News FromThe Choir

2022-3 Concert Season announced

2022-3 Concert Season announced

Sunday 5th June 2022

Following our successes last season, the RLSBC is delighted to announce a very exciting programme of concerts for the 2022-3 season.

Lee Dunleavy, our Musical Director, explains the theme for the season: “For nearly a thousand years, composers have turned to the words of the Mass to make their most profound utterances. In most cases this has been for the service of the church, but this season we explore “Masses of Masses” written for concert use. Indeed, the works we perform this year are surprising, subversive, even shocking, including the long-retired Rossini’s last and humorous ‘sin of old age’ and the Lutheran Bach’s assuredly Catholic Mass. The season begins with three American composers who explore themes of peace and reconciliation, the environment, and race and equality, through the words and form of the Mass.”

We begin with a concert of music by modern American composers on Saturday November 12th, comprising selections from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, Libby Larsen’s Missa Gaia: Mass for the Earth and a Credo by Margaret Bonds. All three performances are believed to be UK premieres. Quite apart from exploring themes of urgent relevance in today’s world, the last two pieces also allow us to continue our (re)discovery of female composers, one of them black.

The highlight of our season in April will be J S Bach’s Mass in B minor, his acknowledged choral masterpiece, last performed by the choir under the baton of Nigel Stark in 2011. This work dates from the last years of Bach’s life, but was never performed during his lifetime, and it sets the full texts of the Roman Catholic Mass.

Then in July, the mood changes from the sublime to the playful, as we present the Petite Messe Solennelle by Gioachino Rossini. This work is neither ‘petite’ nor ‘solennelle’: the composer himself commented “Have I just written sacred music, or rather, sacrilegious music?”

Vocal soloists and instrumentalists are still being booked for next season, but there is one piece of good news which we can share with you already: Charivari Agréable, the period instrument orchestra who joined us for the first time for our Viva Italia! concert in June, have agreed to return for the B minor Mass next year. And we can also tell you that there will be an accordionist as well as a pianist playing with us for the Rossini!

We hope you are as excited by this planned season of concerts as we are, and we look forward to seeing you soon. We are also actively seeking to increase our singing membership to enable us to do justice to this ambitious programme, so if you’ve been thinking of joining us, please go to our ‘Join Us’ page to find out more. The first two rehearsals of term, Wednesdays 7th and 14th September, will be open rehearsals, to which anyone is welcome - but please tell us in advance if you are planning to come, so that we can make sure we have music ready for you. Auditions for new members will be held on Thursday 15th September; please Click Here to contact us and book a slot.

For more details of the concerts, as and when they become available, please visit our ‘Events’ page. Meanwhile, if you would like to hear more from Lee Dunleavy, our Musical Director, about the concerts planned for next season and the theme that unites them, please Click Here to watch an introductory video he has prepared.

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