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Teesdale-based opera company to host closing concert
A NORTH-EAST opera company will take centre stage as the curtain comes down on the Lindisfarne Gospels' visit to the region.
Teesdale-based InterOpera is planning its largest ever event to celebrate the finale of the gospels exhibition at the end of the month.
The company will perform The St Cuthbert Oratorio, a 20th century work by composer Will Todd, as part of a spectacular evening in Durham Cathedral on Saturday, September 28.
The evening, billed as “an uplifting programme of music, sound and light,” will include classical music inspired by stories of St Cuthbert and the journey of his shrine across the region.
In addition to the main 80-minute oratorio, there will be a newly commissioned work by Todd inspired by the gospels and sung by Durham Cathedral Choir, which will also perform John Tavener’s Ikon of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne.
The audience can sing the popular Hymn to St Cuthbert and more than 60 children from St Cuthbert’s Primary Schools in Chester-le-Street, Crook and Seaham will follow the restored St Cuthbert banner through the cathedral with their own banners created for the occasion.
Crook-based lighting company Vortex will fill the cathedral with a colourful display to complement the music.
InterOpera project manager Jill Cole said: “The whole event starts with the cathedral shrouded in darkness and the electronic sounds of a specially commissioned digital soundscape inspired by the story of the saint and the journey of his shrine across the north.”
The St Cuthbert Oratorio will be performed by Orchestra North East (formerly Durham Sinfonia), with the combined Lindisfarne Gospels Community Choir, North East Youth Chorale and members of Durham Cathedral Choir.
Soloists will be Barnard Castle-based soprano Penelope Randall-Davis, tenor James Edwards and baritone Roderick Earle. The conductor will be InterOpera's music director Alistair Dawes, who works regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Mrs Cole added: “This has been a huge project for a very small company to bring together, but the event will be tremendous - from an atmospheric digital soundscape, to the rousing and triumphant finale chorus when the Cathedral will be filled with light and colour at the end.”
Tickets, priced £5 to £25, are available the Gala Theatre box office, on 03000-266600 or online at galadurham.co.uk.
The event has been supported by Arts Council England, County Durham Community Foundation and Area Action Partnerships.
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