RFH Concert Big shot of the evening

Verdi Pater Noster & Requiem

It was a remarkable performance in so many ways. Dr William McVicker is organist for the Royal Festival Hall and knows thing or two about choral performance in his capacity as Director of Music for St Barnabas with Christ’s Chapel, Dulwich. The sheer spectacle of the 450 performers hit him first:

“Surely this must have been one of the largest choirs ever to have sung at London’s Royal Festival Hall — the singers spilled out from the choir stalls beneath the majestic pipework of the concert organ on to the auditorium’s terraces, enveloping the orchestral sound with a lush and rich choral texture.”

Hundreds of adult and child performers working together, led by three accomplished Directors of Music in a vivid display of the musical talent of the three schools. Edward Alleyn would be proud of his legacy. We are thrilled to have been part of the celebration of his Foundation 400 years ago – gloriously theatrical music, confidently performed in a huge arena.

It felt like living in the music. As the Dies Irae thundered out from the stage, trumpets rang out antiphonally from the boxes creating a dazzling sound world. No wonder heads were turning in amazement.

Afterwards the professional soloists echoed the audience’s enthusiastic response. Two of the youngest musicians had this to say:

Jeanette: The choirs sounded amazing. There were so many people and the balance of voices was brilliant. In the 1st movement all the voices come in canon, which was quite powerful.

Betania: The soloists’ voices portrayed the emotion of the piece really well.

Jeanette: The beginning of the Dies Irae is extremely difficult to play, but we supported each other and in the easier, slower movements we could focus on the detail.

Betania: I really enjoyed the liveliness of the piece. When the parts all came together it sounded really wonderful. This piece is great in so many ways – some parts are challenging and some are calm and settled. I was really excited. It was once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel so lucky.

Souvenir programmes £5 are still available through Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS/proceeds to the Save the children Fund Syria Appeal