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Review 22 November 2014


22 November 2014 at the Castle School

There was another full house for Thornbury Choral Society’s recent performance of Handel’s Messiah at The Castle School.

Under the baton of Steven Kings, Thornbury Camerata, ably led by Katie Latham, introduced this popular oratorio with a spirited “Overture”. The opening recitative and aria, sung by tenor Pablo Strong, with excellent diction and expression, set the standard for the rest of the evening.

The choir sang with gusto, taking some of the choruses at a quick pace, “And the Glory” and “For unto us a child is born” really motored along but without any loss of clarity or emotion. Entries were good and crisp and it was evident that the choir was enjoying the music as much as the audience.

Olivia Gomez, the contralto, sang with feeling, with a voice full of warmth in “Behold a virgin” in the first half and with steel in “He was despised“ in the second half. The soprano, Emily Rose Wenman, sang with great passion, her voice ringing out in “Rejoice greatly” and most sensitively in “How beautiful”. Despite their contrasting voices they blended well in “He shall feed his flock”.

The bass soloist, James Geidt, sang well, perhaps just lacking a little passion and connection with the audience in some of his arias, but making a great sound in “The Trumpet shall sound”.

The small orchestra created just the right accompaniment for the choir, with some excellent playing from Paul Harris and Eiron Bailey on trumpets. Steven Kings brings out the best in the dedicated singers. The work was well rehearsed and executed. Putting on a well-known work can sometimes be a challenge. This was one that conductor, soloists, choir and orchestra rose to admirably. Thornbury should be justly proud of its Choral Society.

Gill Holmes