Music for Vespers

George Frideric Handel - Autumn 2013

ETO teams up with regional choirs in some of England’s finest cathedrals and churches for an evening of Italian Vespers.

Conductor 
Jonathan Peter Kenny
Orchestra 
Old Street Band
Soprano 
Paula Sides
Mezzo soprano 
Helen Sherman
Countertenor (10 Nov, 12 Nov, 24 Nov) 
Clint van der Linde
Countertenor (15 Oct, 7 Nov) 
Tai Oney
Tenor (10 Nov, 12 Nov) 
John-Colyn Gyeantey
Tenor (15 Oct, 7 Nov, 24 Nov) 
Nick Pritchard
Bass 
Nicholas Merryweather

As a hugely successful opera composer, Handel was commissioned by the grandest patrons of the day to bring his theatrical brilliance and flair to important ceremonial occasions – his four coronation anthems, used at the coronation of every monarch since 1727, are the most celebrated example.

ETO’s soloists and period instrument orchestra the Old Street Band team up with regional choirs for an evening of Handel’s Italian Vespers, staged in some of England’s finest cathedrals and churches. Written during his visit to Italy, when the supremely talented young composer caused a sensation among musicians, poets and Cardinals alike with his dazzling virtuosity, much of the music was written for the festival of the Madonna del Carmine at the Carmelite Church in Rome.

The concert includes Donna che in ciel, written to celebrate the deliverance of Rome from the earthquake of 1703, Il pianto di Maria, an exquisite meditation on the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross, and the extravagant, virtuosic, extrovert and daring choral masterpiece, Dixit Dominus.

Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes (including interval)

Programme

1. Haec est Regina virginum [HWV 235]
2. Nisi Dominus [HWV 238]
3. Donna che in ciel [HWV 233]
4. Il pianto di Maria [HWV 234]
5. Te decus virgineum [HWV 243]
6. Dixit Dominus [HWV 232]

The music

The choirs

  • Rochester: Rochester Cathedral Choir
  • Newcastle: Cappella Novocastriensis and New Vocal Ensemble
  • Sheffield: Sheffield Cathedral Choir
  • Warwick: Warwick University Chamber Choir
  • Exeter: Counterpoint, Isca Voices and Gentlemen of Exeter Cathedral’s Choir

Showing At

  1. Rochester Cathedral
    15th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  2. King's Hall, Newcastle
    7th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield
    10th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  4. Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick
    12th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  5. Exeter Cathedral
    24th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  1. Rochester Cathedral — 15th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester, ME1 1SX

  2. King's Hall, Newcastle — 7th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU

  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield — 10th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN

  4. Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick — 12th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Old Square, Warwick, CV34 4RA

  5. Exeter Cathedral — 24th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    1 The Cloisters, Exeter, EX1 1HS

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Conductor

Jonathan is from Liverpool and studied at the University of Exeter and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is a founder of the Old Street Band.

He has performed a wide range of music from Monteverdi to the present day, including 14 Handel operas, 13 oratorios and numerous premieres for composers such as Michael Nyman, Jonathan Dove, Pawel Mykietyn, Fabio Vacchi, Deirdre Gribbin, Thomas Ades and Roxanna Panufnik. He has sung for the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Salzburg Festival, Halle Handel Festival, Badischestaatsteater Karlsruhe, BBC Proms, Glimmerglass Festival NY, Teatr Wielki Warsaw, Opera du Rhin and in Australia and Japan.

Jonathan has performed with Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, Gabrieli Consort, Ulster Orchestra under such conductors as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, David Parry, Ivan Fischer, Thierry Fischer, Jane Glover, Andrew Parrott, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Ivor Bolton, Paul McCreesh, Harry Bicket. Recordings include Mattheus-Passion (Miller/Goodwin); Agrippina (Gardiner); Buxtehude/Cantatas (Immerseel); La conversione di Clodoveo (Gester); Israel in Babylon (Fontaine).

Jonathan is baroque specialist at the Royal College of Music International Opera School and prepared singers for Handel’s Poro, Atalanta, Alessandro, Il pastor fido and Rodelinda, as well as Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Michael Rosewell whom he also assisted on Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. For Trinity-Laban, Jonathan worked on Giustino and Rinaldo.

Jonathan’s performing edition of Tamerlano has been performed in London, Melbourne, Lisbon, Dublin and Prague.

After many years leading his own ensembles, Jonathan made his operatic conducting debut in 2005 with a staging of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater on Valentia Island for artist Dorothy Cross and OTC Dublin. The film was shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and in Los Angeles. In 2007 he conducted a new production of Handel’s Teseo for ETO, touring the UK, and in 2009 a new production of Flavio which opened to great enthusiasm as part of the HANDELFEST marking the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. From these performances, a new period instrument orchestra, the Old Street Band, was formed, making a highly acclaimed debut in autumn 2011 in a new production of Xerxes. Other appearances include a staging of Carissimi’s Jephte for the National Churches Trust; Monteverdi: 1610 and all that at the RCM and a highly praised The Duchess of Malfi Webster/Gesualdo at the Royal and Derngate Theatre Northampton.

