Treading the Boards – from Shakespeare to Sondheim
July 1st 7.30 p.m. *NEW VENUE* Unity Hall in Southborough
Bizet – Prelude from Carmen
Shakespeare/Morley – There was a lover and his lass
Monteverdi L’Orfeo – Lasciate i monti
Purcell – Dido and Aeneas chorus
Handel Serse – Overture and Ombre mai fu
Mozart – Die Zauberflote final chorus
Weber – Oberon Overture
Verdi Nabucco – Pensiero
Gilbert and Sullivan – Gondoliers Overture and Dance a Cachucha
Rodgers and Hammerstein – The Sound of Music medley
Loesser – Guys and Dolls medley
Herold – Clog Dance
Sondheim – Send in the Clowns and Ballad of Sweeney Todd
Schonberg – Les Miserables medley
We’re taking our music to a new venue – to Unity Hall in Southborough. The performing space is bright and new, seating is raked and there is a chance to have a glass of wine outside in the piazza in the interval. Come and enjoy the evening with us!
It is not unusual for a Music Director such as Naomi Butcher, when contemplating the final concert of a season, to turn to the lighter side of music making for their programme. There are lots of pieces to chose from, and for 2023 Naomi looks to the theatre for inspiration. Given that there have often been musical interludes and even short ‘ballet’ scenes in plays since the earliest times, this given her lots to think about.
Almost all of the pieces she has put together will be known to our audience, and well known to many who will be with us on 1st July. Opening with Thomas Morley’s setting of the lighthearted It was a lover and his lass from As you like it, we progress to the much darker adaptation of Dido and Aeneas by Purcell – not the usual When I am laid Earth this time, but In our deep vaulted cell, the Echo Dance of the Furies, and Great minds against themselves conspire. From there we move into the gentle Ombra mai f from Handel’s opera Xerxes, and Mozart’s stately Heil sei euch Geweihten from The Magic Flute. The mood is still somewhat sombre for Va, pensiero – more commonly known as The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves – a Verdi chorus from Nabucco which most choir members can sing from memory!
The atmosphere then grows lighter with a drinking song, Dance a cachuca, from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. We segue from there to the middle of the 20th Century, to the inimitable Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser. Luck be a Lady and Sit down, you’re rocking the boat are included in this medley, and require the musicians to up their game to meet the demands of the syncopation, jazz rhythms and spoken sections. Highlights from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Sound of Music take us to the finale, with a selection of hits from Les Misérables that are sure to have everyone humming along.
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