Drawn together by the powerful imagery of the Book of Revelations, The Choir of St James’ (Facebook) will delight audiences with REVELATIONS, its concert series for 2018.
The choir, which began 200 years ago, is today thriving in its ninth year under the direction of Warren Trevelyan-Jones, one of the country’s leading choral conductors and choir trainers. As Head of Music at St James’, Warren draws on his experience with leading choirs in Europe, such as the Choir of Westminster Abbey, the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale (Ghent), the Taverner Consort, The Kings Consort, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars.
Handel’s iconic masterpiece, Messiah, will kick off REVELATIONS on Thursday, March 22 at City Recital Hall, Angel Place, in the lead-up to Easter (for which the oratorio was written). Messiah will recapture the scale, idiom and style of Handel’s original, an opportunity for an audience to see this masterpiece in its historically informed and seasonal context.
The other five concerts will include Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle and Brahms’ sublime Requiem, which will all be staged at St James Church (Facebook), one of Sydney’s most calming and theatrical settings, with its Georgian architecture and wonderful acoustics. It is Sydney’s oldest church, located in the heart of the city in King Street next to the Supreme Court of NSW.
“St James’ is an astounding place, the oldest continuously operating music program in the Southern hemisphere,” says musician Nicole Forsyth. “The music program has incredible and far reaching ‘tentacles’ into all the other music and arts organisations in Sydney, in Australia, and the rest of the world, with long histories in scared and secular music, the creation of new art work, and a very long list of composers”.
More information about REVELATIONS below or at St James’ Church or City Recital Hall for tickets.
Grant Me Paradise 5:00pm Saturday 19 May St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney The Choir of St James’ and soloists from Opera Australia With Anthony Hunt & Michael Curtain – piano; Alistair Nelson - harmonium Members of Opera Australia join The Choir of St James’ in a performance of Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle. Renowned for this operatic works, Gioachino Rossini returned to religious music during his retirement, when he wrote his Stabat Mater and this mass. Rossini’s ‘poor little mass’, as he wryly described it, is neither poor nor little. It is scored for Choir and soloists, two pianos, and harmonium (and was later orchestrated by Rossini). Inscribed at the end of the score, is a prayer in which he describes his work as having ‘not much technique’ but ‘a little bit of heart, that’s all. Blessings to you and grant me Paradise.’ Saints and Revelation 5:00pm Saturday 28 July St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney The Choir of St James’ Celebrating the season of the Feast of St James’, The Choir of St James’ performs a programme of music written for saints, featuring William Walton’s The Twelve, along with works by William Byrd. The centrepiece of the concert is an evocative work by English composer, Patrick Hawes. Revelation is a nine movement setting of texts from The Book of Revelation, full of powerful imagery and evocative musical language. Cease All Tears 5:00pm Saturday 15 September St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney The Choir of St James’ Themes of mortality, remembrance and everlasting life are explored in a programme of ‘In memoriam’ music. Works include Howells’ Take him earth for cherishing, Josquin’s Nymphes des bois, settings of When David heard, David’s lament for Absalom, and Rutter’s magnificent Hymn to the Creator of Light, dedicated to the memory of Herbert Howells, are presented by The Choir of St James’. A Voice From Heaven 5:00pm Saturday 3 November St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney The Choir of St James’ The 100th anniversary of Armistice is commemorated by music of sacrifice, loss and hope. The Choir of St James’ performs works written in response to these themes through the centuries, with Brahms’ sublime Requiem (version for piano with four hands), alongside parallel settings from the Book of Revelation including Schutz’s Selig sind die toten and Bainton’s And I saw a new heaven. Angels and Trumpets: A renaissance Christmas 5:00pm Saturday 8 December St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney The Choir of St James’ and Australian Baroque Brass Herald in the season of Advent and Christmas with angelic choirs and trumpets! Music at St James’ is pleased to respond to the overwhelming reception it received in 2015 by inviting Australian Baroque Brass to return to St James’ to perform Praetorius’ sumptuous Christmas Mass with The Choir of St James’.