Jul 12, 2011, 5:23 PM
Bristol Choral Society has unveiled its exciting 2011-12 Colston Hall concert season under conductor Adrian Partington, cementing its standing as the premier large chorus in the South West. There are a couple of surprises in store as well as being a contender for the best-ever season in the society's 122-year history, including concerts with some truly world-class artists and not one but two come & sing opportunities.
Bristol Choral Society announces exciting 2011-2 concert season
First, in an unusually early autumn concert on Saturday 15 October, the choir performs the enormously popular Mozart Requiem and has engaged internationally-renowned soloist Emma Johnson to play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.
Emma shot to national fame when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1984 and has subsequently established an international career becoming renowned not only for her masterful technique but also her exquisite musicality and the sheer sense of joie de vivre she brings to her performances. As The Guardian put it 'she walks onto a concert platform and suddenly transforms herself into an expressive instrument of sublime beauty'.
Completing the all-Mozart menu will be the sparkling overture to the Magic Flute, played by the city's own accomplished orchestra, the Bristol Ensemble.
The last time the choir performed Mozart's Requiem, more than 100 people had to be turned away at the door, so we recommend booking early!
Since 1892, the choir's Christmas present to the city has been a performance of Messiah at the Colston Hall. 2011 will be different, however, as they will perform Bach's Christmas Oratorio on Saturday 17 December. This sacred seasonal stocking is stuffed with spine-tingling choruses, heartfelt arias and bewitching story-telling, topped and tailed by some of the most jubilant music Bach was to ever pen. A talented team of soloists will be headed by in-demand tenor Mark Padmore in the central role of the Evangelist. Especially known for his performances of Baroque music, and Bach in particular, the 'international Evangelist of choice' (The Independent) and 'just about the finest Bach tenor in the business' (Sunday Telegraph) will be performing Bach in Bristol this December - be sure not to miss it!
Messiah fans need not be too disappointed, however, as there will be still a chance to hear (and indeed take part in) this annual favourite on Saturday 26 November at the Colston Hall.
All are invited to 'Come & Sing' a selection of choruses from Handel's Messiah with conductor Adrian Partington and members of Bristol Choral Society from 2pm. Anyone is welcome - experienced or not - and scores will be available to hire for those who do not already own one.
At 4:30pm on the same day, the choir present their 'Mini Messiah' family concert (with FREE admission for children) - this shortened performance of the work with orchestra and soloists was so overwhelmingly successful and warmly received at last year's debut, the choir were very keen to add this extra date to the season to introduce families to even more of this masterpiece. This will be the only chance to hear the choir's renowned performance of Messiah this year (all from memory, of course!), and free audience admission is included for those who 'come & sing' earlier that afternoon.
There will be another opportunity to Come & Sing with Bristol Choral Society with it's regular annual Come & Sing day on Saturday 4 February 2012 from 10am - 4pm. The work to be explored this year will be Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Early booking is advised for this very popular day - booking information is available here: http://bristolchoral.co.uk/come_and_sing.htm (4 Feb Come & Sing tickets are not available from the Colston Hall).
In March 2012, the choir teams up with its cousin from Gloucester to present a French choral masterpiece spectacular. The monumental Berlioz Te Deum is rarely performed as it requires such huge forces, but these massed choirs (joined by the choristers of Bristol and Gloucester Cathedrals) with the might of the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will ensure the power is there when it needs to be unleashed.
Contrasting with this, Faure's Requiem - a more intimate and familiar work, but one that is one of the most loved in the choral repertoire.
The Bristol concert is on Saturday 31 March 2012 at the Colston Hall (a repeat of a performance a week earlier at Gloucester Cathedral).
To round off the season, the choir makes its annual visit to Bristol Cathedral on 16 June 2012 for a performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt. Packed with vivid choruses depicting the story of the plagues visited upon the Pharaoh, (including frogs, flies and locusts), there will be ample opportunity for the choir to display its proficiency in these action-packed choruses.
Booking for the 2011-12 season is now open, and you can secure all your seats and save 15% by getting the BCS season ticket (which covers the October, December, March & June concerts).
Tickets are available from the Colston Hall (in person, by phone: 0117 922 3686, or online at http://www.colstonhall.org).
For more information about the choir, visit http://www.bristolchoral.co.uk
(This post was edited by scchoir on Jul 12, 2011, 5:31 PM)