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Top soloists join Choir of York Minster for Handel’s Messiah

2 Feb, 2023

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For the first time since 2019, the Choir of York Minster will be joined by internationally renowned soloists on Saturday 25 March for a performance of Handel’s Messiah in the spectacular setting of the cathedral’s Nave.

It will be the first time the choir has performed the popular oratorio since December 2019, and the first time in recent years that they have staged the moving and poignant choral performance, which tells the story of Christ, during the season of Lent and Easter.

The choir will be joined by an orchestra and world renowned soloists Keri Fuge (Soprano), Ed Lyon (Tenor), Victoria Simmonds (Mezzo-Soprano) and Morgan Pearse (Baritone) for the concert.

The famous work was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and has since become one of the best-known and most popular English oratorios.

Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster, said: “It’s the first time we have performed the piece during the season of Lent and Easter, which is when the piece was first performed in 1742, and we look forward to bringing this timeless work back to the awe-inspiring and atmospheric setting of the cathedral’s Nave.

“We have a great line up of soloists including dramatic baritone, Morgan Pearse, whose third York Minster Messiah this will be.  He, Ed Lyon (Tenor), Victoria Simmonds (Mezzo-Soprano) and Keri Fuge (Soprano) will, alongside the Minster choir, bring their magic to this evergreen work.”

British Soprano Keri Fuge is in demand for her work in opera, concert and recital. She sings regularly in many major European opera houses such as the Grande Theatre de Geneve, Staatstheater Klagenfurt, Opéra du Luxembourg and with orchestras worldwide including the Royal Concertgebouw Orkest, Singapore Symphony, Bach Akademie Stuttgart and Nordeutscher Runkfunk and in the UK with Glyndebourne, English National Opera and many of the UK’s leading orchestras and choirs.

Ed Lyon studied at St John’s College Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. He has a wide repertoire ranging from the baroque to contemporary music and has appeared in many of the world’s leading opera and concert venues including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Bayerische Staatsoper, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real,  Edinburgh, Aix, Salzburg, Holland and Aldeburgh Festivals and the BBC Proms.

Victoria Simmonds studied with David Pollard at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She has sung numerous roles at all of the major UK opera companies including Fox The Cunning Little Vixen and Meg Page Falstaff (Garsington), Boy Way Back Home (English National Opera), Angel 2/Marie Written on Skin (Netherlands Opera, Toulouse, Lisbon, Opéra Comique Paris, Royal Opera House, La Scala Milan, Lincoln Centre New York.

Morgan Pearse is one of the most exciting baritones of his generation. He studied at the Royal College of Music where he won the Lies Askonas Prize and Gold Medal at the Royal Over Seas League Competition. He went on to become a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and made his UK debut at English National Opera singing Figaro / Barber of Seville.

The concert takes place on Saturday 25 March at 7pm with tickets priced at £30, £18.50 and £12.50, and a concession price of £5 for under 27s. Tickets are available now via yorkminster.org or by calling 01904 557200.

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