Sir Thomas Allen CBE: Baritone
John Forsyth MBE: ConductorRuth Jenkins-Róbertsson: Soprano
Mark Wilde: Tenor
Philip Smith: Baritone
Cleveland Philharmonic Choir
North East Youth Chorale
Northern Spirit Singers
Quay Lads and Quay Lasses
The Mowbray Orchestra
Sir Thomas Allen heads a cast of over 250 to bring you two of the world’s most exciting choral works. He is the soloist in William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast – a biblical drama in which the ‘writing on the wall’ spells out the end of the mighty city of Babylon and Belshazzar, its king. Two choirs combine to form the large main chorus for this spectacular piece. Cleveland Philharmonic Choir, which sets itself high performance standards and works hard to do justice to the great music it is privileged to sing, is led by Music Director John Forsyth. John, who conducts the concert, is one of the most distinguished choral trainers in the UK, recently awarded the MBE for services to music and music education. North East Youth Chorale, established by John Forsyth in 2010, offers high-quality choral training and performance to young people aged 16-23. This choir was invited by Paul McCreesh to be part of the Gabrieli’s Young Singers Scheme and has given concerts and made recordings with the ensemble. The semi-chorus is provided by an excellent choir of young adults, Northern Spirit Singers, based in Durham and led by Andy King.
Sir Thomas has selected the three soloists to feature in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana - soprano Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson, tenor Mark Wilde and baritone Philip Smith. Based on medieval poems (fully translated in the comprehensive programme), Carmina Burana celebrates the coming of spring and the frustrations and delights of love – all governed by Fortune, Empress of the World.
Quay Lads and Quay Lasses, the two young choirs from The Sage Gateshead, take part, joining the ‘big choir’ for many of the choruses (including the famous O fortuna) as well as having a special role of their own.
The Mowbray Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic Choir’s long-term partner, 65 strong and including two pianos, an organ and lots of percussion, is featured in both works. It includes excellent players from all over the north of England, some of whom play in the Hallé Orchestra or the Orchestra of Opera North.