Plans include a revival of Flavio, a production of Alcina in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, where Ariosto (author of Orlando furioso on which Alcina is based) was governor, in summer 2012, a reconstruction of Muzio Scevola (Amadei/Buoncini/Handel) and a new production of Agrippina.

Old Street Band

Old Street Band

Orchestra

Paula Sides

Paula Sides

Soprano

Ms Paula Sides will sing the role of Tosca on 4 March (London), 18 March (Poole), 21 March (Sheffield), 8 April (York), 11 April (Wolverhampton), 13 April (Leicester), 19 April (Cheltenham), 28 April (Cambridge), 4 May (Buxton), 16 May (Durham), 18 May (Perth), 23 & 26 May (Exeter), 1 June (Norwich) and 7 June (Ulverston).

Paula received the Tagor Gold Medal from the RCM and the Karaviotis Prize at the Les Azuriales International Competition. At RCM, she was a finalist for the Young Concert Artists Trust and received the Coutts & Co. Award along with the Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship supported by a Clayton Award. Operatic roles include Norina/ Don Pasquale, Gilda/ Rigoletto (Preggio Opera Festival, Italy); Atalanta/ Atalanta (Handel Society); Bastienne/ Bastien und Bastienne (Skipton Camerata); Mimi/ La bohème, Inez/ Il trovatore (both Opus I Opera); Grasshopper/ The Cunning Little Vixen (RCM). Covers include Governess/ Turn of the Screw (Opera North). Concert engagements include Mozart Unwrapped (King’s Place with Roger Vignoles November 2011), City of Dreams (Philharmonia Orchestra concert series 2009); City Music Society series (Eric Falk Trust Award). Paula has also recorded a Peroni advert soundtrack. Previously for ETO, Paula has performed the roles of Pamina/ The Magic Flute, Clizia/ Teseo, Emilia/ Flavio, Susanna/ Figaro.
www.operauk.com/paula-sides

Helen Sherman

Helen Sherman

Mezzo soprano

Australian mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Following her success in the 2007 Australian Singing Competition she was awarded a scholarship to take up studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2011 she represented Australia at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Of her recent performance as Aurelio for English Touring Opera’s L’Assedio di Calais, The Times wrote: “Donizetti’s fierce vocal demands are met fearlessly and thrillingly by the young Australian mezzo Helen Sherman, playing the volatile hero Aurelio. Her stridently masculine body language and formidable vocal power seem to epitomize the bloody-minded resistance of the besieged citizens.”

Recent engagements have included Dorabella for ETO, Donna Elvira for Mid Wales Opera, Suzuki and Governess for Grange Park Opera.
Helen’s concert appearances include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and City of London Festival, Performances at Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Albert Hall with Sir David Willcocks, a recital with Roger Vignoles, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and Peter Maxwell Davies’s Five Acts of Harry Patch with London Mozart Players at St John’s Smith Square.
Future engagements include Nicklausse (The Tales of Hoffmann), Nero (The Coronation of Poppea) and a recital with Malcolm Martineau and Sir Thomas Allen at Wigmore Hall for the Samling Foundation.

Clint van der Linde

Clint van der Linde

Countertenor (10 Nov, 12 Nov, 24 Nov)

Clint studied at the RCM. He has worked as a soloist with many groups such as the OAE; RPO; The Academy of Ancient Music; The London Handel Orchestra; Le Musiche Nove; Israel Camerata. Clint’s opera roles include Lotario/ Flavio/ Flavio; Dardano/ Amadigi; Judas/ Brockes Passion; In November 2001 he sang the role of Oberon/ A Midsummer Night‘s Dream, which was the launch of the BBIOS, and also performed this role in the ROH in Copenhagen in 2004. Festival engagements include Carmina Burana (Ludwigsburger Schossfestspiele); Halle Händel Festspiele; Cuenca Festival, Spain. In addition, Clint recorded the title role of Francesco Conti’s David with the Lautten Compagney. In December, Clint will tour Handel’s Messiah (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Orchestra).

Tai Oney

Tai Oney

Countertenor (15 Oct, 7 Nov)

Tai Oney countertenor hailed by Opera News for the “richness and pliability of his [voice]” has been a prizewinner in several competitions, including claiming a prestigious Sullivan Foundation Award. He is a Ruth West Scholar supported by a Pidem Award and Fulbright alumnus. Tai is a member of the Royal College of Music International Opera School studying under the tutelage of Russell Smythe. A Finalist in the Cesti Singing Competition, Semi-Finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition, and a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Tai made his professional opera debut with Opera Boston in collaboration with Boston Baroque performing the role of Athamas in Handel’s Semele. Among his many solo appearances, Mr Oney has performed in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Honegger’s King David, to name a few. Tai has been a member of the Central City Opera and a guest artist for the Palm Beach Opera young artist program. He holds degrees from Stetson University, Boston University and the New England Conservatory of Music.

