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Messiah: an amazing night!

We were fortunate to be part of a truly magnificent Messiah at the RWCMD on Friday night (December 4th). Most choristers have sung multiple Messiahs in their time, but this performance generated a buzz that will linger in the memory long after the chords of the final “Amen” have died away.

Huw and choir cropped

Huw conducting us, with baroque orchestra Rejouissance accompanying

There were top-notch performances from our splendid quartet of soloists: Elin Manahan Thomas, Cathy Bell, Ben Thapa and Philip Tebb. Each of them brought their own unique understanding and interpretation to Handel’s well-loved arias, giving them a fresh and distinctive feel.

Our orchestra, Réjouissance (led by Simon Jones) were once again first-class, with its members turning in some superb solo performances; notably Simon and Andrea Jones’ beautiful violin duet in the final chorus and, of course, Crispian Steele-Perkins with his magnificent rendition of “The Trumpet Shall Sound”.

We’ve already had some wonderful comments from orchestra, soloists and audience alike. One member of the audience, who has been going to a Messiah every year for as long as he can remember, said that this performance was the best he had ever been to. “You can do Messiah with a big chorus and orchestra. Or you can do it the way you did it. It was brilliant.”

Huw soloists and choir cropped

Huw and the soloists take a bow

We were also delighted to receive some great feedback from the orchestra and soloists. Comments included “It’s not often I stand in front of a choir that good”,”the most fun I have had in ages”, “congratulations to the choir who sang thrillingly last night”, and “nice to work with a conductor who has an opinion on the piece and doesn’t just think “another Messiah”!

Elin Cathy get flowers cropped

Well-deserved bouquets for Elin Manahan Thomas and Cathy Bell

It was especially heartwarming to receive praise from our star soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas, who told us: ‘Cyngerdd ffantastig, a’r côr yn wefreiddiol”/ “Fantastic concert, and the choir was thrilling”!

Diolch yn fawr am ganu gyda ni, Elin! We’re really looking forward to our next concert with you in April.

Side view flowers original

The ladies look on as the gentlemen receive their gifts

A huge thank you to the RWCMD, to all our soloists, to Rejouissance, and of course to Huw. And most of all, thank you to our audience, for a wonderful festive atmosphere and reception that we’ll never forget!

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