Saturday, 31 March 2012

English Touring Opera: Rossini's 'Barber of Seville' & Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' Exeter Northcott Theatre Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 March

Gioachino Rossini's 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia'
Performed in English - 'The Barber of Seville'
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 20, 22 & 23 March
Doctor Bartolo: Andrew Slater
Count Almaviva: Nicholas Sharratt
Berta: Cheryl Enever
Conductor: Paul McGrath
Officer: Brendan Collins
Rosina: Kitty Whately
Figaro: Grant Doyle
Don Basilio: Alan Fairs
Notary: Maciek O'Shea

After the performance:
An exhultant Kitty Whately
poses in the Northcott Theatre Foyer.
Giving some useful feedback: Natasha Iuchanka!

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin'
Also performed in English
Wednesday and Saturday, 21 & 24 March
Prince Gremin: Stephen Holloway
Larina: Harriet Williams
Olga: Niamh Kelly
Onegin: Nicholas Lester
Conductor: Timothy Carey
Tatyana: Cheryl Enever
(covering for Sarah-Jane Davies)
Lensky: Jaewoo Kim
Filipyevna: Frances McCafferty
Triquet: Andrew Glover
- and a wonderful suspended looking-glass
(Designer: Joanna Parker)
For a Russian perspective: see
'Letter from Natasha'

Ad Hoc Chamber Choir rehearse Rachmaninov: Photographs at Killerton Chapel

Natasha Iuchanka had no camera with her when she went to see the Ad Hoc Chamber Choir at St Mary Arches Church (just her incredible powers of description! - see 'Letter from Natasha'). However, there are pictures of the Ad-Hoc Chamber Choir singing Rachmaninov's 'Vespers 1915' - not at St Mary Arches Church, but at Killerton Chapel on a sunny spring afternoon.

The sound effects in the chapel were impressive - as were the light effects, as the late afternoon sun broke through the rose window in the west front of the building.

Without the benefit of photographs the description ('Ad Hoc Chamber Choir' Monday 19th March) was:

Ad Hoc had a glorious rehearsal at Killerton Chapel on Sunday afternoon. Visitors to the gardens could hear the beautiful music of the choir inside the chapel and flocked in to hear the choir sing unnacompanied under the direction of Matthew Pollard and Alex West.

Matthew and Alex were also singing, and there were several other familiar voices in the choir: Katherine Luke (soprano with Matthew Cann's Antiphon Choir), Ben Pennington (Tenor and Director of the Starling Octet), altos Sophie Nicholson and Katherine Salvetti, soprano Marianne Butler and bass Bjoen Fabritus.

s the sun set the choir were drenched in muliticoloured light from the stained glass of the rose window. The beautiful play of light just added to the magical experience of this timeless music performed in such an atmospheric setting.

Now we can see for ourselves . . .

Matthew Pollard
Alex West

Ben Pennington
The Full Choir

Katherine Salvetti & Sophie Nicholson
Killerton visitors are fascinated

Marrianne Butler
On the right: Katherine Luke

A wecoming sight - and sound
A change of line-up

Now Alex and Ben are bathed in colour
Ben is joined by Bjoern Fabritus
A great afternoon's work!

Margaret Faultless leads her final concerts with Devon Baroque at Dartington Great Hall - and what a finale! 'Baroque and the Golden Age of English Music' Dartington Friday 23 to Sunday 25 March

In years to come, we will all remember the glorious 'English Baroque Weekend' at Dartington Hall (23-25 March). In a spectacular send-off for Leader and Musical Director Margaret Faultless, Devon Baroque staged a residential weekend charting the 'Golden Age' of English music.

The residential places, for the weekend of Baroque experience, were fully booked and the public concerts were also a sell-out. The weather was perfect. Residents and visitors could stroll in the magnificent grounds of Dartington Hall, between lectures, demonstrations, open rehearsals and recitals by arguably the best baroque ensemble in the South West - Devon Baroque.

The final crowning glory was a full performance of Henry Purcell's opera from 1680, 'Dido and Aeneas' - Glorious! We were all sad to hear that Margaret will be leaving the group (she is involved in even more exciting projects further afield) but what a note to end on!

Harpsichordist Jonathan Watts, the new leader of Devon Baroque, was there to perform in a special concert for the residents on Sunday morning (and it was very special), but gave way to Margaret Faultless, and regular Devon Baroque harpsichordist Andrew Wilson-Dickson, for the weekend's three main concerts.

Friday Evening: An English Banquet
Margaret Faultless (violin) leads
Rachel Chaplin (baroque oboe)
Andrew Wilson-Dickson (harpsichord)
Andrew Skidmore (baroque 'cello)
Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo!)
Mezzo-Soprano Meg Bragle sings
a feast of songs from the early 17th century
- ending with Handel's 'Harmonious Blacksmith'
and Trio Sonata in D minor
Meg Bragle ended with one more song
- by Thomas Arne

Sunday Morning: Grounded in England
James Risdon is in the Ship Studio
with a clutch of baroque recorders
(James is unable to see and learns
baroque pieces from Braille manuscripts
He is the Music Officer for the
Royal National Institute for the Blind
in London, where he helps others to
overcome partial sight to achieve
an equal enjoyment of music
- see Memorising Music)

James Risdon with his 'descant in D'
- and two able accompanists
Jonathan Watts (harpsichord)
Emily White (sackbut!)
The sackbut, Emily told us,
cost more to manufacture in Tudor England
than Concorde did in the seventies
- and the sound matches the price!
Wonderful Tudor music in the Dartington Ship Studio
(a fabulous venue! - who could forget the

Young Musicians' Showcase
in the Ship Studio in June last year.)

Sunday Afternoon: Henry Purcell 'Dido and Aeneas'
Margaret Faultless leads with Julie Hill and Linda Hannah (violins)
Andrew Wilson-Dickson (harpsichord)
Steve Gleed and Helen Roche (violas)
Jan Spencer and Andrew Skidmore (basse de violon)
Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo - and an amazing baroque guitar solo!)
A full chorus with Christopher Adams (Aeneas)
Meg Bragle (Dido), Emma Walsh (Belinda)
and a surprise 'sorceress' - Stephen Carter (counter-tenor)
The sun floods in on a delighted audience!

