Durham Vocal Festival returns

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27 January 2018 - 10 February 2018

World famous vocalists, community choirs and top young talent from across the North East are to sing at Durham Vocal Festival.

The fortnight-long feast of fine music, organised by Durham County Council’s Durham Music Service, with support from Arts Council England, brings together over 3,000 local children with some of the country’s leading singers and orchestras for a celebration of song from Saturday, 27 January to Saturday, 10 February.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “Choral singing in Durham has a fantastically long and rich history – the Chorister School is over 600 years old and there were monks singing daily in the Cathedral before that.

“This festival celebrates the finest vocal music locally, nationally and internationally, and I very much look forward to hearing performances by some of the fantastic young talent that we have here in our county and the North East.”

Festival director Michael Summers, the manager at Durham Music Service, said: “Now in its second year the festival promises to be even more exciting than the last, celebrating the very best that vocal music has to offer.

“Heritage and tradition sit side by side with exciting performances including Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s reworking of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and Mahogany Opera Group’s Snappy Operas.

“We’ve also a beautiful Candlemass at Durham Cathedral and an acapella evening featuring Northern Lights from Durham University and Urban Voice from Egglescliffe School.

“Our Chamber choir evening will see The Durham Singers, Fenham Ensemble, Northern Spirit Singers and The Sage Chamber Choir fill St. Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw College with song.

“And this year, for the first time, we’ve 12 community choirs performing at Durham Cathedral with the outstanding acapella ensemble Apollo5.”

As well as concerts, the festival also offers many workshops for choirs, conductors and the public, including Roderick Williams’ Opera Masterclass and Breath in Choral Singing, which sees the Durham Singers conducted by Julian Wright offering an insight into the place of breathing in choral singing.


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