Reproduced here by kind permission of the Maidenhead Advertiser, this report
appeared in the week ending December 15, 2006 edition of the paper.

St Nicolas rehearsal

Choir members rehearse for the performance of Benjamin Britten's St Nicolas


A top quality choral concert took place at St Michael's Church in Bray on Sunday with a performance of Benjamin Britten's St Nicolas.

About 200 people filled the High Street church for the performance by the church choir, which was conducted by its director of music Oliver Gooch, an assistant conductor with the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The choir's tenor soloist, ex-choirmaster Mark Wilde, flew in from Germany the previous day after giving a performance there. The choir was accompanied by the church's small orchestra, the Pepys Ensemble.

The piece is about the fourth century Greek saint who was Bishop of Myra and who has become associated with Father Christmas through his reputation for giving gifts.

Mr. Gooch said:"We were delighted to get so many people after the success of our St John Passion performance at Easter and it was great to welcome back Mark. The congregation also had the chance to join in for some parts as Britten was a master at writing music for both the amateur and the professional."

Choir member Lynda Jones said: "We're very lucky to have Oliver, he's really elevated us to tremendous heights as a church choir. It's great for people who love classical music."

In MAY next year, the choir plans to perform its first opera which will be Stavinsky's The Rakes Progress.

Copyright ©2006 Maidenhead Advertiser.


Benjamin Britten