Guest review by Hugh Morris: “Breaking in the New Year with Bach”: the Durham Singers and Samling Institute soloists perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio:
It’s been a couple of weeks now since I sang Monteverdi Vespers, and the concert of a lifetime was followed by a rather spectacular holiday too, so this final blog post in my Vespers diary comes after a bit of time to reflect. Thank you everyone who has put up with this year’s Monteverdi obsession: here are the final words on the subject.
When I’m learning big pieces of music, I like to submerge myself in recordings so that I have a deep sense of how my part fits in with everything else that’s going on. Normally, picking a recording is quite a straightforward process, but choosing which version of Monteverdi’s Vespers to listen to has been a bit more of an adventure.
A selection of this autumn’s concerts, including five glorious days of early music from The Sixteen, I Fagiolini and English Touring Opera.
Things suddenly got very real and serious a couple of weeks ago when we had a workshop with Robert Hollingworth to introduce us to the Vespers.
There is no way that I was going to be able to sing in a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers without blogging intensively about it… so here in the first installation of my rehearsal diary, I write about the early preparations, the poster design and the day we finally got to open the score for the first time.
The first Durham Vocal Festival starts at the end of January with a week of choral music of all shapes and sizes, from the exquisite close harmony of the King’s Singers to a large scale project from Durham Choral Society, and a chance to hear the recently crowned BBC Choir of the Year, North East Voices of Hope.
A run-down of some of the concerts taking place in Durham over the next few months, including one of the world’s greatest early music groups, baroque opera, Messiah, Royal Northern Sinfonia at Ushaw, and a world premiere performed by Orchestra North East.
The Durham Singers have two vacancies for basses and bass-baritones, starting from September 2016. The choir is a 40-voice auditioned chamber choir that puts on 3-4 concerts per year. The choir’s core repertoire is an exciting mixture of unaccompanied music, from the Renaissance to works by contemporary composers, and additionally, they usually perform one major early work with a period instrument orchestra.