2nd March 2010
7:00pm to 10:00pm
Please note earlier start.

"who thirst for such instruction as we give"

MasterClass with John Owen Edwards





The Royal Northern College of music will supply four singers from among their students
(Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone/Bass)

Each sing one song, to be worked on by John Owen Edwards, allowing half an hour for each student. Accompanist will be provided by the College.

Probable timings; John Owen Edwards to work with two students from 7.00 to 8.00 pm.

Short comfort break of 10 mins.

Two more students to work from 8.10 to 9.10 pm.

Break of 20-25 mins from 9.10 to 9.30 or 9.35 pm. Tea and coffee to be available.

From 9.30/35 to 10.00 pm, the four students to sing again the song they worked on and one other song of their choice, if they wish. The latter need not be G&S.

As well as members of the Manchester G&S Society and their friends and visitors, other students from the RNCM and guests are very welcome to attend.

There will not be any admission charge.

We hope it may be possible to have a longer Masterclass session in 2010/2011, preferably on the RNCM premises.

The Harold Sumner meeting.




Since the bequest to the Society by Harold Sumner, fitting tributes to his generosity have been under consideration. One idea, to hold a masterclass for young singers from the Royal Northern College of Music taken by John Owen Edwards, has resulted in an evening of remarkable music-making.

Four students from the college - SATB - were chosen for half-hour public tutorials. To be under such a spotlight is testimony to the training and commitment of the candidates. As musical director of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, John has a formidable knowledge of G&S in performance.

The first soloist, Bradley, performed "When the NIght Wind Howls" which was subtly shifted from ghostly to gleeful.

Felicity (new to G&S) presented "Mad Margaret's aria" and was quickly able to probe the inner pathos of the character. After a short break,

Tim gave us a powerful rendering of Frederic's "Oh, is there not one maiden breast" shaped further into an innocent legato appassionato !

Finally, Jennifer singing "Poor Wand'ring One" enhanced her delicious Mabel with beguiling coquettishness, reaching those famous trills effortlessly.

The interval was an opportunity to talk informally to the singers before a short recital of own-choice pieces (ranging from Britten to The "Laughing Song" from Die Fledermaus. A few amendments to the Sentry Song by Bradley brought a welcome shaft of political topicality before a return to the original 'examined' pieces.

Throughout, the accompanist Malcolm Forbes-Peckham, brought an unobstrusive level of excellence to the proceedings.

Such talent, and technical accomplishment all round, are the product of years of dedicated hard work. But above all, everyone present thoroughly enjoyed sharing their love of fine music and performing.

For the audience, the first sunny day of 2010 finished as brightly as it began.

For many we were hearing the numbers as if for the first time - a fitting tribute to John's expert input. The joys and subtleties of G&S were once again revealed through spontaneity and irresistible energy.

Finally, a big thank-you to the RNCM for helping to make this memorable event happen.

Christopher Irvn Browne BA(Hons)

Picture Index

Meetings will be held in Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester and l start promptly at 7.30 pm. Assemble from 7.00 pm.

Non-members are welcome to attend.



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