Classical Music

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.

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.

St Nicolas Concert – Tenor Soloist

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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.

#sdevonchoirconcert

To buy tickets now please use our secure online booking system


Book now

 

St Nicolas Concert Soloist

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Elinor Chapman

Our soprano soloist for our concert on 25 November at St Matthias’ Church, Wellswood, Torquay is the sublime singer, Elinor Chapman.

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.

#sdevonchoirconcert

To buy tickets now please use our secure online booking system


Book now

Will the real Father Christmas please stand up

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St Nicolas, the real Father Christmas

Excitement builds in the minds of small children as Christmas Eve approaches and Santa leaves presents for them but what do we know of this magical person?  Who is he? Who was he?

The origin of Father Christmas, or to give him his proper name, St Nicolas, is shrouded in the mists of time.  All we know of him is largely down to a writer from the 9th century giving an account of a figure who lived some 500 years before, one Nicolas of Myra.

Nicolas of Myra was reputed to have performed a number of kindly, indeed saintly, acts including the restoration to life of children whom he raised from the dead, the rescues of three sisters destined for a life of misery and prostitution, three men from an unjust death and three drowning sailors off the coast of Turkey.  You can see the influence of the holy number three in these accounts.

His diverse activities have earned him the patronage of unmarried girls, pawnbrokers, merchants, perfumiers and apothecaries as well as the modern fame in which he is now held.

At our concert on 25 November we will sing of the life of St Nicolas, including the restoration to life of the children.  In the Britten Cantata the children are three small boys, Timothy, Mark and John, whose parents are in anguish at their disappearance.  Nicolas realises that the boys have been pickled in brine by an unscrupulous butcher and supplied as meat to a landlord in the famine stricken land. He restores them to life and you will hear them in the concert as their parts are sung by three choristers from Exeter Cathedral.

Forget Strictly, catch up on iPlayer, and come out for an evening of choral entertainment with us as we sing St Nicolas and the famous Bach Cantata BMV140 Sleepers, Wake!  and if you would like to join us for a finger buffet afterwards then be quick and buy tickets for that too – the deadline is Saturday 18 November (for catering purposes) but concert tickets will be available on the door on the night.

Tickets are available online click here

For more information about the concert click here – do join us.

Christus Natus Est!

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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.