Farewell to a baroque star
champion of baroque music in Devon
for more than twenty years
Leader of Devon Baroque
Margaret Faultless

In the Dartington quadrangle
visiting baroque singing sensation
Meg Bragle
mezzo-soprano from Michigan USA
who managed to make time in her
international performing schedule
to come and sing for us at
Dartington Great Hall.
What a treat for us all!

It's a wrap!
The organiser of the 'English Baroque Weekend'
was Devon Baroque Trustee, Jeremy Logie
(That was Jeremy's voice we could hear
on the 'Classical Journey' on Phonic FM on Tue 20 Mar)
The weekend ends as it started, with a sumptuous party.
Seen here at the party with Jeremy -
theorbo and baroque guitar virtuoso,
Elizabeth Kenny!

Follow this link for the full details of Devon Baroque's weekend of
'Baroque and the Golden Age of English Music'

Future Devon Baroque events will appear on the same site.

What's next at Dartington? - Indian classical poetry, music and dance at the 'Tagore Festival' (Friday 6th to Monday 9th April).

Exeter University Gilbert and Sullivan Society present 'Patience' at Exeter Northcott Theatre - Performances Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 March - Soprano Rebekah Brown, Tenor Jonathan Wood, and Baritone Andrew Henley. Baritone Charles Hughes, Director, conducts the orchestra

Baritone Charles Hughes
conducts the orchestra in the pit at the Northcott Theatre
In 2004, The University of Exeter suffered a double loss. The Vice Chancellor, Sr Steven Smith, following a ballot of members, agreed to the closure of the Chemistry and Music Departments at the University.

Although chemistry is no longer on the curriculum, there is still a great deal of extra-curricular music at the University - the students have their own orchestra, choral society, brass bands, drum bands - and a very active 'Gilber and Sullivan Society' which stages a major production every year in the Northcott Theatre.

In 2006, just 13 months after the closure of the Music Department, the 'Director of Music's Office' was set up to coordinate all this wonderful music making. Knightley, Clayden, Elmbrook Cottage and Kay house Duryard are now all used for rehearsals and musical events. Who is the Director of Music - Marion Wood!

In 2010 a new problem became apparent. The Northcott Theatre, which had served Exeter since 1962 when the Theatre Royal was closed, was itself found to be insolvent and was placed in administration. Fortunately, only four months later the 'Exeter Northcott Theatre Company' was set up through the work of Exeter City Council and Exeter University. The theatre was bought and continues to put on productions.
A full orchestra in such a small space - and playing so beautifully!
(Percussion: Ali Board, far left - Lead Violin: Chris Parker, near right
with Exeter University Symphony Orchestra President Beca Pennar)
And the productions at the Northcott Theatre continue to amaze and delight.

The students continue to perform there. (Exeter University Theatre Company performed 'Arturo Ui' at the end of February.) At the beginning of this month (6 - 10 March) the Exeter University Gilbert and Sullivan Society put on their production of 'Patience' (Gilbert & Sullivan 1881).

Baritone Andrew Henley is the poet Grosvenor
All the girls swoon at his eloquence
Patience is the story of a young dairy-maid - called Patience, of course - who is subjected to the amorous advances of two foppish poets, Bunthorne and Grosvenor. The two poets, despite being pursued by devoted female fans wherever they go, both lose their heads when confronted with the challenge of trying to win the affection of the more discerning Patience.

But he gets nowhere with Patience (Rebekah Brown)
- She's far too sensible! 
Rebekah Brown is outstanding as Patience - so determined to be unselfish that she won't consider marrying a man who loves her. (Sounds unworkable, I know.) Our two heros, of course, fall over themselves trying to find a way round this dilemma.

Jonathan Wood appears first as Bunthorne. He is perfect for the part - unworldly, conceited and hilariously arch. Andrew Henley, when he appears as Grosvenor, is something else again. Outrageously vain, he can't imagine any woman not finding him attractive. Patience throws them both into confusion, with her insistence on 'pure' love.

At the final curtain call Patience (Rebekah Brown) is presented by her two suitors:
Bunthorne (Jonathan Wood) and Grosvenor (Andrew Henley)
It's hard to imagine how the situation could possibly resolve itself - but it does! A fascinating story, very cleverly performed by  a wonderful cast. The soldiers, who have been abandoned in favour of the more fashionable poets, are endlessly amusing in their efforts to appear manly. The entourage of girls, although mainly occupied with swooning in admiration of our poets, also have some serious arias too. (Alice Massey is very moving as 'Lady Jane'.)

The singing and acting were brilliant throughout - bringing out the very best in the writing. A wonderful performance.

- and Rebekah acknowledges their invisible accompanists: Charles Hughes' orchestra
And the singing was perfectly accompanied by a small orchestra in the 'pit' underneath the stage. Charles Hughes conducted an impressive collection of horns, clarinets, flutes, bassoons and string instruments. Chris Parker was the leader and Exeter University Symphony Orchestra President Beca Pennar was also playing violin. Percussionist Ali Board, of the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra, was also there, to play tympani - and triangle! A glorious combination of sounds, from the overture to the epilogue.

Well done everyone.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Eugene Onegin at the Exeter Northcott Theatre 'Letter from Natasha'

Even before Natasha heard Ad-Hoc's 'Rachmaninov Vespers 1915' at St Mary Arches Church last Friday, she was at the first performance of Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.

With a little encouragement, Natasha agreed to give her honest opinion of this very daring experiment - translating Tchaikovsky into English. What would a native Russian have to say about that?

Here are Natasha's thoughts . . .

You want me to say/write something about this ''Eugene Onegin'' production, but I don't know even where to start ??? Haha!

First there is very good proper article in a leaflet done by ETO baritone Jonathan Gunthorpe. Not very often you can find so highly informatively accurate and substantial content in theatre programme leaflets. Wonderful job done! Translation in English (instead of traditional law of singing on the original language) (first in my life Tchaikovsky, and Rossini(!) in English) actually gives more theatrical action involved. I would say, that is also very well done! It worked well for the whole drama, which this opera based on!

