Friday, 12 June 2015

Final concert of 2014/15 Season - Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Autograph Manuscript of My heart is inditing
 Purcell concert 20 June

Our 2014/15 season ends with a programme celebrating the music of  Henry Purcell.  The first half of the concert will feature a selection of Purcell's most brilliant, large-scale string anthems.  The grandest is probably My heart is inditing which was composed for the coronation of King James II in 1685.  O Sing unto the Lord (1688) is a wonderfully inventive anthem in several sections which is noteworthy for its colourful, Italianate vocal style. Another similarly large-scale anthem My beloved spake - dating from before 1678 - sets an evocative text from The Song of Solomon with great freshness and imagination. We also perform the joyous Rejoice in the Lord alway (1682-5) popularly known as the 'Bell Anthem' with its pealing string overture.   

Bethany Seymour
The second half of the concert will feature a concert performance of Dido and Aeneas  a relatively compact opera which is undoubtedly one of Purcell's greatest achievements.  It tells the ancient tale of Dido, the tragic Carthaginian queen.  Dido will be sung by Bethany Seymour, a regular member of YBC, who also pursues a successful career as a solo and consort singer.  Alongside the character of Dido, the work is filled with vivid orchestral music and supporting characters who will be voiced by other members of YBC. 2015 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Nahum Tate poet laureate and famous adaptor of The History of King Lear which dominated the London stage throughout the 18th century.  You can read a fascinating article here, written by David Jays, on the importance of Tate's contribution to Dido. All in all, the work offers a economic, but vivid musical journey from its exciting, drama laden overture to the pathos filled final aria 'When I am laid in earth'.

The Purcell concert takes places at St Michael le Belfrey York and starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 20 June. Tickets priced at £18 (£16 concessions) are available here or on the door.

Mrs Celia Burgan pictured with recipients of the Celia Burgan Award
Celia Burgan Award

YBC is delighted to announce that we were were able to award three members of the choir the Celia Burgan Award.  Previously known as the Yorkshire Bach Choir Award, it is given to members of the choir to finance vocal lessons.  The award is particularly aimed at non-music students who specialise in vocal performance and are members of the choir.  This year we were able to give the award to three students at the University of York, Saul Jones, Kasia Slawski and Maddy Power.  Here they are pictured with Mrs Celia Burgan during the interval of our May concert. It is Celia's generous support of the choir over many years that we honour in the renaming of this award.

Beethoven 9 with The Academy of St Olave's

In the week following the final concert of our 2014/15 season we are thrilled to be taking part in the Jessie's Fund 20th Anniversary Concert by providing a chorus for the final part of Beethoven: 9th Symphony. The concert will take place on Saturday 27 June at 8pm in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York. The concert will also feature Beethoven: The Consecration of the House (Overture) and David Blake: Searching the Skies. 

Further details on tickets and prices can be found on the Academy of St Olave's website.

We would like to thank all our friends and patrons for their continued support of the choir.  Details of our forthcoming season in 2015/16 will be made available shortly on our website.