Sun 24/5
Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady, Xag?ra
Gaulitana’s closing Opera Weekend rounded off with a Choral Finale by the Wycliffe Choral Society. The UK choir interpreted Beethoven’s Mass in C and Poulenc’s Gloria, thus bringing to a grand conclusion the 9th edition of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music.
The Wycliffe Choral Society was founded in 1983 in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, one of the loveliest regions of England, and has about 100 members of whom some 45 are on tour in Malta. The Society gives at least two major concerts each year, mostly with full orchestral accompaniment and in recent years has performed Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s St John Passion and most of the choral works of Mozart and Haydn. In 2000 the Choral Society visited Paris where it performed Fauré’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in G in Notre Dame, and in subsequent years the choir has performed in prestigious venues in the Netherlands, Belgium, Normandy, Estonia, Spain, Hungary and Krakow. The society is delighted to have this opportunity to sing in Gozo, where it is accompanied by a few soloists.
Mary Morgan (Soprano) was born and educated in Ohio, USA, but now lives in Somerset, UK, and appears frequently with choral societies throughout the South West of England. Mary has sung many times as soloist with Wycliffe Choral Society both in the UK and on tour in works including Brahms’ Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Schubert’s Mass in G
Fiona Henderson (Contralto) has been a member of the Wycliffe Choral
society for seven years and has studied singing under April Cantelo and Andrew Hopwood. She was the soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with Wycliffe Choral Society during their tour to Hungary in 2011 and again in three performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria in Krakow in 2013 and has also sung at the Three Choirs Festival and with Highnam Opera.
Roland Kitchen (Tenor) is experienced in a wide range of theatre from opera to pantomime dame and has sung several times with Wycliffe Choral Society in recent years, including on tour in 2011 in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and in 2013 in Schubert’s Mass in G. He has appeared in some 50 musical roles and many operas as well as being a soloist in oratorios ranging from Handel’s Messiah, to Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man, a Mass for Peace.
Andrew Hopwood (Bass) studied voice at the Birmingham conservatoire. He worked for 20 years as a professional singer with Opera North and Scottish Opera and is now a member of Opera Sulis. He is also conductor of The Painswick Singers and The Thames Head Singers and has a teaching practice in Gloucestershire where he now lives and teaches a wide range of students, both in age and ability.
Josef Laming (Organist) was born and educated in Leicester where he was a chorister at the Cathedral and went to school until the 6th form for which he moved to Oundle. He is now spending a year as Organ Scholar of Gloucester Cathedral and accompanist of Wycliffe Choral Society before moving to Oxford University where he will be the Organ Scholar of New College.
Christopher Swain (Conductor) was Organ Scholar of Worcester College, Oxford, where he remained to do research and teach at the University after graduation. He was for a number of years Director of Music and Organist at Manchester College, before becoming a school master. He was Director of Music at Colston’s School in Bristol from 1975 until 1983 and at Wycliffe College in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire from 1983 until 2008. With Wycliffe Choral Society, which he founded in 1983, he has conducted most of the major works in the choral repertoire in England and on tour. He is organist of St. Mary’s Church, Painswick and is an examiner for the Royal School of Church Music.