For me is very important, that in this production the whole these ''lyrical scenes'', (as Tchaikovsky called his opera),was absolutely immaculately performed (to start with fantastic soloists, then choir and orchestra , then costumes then this wonder-mirror, multifunctional, doing the volume, transparency psychological projections)---every part of all complicated opera mechanism worked unimpeachably well. Not very often you can say so , always you can find something to regret, or to wish to be improved or altered, but in this production of ''Eugene Onegin'' I couldn't find what to wish better! I've listen this opera I don't know how many times. I know every chord and tune and word, I was doubt even to go again and listen again,.... BUT I ENJOYED IT LIKE A FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, when I seen a movie-opera with young Tayana Vishnevsky as Tatyana Larina. ... I was really listen all these well known tunes and chords with a growing interest and enthusiasm from the beginning to the very end!

What I also must emphasize as a positive feature of performance---it's a very good choice of musical tempo's. The whole thing sometimes in Russia, as I remember 20 years ago in Bolshoi Theatre, was always a bit slower according to all these archaic feudal style of village estate life, gardens working songs, was very often sentimentally slowing down a bit the whole thing. But I like this English 21 century very modern dynamic, which adds much more to the whole music drama of ''Eugene Onegin''.

I even start thinking of going and listening it again. Ha-ha!

Actually you see , my dear , it's a very-very long talk, and I'm not sure which a direction you would prefer to hold?? Give an idea, please!!!

One idea springs immediately to mind - let's get Natasha into the Phonic FM studio to tell us more.

This Tuesday (3rd April) we can start our 'Romantic' sequence with some Tchaikovsky at 11am, and hear more of Natasha's thoughts about Russian music for an English audience - leading on to Rachmaninov, of course.

Also stay tuned to hear Exeter composer Simon Belshaw at 11.30am. He will be in the studio to talk about his latest composition 'Between the Moon and the Earth' which will be played by 'Exeter Contemporary Sounds' - Julie Hill (violin), Andrew Gillett (viola), Jane Pirie ('cello) and Emma Welton (double bass) - at their inaugural concert of new music at Exeter Phoenix on Sunday 27th May. More details to follow.

'Ad Hoc' Chamber Choir sing Rachmaninov Vespers at St Mary Arches Church: 'A Letter from Natasha'

A picture is worth a thousand words, but in some cases words can convey a message much more effectively than any picture could. In an exciting new development for the 'Classical Journey' our new roving reporter has added her new and exciting style to the art of reporting . . .

Natasha Iuchanka agreed to report back on the Ad-Hoc Chamber Choir's 'вечерня' song recital at St Mary Arches Church in Exeter. 'вечерня' (pronounced 'vechernya') is your actual Russian and means 'Vespers'. The Concert included parts of Sergei Rachmaninov's great work 'Vespers 1915'. Natasha is Russian and comes originally from St Petersburg. With some basic directions, she was able to work out where and when to find the Ad Hoc Choir in action.

Natasha has very kindly reported back on what she heard - an extraordinary insight . . .

Dear Luch!

First: what I've never expected of myself, (and what I did strongly suspected of myself that I'll never do it!)----but I did it!!!! --- I mean I've found this St Mary Church!!! It's a fantastic piece of ancient premise, mediaeval walls, columns, decorations of hundreds year old and so on!!

And everything on the way of my regular drive through Exeter streets!

Thank you very much for this breakthrough!!!

The choir has fantastic young singers cast, very rich tenors, brilliant-bright sopranos, and one absolutely magic mezzo-sopr. ... and have , everyone, an individual characteristic. It was very inspirative performance at the same time, I should mention too!

They started with Rachmaninov the first part of concert, then came back to him at the middle of the second part, and then they finished all concert with 3 more pieces of Rachmaninov!!!!

So you've asked me about language, and I can tell you I did understand about everything, regarding that the biggest half of it was an ancient Russian, which not many (ordinary, not linguistic) Russian people sure about 100% of the precise meaning of some words.

But as I've already told you, I do usually listen the international language of MUSIC, which tells MUCH more than words, no matter which nationality.

It's not an occasional, not a mistaken law: all songs and arias must be performed with the words of the language they were created with and belong to(!). That means that message which could be delivered through melodies, tones and chords is MORE precise message, than the message of words!!!

In other words:we trust more to ''HOW'' we say, than ''WHAT'' we say!!

And old ancient church texts are more the less closer to each other and to the Latin roots!!!

So, in short words, what impressed me more in these Rachmaninov pieces of Vespers???? That he was as HE WAS always the same: the same simple, the same laconic, the same spiritually immense, mediaevally strict, and immutable (unfalling) Romantic of unlimited freedom of melodical breath, ,

unfathomable depth of harmony, unpredictable (consequently!!)....and so on!

I asked myself listening Rachmaninov in this concert: what does attract all these English people to this very slavonic composer stuff? I think the answer is: the connection"!!" The connection between generations of centuries, which gives a very strong penetrations of spirit, therefore-confidence, wisdom, assurance, if you want!!!!

It was stupid of me I even tried to tell it to people in Church yesterday with inspiration they enclosed in me with their SINGING OF RACHMANINOV's VESPERS in St Mary Church last night!

(Sorry for been so long talking.)

Enjoy Tchaikovsky!!!


You couldn't say it more plainly than that!  What a glorious report. A thrilling account of what must have been an outstanding concert. Many thanks to the Ad-Hoc Choir for a super performance - staged by the organisers of the St Stephen's project, Caroline Cornish and Bridget Davis.

Special thanks to Natasha Iuchanka for giving a native Russian's perspective on our local performances of Russian music. I hope Natasha will come to the Phonic FM studio and tell us more on Tuesday!

