THERE has been little time off this summer for the singers of Huddersfield Choral Society.
Like many choirs, they usually take the summer school holiday break and return to rehearsals fresh and ready for the autumn concert season.
This year has been a little different.
The Choral is off to Liverpool tomorrow to sing in a massive performance in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.
It’s also known as Symphony of a Thousand and when you look at the musical forces involved, five choirs, an extended orchestra and eight international soloists, you get the picture.
The Choral has just rounded off celebrations to mark its 175th anniversary which included a visit to the Royal Albert Hall in London to take part in a performance of Havergal Brian’s Symphony No 1 The Gothic as part of this summers’ Proms series.
That Proms date meant extra rehearsals and there have been extra sessions too for tomorrow’s big concert in Liverpool.
But the singers have managed to get in a summer break and 140 of them are looking forward to singing this big Mahler piece.
The singers travelled to Merseyside by coach on Wednesday to rehearse and will be back there tonight before tomorrow’s performance.
Vasily Petrenko, the Liverpool Phil’s charismatic conductor who is a favourite with both Choral singers and audiences, will conduct the Mahler.
The singers from Huddersfield will be joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, the Deva Singers and choristers from both Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
The soloists will be sopranos Claudia Barainsky, Maria Luigia Borsi, Malin Christensson and Susan Bickley, mezzo soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers who has sung with the Choral on a number of occasions, plus tenor Stefan Vinke bass-baritone Tómas Tómasson and bass Mario Luperi.
It is thought that the last time singers from the Choral were involved in Mahler’s 8th was in 1999 in a performance in London's Royal Festival Hall.
The Liverpool connection continues for Huddersfield Choral Society in November when the choir is reunited with both the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko this time on home ground in Huddersfield.
The choir opens its new season with a concert on November 4 with a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.