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Advent Cantatas

J.S. Bach - Autumn 2014

Soloists from English Touring Opera and the Old Street Band combine with local choirs in a concert of Bach’s extraordinary cantatas for Advent.

Conductor 
Jonathan Peter Kenny
Orchestra 
Old Street Band
Soprano 
Gillian Webster
Countertenor 
Andrew Radley
Tenor 
Ronan Busfield
Baritone 
Grant Doyle
Baritone (from 8 Nov) 
Johnny Herford

Since Advent was observed as ‘tempus clausum’ – quiet time – in many parts of Lutheran Germany, Bach composed only a small, but extraordinary, number of cantatas for the four Sundays preceding Christmas.

Soloists from English Touring Opera and the Old Street Band combine with local choirs from across the country in two contrasting and powerful settings of Martin Luther’s great chorale ‘Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland’ (‘Now come, saviour of the heathens’) written for the first Sunday of Advent, welcoming the first day of the church’s new year and calling for the arrival of Christ.

The joyful ‘Herz und Munt und Tat und Leben’ (‘Heart, mouth, deed and life’) – originally for the final Sunday of Advent and rewritten later for the feast of the Visitation – anticipates the coming of Christmas and is the original setting for the celebrated chorale ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring’.

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (including interval)

Programme

1. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland [BWV 61]
2. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland [BWV 62]
3. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben [BWV 147]
4. Ärgre dich, O Seele, nicht [BWV 186a]

Choirs

  • Rochester: Rochester Cathedral Choir
  • Sheffield: Sheffield Cathedral Choirs, The University of Sheffield Chamber Choir
  • Wiltshire: Cantamus Chamber Choir
  • Exeter: Gentlemen of Exeter Cathedral’s Choir, Isca Voices, Cathedral Consort

Listen to an extract from last year’s concert of Handel’s Music for Vespers

Showing At

  1. St Andrew Holborn, London
    2nd Oct 2014 - 7:30 pm
  2. Rochester Cathedral
    19th Oct 2014 - 6:00 pm
  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield
    2nd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm
  4. Exeter Cathedral
    23rd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm
  1. St Andrew Holborn, London — 2nd Oct 2014 - 7:30 pm

    5 St Andrew Street, London, EC4A 3AB

  2. Rochester Cathedral — 19th Oct 2014 - 6:00 pm

    Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester, ME1 1SX

  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield — 2nd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm

    Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN

  4. Exeter Cathedral — 23rd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm

    1 The Cloisters, Exeter, EX1 1HS

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Conductor

Jonathan Peter Kenny is from Liverpool. Conducting appearances include Flavio, Xerxes, Agrippina, Ottone, Iphigénie en Tauride, Giulio Cesare, Johannes-Passion, Mass in B minor, Matthäus-Passion (ETO), Cesare, Rinaldo, Radamisto, Alcina, Serse (Lucca),The Duchess of Malfi (Royal and Derngate), Stabat Mater (Dorothy Cross/OTC), Orfeo, Dido (RCM), Anxiety Fanfare (Kings Place, RFH), Memorial (London Barbican, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival). He has performed with ROH, ENO, Glyndebourne, Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Teatro comunale Bologna, Glimmerglass NY, BBC Proms, AAM, OAE, EBS, RLPO, RSNO, UO, Gabrieli Consort, with Gardiner, Hickox, Fischer, Parrott, Mortensen, Bolton, and Bicket. Recordings include: Matthäus-Passion (Miller/Goodwin), Agrippina (Gardiner), Buxtehude Cantatas (Immerseel), Puccini Requiem (Fontaine). His edition of Handel’s Tamerlano has been produced in Dublin, Melbourne, Lisbon, and London.

Old Street Band

Old Street Band

Orchestra

Gillian Webster

Gillian Webster

Soprano

Andrew Radley

Andrew Radley

Countertenor

British countertenor Andrew Radley read music at Clare College, Cambridge and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Paris Conservatoire.

