Christmas can only mean the return of Huddersfield Choral Society performing The Messiah.
The concerts will be at Huddersfield Town Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 19 and 20, at 7.15pm.
Here is the line-up that will be supporting the choral.
The Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) based at the Sage in Gateshead is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.
The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, and last season toured in South America, China and South Korea.
They have collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant and Mercury Rev.
The soprano soloist is Jennifer France who was nominated in the Young Artist
Category at the 2017 International Opera Awards, for Outstanding Achievement in an Operatic Role in the 2017 WhatsOnStage Opera Poll, also for the 2016 Schaunard Award by Place de l’Opera and for The Times Breakthrough Award in Opera at the 2016 South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Jennifer graduated from the Royal Academy of Music where her prizes included the prestigious Patron’s Award and the Principal’s Prize at graduation for exceptional all-round studentship.
She made her BBC Proms début this summer, and her concert engagements have included performances with Classical Opera, the London Handel Orchestra, the BBC
Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, the Israel Camerata, La Nuova Musica, Orchestra of Opera North, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the Oxford Philomusica, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
The mezzo soprano will be Catherine Wyn-Rogers who was a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music and has recorded extensively for the major labels.
She has also appeared with the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Orchestra of Opera North, Semperoper, Dresden, Teatro Real Madrid, Netherlands Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Opera de Paris, and with the Salzburger Festspiele, Verbier Festival and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Conductor Gregory Batsleer took up the newly-created post of Choral Director with the Huddersfield Choral Society in September 2016.
As well as taking responsibility for the preparation of the Choral’s subscription concerts ,Gregory is also responsible for overseeing the overall artistic development of the Society.
Since 2009 Gregory held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and has since 2015 held the same position with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, receiving widespread critical acclaim for his work in developing the choral activities of both organisations.
As a guest conductor, highlights include performances with the RSNO, SCO, Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Black Dyke Band, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. In spring 2018 Gregory will conduct a UK-wide production of Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Gregory currently teaches choral conducting at the University of Edinburgh and has worked as Guest Conductor with the University’s Chamber Orchestra and Choir.
The tenor will be Paul Nilon who is one of Europe’s outstanding lyric tenors in a wide repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Britten.
He has worked with many leading orchestras and ensembles in the UK and Europe. In opera he has worked for most of the major British opera companies. Companies abroad include the Bayerische Staatsoper, Netherlands Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera.
The bass will be Duncan Rock who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and subsequently at the National Opera Studio.
He is the winner of the 2012 Chilcott Award - the inaugural award from the Susan Chilcott Scholarship to support a ‘major young artist with the potential to make an international impact’.
His engagements in the 2017/18 season include Schaunard La Bohème for his début at the Metropolitan Opera and for his return to Covent Garden; Mountjoy in a new production of Gloriana for the Teatro Real in Madrid and Wreck in concert performances of Wonderful Town with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle.
Highlights on the concert platform include the The Last Night of the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The other conductor on the night will be Martyn Brabbins, music director of the English National Opera and Huddersfield Choral Society.
He is a popular figure at the BBC Proms and with many of the UK’s top orchestras, and regularly conducts top international orchestras, returning to the Royal Concertgebouw, Tokyo Metropolitan and Deutsche Sinfonieorchester Berlin this season.
Known for his advocacy of British composers, he has conducted hundreds of world premières across the globe. He has recorded over 120 CDs to date, including prizewinning discs of operas by Korngold, Birtwistle and Harvey.
Tickets for both the Tuesday and Wednesday concerts may be booked through the Kirklees booking office, tickets.kirklees.gov.uk or 01484 225755. They can also be booked through tourist information offices and £3 gallery tickets for students are also available.