INTERNATIONALLY renowned counter tenor Robin Blaze will be helping to set alight a forthcoming performance in Worcestershire of Handel’s Messiah.
But he’s not the only bright star to join the Elgar Chorale in the Pershore Abbey performance –
Mark Dobell, regularly seen with Harry Christophers’ The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars and The Orlando Consort (to name but three) is also bringing his tenor voice to the occasion.
Completing the line-up under Piers Maxim’s baton will be husband-and-wife dream team James Birchall (bass) and Christina Birchall-Sampson.
“It’s a real thrill to be joined by such a distinguished group of soloists,” says Piers, the chorale’s Music Director. “Robin is among the international front rank of interpreters of Purcell, Bach and Handel while Mark has worked as a soloist throughout Europe and North America and is equally established as a consort singer with some of this country’s foremost groups.
“Christina is a passionate recitalist – she has performed at the Wigmore Hall – and it’s a delight that she’s joining us with her husband James, a veteran of many of the major oratorio roles. Pershore Abbey and its wonderful acoustic should do them all proud! “
Piers, himself is no stranger to the music world for his baroque interpretations and he is promising a fresh look at this most traditional and much loved choral masterpiece, at a time well away from its usual Christmas scheduling. Interestingly, the first performance was in Dublin just after Easter on 13 April 1742, so it is returning to its correct time!
Piers says “It is a little while since I last conducted Messiah, and I am very happy to return to its inimitable mixture of narration and contemplation. By the time Handel wrote Messiah, he was an expert opera composer, and I always enjoy highlighting the dramatic context of the arias and choruses in this sacred oratorio, as I am sure he himself intended.”
You can hear the results for yourself on Saturday, March 4, at 7.30pm. Tickets for the evening, which also features the Pavillion Ensemble, cost £15 and £12 (students, £8) and are available from Blue, in Pershore, www.elgarchorale.com or on the door. Alternatively, telephone 01684 594570