Event: Awayday - Summer 2018
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 7:30pm, St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Cheltenham GL50 1SP
Every three years we undertake a short summer tour to mainland Europe but in the intervening years we have an Awayday to somewhere in the UK within reasonable coach distance of Harrow. In recent years we have visited places such as Faversham, Southwold and Portsmouth and on 14th July this year our destination will be Cheltenham. We’re delighted that our venue will be St Andrew’s United Reformed Church right in the centre of the famous Montpellier district and where from our first enquiry, we have been made to feel extremely welcome. It will be a privilege to sing in such a lovely setting and to meet church members and friends there..
As usual with our Awaydays, admission to the concert will be free of charge but there will be a retiring collection in support of a local project, which on this occasion will be the church’s own Spire Repair Appeal. The Victorian spire of St Andrew’s has an iron framework which, over the years, has rusted and expanded, causing movement and distortion of the stone cladding. If left unchecked the structure will in due course become dangerous and the church is hoping to raise money for essential repair work to save the landmark spire. This will involve taking down the cladding stone-by-stone to expose the ironwork which can then be replaced and the cladding reinstated – a complex and expensive operation that we are very pleased to have the opportunity of supporting.
Although we are probably best known for performing the classical repertoire our programme for Cheltenham, as with our concert in Harrow the week before, will feature somewhat lighter music. The choir will be joined by soprano soloist Rebecca Silverman and baritone Dominic Bowe to sing extracts from Broadway musicals such as ‘West Side Story’, ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Sweet Charity’ as well as tuneful and popular choruses from some well-known operas. Click here to see the concert poster.
SopranoRebecca was twelve years old when she began to develop an interest in singing. At the age of fifteen, she had the opportunity to take a small principal role in ‘Ludd and Isis’, a new opera commissioned by the Royal Opera House to inaugurate the opening of the its new production facility in Purfleet. It was this experience that confirmed her ambition to become an opera singer. At seventeen, she auditioned successfully for entry to the Royal College of Music’s undergraduate programme, graduating in July 2017 with a first-class honours degree. In September 2017, she will return to the College to take up her place on the Master of Performance programme, and will continue her vocal training under the tutelage of Dinah Harris, with whom she has studied since 2015. In March 2017, under the baton of Dr George Burrows of Portsmouth University, Rebecca took part in the recreation of an 1812 performance of Messiah that featured the diva Angelica Catalani. Rebecca reproduced Catalani’s contribution to that performance. In March 2015, she performed the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus with Chelmsford City Opera. In September 2015, she performed the roles of Pepik in The Cunning Little Vixen and Cathleen in Riders to the Sea, both with British Youth Opera. She is also an experienced recitalist. Since 2012, she has performed annually at the Coopers’ Livery Company banquet, held at Mansion House in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London. She is also a regular performer at other livery company events held in the City of London. Rebecca has also participated in masterclasses conducted by artists such as Jonathan Lemalu, Mhairi Lawson and Mark Tucker. In July 2017, Rebecca will be understudying the role of Adina in L’elisir d’amore at the New Generation Festival in Florence. In 2016, Rebecca became the Essex Young Musician of the Year.
BaritoneDominic is a recent graduate of the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Alex Ashworth and Audrey Hyland. His studies were generously supported by the The Sainsbury Award and The Karaviotis Scholarship. While at the Academy he appeared in masterclasses with Simon Keenlyside and Dennis O’Neill; he also became a member of the Royal Academy of Music Song Circle and a RAM/Kohn Foundation Bach scholar performing in BWV 201 'Phoebus und Pan'. Prior to joining the Royal Academy he studied Classics at the University of Oxford. As a soloist he has performed Brahms’s German Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs and Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Bach’s St John Passion and the Cantata 'Wachet auf' BWV 140, Handel’s Messiah and Britten’s War Requiem. His roles in opera have included Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas (Oxford Opera, Exon Singers, Early Music Wells), the eponymous anti-hero in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Oxford Opera), Figaro in The Barber of Seville (New Chamber Opera Studio) and Masetto in Don Giovanni (Westminster Opera Company). In 2017 he appeared in the premieres of two new works - first as Suibhne in Noah Mosley's Mad King Suibhne for Bury Court Opera, and then as Mars in The Art of Venus by Edward Lambert for the Tête à Tête festival. He has also appeared as Don Giovanni and Geppetto (The Adventure of Pinocchio - Dove) in scenes for Royal Academy Opera. He has performed recitals for New Chamber Opera Studio, the Exon Singers Festival and St Cuthbert’s Music Festival. Before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music he sang with the internationally renowned choir of Wells Cathedral, with whom he toured Hong Kong and sang the bass solos in the world premiere of John Joubert’s Missa Wellensis.
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