We are in for a real treat as the Coast to Coast Choir has pleasure in introducing the soloists for the combined choirs performance of Verdi’s famous Messe da Requiem to be performed at 7.30pm on Saturday 2nd July 2016 in the Assembly Rooms, Torquay Town Hall. If you are unable to come to Torquay then the performance takes place again in the Pannier Market, Barnstaple on Sunday 3rd July starting at 3pm. Tickets for the Torquay performance can be obtained through this website – for further details click here
First on our list of soloists for these two concerts is Héloïse West, a well-known and accomplished soprano who we are delighted to welcome. Heloise will take us through the highs and lows of the great work finally reaching the highest of high notes towards to the end of the Requiem. You will discover what this is like if you watch the video below, sung by Renee Fleming and conducted by Antonio Pappano – if you haven’t time to listen to the whole piece go to 7 mins 15 seconds and listen for a moment or two. At 11mins 26 seconds you can hear another stratospherically high note. This is, indeed, one of the great feats of the human voice and to hear a singer live achieve this wonderful sound is a treat indeed.
Héloïse West was born in Devon. When she joined the National Youth Choir of Great Britain she received a gifted pupil award. She gained an Entrance Exhibition to the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with an LRAM and a Bachelor of Music degree in performance. She has also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Héloïse has recently started an in-depth course of study on Wagnerian roles with Lionel Friend.
She has a busy career in the South West singing oratorios.
Her performances include : Bach- St.Matthew Passion, St.John Passion,Mass in B Minor, Brahms– Requiem, Handel- Messiah, Haydn– Nelson Mass, Creation,Mendelssohn-Elijah, Mozart– C Minor Mass, Coronation Mass, Requiem,Poulenc-Gloria, Verdi-Requiem.
It’s always a challenge to learn a complex piece of music – especially if you don’t read music. South Devon Choir is a community choir and a recent survey of members revealed that 25% of members read music very little. Nonetheless, you don’t have to read music to be able to sing very complex music – ears are the key. Hearing the music as others sing it, listening to the piano and practice, practice, practice are what enables the singer to learn.
Here South Devon Choir practice the Sanctus from the Verdi Requiem with the passionate John Hobbs, their Musical Director. Each part (SATB) is split in two – so there are 8 parts singing. Timing is complex, the music intricate. With plenty of time to go until the actual performance members of the Choir concentrate on learning the unfamiliar notes and timing.
The performance itself will feature over 200 voices as South Devon Choir combines with choirs from North Devon and Cornwall to form the Coast to Coast Choir in an epic staging of the Requiem in the Assembly Rooms, Torquay Town Hall, Torquay – on 2nd July 2016 and again in Barnstaple Pannier Market on 3rd July. Accompanying them will be the Festival Orchestra and professional soloists Cheryl Brendish, Heloise West, David Webb and Darren Jeffery. Tickets are available from Visitor Centres in Torquay, Paignton and Newton Abbot, on our website (click here for tickets) or you can buy them on our Facebook page.