Bach Magnificat
Haydn Nelson Mass
Saturday 18 November 2017 at 7:30pm
  Date:  Saturday 18 November 2017
  Time: 7:30pm
  Venue:  St Matthew’s Church, Kettering Road, Northampton, NN1 4RY
Tickets:  £16.00   Full Price
  £14.00   Concessions
  £5.00   Students
    Tickets are available to purchase online using a Credit/Debit card. Clicking the ticket below will take you to our booking partner's website.
  Ticket Information: For more information about seating at our principle venue and obtaining tickets, please see our ticket information page.

Additional Information:
St Matthew's Church is wheelchair accessible and there is a toilet suitable for all mobility needs in the Church. There is plenty of on-street parking around the church, but please allow sufficient time to park your car.

If you have any other queries regarding the concert please contact us.
  Disclaimer: We endeavour to supply full and accurate information but cannot be held responsible for changed circumstances which may necessitate the substitution of artists or changes to the programme.
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On Saturday 17 November 2007 Lee Dunleavy stepped up to the podium for the first time as our Musical Director. Ten years on we are delighted that he is still at the helm, and in this concert we perform - almost ten years to the day - the same programme as that night.

In 1723 Bach was appointed the Director of Music and Organist of St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig, and that Christmas he Bach wanted to introduce himself to the city with a work that showed off all his brilliant potential. Realising that a lot of church music was often long and hard work for the audience, Bach decided to grab their attention with something short, sharp and stunning. Taking the Latin text of the story of the Virgin Mary as told in the Gospel of St. Luke, Bach wrote his Magnifcat, to be performed for Christmas Vespers. Bach treats each of the twelve concise movements like a distinct picture in a gallery. It is a show-off piece in which all the singers are also challenged to dazzle the listener with their technical mastery. His Orchestral Suite which completes the first half was written seven years later and includes the famous Air (on the G string).

The Nelson Mass is perhaps Joseph Haydn’s greatest single composition. It is a work that was written at a time of intense fear for the future of Austria, whose citizens were not in the best of spirits. Through 1797 and 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte had defeated the Austrian army in four major battles, even crossing the Alps and threatening Vienna itself. The prevailing political and financial instability even impacted the musical forces that Haydn had at his disposal in the Esterhazy court where he spent some 30 years of his career. Haydn’s patrons had dismissed their wind players and the composer was left with a mere string ensemble. Haydn was also feeling the effects of only recently completing and premièring The Creation. Exhausted, he was confined by his doctor to his room. But a new work was required in a short period of time to mark the saint’s name day of the Esterhazy princess. No wonder then that Haydn called his latest work the Missa in Angustiis or Mass for Troubled Times. What he didn’t know however as he penned the work was that the British had dealt Napoleon a stunning defeat in the Battle of the Nile. As the news reverberated around the world, Nelson was heralded as the “saviour of Europe”. Perhaps because of this coincidence, the Mass gradually acquired the name which it still carries today. The title however became firmly fixed when in 1800, Nelson himself visited the Esterhazy court, accompanied by his mistress, Lady Hamilton, where they met the composer, and the Mass was – in all likelihood – performed in Nelson’s honour.


Northampton Bach Choir
Bach Camerata

Soprano - Katherine Crompton
Soprano - Rachel Bedford
Mezzo Soprano - Kitty Whately
Tenor - David Webb
Bass - Toby Girling
Conductor - Lee Dunleavy

- Magnificat
Bach - Orchestral Suite No. 3
Haydn - ‘Nelson’ Mass

Katherine Crompton

Katherine Crompton completed her training at the National Opera Studio, London, in July 2015. She was the recipient of the McCullough Prize for Opera and the Harriet Cohen Memorial Award. A graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School she studied as the Independent Opera Scholar and was supported by a Sybil Tutton Award and the Irene Hanson Scholarship. During her studies Katherine won first prize in the RCM Concerto Competition with Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder. Katherine is a former chorister of All Saints’ Church, Northampton.

Rachel Bedford

Rachel Bedford grew up in Rugby and began singing whilst at school, with Angela Youngman-Stewart. She went on to study music at Nene College Northampton, continuing her training with Diana Wells. She is an experienced soloist, including performances locally with the Northampton Male Voice Choir, the Northampton Philharmonic Choir, and for the St Cecilia Singers. She has performed as a soloist in Mahler Second Symphony, Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, and her most recent performance with the Northampton Bach Choir, Bach St Matthew Passion.

Kitty Whately
Mezzo Soprano

Kitty Whately sings on concert, opera and recital stages in the UK and internationally. Currently a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, she is also an HSBC Laureate for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and was the winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 2011. She trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was awarded the Aldama Scholarship and numerous prizes. She won the 59th Royal Over-seas League Award for Singers in 2011. She is a Godparent of Toby Girling's daughter.

David Webb

British tenor David Webb is a graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School and a Harewood Artist at the English National Opera. Highlights this season include The Pirates of Penzance with ENO, a new production of Hipermestra at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Britten’s Canticle II Abraham and Isaac with David Daniels and Martin Katz at the Wigmore Hall. Recent concert engagements include Evangelist in Bach's St Matthew Passion (Les Violons du Roy/Bernard Labadie), Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion (Oslo Cathedral Choir/Vivianne Sydnes), Handel’s Messiah (Royal Northern Sinfonia/Martyn Brabbins) and Mozart’s Requiem (Mozart Festival Orchestra/Michael Bawtree).

Toby Girling

Toby Girling's most current and future engagements include opera roles for De Vlaamse Opera, Scottish Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, and Oper Leipzig. Recent engagements include opera roles for English National Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Neville Holt, and English Touring Opera, as well as concert performances of works including Mozart's 'Great' Mass in C minor and Schubert's Winterreise. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and continues to study with Robert Dean.
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