A Christmas Cracker from VOCES8

Christmas crackers usually come stuffed with a flimsy paper crown, a tacky toy, a plastic puzzle and a bad joke.  But, open a VOCES8 Christmas Cracker and you’ll find the…

Elizabeth Llewellyn and Simon Lepper open the 2021-22 Wigmore Hall season with Italian and English song

One year on from her Wigmore Hall debut, and following the release of her highly praised album of the songs of Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, Heart & Hereafter, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn returned…

Opera on Location bring Debussy’s The prodigal son home to Sheffield

Located in one of Sheffield’s oldest industrial districts, Kelham Island Museum stands on a man-made island, the result of 12th-century engineering when a goit, or mill race, was constructed diverting…

Light from Darkness: Live from London Summer 2021 closes in celebratory style

As gentle as you have lived,have you died,too holy for sorrow!Let no eye shed a tearfor the spirit’s heavenly homecoming. The words of Friedrich Haug, commemorating the death of the…

I Fagiolini: Au naturel

I Fagiolini like a ‘hook’, and they’re expert at devising one.  On this occasion it was a painting, or, rather, a series of paintings – The Four Seasons by Pieter…

Handel’s Heroes and Heroines: Mary Bevan and Barnaby Smith, Live from London

The now-familiar Live from London format was slightly revised for this recital of sinfonias, arias and duets from Handel’s oratorios and operas, titled Handel: Heroes and Heroines.  VOCES8 were represented…

A New Day: The King’s Singers, Live from London

The King’s Singers’ Live from London Summer programme was titled, optimistically, A New Day, reflecting the series’ theme of renewal and regeneration, and drawing together music ‘with a focus on…

‘All shall be well’: ORA Singers and Zeb Soanes reassure and inspire

The optimistic words of Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1417) might seem out of place in the modern world.  Yet, Mother Julian, as the English anchorite and mystic came to be known,…

VOCES8 open Live for London Summer with a sprinkle of stardust

VOCES8’s new Live from London summer festival opened in ‘sparkling’ fashion with a characteristically mixed repertoire programme, entitled Stardust.  Much was reassuringly familiar, and very welcome: the perfect blending and…

Leeds Lieder Festival: Benjamin Britten’s Five Canticles

Benjamin Britten’s five Canticles span his compositional career, from 1947 to 1974, and reflect the eclectic musical, poetic and cultural influences and idioms which he integrated into an independent expressive…