A reminder from Exeter Music Group violinist Ellen Stratton about A concert of Holst and Elgar at the Cathedral on Saturday 21 April

EMG Symphony Orchestra Concert
Saturday 21 April, 7.30pm
Exeter Cathedral

Join EMG Symphony Orchestra in Exeter Cathedral at 7.30pm on Saturday 21 April
for a concert celebrating English orchestral music.
The programme features two popular works;
The Planets, Holst's depiction of the astrological character of the seven planets,
and Enigma Variations, a series of portraits of some of Elgar's closest friends.
This is an opportunity to hear the more famous movements of these pieces,
such as Mars and Nimrod in their original context.

Tickets for the concert are selling fast, so book now to avoid disappointment!
They are available from Exeter Tourist Information, Dix's Field,
Exeter, tel: 01392 665885 (9.30 - 4.30, Monday to Saturday)
and from Devon Strings Workshop, 1 Bartholomew St West, Exeter
(10 - 6, Wednesday to Saturday),
or on the door if still available.
Tickets are priced at £12, £10 and £8; NUS and under 18s £6, £5 and £4.
For further information please visit
or find us on Facebook or Twitter

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dorothy Ferrier (mezzo soprano) accompanied by Dorothy Worthington (piano) 'A Grab Bag of Songs' Sidmouth Parish Church Friday 20 April (12 noon)

a delightful performer -
Mezzo Soprano Dorothy Ferrier
While Glenorchy Church is being refurbished there is a temporary break in our wonderful series of Wednesday lunchtime concerts in Exmouth (until September, when we hope it will be 'business as usual'!)

We have enjoyed so many wonderful concerts at Glenorchy - including 'Autumn Leaves' by mezzo-soprano Dorothy Ferrier, with piano accompaniment by Dorothy Worthington (23 Nov 2011).

Dorothy Ferrier and Dorothy Worthington will be back in action this month in Sidmouth at the Church of St Giles and St Nicholas (the parish church right next to Kennaway House) on Friday 20th April at noon.

Their 'Grab Bag of Songs' will be just the thing for a spring day in Sidmouth:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: 'Voi che sapete che cosa è amor'
('You who know what love is')
Cherubino's Aria from 'The Marriage of Figaro' (Vienna 1786)
Words by Lorenzo Da Ponte (after Pierre Beaumarchais, 'La Folle Journée' 1784)

Thea Musgrave: 'The Man-in-the-Mune'
(He's got a crick in the back; he's in a rage and won't come out to play!)
Written while studying under Nadia Boulanger in Paris
The first of five from 'A Suite O' Bairnsangs' (Scottish Festival, Braemar 1953)
Words, from a Scottish nursery rhyme, by Maurice Lindsay

Henry Purcell: 'Dear Pretty Youth'
Dorinda's Aria from Act IV of 'The Tempest' (London 1695)
Words by Thomas Shadwell (after William Shakespeare)

Henry Purcell: 'From Silent Shades and Elysian Fields'
('Mad Bess of Bedlam')
From 'Choice Ayres' (London 1683)
Words traditional/anonymous

Louis Armstrong: 'Nobody knows the trouble I've seen'
Recorded with the Russell Garcia Orchestra (Los Angeles 1957)
Traditional African American Spiritual

César Franck: 'Panis Angelicus'
From 'Messe a Trois Voix' (Paris 1872)
Words from 'Sacris Solemiis' for the Feast of Corpus Christi by Thomas Aquinas 13th century

Cleo Lane: 'He was Beautiful'
Cleo Lane Live at Carnegie Hall (New York 1973)
To the tune of Stanley Myers' 'Cavatina'
(which was played in guitar arrangement by John Williams)

Robert Schumann: 'Er, der herrlichste von allen'
('He, the noblest of all')
Second of eight songs in 'Frauenliebe und 'leben' ('A Woman's Love and Life') (Vienna 1840)
Words by Adelbert von Chamisso

Ernest Chausson: 'Le Vert Colibri'
('The Green Hummingbird')
Seventh of 'Sept Mélodies' ('Seven Songs') (Paris 1880)
Words by Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle

Stephen Sondheim: 'Green Finch and Linnet Bird'
Johanna's Aria from Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (New York 1979)
Words by Hugh Wheeler (after Christopher Bond's play, 1973)

Robert Wright: 'And This is My Beloved'
Caliph's Aria from 'Kismet' (New York 1953)
The tune is an arrangement of Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No 2, 1881
Words by George Forrest
(after Charles Lederer & Luther Davis' novel, based on Edward Knoblock's play, 1911)

Admission: £7 - which includes a light lunch

Well worth taking time out for an early lunch!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Music on the Edge return with Emma Welton Drewsteignton Tuesday 27 March 8.30pm


On 16 February there was a well attended and enjoyable concert by 'Music on the Edge' at the Long Room in Drewsteignton (photos). Chris Caldwell (clarinets) and Susie Hodder-Williams (flutes) were joined by guests Emma Welton (violin and double bass) and Rick Bolton (guitar and 'cello).

The programme was extraordinary:

Percy Grainger: 'Molly on the Shore' (two Irish reels for string quartet) 1907
(violin, soprano saxophone, and flute with 'cello pizzicato and glissando)
Joseph Haydn: London Trio for 2 flutes & 'cello 1794 arranged by local musician Chris Barr
(violin and flute with baritone saxophone 'rhythm section')
George Gershwin: Shall we Dance (Astaire & Rogers) 1937 'Walking the Dog'
(clarinet, double bass, guitar, alto flute - and introducing bass clarinet!)
A free improvisation! - started by a late arrival opening the door with a squeek
Emma reproduced the squeek on her violin, then built into James Tenny's 'Koan' 1977
(which she played at Rebecca Willson's Nonclassical concert at the Bikeshed Theatre 2 Oct 2011)
(violin + soprano saxophone and 'sampled' electrical guitar)
Johann Sebastian Bach (the world's finest jazz improviser, says Chris)
Sonata for flute and harpsichord
'Sicilienne' (violin, 'cello and flute)
Michael Nyman medley
- Peter Greenaway's 'The Draughtsman's Contract' 1982: Chasing Sheep is best left to shepherds
- Neil Jordan's 'The End of the Affair' 1999: Diary of Love
- Akinora Nagaoka's 'Anna no Nikki' (The Diary of Anne Frank) 1995: Chatterbox Waltz
(violin, soprano saxophone, 'cello, flute with a change to baritone saxophone, double bass and guitar)

Missed that? - or want to hear more?

