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Singing enthusiasts join Durham Singers in passionate music-making
Durham Singers musical director Dr Julian Wright and mezzo-soprano Sarah Ryan (right) at come-and-sing workshop
SINGING enthusiasts packed into a church yesterday (Saturday, October 12) to join a North-East choir as they rehearsed one of the greatest choral works ever written.
About 120 people from across the region and further afield took part in a come-and-sing workshop staged by the 40-strong Durham Singers as part of their preparations for a performance of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion, in Durham Cathedral, at 7pm on Saturday, November 23.
Participants, led by Durham Singers musical director Dr Julian Wright and accompanied by pianist Michael Haynes, spent the day working on the key choruses and chorales at the city’s Elvet Methodist Church.
Dr Wright said: “'To have such a warm sense of making music as a community was very moving.
“It reminded us that in Bach's day the audience would have been deeply connected to the chorales that form the backbone of the work. That is fundamental for us as a choir – to feel that community connection as we sing the Passion.
“Young mezzo-soprano Sarah Ryan, a rising star from Hebburn, joined the singers to share two beautiful arias, and her singing made a deep impact on everyone.”
The Dean of Durham, The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, gave a series of short talks that set the St Matthew Passion in its musical and religious context with the day ending with an informal performance.
The choir will be joined by their professional chamber orchestra in Durham Cathedral on November 23, with Sarah and nine other young soloists from around the region stepping forward to lead the solos.
Tickets for the concert are £20, or £10 for students and under 25s, from Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000-266600 or www.galadurham.co.uk.
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