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 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

Paula Sides

Paula Sides

Soprano

Recently applauded for her performance of Tosca with English Touring Opera, Paula Sides was awarded the Tagor Gold Medal from the Royal College of the Music and was the winner of the Karavoitis Prize in the Les Azureal International Competition. In 2018 operatic performances include the title role of Thais with Chelsea Opera Group, receiving critical acclaim, Cunegonde, Iford Opera. and Sombra, The Arcadians Opera Della Luna. This year on the concert platform performances include Mahler 8, Britten’s War Requiem, Rutter’s Requiem, Dona Nobis Pacem, Vaughan Williams, Beethoven 9, Dvorak’s 9th Symphony. Upcoming engagements Donna Anna Don Giovanni Longborough Opera Summer 2019.

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’s opera and concert work has taken him to Australia, NZ, SA, US, Israel, Japan and through out Western and Central Europe. In Festivals including BBC proms (Royal Albert Hall), Mostly Mozart Festival at the Alice Tully Hall(NYC), Bach Festival Leipzich, Wellington Festival(NZ) and Edinbugh Festival. Collaborating with the AAM, The Goettingen Festspieler Orchestra, Il Fondamento, the Hanover Band, the Israel Camerata, the King`s Consort, the LHO, LMN, the OAE, the RPO the Salzburg Camerata, Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Bach Collegium Japan. Conducters, Masaaki Suzuki, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington, Frieder Bernius, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Cleobury, Peter Schreier, Wolfgang Katchner, George Petrou, Leonardo Alarcon and Paul Dombrecht.

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)

John-Colyn Gyeantey studied at the RCM, NOS and Accademia Rossiniana, Pesaro. Rossini roles include Ramiro La Cenerentola (Oper Schloss Hallwyl, Glyndebourne on Tour); Comte Ory Le comte Ory, Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia (WNO, Diva Opera and Festival Musique Cordiale); Zefirino Il viaggio a Reims (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro); Gernando/Ubaldo Armida. He has sung Nemorino L’elisir d’amore (Anghiari Festival); Pylade Iphigénie en Tauride, Ubaldo/Ghino Pia de’ Tolomei, Arnalta and Egeus Jason by Cavalli all for ETO; and Luke in Tippett’s The Ice Break (Birmingham Opera). Other roles include Romeo (Riverside Opera); Don Ottavio (Mid-Wales Opera); Camille de Rosillon (Scottish Opera); Tamino (Iford Arts).

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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