FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER REVIEW: The Chichester Singers

The Kingdom - Sir Edward Elgar, Chichester Singers and Southern Pro Musica, Chichester Cathedral

For a concert performance of Sir Edward Elgar’s epic work The Kingdom to be a success it is vital to have excellence in the orchestra, choir and soloists.

The versatile Chichester Singers and their superb orchestra Southern Pro Musica proved to be ideal interpreters of this complex work.

The added bonus of having confident and compelling soloists made this a performance to remember. Diana Moore’s mezzo role of Mary Magdalene could not have been bettered.

She is widely acclaimed with total justification for her emotional depth and evocative sound – qualities which she used in abundance in her role in the Kingdom.

The Virgin Mary’s aria “The sun goeth down” is an enormous test for the soprano soloist. Bibi Heal was more than equal to this famous aria. I have now heard her in five different roles and she always excites and never disappoints.

Marcus Farnsworth (bass) sang the key solo role of Peter with ease and tremendous dramatic power.

Adrian Ward (tenor) as John ably completed the quartet of soloists singing with sensitivity and authority.

Chichester Singers were obviously in their element with the Kingdom. The well-balanced choir were

top class and relished the many demands placed on all sections of the singers.

Under the commanding direction of their conductor Jonathan Willcocks, the Southern Pro Musica’s

orchestral prelude to the massive work ideally set the scene for this oratorio

Graham Hewitt