IT IS a big weekend for Huddersfield Choral Society and their guests, a Japanese choir from Osaka.
The 55 singers from the Osaka Symphonic Chorus, who are based in Japan’s second largest city, sing at Huddersfield Town Hall tonight.
They join the Choral for a performance of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus.
The performance reunites the two choirs and conductor Takuo Yuasa who last worked together on Britten’s War Requiem which saw the Choral sing in Osaka.
Tonight’s concert at Huddersfield Town Hall further strengthens the links between the two choirs.
The Osaka Symphonic Chorus was founded 30 years ago and has just over 170 singers.
Fifty-five of its singers have made the trip to Yorkshire and have spent a few days sight-seeing as well as rehearsing.
Takuo Yuasa is an internationally renowned conductor who worked with the Choral for their Japanese trip three years ago.
The orchestra for tonight’s concert is the Manchester Camerata and the performance marks soloist Ruby Hughes’ first appearance with the Choral.
Ruby is a soprano and winner of both first prize and the audience prize at last year’s London Handel Festival Singing Competition,
Catherine Wyn Rogers replaces Susan Bickley, the mezzo-soprano soloist who was to have sung at the concert.
Tenor Ben Johnson is another award-winning soloist. Two years ago, he took first prize at the Kathleen Ferrier awards.
Michael George, who sings the bass role, sings with the Israeli Opera based in Tel Aviv and performs throughout the world.
For many of the Choral, this week has been an opportunity to renew the friendships made in Japan in 2007 when the choir received a warm welcome from their hosts in Osaka.
Flag-waving singers welcomed the Choral when they flew into Osaka and the Choral sang for over 2,800 people. It was a trip which has stayed in many memories and will rekindle many more at tonight’s concert.