November Press Release

Click this link to download this article in PDF format: Bel Canto Press Release Oct 2012

There is no rest for this South Yorkshire choir which has recently performed a successful G&S Gala in October.

Their next adventure is an equally enjoyable one, yet it will be the first time this work has been performed in South Yorkshire.

“The Manchester Carols is an inspired collaboration between composer Sasha Johnson Manning and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. A collection of 12 carols, linked with a gentle, entertaining narration, which reshape and modernise the Christmas story. Its creators wanted to write something that is relevant to and reflects modern society, and which acknowledges the fact that even though someone might not subscribe to the religion behind the Nativity story, they can still appreciate it as an inspiring, magical tale.

The carols are for everyone, believers or not.

Duffy uses the Christmas story as a metaphor for human experience, giving us up-close and personal insights into the central characters of the nativity – Mary, Joseph, a newborn baby, and a ‘golden youth’ (aka the Angel Gabriel).

As Duffy herself says: ‘I think the story is wonderful. There’s a lot we can take from it on a human level even if we don’t take the divine element.’

There are hints, too, of the darker, grittier side of the Nativity story – refugees, poverty, giving birth on the road; and, looking further forward, there are hints of Jesus’ fate on the cross. These carols were written in Manchester in 2007 and first performed by children from several Manchester schools at The Royal Northern College of Music (and again in 2008).

All of us who worked on them – librettist, composer, artist, conductor, teachers, musicians and singers – live and work in that great city. And so these are, and will forever be, The Manchester Carols”. – (There are some sample tracks on that page too!)

Bel Canto Choir has been granted special permission from the composer to perform the piece with flute, piano and harp. They will be joined by the children from St John’s School, Mexborough.

7:15pm, Saturday 22nd December
St Margaret’s Parish Church, Swinton, South Yorkshire.
Tickets are £8 and available on 01709 582026.

G&S Press Release.

The full article is available to download here.

After the success of their 2011/12 season, Bel Canto will be hosting the first of their 2012/13 season concerts in October. While the works of Gilbert and Sullivan are not everyone’s cup of tea, Musical Director David Barnard has assembled a programme to entertain dramatically as well as musically, with the ‘Incantation’, Act 1 Finale and Opening of Act 2 of The Sorcerer forming a large part of the programme. David, has chosen great arias such as O Foolish Fay from Iolanthe and Minerva! from Princess Ida to flaunt the pure quality of Sullivan’s writing – often much better than the composers of the era he was occasionally trying to imitate.

The Sorcerer, for example is a pastiche on Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), in which a Sorcerer conjures up a love potion and manages to sneak it into the teapots that the villagers are drinking from on their village green, eventually sending them to sleep. Upon waking up, the villagers magically fall in love with the first person they see!

Continue reading

The Manchester Carols

Bel Canto will be presenting ‘The Manchester Carols” on the 22nd December 2012 at 7:15pm.

This event is expected to be a super evening, with special permission grated from the composer (Sasha Johnson Manning) to perform the work with Harp, Flute and Piano.

The choir will be joined by the choir from St John’s Primary School, Mexborough, and feature the soloists, well known in the South Yorkshire region, Stephen Godward (Baritone) & Christine Stubbs (Mezzo) with Michael Tipler acting as Narrator.

Our Musical Director has been visiting the school already:

“The Children at Mexborough are super quick learners and are proving a delight to teach. They have even memorised parts of the songs already! – Book your tickets early!”

The second half of the evening will feature beautiful seasonal music and the usual congregational carols with master organist, Jonathan Gooing.

Tickets for the event will go on sale in late October early November.

A G&S Gala!

Our Next Performance is fast approaching!

A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala
St Margaret’s Church Parish Church, Swinton, South Yorkshire.
Friday 26th October 2012 7.15 pm

Tickets £8 from any choir member or contact 01709 582026

We will be performing scenes from HMS Pinafore, Princess Ida, The Pirates of Penzance, The Yeoman of The Guard and The Gondoliers. A major part of the evening’s entertainment, will be a large chunk from The Sorcerer – The Incantation, Act 1 Finale and Act 2 Opening. 

The Sorcerer is a two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan. It was the British duo’s third operatic collaboration. The plot of The Sorcerer is based on a Christmas story, An Elixir of Love, that Gilbert wrote for The Graphic magazine in 1876. A young man, Alexis, is obsessed with idea of love levelling all ranks and social distinctions. To promote his beliefs, he invites the proprietor of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to brew a love potion. This causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see and results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples. In the end, Wells must sacrifice his life to break the spell. – From Wikipedia. 


Sectional Day January

The next sectional day for the choir will be on Saturday 12th January 2013

If you are thinking of joining the choir, this is a perfect opportunity to try us out! These days usually have a guest choir trainer, plus our Musical Director and Accompanist and are a great introduction to new members. Plus they are chance for the choir to socialise while working hard learning new repertoire.

The basic format of the day:

10:30am – 11am: Warm-up, vocal exercise.
11am – 12:15pm: Sectionals
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Joint Rehearsal
2:15pm – 3:15pm: Sectionals
3:30pm – 4:30pm: Joint Rehearsal

Please contact us if you are interested in participating in one of our sectional days.