The Pearl Fishers by Bizet.
John Hobbs has enjoyed a wide and varied singing career but most recently he has sung the role of Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, in 2017, with both Cheryl Brendish and Arthur Swan; and Falstaff in Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor, in 2018, with Arthur. Both performances were with the Duchy Opera Company.
John is understudying the roles of Macbeth and Banquo in the same Company’s current production of Verdi’s Macbeth. On Palm Sunday 2019, he sang the Bass arias and supporting characters (Judas, Peter, High Priest and Pilate) in the Plymouth Philharmonic Choir’s performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.
Future performances include an operatic recital, with Arthur, for the Friends of Duchy Opera, in Newquay; and an open-air programme of operatic scenes, with Cheryl and her new company, Intimate Opera, at Trevince; both in June; and also the bass solos in Mozart’s Requiem, in Buckfast Abbey, in September. All this in addition to being Musical Director of the Bude Choral Society, North Devon Choral Society and the South Devon Choir.
Tickets for the concert are available online, from choir members and on the door, priced at £12 (Students 19 and under are free of charge). The concert takes place on Saturday 6 July 2019, doors open at 7.00pm and the concert starts at 7.30pm.
The Ups and Downs of Committee Life
|Ups and downs are inevitable in life. No sooner do we enjoy basking in another successful concert than it is time to start arranging the next one.
Despite our extensive forward plans sometimes things go adrift and our Spring 2019 concert has been one such occasion.
Choir marks Armistice Centenary
Members of South Devon Choir helped commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day at Churston Parish Church on Remembrance Sunday.
About 20 members of the large choir assisted the church choristers in the Remembrance service, to help lead the congregation in singing and to perform an anthem.
“It was a wonderful way to mark the peace that eventually came to Europe exactly 100 years ago, after nearly five years of appalling warfare,” said Lisa Prager, Secretary of South Devon Choir.
“It was particularly apt, as our concert – ‘Calm after Chaos’ – is only a few weeks away, on 1 December. The concert was planned ages ago, and it includes Haydn’s Nelson Mass, written during another European war, and Chris Williams’ Tsunami Requiem, which is also particularly relevant given recent tsunamis and other natural disasters. At the concert, we’ll be inviting the audience to make donations for the Disasters Emergency Committee to help a number of UK charities.”
The concert, at Central Church, Torquay, starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 1 December; tickets are £12 (free for students under 19), and can be obtained by calling 01803 846058; on-line at http://www.southdevonchoir.org/tickets; or on the door. #sdcnelsonmass
Tim Mirfin – Bass
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.
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.
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.
Nick Hawker – Tenor
Nick Hawker performs as St Nicolas himself 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!’ – a treat to look forward to.
Nicholas began his musical education as a chorister at St Alphege, Solihull. He later read music at Birmingham University, eventually winning a postgraduate scholarship to complete an MPhil thesis on the music of Edward Elgar. Since then he has
edited manuscripts linked with the composition of Elgar’s The Apostles which have now been published by the Elgar Society.
Nicholas Hawker is increasingly in demand as a soloist throughout the South West and further afield. In 2003 Nicholas moved to Truro, Cornwall to take up a choral scholarship with Truro Cathedral Choir. As a lay vicar in Truro Cathedral Choir he has toured throughout Europe, made numerous recordings on the Regent and Lammas record labels and appeared as a soloist on BBC radio and television. He previously sang with the choir of Birmingham Cathedral and has recently performed, recorded and toured with the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge.
Nicholas’ recital repertoire includes the song-cycles Britten’s Winter Words, Schubert’s Winterresie and Schumann’s Dichterliebe as well as other songs by Britten, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Quilter, Gurney, Elgar, Ireland, Schubert and Schumann. In opera Nicholas has appeared with Birmingham Festival Opera in Shostakovich Moskva Cheremushki and with Duchy Opera in Puccini Madame Butterfly and Mozart The Magic Flute. In 2009 he appeared with Duchy Opera in the premiere of Paul Drayton’s The Hanging Oak.
To hear Nick sing 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, 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.
To buy tickets now please use our secure online booking system
Elinor graduated with a degree in Law with French before taking a post-graduate diploma in performance and vocal studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Since then she has performed many operatic roles including Despina (Cosi), Oscar (Ballo in Maschera),
Adele (Fledermaus), Mercedes (Carmen) and Blonde (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail) for
companies including Kentish Opera and Unexpected Opera. For Duchy Opera Elinor has played Malwina in Marschner’s The Vampire and Adina in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love.
She has twice toured as a soloist with the Kent Sinfonia to China and has given concerts and recitals as far afield as New Zealand.
Oratorio work includes Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Judas Maccabbeus, Haydn’s The Seasons, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Faure’s Requiem. Future engagements include Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Little Organ Mass and Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.
To hear Elinor perform in Bach’s ‘Sleepers, Wake!’ and ‘Let the Bright Seraphim’ from Handel’s Samson Oratorio 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, 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.
To buy tickets now please use our secure online booking system
Joyous Christmas Singing
Mobile phone technology being what it is now, a member of our audience has supplied us with this recording of the last part of Cecelia McDowall’s lovely Christmas Cantata, “Christus Natus Est!” We hope it will enjoyed once again by those who attended the concert and for the first time by those who didn’t.
Happy Christmas, to one and all.