Christmas 2022

Handel’s “Messiah” at St John’s, Clevedon

Saturday 10th December 2022

December 10th 2022 was bitterly cold, and England were playing France in a crucial World Cup Quarter Final match, but a large and expectant audience greeted Clevedon Choral as we gathered in St John’s Church for our Christmas Concert, Handel’s great Oratorio “Messiah”.

We were joined by four excellent soloists: Freya Holliman (Soprano), Nicole Boardman (Mezzo-Soprano), Deryck Webb (Tenor), and Stephen Hamnett (Bass).  Each sang with great character and beauty of tone, and their joining the choir in the ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Amen’ Choruses added lustre to those climactic moments.

As usual we were accompanied by the extraordinarily gifted Richard Lennox on a digital keyboard, from which he conjured a palette of sounds each chosen according to whether it was a recitative, aria or one of the great choruses. 

Afterwards some audience members who have attended our concerts for many years said that Clevedon Choral had reached new heights of tonal quality and ensemble that they had never heard before.  That was all thanks to Matthew Clark’s expert and very enjoyable coaching methods and to his inspirational conducting on the night, so that the performance built steadily towards the thrilling climax of the final triple chorus, which was greeted by a well-deserved standing ovation lasting several minutes.

Christmas Concert at Tyntesfield

Saturday 17th December 2022

One week later a section of Clevedon Choral performed a programme of Christmas Anthems and Carols in the Chapel at Tyntesfield.   Once again a full house braved the biting cold to welcome us as we sang a 50-minute programme ranging from Victoria and Handel to modern music and carols.  

These included James MacMillan’s “O Radiant Dawn”, Morton Lauridson’s “O magnum mysterium”, and Henryk Górecki’s “Totus Tuus”, with plenty of familiar items in the mix as well!  The Chapel’s size limits us to 25 singers, but the resonant acoustic helps enormously, and the audience was delighted by our sound and the variety of the programme, with many very complimentary remarks being offered afterwards

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