'Music on the Edge' will return next Tuesday (27 March). Rick Bolton will not be with them, but Emma Welton will make a welcome return with her double bass and fiddle.

Here's a sample of what they will be playing:

Live at the Long Room   Tuesday 27th March
Jimmie Rodgers: English Country garden 1962

Igor Stravinsky: Rite of Spring 1913 – an improvisation!

Felix Mendelssohn: ‘Lieder Ohne Worte’ Book V 1844
'Fruhligslied' (Spring Song) = Camberwell Green

Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion - one movement

Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart: from ‘I married an Angel’ 1938
- Spring Is Here - originally composed 1929

Sydney Carter: Lord of the Dance 1967
- words inspired by “Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day”
from William Sandy's Carols Ancient & Modern 1833
- tune from “Simple Gifts” by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett 1848

et cetera!

An exciting spring and Easter theme expressed in music from many different sources
- and played on an unorthodox selection of musical instruments - beautifully!

Lots of fun in the 'Long Room' of the Drewe Arms, Drewsteignton

8.30pm Tuesday 27th March

Admission £8
Early birds £7.50 from: 

07906 266565

Under 21? - Admission FREE

Dartmoor with a difference!

Soprano Mary O'Shea and Pianist John Scarfe Coffee and Music Broadclyst Parish Church 10.30am Saturday 24 March

What a treat to hear Mary O'Shea on the 'Classical Journey' again this morning.

Mary O'Shea has been working hard lately, singing with at least three choirs.
However, she has managed to prepare solo pieces for two concerts - on the same day. 
In addition to the guitar and song recital with Clive Betts at 1.30pm
in the Cathedral Chapter house this Saturday (see 'Romantic Guitar & Song' below - jump),
Mary is also performing a solo recital at the Church of St John the Baptist in Broadclyst
earlier that morning at 10.30am.

John Scarfe, the broadclyst organist, also prepares 'Coffee and Music' concerts
from time to time.

John will provide the piano accompaniment while Mary sings.

Mary reminded us of the programme for Saturday morning:

George Frederick Handel: ‘Semele’ 1743
Jupiter’s aria:‘Where e'er you walk’
Allessandro Scarlatti: ‘L’honestà negli amori’ 1680
Sandino’s aria:‘Gia il sole dal Gange’ (The Sun Rises in the East)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni 1787
Zerlina’s aria: ‘Vedrai carino, se sei buonino’ (Everything will be all right darling, you’ll see)
Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) 1786
Cherubino’s aria: ‘Voi che sapete che cosa è amor’ (You who know what love is . . . )
Franz Schubert: ‘Schwanengesang’ (Swan Song) 1828
Liebesbotschaft "Rauschendes Bächlein" (Message of love "Rushing creek")
Robert Schumann: ‘Myrthens’ (Myrtles) 1840
Es gr
ünet ein Nussbaum vor dem Haus (A walnut grows green before the house)
Gabriel Fauré: Requiem in D minor 1890
Pie Jesu Domine dona eis requiem (Dear Lord Jesus grant them rest)
Edvard Grieg: Six Songs 1876
En Svane (A Swan)
Roger Quilter: Seven Elizabethan Lyrics 1908
Fair House of Joy (Fain would I change that note ?Tobias Hume ~1600)
Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-94): Three Songs 1994
Ophelia's song 1926 (words from Hamlet 1600)

- and we have heard Mary sing ‘Ophelia’ before – at Glenorchy (9 Nov 2011)

More great soprano solos from the very talented Mary O'Shea
Admission FREE
(retiring collection in aid of the organ fund)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Ad Hoc Chamber Choir - Full programme for Friday and Saturday - 23 & 24 March

This Friday and Saturday, the Ad Hoc Chamber Choir will be performing a programme of renaissance choral music, and music by Sergei Rachmaninov.

Friday: St Mary Arches Church Exeter - to raise funds for the St Stephen's Project

Saturday: Church of the Holy Cross Crediton - for the Parish Music Endowment Fund

In both cases, admission is free with a retiring collection

Ad Hoc had a glorious rehearsal at Killerton Chapel on Sunday afternoon. Visitors to the gardens could hear the beautiful music of the choir inside the chapel and flocked in to hear the choir sing unnacompanied under the direction of Matthew Pollard and Alex West.

Matthew and Alex were also singing, and there were several other familiar voices in the choir: Katherine Luke (soprano with Matthew Cann's Antiphon Choir), Ben Pennington (Tenor and Director of the Starling Octet), altos Sophie Nicholson and Katherine Salvetti, soprano Marianne Butler and bass Bjoen Fabritus.

As the sun set the choir were drenched in muliticoloured light from the stained glass of the rose window. The beautiful play of light just added to the magical experience of this timeless music performed in such an atmospheric setting.

The full concert will be performed  this weekend in Exeter and Crediton on Friday and Saturday - in equally magical settings.

Laurence Blyth will not be with them. He will be directing the Wellington Choral Society and Sinfonia in Bach's 'St John Passion' at St John's Church Wellington on Saturday. However, Laurence has directed Ad Hoc in the past - in productions of Mozart's Requiem and Vaughan-Williams' Mass in G minor - all sung a capela.

What have Matthew Pollard and Alex West been preparing for us under the mysterious title of 'Vechernya'?

Choral music by Padilla, Sheppard, Byrd, Victoria and Palestrina, will be interspresed by extracts from Sergei Rachmaninov's '1915 Vespers' (music for the 'All Night Vigil' on 10th March 1915 for the Russian war effort - which was banned along with all religious music after the October revolution in 1917).


