Darren Jeffery

Stour Singers are delighted that Darren Jeffery – who excelled in the title role in Handel’s Saul for us in May this year – has accepted our invitation to be the 2017/18 Honorary Fellow.  Darren’s expressive bass baritone voice is very versatile, and he is completely at home on both the operatic stage and the concert platform.  Starting his musical training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Darren was one of the very first singers to join the Royal Opera Young Artists Programme (even singing there with Luciano Pavarotti!).

Darren has built an extensive career, singing a diversity of roles from Handel to Wagner, from Britten to Stravinsky, in some of the great opera houses of the world from our own Royal Opera House and English National Opera to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.  He has also sung at Glyndebourne, Garsington, and the Proms.  Based with his family in Cornwall, he can often be seen restoring Land Rovers and tinkering with tractors as well as encouraging young local singers!

Darren’s programme from now until summer next year includes a premiere at English National Opera, oratorio in Bude, Dartington, and Liverpool, singing ‘Monterone’ in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Covent Garden, Britten in Moscow, and an extensive tour of the Netherlands in the title role of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman.  Closer to us, Darren is singing at Longborough Festival Opera in July next year as the ‘Music Teacher’ in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.  What a full programme!

When invited to be our Honorary Fellow, Darren said he would love to accept, and was thrilled to be asked.  The thrill is ours!

Cantamus October 2017 concert

Another date for your diary!  Saturday, 14th October at 7.30 pm in St Edmund’s Church, Shipston-on-Stour.

One autumn evening twenty years ago, a dozen or so singers were to be found cosily ranged around Richard and Dorle Emms’ sitting room in Shipston, about to learn a 16th century Mass by William Byrd.  On most Tuesday evenings now, double that number gather in the Catholic Parish Hall to sing a wide repertoire of music across five centuries.  Having been asked to sing the Mass at St. Edmund’s Church, Richard brought together a small unaccompanied group which has now grown to an adventurous chamber choir.  They will be celebrating those 20 years with a special concert in October this year, entitled “Encore!”.

The singers have indulged themselves in choosing 20 favourite pieces to sing, together with some of Three’s Company’s most delicious readings.  There are treats in store for all – sacred and secular, moving and amusing, joyous and deep-feeling, with music across the centuries and styles, including part of the original Byrd Mass.

Do come and share the joy that Cantamus has in performing music encompassing spirituals, folk songs, anthems, and madrigals from Bach to modern composer Lauridsen, via Purcell, Rachmaninoff and Cole Porter.  Richard, the choir’s director, never fails to delight and stimulate both his choir and audience.

Tickets cost £10, and are available from Clarke’s Electricals in Shipston, and on the door.  Students and accompanied children are welcome to attend at no cost.  If you have any queries, please use the ‘Contact Us’ page on this website to get in touch.

Yvonne Ridley

Choir Workshop 2017

Barbara Divers will be holding a workshop for choir members on Saturday, 23rd September 2017.  This will run from 10.00 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Catholic Parish Centre in Darlingscote Road, Shipston-on-Stour.  As in Barbara’s workshop last year, this will offer excellent opportunities to understand more about reading and interpreting music.  The workshop is very informal, and you’re encouraged to ask questions about anything that’s puzzling you.  This will be really helpful, practical preparation for the new season, especially for our performance of Bach’s Cantata no. 191 – ‘Gloria’, one of the focusses of Barbara’s workshop.

The workshop is free, and tea and biscuits will be provided.

Please let Yvonne know if you would like to come along, and let her know what you would like covered at the workshop.