Festival singers welcome star soloists for Handel’s Messiah

Anita Watson
Anita Watson

A musical treat is in store when a star line-up of young soloists bring a classic to Leighton Buzzard.

The singers will join the Leighton Buzzard Festival Singers and Aurelian Ensemble to sing Handel’s most famous oratorio, Messiah, on Saturday, November 21 at 7.30pm in All Saints’ Church.

James Birchall

James Birchall

Richard Watts, chairman of the festival singers, said: “We welcome such extraordinary talent to sing with us and the orchestra. The audience are truly in for a musical treat.”

Anita Watson is an Australian soprano who lives in London following her work at the Royal Opera House and many other famous European establishments.

Simon Ponsford is an established counter tenor soloist who will be later singing the Messiah solos in Westminster Abbey on December 1.

Gwilym Bowen, tenor, and James Birchall, bass baritone, complete the star line-up of soloists to join the festival singers in raising the roof of All Saints for a wonderful evening of music including the ever popular Hallelujah Chorus.

Gwilym Bowen

Gwilym Bowen

Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and is based on short passages from the Bible telling the Christmas story starting with prophecies and then going on to Christ’s birth.

Later the work goes on to Christ’s passion, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension with the last part having some of Handel’s most inspired writing on the theme of Christian redemption. ‘I know that my redeemer liveth’ and ‘the trumpet shall sound’ precede the towering final choruses of ‘Worth is the Lamb’ and ‘Amen’.

Simon Ponsford

Simon Ponsford