Sergei Rachmaninov:  'Vespers 1915' - All Night Vigil
1.   Приидите, поклонимся ("Priidite, Poklonimsya") = Come, Let Us Worship
3.   Блажен муж ("Blazhen Muzh") = Blessed is the Man

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla: Missa Ego Flos Campi (Mass: I am the flower of the field)
1. Kyrie Elèison (Lord have Mercy)
2. Glòria in Excèlsis Deo (Glory to God)
3. Sanctus, Dòminus Deus Sàbaoth (Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts)
    Benedictus es Dòmine (Blessed be the Lord)
4. Agnus Dei qui Tollis Peccàta Mundi Miserère Nobis
   (Lamb of God, who removes the world's sins, take pity on us)

John Sheppard: "Libera nos, Salva nos" (Save us, Save us)

Anonymous (? Juan Perez de Bocanegra: Ritual Formulario e Instituciòn de Curas, Lima, 1631):
"Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin" (in the Quechua language of Peru: "Joy of Heaven")

William Byrd: "O God the proud are risen against me"

Tomás Luis de Victoria: "Ave Maria, gratia plena" (Hail Mary, full of grace)

Rachmaninov: 12. Слава в вышних Богу ("Slava V Vyshnikh Bogu") = Glory to God in the Highest

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: 'Kyrie' from Missa Papea Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass 1555)

Rachmaninov: 13. Днесь спасение миру быст ("Dnes Spaseniye Miru Byst")
                                 = The World is saved Today
                           14. Воскрес из гроба ("Voskres Iz Groba") = Risen from the Grave
                           15. Взбранной Воеводе ("Vzbrannoy Voyevode") = Conquering Hero

What a programme!

Admission FREE

Anyone interested in joining the Ad Hoc Choir, and taking part in future choral wonders - contact:

'Romantic Guitar and Song' Guitarist Clive Betts and Soprano Mary O'Shea Exeter Cathedral Chapter House Saturday 24 March

Guitarist Clive Betts and Soprano Mary O'Shea will be at Exeter Cathedral Chapter House this Saturday for a concert of guitar and vocal music.


John Dowland: 'Orlando Sleepeth'
                          'Melancholy Galliard'
                          'My Lady Hunsdon's Puffe'

Anon:                'Greensleaves'

 J S Bach:           Minuet from Anna Magdalena's notebook

Guitar and Soprano:

J S Bach:           'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'
                           'Bist du bei mir'

John Dowland: 'If my complaints could passion move'


Anon:                'Spanish Ballad'

Stanley Myers:  'Cavatina'

Guitar and Soprano:

Cézar Franck:   'Panis Angelicus'

Franz Schubert: 'Ave Maria'

Adolphe Adam: 'O Holy Night'

Admission FREE

retiring collection

New Play 'Devon and Demelza' at Exeter Bikeshed Theatre this week


15 March 2012


A brand new play inspired by the *Devonwall proposal

at The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter  20th – 24th March 2012

'It's the Tamar, not the Amazon, for heaven's sake!'

This was the 'off-the-record' response by Prime Minister David Cameron when quizzed about a proposed new parliamentary constituency that would flout the Devon/Cornwall boundary – a boundary that has remained unchallenged for 1000 years.  And it became the inspiration for a brand new play by Cornwall playwright, Elaine Ruth White.

Elaine, who was the writer on the award-winning local opera, 'One Day, Two Dawns' (English Touring Opera/Hall for Cornwall) said:

'Boundaries are crucial to who we are as people. They are an essential part of how we define ourselves.  When a boundary changes, so does our identity. And there are few places this is more true than Cornwall.'

Set in the Morwenstow area of North Cornwall, 'Devon and Demelza' is a satirical take on the Devonwall proposal.  Elaine explained:

'There's a lot of humour in the play, but like all satires, it identifies a very scary reality about the world we live in today.'


Despite their sibling rivalry, the sisters have a strong bond, but when a Community Risk Advisor arrives and declares Demelza’s potato patch a national hazard, their world is changed forever.

The official soon gets his feet well 'under-the-table', and tensions start to escalate.

As events conspire against her, Demelza discovers that even in the age of cyberspace, it's land that people will kill for.

This satire with a surreal edge can be enjoyed at several levels, and affectionately parodies the relationship between Devon, Cornwall and Westminster.

10 years +

'Refreshing, intriguing and unique'.  Response to the premiere performance.

Note for Editors:

*Devonwall is a jocular name used for a proposed Parliamentary constituency that would transgress the border and combine parts of Devon and Cornwall.


A published and broadcast playwright, Elaine Ruth White was writer on the Royal Philharmonic Society award-winning production by English Touring Opera, 'One Day, Two Dawns',  and recently wrote a fresh libretto for Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', set in the 1920s, for Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter.  She lives in Penryn, Cornwall.

For more information, contact  Elaine on: 07980570087

Monday, 12 March 2012

Run-down to the end of March

Exeter School Choral Society
Exeter School
Choral Society
Exeter Cathedral
Thursday 15 March
(Rehearsal 1.30pm)
G F Handel:
'Messiah' (part II)
Francis Poulenc:
Tickets: £15, £10,
(£7 unreserved)
(children half price)
Booking online:
School Website

Piano Soloist
Francesco Piemontesi
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Exeter University Great Hall
Thursday 15 March 7.30pm
Mozart: Idomeneo Overture
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 K503
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
Piano: Francesco Piemontesi
Conductor: Leo Hussain
Tickets: £11.50-35.00
Box Office: Exeter Poenix - 01392 667080
Buy tickets online
Professor George Pratt
James Wyatt Music Room,
Powderham Castle
1769 Bryce-Seede Organ
A Celebration of Bach & Buxtehude
James Wyatt Music Room, Powderham Castle
Friday 16 March 7.30pm
The Powderham Consort & Divertimento
& the unique 1769 Bryce Seede Organplayed by Kapellmeister, Professor George Pratt
J S Bach: 'Jesu meine Freude'
Dietrich Buxtehude: 'Membra Jesu Nostri'
(press release)
(See photos of the ETO & RCM's 'Membra' here )
Tickets: £14  Box: 01626 890243

