Neither petite nor solonelle!

Please don't be misled by its title, urges musical director Aedan Kerney as Worthing Choral Society begins its 2016-17 season with a performance of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle on Saturday, November 19.

Aedan Kerney
Aedan Kerney

“For ‘petite’, please think large-scale and for ‘solennelle’, please think light-hearted because this is exquisite and thoroughly-enjoyable choral music by the master of light opera himself. The music of William Tell and The Barber of Seville is never far away from this amazing score.

“For this performance the choir are joined by three of Worthing’s best-known keyboard-players: Donovan Brown, Marcus Martin and Philip Bailey. Together they will provide the rich accompaniment which Rossini wrote for two pianos and a harmonium. They and the choir are also joined by four outstanding vocal soloists.

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“Soprano Ashley Barrington sang with Worthing Choral Society last Christmas having moved back to Sussex from the South of France. She enjoys performing contemporary repertoire and has worked for many opera companies including English Touring Opera, Pavillon Opera and Lyrique en Mer. She has also worked with Judith Weir (Master of the Queen's Music), performing her Scotch Minstrelsy at London's Blackheath Hall.

“Mezzo-soprano Sidonie Winter has performed with Worthing Choral Society on a number of occasions including Brahms’ A German Requiem and Elgar’s The Music Makers. She was a founder member of the New D’Oyly Carte Company, has sung with Opera North and is a member of the Extra Chorus for the Royal Opera. She made her debut at the Proms as Lady Angela in Patience.

“Tenor Jon English is renowned for the flexibility of his voice. He sings with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, the BBC Singers, Polyphony and the Chorus of the Royal Opera House. He has recorded extensively for CD, film, television and radio and is currently involved in productions of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera House.

“Bass Oliver Dunn enjoys a strong relationship with Worthing Choral Society and has performed Handel’s Messiah, Mendelsohn’s Elijah and Bach’s B Minor Mass with them. He has sung with the Glyndebourne Chorus, Opera North and English National Opera and has also worked with The Hallé‚ The Philharmonia and Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestras, The Hanover Band and Manchester Camerata.”

Aedan added: “The singers of Worthing Choral Society are very excited to present this work and have mastered the emotional excitement and technical complexity inherent in the music. Rarely can members of a choir have had so much fun in preparing a piece from the classical repertoire. We will have a ball during the concert itself and just can’t wait to listen to and sing with our four amazing soloists. See you there!”

The concert begins at 3pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church, St Michael’s Road, Worthing, BN11 4SD. Tickets at £12; £7 for children and full-time students. Programme and refreshments are included. Box office: 01903 823078 or [email protected]

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