Newsletter December 2016

St Beornwald's day 2016
Now it’s officially winter, what better way to spend the start of the longest night than to join us at St Mary’s Church, Bampton at 7pm on Wednesday 21 December. Our professional vocal ensemble Bampton Classical Voices, directed by Andrew Griffiths, will be giving a lovely programme of unaccompanied vocal music from the Renaissance and 20th century, centred around Palestrina’s joyous Missa Hodie Christus natus est and including Bernard Rose’s The Christ Child.

Last year’s debut performance delighted audiences with both the sound and the versatility of the programming, and this year’s promises to do the same.  The concert will last less than two hours so won’t take up your whole evening! – please do join us and experience another aspect of our musical offerings.  The interval mulled wine is particularly recommended…!

Tickets are £15 and are available from 01993 851142 or at the door. 

Looking ahead

The sharp-eyed will have noticed that our 2017 summer plans have been announced.  We are thrilled to be able to bring you another Salieri opera, The School of Jealousy, which will be the first performances in this country since the 18th century.  The music is wonderful and the play a sort-of forerunner of Così fan tutte.  We welcome Anthony Kraus, assistant head of music at Opera North, who will be making his conducting début with us. We are currently in the middle of auditioning and have heard some seriously good singers, so all is looking most exciting!

Dates are 21, 22 July (Bampton), 28 August (Westonbirt) and 12 September (London).

We are also hoping to give a few performances of a much smaller, drawing-room style touring production of Apollo and Dafne, one of Handel’s most ambitious dramatic cantatas.  Nathalie Chalkley, Nicholas Merryweather and the Bampton Classical Players, directed by Chad Kelly, will be taking this to Music at Wotton in September and we are looking for other venues as well.

Young Singers’ Competition
2017 sees our third biennial competition for students and young professionals.  The final is at Oxford’s Holywell Music Room on Sunday 19 November but before that we have the competition launch dinner, at Cokethorpe School, Witney on Saturday 11 March, for which we would welcome support.  It promises to be a most convivial evening of fine food, wine and music, and all profits go towards covering the cost of the competition.  Details are available from Harriet McGivern,  Please put the date of the Final in your diary: it is an extremely high-quality event and we would like to encourage more audience to share the discovery of so many fine new voices.


Looking back

Firstly a very big Thank You to all who helped us realise our Big Give Christmas Challenge target at the beginning of December.  Fundraising is never easy but our success has given us a significant boost and introduced us to new, generous individuals.  We are, as always, so very grateful for people’s generous interest in what we do.

We are also still a little glowing from the success of our recent concert at St John’s Smith Square in November.  It was a lovely programme of unknown 18th-century music, operatic in nature if not always in practice, and all Shakespearean in theme.  Artistic director Gilly French made her London company conducting début, with operatic soloists, the chamber choir Cantandum and the Bampton Classical Players all on fine form.

Support us!

The Friends
We have a growing group of Friends of Bampton Classical Opera - through membership you can not only support our work but also meet like-minded people at convivial events, including post-performance events and our annual Friends reception.  There are several tiers of membership, each with associated benefits, and we are particularly grateful to our Corinthian Friends, but every single membership makes a difference.  Please do consider joining the big Bampton family!

Other support
If you would like to support without becoming a Friend, you can do this in a number of ways:

• Make a donation – see the ‘support us’ page of our website
• Company support – become a Corporate Friend
• Advertise your business in our programme
• Help in kind – accommodate a singer, help with cast catering or with event organisation
• Spread the word!