English Touring Opera
will perform extracts from
Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin'
St Paul's Church Honiton
(Full opera - Northcott Theatre
 Wed 21 & Sun 24 March
- see below) 
Honiton Festival
St Paul's Church Honiton
Friday 16 March 7.30pm
Tchaikovsky: 'Onegin's Aria'
                        Tatyana's 'Letter Aria'
                           and 'Lensky's Aria' ('Kuda Kuda')
                              ('How far away you seem now')
                         from 'Eugene Onegin'
             plus arias from 'Queen of Spades'
Tickets: £12-15 (£9 unreserved)
Noel Barrington Prowse: 01404 831837
Honiton Tourist Info: 01404 43716
Festival Website

Rhys Matthews
with marimba
Newton Abbot & District Society of Arts (NADSA)
Stover School Newton Abbot
Friday 16 March 7.30pm
Rhys Matthews
: Fanfare for Djembe (African drum)
Eric Sammut: Hombre D'aout
Joe Green: Xylophonia
Gert Mortensen: March Cadenza
Takatsugu Muramatsu: Land (marimba)
Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic: Il Sognio Di Paciocchino ()
Astor Piazzolla: Libertango
Rachel Giedhill: Battercada
Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee
Tickets: £14 (U21 students £2 !!)
Opus Classical (Exeter Guildhall Gallery) 214044

Conductor: Andrew Millington
Exeter Philharmonic Choir
Exeter Cathedral Choir & Sinfonietta
Exeter Cathedral
Saturday 17 March 7.30pm
Patrick Hawes: 'The Lazarus Requiem'
Ralph Vaughan-Williams: 'A Cambridge Mass'
Conductors: Patrick Hawes & Andrew Millington
Tickets: £19/16/11 (supper club: £40)
Exeter Phoenix Box Office 01392 667080
EPC Tickets: 01392 499211
Choir Website

Ad Hoc Chamber Choir
pose ad hoc
on Cathedral Green
Ad Hoc Chamber Choir
Killerton House Chapel Broadclyst
Sunday 18th March 2 - 4.30pm
Open Rehearsal of 'Vechernya'
('вечерня': = 'Vespers')
William Byrd
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Sergei Rachmaninov
John Sheppard
Tomás Luis de Victoria

Performances of 'VECHERNYA':
- and in Princesshay 

1. St. Mary Arches Church Exeter 
Friday 23rd March 7.30pm
Admission FREE retiring collection
(St. Stephen's Project)
2. Church of the Holy Cross, Crediton
Saturday 24th March 7.30pm
Admission FREE retiring collection
(Crediton Parish Church Music Endowment Fund)

English Touring Opera
Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'
English Touring Opera
Exeter Northcott Theatre
(both sung in English translation)
Rossini: Tuesday 20 March
Tchaikovsky: Wednesday 21 March
Rossini: Thursday & Friday 22 & 23 March
Tchaikovsky: Saturday 24 March
All performances start at 7.30pm
Rossini: pre-show talk Thursday 22 March 6.30pm
English Touring Opera
Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin'
Dancers: Roland Wood
and Amanda Echalaz
Tchaikovsky: pre-show talk Saturday 24 March 6.30pm
 ETO Website 
Tickets: £18 - £31 (student standby £8)
Box Office: 01392 493493

Violin: Kaija Lukas
Exeter University Symphony Orchestra
Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter
Wednesday 21 March 7.30pm
Antonio de Cabezón: Tiento
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Opus 47
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No 1 (Titan)
Conductor: Richard Gonski
Violin: Kaija Lukas
: £6 (buy 4, 1 free) (U16 free)
(student £4, + Uni music card £3)
Advance Booking: Beca Pennar
Exeter University Orchestra Webpage

The Beare Trio
'Cello: Hilary Boxer
Piano: Andrew Daldorph
Saxophone: Chris Gradwell
 The Beare Trio
Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
Wednesday 21 March 7.30pm
Piano: Andrew Daldorph
Clarinet & Saxophones: Chris Gradwell
'Cello: Hilary Boxer
Maz Bruck: 3 of his 8 trios, Opus 83
Johannes Brahms: Trio Opus 144
Charles West: 'Shalom'
Andrew Daldorph: 'Beare Tango' for trio
Information: Chris Gradwell - 01297 22228

Cygnet New Theatre Company

Louisa Wilde: Centre
'How Well You Know Me'
Cygnet New Theatre, Friars' Gate, Exeter
Friday & Saturday 23/24 March 7.30pm
A double bill:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman:
'The Yellow Wallpaper' (eNotes)
(Adapted from the 1892 version -
with parallel story, set in the 1950s,
developed by the director)
Alice Gerstenberg: 'Overtones' (eNotes)
(One of ten one act plays published in 1921)
Director: Louisa Wilde (student - Acting with Directing)
(Louisa was Leonora in last year's Ayckbourn Production - see cast photo above)
Box Office: 01392 277189
Buy tickets online:  Friday 23 March  Saturday 24 March
Theatre Website

Soprano: Mary O'Shea

Broadclyst Coffee & Music
Church of St John the Baptist Broadclyst
Saturday 24 March 10.30am
Soprano: Mary O'Shea
Piano: John Scarfe
Admission FREE - with tea & coffee laid on
Retiring collection

Guitar: Clive Betts

Violin: Mary O'Shea

Romantic Guitar Song
Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
Saturday 24 March 1.30pm
Guitar: Clive Betts
Soprano/Violin: Mary O'Shea
John Dowland
Johann Sebastian Bach
Franz Schubert
César Franck
Adolphe Adam
Full Playlist
Admission FREE
- retiring collection

Dimitris Dekavallas
Villages in Action
Hockworthy Village Hall
Saturday 24 March 7.30pm
(drinks and snacks available from 6.45pm
  - come and grab a table
  - but remember to book in advance!)
Guitar: Dimitris Dekavallas
(protégé of Julian Bream)
Flute: Samantha Pearce

Tickets: £5 (please book in advance)
Samantha Pearce
                 Val Cole 01823 673268
                    Louise Webber 01823 673025
Where? - M5, Junction 27, A361,
1/2 mile, Minnows Touring Park, turn right,
3 miles, Holcombe Rogus, turn left (Black Lane),
1 mile, Hockworthy! (auto-navigation: TA21 0NW)
(press release)

