Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius
Tuesday 15th May, 2018
7.30pm on Saturday July 7th in Truro Cathedral
Three Spires Singers and Orchestra
The Dream of Gerontius by Sir Edward Elgar
Here is your chance to hear a full-scale performance of Elgar’s largest and perhaps most deeply felt work – one that is as popular with British choral societies as Messiah or Elijah.Many regard it as Elgar's masterpiece.
Written in 1900, the piece follows an “everyman” character (the word "Gerontius" comes from the Greek for “old man”) as he faces death, meets his guardian Angel and goes before his God before being taken to Purgatory with the promise of everlasting glory.
The epic story is told with epic musical forces – double choir, semi-chorus (members of Truro Cathedral Choir take part, too), full-size orchestra, and three soloists. And the cathedral organ joins at the most exciting moments – in fact at the climactic split-second that Gerontius eventually comes face-to-face with God, Elgar called in his score for as many percussion players as possible!
Soloists - The role of Gerontius will be sung by Mark Padmore, one of the world’s leading tenors with over 80 recordings who has sung with all the most well-known conductors in Europe; Ross Ramgobin is a powerful young baritone who has already sung leading roles at the Royal Opera House and Edinburgh and Aldburgh Festivals; and Marie Elliott (mezzo-soprano), who has sung with many of the major opera companies in the UK as well as concerts with conductors such as Harry Christophers and Edward Gardner - as Guardian Angel she sings the famous, and gorgeous, “Softly and Gently” at the end of the work.
The last time Mark Padmore worked with Three Spires Singers and their conductor, Christopher Gray, he said this: “War Requiem with the Three Spires Singers and Christopher Gray was a really memorable experience and a huge achievement. The atmosphere in Truro Cathedral was magical and I think that all involved, performers and audience alike, were deeply moved by the powerful message and beautiful music of Britten's masterpiece. I felt very proud to be part of such stirring performances."