Composers

Cheryl Brendish sings Opera Classics

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Soprano Soloist – Cheryl Brendish

Cheryl Brendish
Cheryl Brendish

We are pleased to welcome, once again,  the talented, vivacious and well-known West Country soprano soloist, Cheryl Brendish, to perform with us and for us in our summer concert #sdcopera, Opera Classics.

English-born soprano Cheryl,is known for her ability to combine beautiful lyrical singing with real stage presence and theatrical ability.  Based in Cornwall, Cheryl regularly performs throughout the South West in recitals, concerts, guest appearances and on the operatic stage.

Cheryl sings with the Duchy Opera Company and she and John Hobbs, our Musical Director, have sung together many times in the past.  More recently she sang with John Hobbs and Melanie Hoadley at Trevince, near Redruth in Cornwall in the drawing room, no less, for an intimate opera performance.

Cheryl has performed with South Devon Choir in two summer concerts in the last few years.  She gave a spirited, amusing and poignant performance in our last opera-based concert and more recently was one of the four soloists in Verdi’s Requiem with a large, combined choir made up from South Devon Choir, North Devon Choral Society and Bude Choral Society.

We look forward with eager anticipation to welcoming her back to Torbay this summer.

Tickets are available online and on the door – £12 (cash only) Under 19s free of charge.

For online bookings click HERE

#sdcopera

 

 

 

John Hobbs sings Opera Classic

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Conductor sings in his own concert

John Hobbs

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.

 

Opera Classics – Arthur Swan

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International Tenor sings Opera Classics

Picture of Arthur Swan
Arthur Swan

South African tenor Arthur Swan joins South Devon Choir once again for their summer concert on Saturday 6 July at Central Church, Tor Hill Road, Torquay.

You can expect to hear some real operatic treats including Lensky’s aria from Eugene Onedin by Tchaikovsky, Au Fond du Temple Saint, from The Pearl Fishers by Bizet, the famous tenor and baritone duet, where Arthur is joined by John Hobbs; and partnering soprano Cheryl Brendish, Brindisi from La Traviata by Verdi.

Arthur Swan 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.

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), Janáček (Steva in Jenůfa), Bizet (Don José in Carmen) and Puccini (Prunier in La Rondine, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly). Arthur also recently made his first foray into operetta, performing the roles of Alfred in Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss II) and Marco in The Gondoliers (Gilbert and Sullivan) for North West Opera in Ireland.

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.

Tickets for the concert are available online as well as from choir members or on the door.  Doors open at 7pm on Saturday 6 July and the concert starts at 7.30pm.  #sdcopera

Committee Life

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The Ups and Downs of Committee Life

Ups and Downs
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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.