Music Director:
Laurence Blyth

Wellington Choral Society
Church of St John the Baptist Wellington
Saturday 24 March 7.30pm
Wellington Choral Society
Wellington Sinfonia

Music Director: Laurence Blyth
Music Director: Laurence Blyth
Tenor: David Webb
Bass: Julian Rippon, Andrew HenleyHarriet Jones, Matthew Reeve, Nicholas Hawker

Tickets: £10 (child/student £3)
Box Office  01823 400964 (from mid-Feb)
Choral Society Website

Marta Fontenals-Simmons
Monday 1st November 2010
Exeter Bach Society & Orchestra
St David's Church Exeter
Saturday 24 March 7.30pm
J S Bach: Missa Brevis in F BWV 233
                   Suite No 3 in D BWV 1068
Joseph Haydn: Mass in B flat ('Harmoniemesse')
Conductor: Nicholas Marshall
Leader: Anna Cockroft
Soprano: Samantha Crawford
Mezzo Soprano: Marta Fontanals-Simmons
Tenor Simon Gfeller
Bass: Daniel Rudge
Tickets: £15 (students £7.50)
Exeter Phoenix Box Office: 01392 667080
Exeter Bach Society Website

Ad Hoc Chamber Choir
pose ad hoc
on Cathedral Green
Ad Hoc Chamber Choir
1. St. Mary Arches Church Exeter
Friday 23rd March 7.30pm
2. Church of the Holy Cross, Crediton
Saturday 24th March 7.30pm
('вечерня': = 'Vespers')
William Byrd
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Sergei Rachmaninov
John Sheppard
Tomás Luis de Victoria
Admission FREE retiring collection

- and in Princesshay 

(St. Stephen's Project/
Crediton Parish Church Music Endowment Fund)

(See above for open rehearsal of 'Vechernya'
Killerton House Chapel Broadclyst
Sunday 18th March 2 - 4.30pm)

Devon Baroque at Dartington
Devon Baroque - English Baroque Weekend
Dartington Hall
Friday 23 March - Sunday 25 March
A weekend of musical workshops,
including an exclusive concert in the Ship Studio:
(details below)

Baroque Recorders:
James Risdon

Sunday 25 March 11.45am
James Risdon: Recorders, Emily White: Violin & Sackbut
Jonathan Watts: Harpsichord
Music by: Handel, Dowland, Sammartini,
Purcell, McGibbon & Matteis
Information on the full residential weekend:
Telephone Jeremy Logie: 01803 862795


Lute: Elizabeth Kenny
An English Banquet
Dartington Great Hall
Friday 23 March 8pm
Campion, Lawes, Purcell, Croft & Handel
Mezzo Soprano: Meg Bragle, Lute: Elizabeth Kenny
Violin: Margaret Faultless, Oboe: Rachel Chaplin
'Cello: Andrew Skidmore, Harpsichord: Andrew Wilson-Dickson
Tickets: £15 (students £5)

Devon Baroque Leader:
Margaret Faultless

The Golden Age of English Music
Dartington Great Hall
Saturday 24 March  8pm
Handel, Locke, Blow, Avison & Boyce
Devon Baroque (Leader: Margaret Faultless)
Tickets: £18 (students £5)

Mezzo Soprano:
Meg Bragle
Dido & Aeneas (Henry Purcell)
Dartington Great Hall
Sunday 25 March 3pm
Devon Baroque (Leader Margaret Faultless)
Dido: Meg Bragle, Belinda: Emma Walshe
Tickets: £17 (student £5)
Box Office: 01803 847070
Dartington Website
Devon Baroque Website

Torbay Singers
Director of Music: Tina Guthrie
Torbay Singers
St Matthias Church, Babacombe Road, Torquay
Saturday 24 March 7.30pm
Gabriel Faure: 'Requiem'
J S Bach: Jesu, 'Meine Freunde'
Director of Music: Tina Guthrie
Tickets: £10
Box Office: 01803 867872
Torbay Singers Website

Woodwind Duo
'Music on the Edge'
Susie Hodder-Williams
& Chris Caldwell
(flute & bass clarinet)
Photo: Chris Chapman
Music on the Edge
Spring Series 2012
The Drewe Arms, Drewsteignton
Tuesday 27 March
(NOT Monday 26 March 8.30pm)
Special Guest:
Violin/Double Bass: Emma Welton
 All playing by the roaring fire in the 'Long Room'
Admission: £8 (U21 Free)
Information: The Drewe Arms - 01647 281224

Andrew Daldorph
and the
Exeter Chamber Choir
(Choir Website)
Exeter Chamber Choir
Buckfast Abbey
Saturday 31 March 7.15pm
J S Bach: "Komm, Jesu komm"
Francis Poulenc: 4 Lent motets
Antonio Lotti
Pablo Cassals
Conductor: Andrew Daldorph
Tickets: £8 (student/child £5)
Contact: Keith Wainwright
01404 813041
or send booking form (printable version here)
to: ECC Tickets
        Pine Trees
          Exeter Road
             Ottery St Mary
                EX11 1LH

Ottery St Mary Choral Society & Orchestra
St Mary's Church, Ottery St Mary
Saturday 31 March 7.30pm
Gioachino Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
George Frederick Handel: Coronation Anthems
Conductor: Malcolm Matthews
Leader: Sarah Greining
Soprano: Héloïse West
Alto: Sofia Flodin
Tenor: Leslie Baker
Bass: David Fouracre
Admission (& programme): £9.50 (U16  £4.50)
Box Office: 01404 811311)
Choral Society Website

Exeter Festival Chorus
Exeter Cathedral
Saturday 31 March 7.30pm
With Baroque Orchestra: Music for Awhile
Leader: Margaret Faultless
Conductor: Nigel Perrin
Soprano: Lesley-Jane Rogers
Alto: Rupert Enticknap
Tenor: David Webb
Bass: Stephen Varcoe, Timothy Mirfin
Tickets: £10-£22
Advance Booking: 08456 005441
Exeter Phoenix: 01392 667080
Buy tickets online
Exeter Festival Chorus Website