John-Colyn Gyeantey

John-Colyn Gyeantey

Tenor (10 Nov, 12 Nov)

British tenor John Gyeantey is steadily gaining a reputation as a fine exponent of the bel canto repertoire. As a high tenor, he has a facility to sustain the tessitura essential for the speciality roles of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Accademia Rossiniana, Pesaro, where he worked closely with Alberto Zedda, and began his training at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio as a Peter Moores Foundation Major Scholar. In 2015, John performed the role of Luke in Tippett’s The Ice Break for Birmingham Opera Company and toured throughout the UK and Europe with Diva Opera as Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor and Basilio, Le nozze di Figaro.

Nick Pritchard

Nick Pritchard

Tenor (15 Oct, 7 Nov, 24 Nov)

Born in West Sussex, Nick Pritchard sang in the choir of New College, Oxford (where he read music) and studied with Russell Smythe at The Royal College of Music International Opera School (RCMIOS), where, on graduation, he was awarded the Eric Joseph Shilling Prize. He was awarded The London Bach Society Bach Singer’s Prize in 2013 and is a Samling Artist.

Concert appearances include Haydn’s The Seasons for The English Haydn Festival, Winter Words for the Oxford Lieder Festival, Messiah for The Instruments of Time and Truth (c. Edward Higginbottom) in Barcelona, the St. Matthew Passion for St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota (c. Paul McCreesh) and Beethoven’s Missa Solemenis (c. Stephen Cleobury), the Bach Missae Breves and Christmas Oratorio on European Tour with Pygmalion, Messiah with the Nieuwe Philharmonie in the Netherlands, King Arthur (c. Christian Curnyn, The Early Opera Company, Wigmore Hall), Bach’s Mass in B minor (c. Sir John-Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists), Messiah (c. Brian Kay, English Festival Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall) and with the Nieuwe Philharmonie in Utrecht, Bach Cantatas for Ensemble Pygmalion and Raphaël Pichon, the Bach Magnificat (c. Laurence Cummings, The English Concert), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (c. Daniel Hyde), the St. John Passion (c. Robert Quinney, The Choir of New College, Oxford), the St. Matthew Passion (Leith Hill Music Festival), Vaughan-Williams’ On Wenlock Edge for BBC Radio 3, Die Schöne Müllerin (Elgar Room, The Royal Albert Hall with Gary Matthewman) Britten’s Spring Symphony (c. David Hill), Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (c. John Rutter), Winter Words (Brighton Festival with Simon Lepper) and the world première of Gabriel Jackson’s Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ with the choir of Merton College, Oxford.

Recent opera roles include title role Ruggiero in Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggierio for The Brighton Early Music Festival, Aquilio in J.C. Bach’s Adriano in Siria (c. Ian Page with the Classical Opera Company), Albert Herring for the RCMIOS, Prologue The Turn of the Screw for Opera Holland Park, Telemaco The Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts (c. Christian Curnyn), Paulino The Secret Marriage (British Youth Opera – for which he won the Dame Hilda Bracket award from Sadler’s Wells), Tamino, Lucano L’incoronazione di Poppea and Torquemada L’heure espagnole for the RCMIOS, title role Acis and Galatea for Handel House and _La Nuova Musica- (c. Laurence Cummings).

Current Season/future plans: the première of Matthew Pleasure (Mark Simpson) for Opera North (house début)/Aldeburgh/Linbury; Telemachus Ulysses’ Homecoming and Mercurio La Calisto for English Touring Opera; concerts for the Cheltenham Bach Choir, the Leith Hill Music Festival and in Chester Cathedral.

Nicholas Merryweather

Nicholas Merryweather

Bass

Sheffield born, Nicholas Merryweather studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and on the opera course at GSMD. He was a recipient of the ETO Chris Ball Bursary in 2011 and the 2008 Glyndebourne Wessex Award. Nicholas’s operatic roles include Don Giovanni, Papageno The Magic Flute and Mozart’s Figaro (LFO); Don Polidoro The Italian Girl in London (Buxton Festival); Cassandro La Finta Semplice for Bampton Classical Opera; Blazes The Lighthouse, title role Fantastic Mr Fox, Marco Gianni Schicchi (ETO). Concert engagements include Bach with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Handel with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and Hallé Orchestra.

Showing At

  1. Rochester Cathedral
    15th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  2. King's Hall, Newcastle
    7th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  3. Firth Hall, Sheffield
    10th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  4. Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick
    12th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  5. Exeter Cathedral
    24th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

Your Comments

  1. Last nights concert (Handel's Music For Vespers) 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.

    Said Alan Brough at 14:01pm on 25th Nov 2013

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