Roles include Gandarte Poro (Göttingen Handel Festival with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Konrad Junghänel); Orindo Admeto (Göttingen Handel and Edinburgh Festivals/Nicholas McGegan); the title role in Flavio and Joachim Susanna (Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn); the title role in Gluck’s Orfeo (Spitalfields Festival); the title role in Tamerlano and Ottone Agrippina (Cambridge Handel Opera Group); First Wise Man and covering the roles of Daniel and Cyrus in Handel’s Belshazzar (Aix-en-Provence, Innsbruck Festivals, the Berlin Staatsoper/René Jacobs); Nireno Giulio Cesare (Freiburger Barockorchester under Jacobs); the title role in Handel’s Orlando (Opera Theatre Company Ireland); Didymus Theodora (London Handel Festival/Laurence Cummings); Hamor Jephtha (Royal Danish Opera/Lars Ulrik Mortensen); Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight (British Youth Opera/Nicholas Cleobury); Medoro Orlando (Scottish Opera/Paul Goodwin); Edward in Arne’s Alfred (Classical Opera Company/Ian Page) and Arsamene in Xerxes (Iford Festival Opera).

Recent and future highlights include Nireno Giulio Cesare for Opera North, CPE Bach’s St Luke’s Passion with Il Fondamento, concert performances of Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus with Classical Opera and Ian Page, his Welsh National Opera debut as Hamor in Katie Mitchell’s production of Jephtha conducted by Paul Goodwin, his Danish National Opera debut singing the title role in the world premiere of Dorian Gray by Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen, and the roles of Secrecy and Adam The Fairy Queen for Nationale Reisopera.
Andrew’s first solo CD Conversazioni has recently been released on Avie Records to great critical acclaim.

Ronan Busfield

Ronan Busfield

Tenor

Grant Doyle

Grant Doyle

Baritone

Born in Australia, he studied in Adelaide and the RCM. A former Royal Opera Young Artist, his roles there have included Čekunov House of the Dead, Ping Turandot, Le Dancaïre Carmen, Billy Anna Nicole, Schaunard and Harlequin Ariadne auf Naxos. Other appearances include Prince Yeletsky (Opera Holland Park), Forester Cunning Little Vixen, Don Giovanni (Garsington), Robin Oakapple Ruddigore (Opera North), Abraham Clemency (Scottish Opera), Sir Thomas in Dove’s Mansfield Park (Grange Festival), Oreste (Sydney), Zurga Les pêcheurs de perles (Opera Queensland), Starbuck in Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick (Adelaide), Ned Keene Peter Grimes (Gran Canaria), Mike in Adams’s I Was Looking at the Ceiling (Rome) and Demetrius (Madrid, Berlin). ETO roles include Figaro (Barber of Seville), Paolo (Simon Boccanegra), Hector (King Priam), Emireno (Ottone), Eduardo (L’assedio di Calais), Marcello (La boheme), Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride), Nello (Pia de’ Tolomei), Teucer (Dardanus) and Tiridate (Radamisto).

Johnny Herford

Johnny Herford

Baritone (from 8 Nov)

Johnny Herford won the Song Prize at the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and the Jean Meikle Duo Prize at the 2013 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. Born in London, he grew up in Oxfordshire and sang as a treble in New College Choir. He studied at Cambridge University and RAM, under Mark Wildman. He is a Samling scholar and Britten-Pears Young Artist, and currently studies with Russell Smythe.
He has sung principal roles in operas by Judith Weir, Jonathan Dove, Kim Ashton and Danyal Dhondy, and in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen. Other operatic performances have included The Magic Flute (Papageno), Albert Herring (Sid), and The Merry Widow (Danilo).
He is grateful to the Sickle Foundation for their generous support.

Last night’s concert was fantastic. You have now got two new fans for life who will try and get to all your Exeter Cathedral concerts. The beautiful singing was so enchanting it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

Alan Brough (about ETO’s 2013 concert: Handel, Music for Vespers)

Sent shivers down the spine… Vivid and shiveringly good.

Church Times (about ETO’s 2013 concert: Handel, Music for Vespers)

Showing At

  1. St Andrew Holborn, London
    2nd Oct 2014 - 7:30 pm
  2. Rochester Cathedral
    19th Oct 2014 - 6:00 pm
  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield
    2nd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm
  4. Exeter Cathedral
    23rd Nov 2014 - 7:30 pm

Your Comments

  1. Wonderful evening at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday, with the cathedral choir supporting the orchestra and ETO singers in the Bach Advent Cantatas. Brilliant conducting - and what a joy to be able to join in the second Jesu Joy chorus.

    Said Barbara Wooding at 10:24am on 23rd Oct 2014

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