torquay

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.

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Armistice Day Service 2018

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Choir marks Armistice Centenary

Members of South Devon Choir with the Rev. Ian Blyde, the Rector of Brixham, at the Remembrance Day Service at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Churston.

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

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.

 

 

 

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.