IT’S HARD to believe that Huddersfield Choral Society’s current season is almost over.
Since a pair of highly successful Proms appearances followed by the opening concert on home ground in the autumn, the season has been packed with powerful works and performances.
And 90 of its singers are just back from Spain where their singing won the choir yet more friends.
The Choral had been invited to sing two performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at the Auditorio Miguel Delibes in Valladolid, Spain.
Spanish conductor Jesus Lopez Cobos was in no doubt about the quality of this guest choir.
“It was a privilege and a joy to perform the War Requiem with your magnificent choir,” he said.
So quite a season then. But watch out next Friday for what should be quite a finish.
The Choral will bring its 177th season to a close in a concert which commemorates the 200th anniversary of the births of two towering composers, Wagner and Verdi.
The choir has also included in this final concert programme of the current season work by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
Born in Ireland in 1852, he is doubtless less well-known worldwide than the two composers whose work fills the rest of the programme.
But his work has strong connections with Yorkshire and his name and his music are certainly recognised here.
Stanford was conductor of Leeds Philharmonic Society before taking over from Sir Arthur Sullivan as conductor in chief of the Leeds Triennial Music Festival at the turn of the 20th century.
The Stabat Mater was composed for the festival and was premiered in Leeds Town Hall in 1907. Huddersfield Choral Society will be performing this work for the first time.
The choir, conducted by Christopher Seaman, will perform an extract from Wagner’s Awake the Dawn of Day (Die Meistersingers); Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces as well as Stanford’s Stabat Mater.
Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, last performed by the Choral in 1984, were written separately over a period spanning 11 years.
The pieces are Ave Maria (unaccompanied chorus), Stabat Mater, Laudi alla Vergine Maria (unaccompanied female voices) and Te Deum. They are probably the last works composed by Verdi.
The Choral will be accompanied by the Orchestra of Opera North and the soloists will be Irish soprano Ailish Tynan, Pamela Helen Stephen (contralto), Paul Nilon (tenor) and Darren Jeffrey (bass).
Ailish received the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World ‘Rosenblatt Recital Prize’ (2003) and was a Young Artist for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (2002–4).
Pamela Helen Stephen returns to the Town Hall stage after a successful appearance with the Choral in its Messiah last year. She is highly regarded as a versatile singer and a vivid actress, she has performed with many of the world’s greatest conductors.
Some tickets (returns only) are available from Julie Hale, Subscriber Secretary on 07989 395066 or firstname.lastname@example.org