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OUR NEXT CONCERT:
Spring Concert 2018 – Handel: Alexander’s Feast (in English)
We are delighted to be performing HANDEL’S great masterpiece ‘Alexander’s Feast’ in a new edition by Dr. Michael Robertson. Michael has been a distinguished friend and supporter of the choir for many years and has played the organ for many of our concerts. In his forward for the score Dr. Robertson writes – Handel was one of four composers to set Dryden’s ode ‘Alexander’s Feast’ during the first four decades of the eighteenth century. Handel’s setting comes from a time when he was finishing his association with Italian opera, but had yet to write his major English-language oratorios. We can see the work as a fascinating bridge between two phases of Handel’s career with the splendour of the choruses looking forward to his later achievements and the richness and inventiveness of the instrumentation and the vocal writing reflecting his previous operatic experience.
For our Spring Concert Cranbrook’s fine 100 voice choir will be joined by soloists:
GILLIAN KEITH, soprano.
British-Canadian soprano Gillian Keith is a past winner of both the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award and the ROSL Singing Prize, and a distinguished graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. She made her Royal Opera‚ Covent Garden debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Her most celebrated roles include Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, The Woodbird in Wagner’s Siegfried, Pretty Polly in Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy, Philine in Thomas’ Mignon, and Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante, in international opera houses and festivals including English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Netherlands Opera, Geneva Opera and Boston Early Music Festival.
Her concert repertoire is wide and varied, and has taken her to some of the most prestigious stages around the world, including the BBC Proms, Boston Symphony Hall, Sydney Opera House, Bregenz Festival, Edinburgh Festival and London’s Wigmore Hall, in works ranging from Bach Cantatas, to Mozart’s C Minor Mass, to Oliver Knussen’s Symphony No. 2.
Recordings include the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, orchestral songs by Dallapiccola with BBC Philharmonic, Handel’s Gloriaand Bach Cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s C Minor Mass with Harry Christophers, as well as recitals of Strauss and Schubert Lieder. Her extensive research into the early songs of Debussy has produced two successful recordings on the Deux-Elles label, Debussy: Early Songs, and Debussy – Songs For His Muse.
Current projects include Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Sage, Gateshead, Tom Randle’s Los Nacimientos at Dartington Summer Festival, and the ongoing production of a complete recording of Bach’s solo soprano cantatas with Armonico Consort.
PAUL SMY, tenor.
PAUL SMY began his musical career at King’s College Cambridge with Philip Ledger and Stephen Cleobury touring Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. While at King’s, Paul was a soloist in recordings of Faure’s Messe Basse,Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Tudor Church Music with Michael Chance, Mark Padmore, Charles Daniels and Gerald Finley.
Paul continued his vocal studies with John Runge and after gaining a French and Business Degree at Keele University, Paul moved to Paris in 1992 to work for Renault and co-founded the Mikrokosmos Youth Choir as Assistant Conductor and Accompanist while simultaneously launching his solo career with performances of Bach’s Magnificat, B Minor Mass and Britten’s St Nicolas at the ‘Choralies’ music festival in Vaison-La-Romaine. Following receipt of an Masters in Business Management from EMLyon in 1996, Paul became Assistant Director of the Paris Choral Society based at the American Cathedral.
Since returning to the UK in 1998, Paul works as a business consultant in the Automotive industry and also continues to give regular solo performances both in the UK and abroad. His most recent performances include a live recorded performance of Mozart’s Requiem for Stephen Cleobury, a recording of Britten’sSt. Nicolas for Xavier Stouff, Handel’s Coronation Anthems for Neil Jenkins, Dyson’s Quo Vadis for Paul Spicer, Beethoven’s Choral Symphony for Brian Kay, Handel’s Dixit Dominus for Mark Deller, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for Leslie Olive, Finzi’s Dies Natalis for Roy Wales, Schumann’s Faust for Stephen Cleobury and Bach’s St. John Passion for his uncle Roy Massey.
Paul’s 2018/19 season includes performing the evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew& St. John Passions, Handel’s Brockes Passion, Bach’s B Minor Mass andChristmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah and Saul, Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’sElijah, Haydn’s Creation and Seasons, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Chilcott’sRequiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Saint Saens’ Requiem and Mozart’sRequiem, C Minor and Coronation Masses.
PIRAN LEGG, bass.
Piran Legg is a 29-year old Baritone originally from Kent and a graduate of Kent University, where he studied history. He is a Masters graduate of the Guildhall Opera Course and has completed his studies on the Artists Diploma (2016). He has performed extensively in Opera and concert around the UK and abroad, taking on roles such as Schaunard in La Boheme at Cadogan Hall, Giorgio Germont in Clonter Opera’s production of La Traviata 2015 and the title role of Owen Wingrave in a Guildhall Opera School Production. Piran also enjoys more contemporary projects and has taken part in cutting edge new work in festivals around London and the U.K. He has recorded a C.D. of new songs written on a theme of “Songs of the Big Smoke” with Song in the City and has played the roles of Crow and Eric Satie in workshOPERA’s acclaimed productions of Boys of Paradise and Seven Velvet Suits respectively. He also premiered the role of King Erysichthon in Edward Rushton’s chamber opera Cicadas with the LSO. As well as performing on the Operatic Stage, Piran has a busy schedule of concert performances. In 2015 he was the baritone soloist in a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Amiens Cathedral as well as singing the role of Danieli in a concert performance of Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot with Chelsea Opera Group. In May 2016 he was thrilled to return as Baritone soloist in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Symphony Orchestra and chorus in Canterbury Cathedral. 2017 saw Piran undertaking a wide variety of projects, including Bach’s St. Mathew Passion and Elgar’s masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius, working with Bergen National Opera on Il Turco in Italia and taking the role of Samuel in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, with Winslow Hall Opera. Future projects include a role debut as Ferrando in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, a debut as Colas and Buff in a Mozart double bill with Pop Up Opera and a return to Bergen National Opera in the Flying Dutchman
Cranbrook Choral Society’s Director of Music Jeffrey Gray will conduct the Cranbrook Sinfonia, a substantial orchestra of mainly professional musicians including former players from major orchestras.
Summer Concert – 23 June, With CRANBROOK SCHOOL – FURTHER DETAILS TO FOLLOW
17 November 2018 – WW1 Armistice Centenary Concert in collaboration with another choral society – TBA
Our most recent concerts:
Christmas Concert. Wonderful brass and feast of Christmas music, congregational carols and readings.
Brahms German Requiem: 18 November 2017: Cramnbrook St Dunstans
Gorgeous solists and a magnificent orchestra accompanied this truely majestic piece. An energtic and high octane sing, but we kept up the stamina and produced a polished and accomplished performance.
Summer Concert – June 2017
An evening of light music accompanied by the choirs of Colliers Green Primary School and Marlborough House School, with wonderful solo performances including BBC Chorister of the Year 2016 Edward Hyde.
Spring Concert – 29 April 2017 – Rutter: Gloria – Cranbrook St Dunstans
This was a highly successful evening with a fabulous brass and organ orchestra. We sang our hearts out – it was great!
Haydn: The Seasons 19 November 2016 : Cranbrook St Dunstans
The photos below were taken at the afternoon rehearsal prior to our November concert. We spend the Saturday afternoon before a concert running through with orchestra and soloists. It’s an exciting and buzzy time before we all get ‘glammed up’ for the evening event.
Please click on the link to view all past CDCS concerts.
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