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.


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.

Carol Singing

Carol Singing
The Calendar doesn’t show it yet, as it’s not been dated, but we intend to perform our ‘traditional’ charity carol singing some time not long before Christmas.

Possible venues are being considered.

If you would like us to consider your charity for our carol singing event, please get in touch via the contact page.

Christmas Concert Prep.

Christmas Concert December 10th 2011
St Margaret’s Swinton
With preparations for the concert well advanced, (we are calling the concert “Wassail with Bel Canto”), you may have the opportunity to meet up with us earlier, as we are carol singing on behalf of the ‘Lost Chord’ charity in Meadowhall, on December 3rd.
We will be singing a capella, at 11am to noon, and again at 1pm to 2pm, both in the vicinity of Debenhams.

The concert on 10/12 has old favourites such as ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, and a variety of new items including an impressive Swahili carol ‘Betelehemu’, and a really stunning anthem of Samuel Wesley, ‘Blessed Be the God and Father’.
Carols for you too, and we will be singing the relatively new suite of six carols by Stephen Godward, who you may recall sang with us a few years back.