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Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 9:33pm

Programme to include

 Edward Elgar The Dream of Gerontius. Op38.


Beccles Choral Society
Gippeswyk Singers
Lambeth Symphony Orchestra
Claire Weston Angel
Richard Edgar Wilson Gerontius
Philip Tebb Priest and Angel of Agony
Geoff Lavery conductor

The Dream of Gerontius was composed in 1900 and is considered to be Elgar’s finest choral masterpiece. The music is set to a poem by John Henry Newman, which describes a soul’s journey through death to find enlightenment and the glory of God, guided by an angel.

Beccles Choral Society was founded in the 1850’s and has continued to give annual concerts. Benjamin Britten was a patron of the Society and is succeeded by the present day patrons Ben Parry, Ray Simmons and Michael Nicholas. Nationally known soloists perform regularly with the Society in a wide repertoire of choral works.

Gippeswyk Singers began in 1972 as a small chamber choir in Ipswich. In the succeeding years they have performed a variety of a cappella programmes and chamber choral works, with concerts in Suffolk, Yorkshire and Holland. Each year profits from their concerts are given to local charities.

Claire Weston is a former principal soprano with English National Opera. She made her BBC debut in 1995 and her career has seen her work with many prominent conductors in prestigious venues in the UK. Since leaving London she has settled in Suffolk and is musical director of the Suffolk Singers. She appears regularly in recitals and concerts throughout the UK.

Richard Edgar Wilson is known internationally for his superb musicianship and quality of his tenor voice. He works with many of the world’s leading conductors, orchestras and accompanists and has performed in many of the world’s most important concert venues, including Snape Maltings in his home county of Suffolk.

Philip Tebb studied music at Durham University, where he was a Choral Scholar at the Cathedral and at the Royal College of Music in the Benjamin Britten International Opera School with Russell Smythe. He has sung with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, as well as in Bucharest and Venice. Philip is in great demand as an oratorio soloist at engagements including Jesus College Cambridge, St.Martin-in-the Fields, St.John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, as well as many cathedrals throughout the country.

The Lambeth Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in 1972 and since then has pursued a policy of performing minor works by major composers and major works by minor composers, as well as the standard concert repertoire. In addition, they work with choral societies, mainly in the London area.

They give several orchestral concerts a year with nationally acclaimed young soloists in their home performance venue in Dulwich. This will be their first appearance at Snape Maltings.

Geoff Lavery is a much sought after conductor and accompanist. He began his professional career in Suffolk and since then has worked in education and as a musician in Lancashire and Bedfordshire before returning to Suffolk. He regularly conducts Beccles Choral Society, Gippeswyk Singers and Suffolk Strings, as well as other choral groups and orchestras. He has conducted several Elgar works, including the famous cello concerto and previous performances of The Dream of Gerontius.