Marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Woodbridge Choral Society willbe performing Benjamin Britten’s great War Requiem in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall at 7:30 on Saturday evening, 10th November.
"This will be a remarkable event" commented Tricia Turner, the Choral Society’s chairman. "2018 has been a year of recalling the dreadful consequences of the war that was expected to end all future war-making. We are privileged to be able to bring this wonderful work of remembrance and hope to the people of Suffolk."
Britten's masterful score derives much of its extraordinary power from combining the immortal words of the Mass for the Dead with the unforgettable poetry of Wilfred Owen. One of the War Requiem's most moving moments is Owen's Strange Meeting when two soldiers, one from each side and each one the slayer of the other, meet beyond the grave.
The Kingfisher Sinfonia will be sharing the platform with the 120 voice Choral Society. The Society's Musical Director Andrew Leach will conduct the War Requiem, with Beth Spendlove serving as the Leader of the Sinfonia. Also featured will be the Gainsborough Ensemble led by Kathryn Parry. The Ensemble is a 12 piece chamber orchestra which will be accompanying the male soloists in the War Requiem.
Claire Weston will be the soprano soloist. Ms Weston graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music. She has been a member of the company of the English National Opera and is Head of Singing at the Woodbridge School. Ms Weston is also the Musical Director of the Suffolk Singers as well as the Director of the Woodbridge School’s Cantabile which will be singing off-stage at this event, conducted by Chris Milton.
The baritone soloist will be Morgan Pearse. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Royal College of Music's International Opera School. Mr Pearse has sung principal roles with the English National Opera and the Sydney Chamber Opera.
Edward Leach will be the tenor soloist. Having studied music at Cambridge University and Singing at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Mr Leach is currently based in Frankfurt. He is a scholar of Benjamin Britten and his music, and has sung in the chorus of the War Requiem on tour in China. Mr Leach has soloed frequently with the Woodbridge Choral Society.