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Like many others across the world we had to abandon our plans for a festival in May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope to share our music with you again in a few weeks, and to that end have planned a weekend of concerts - a condensed version of what we hoped to bring you earlier this year, and a taste of what is to come in Spring 2021.
Because of the current situation we are taking ticket RESERVATIONS rather than bookings. This means you don't need to pay until you come (although there is an option to pay in advance via paypal) but it means that in the first instance we can collect track and trace information which we need to have for anyone coming into the church. Please note that if you come to a concert you will need to bring and wear a mask.

Becoming Beethoven

FRIDAY 2nd October - 6pm & 8.15pm

(Pre-Concert talks at 5.45pm & 8pm
by Alessandra Palidda, Oxford Brookes University)

Beethoven's Octet in Eb major Op.103
Selected Arias by Salieri, Righini & Haydn
F.J. Haydn - The Farewell Symphony

In our opening concert we present a trio of delights. Beethoven's octet was written around the time we might imagine he was establishing himself and finding his voice as a composer. He constantly fires unresolved questions and musical tangents, but as is always the case with Beethoven, he makes sense of it all, effortlessly weaving it together in a perfectly constant narrative.

Next we have a selection of Arias you have probably never heard before,
yet are bound to feel familiar and together with Emily Grays' luscious tones will give you a sense of hope.

We end with Haydn's famous Farewell symphony. The symphony was written as a plea to his employer, Prince Nikolaus I, to allow his orchestra to go home to see their families and the environment they were accustomed to. After the past six months, perhaps these frustrations are not too difficult to imagine...

EMILY GRAY - Mezzo Soprano

Oboes: Nicola Barbagli, Mark Beigiant
Clarinets: Emily Wortingthon, Fiona Mitchell
Horns: Dave Horwich, Daniel De Souza
Bassons: Robert Percival, Hayley Pullen
Violins: Claudia Norz , Gabi Maas, Christiane
Eidsten Dahl, Joanna Lawrence, Julia Black
Viola: Jam Orrel
Cello: Camilla Morse Glover
Double bass : John-Henry Baker

A taste of Rameau - Castor & Pollux

SATURDAY 3rd October 6pm & 8.15pm

Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, perhaps his greatest opera, was the single work for which he was most esteemed in his lifetime. THE OPERA COMPANY, ISTANTE COLLECTIVE and THE RAMEAU PROJECT are joining forces to give the UK premiere of its original 1737 version in a brand new edition by
conductor and Rameau specialist Jonathan Williams.

On 3rd October at Heath Street Baptist Church we are offering a delicious "taster" menu of the best arias and dances from the full opera. Rameau's music, endlessly inventive and fresh, will be performed by a mini corona-safe band. They will be joined by two of our sensational singers from next year's full production, Hilary Cronin and Xavier Hetherington, who will sing some of Rameau's most inspired lyric creations.

This concert is the first stop in a year long project - Castor et Pollux: Rising Stars, which will explore Rameau's Castor et Pollux, provide opportunities for the finest young voices in Britain to be trained in the authentic Rameau style, and culminate in the UK premiere of the 1737 version in London and Oxford.

Join us on the start of our journey! 


Hilary Cronin - Soprano
Xavier Hetherington - Tenor

Violins: Sarah Bealby-Wright , Henrietta wayne
Violas: Emma Alter, Joanne Miller
Cello: Kate Conway
Bass: John-Henry Baker
Flutes: Eva Caballero, Marta Goncales
Oboes: Nicola Barbagli, Oonagh Lee
Basson: Hayley Pullen
Harpsichord: Sean Heath

Home Comforts with Bach

Sunday 4th October

11am - J.S.Bach - Cantata BWV114
"Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost"
(As part of the service of worship)
6pm - Instrumental Comforts
J.D.Zelenka - Triosonata n.1 in F major
J.Ph.Telemann - Overture-Suite TWV:55D21
8.15pm - J.S.Bach - Cantata BWV114
"Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost" BWV114

(Preceded by a discussion)

PETER WHELAN - conductor & harpsichord

Soprano: Christine Buras
Alto: Emily Gray
Tenor: Aiden Coburn
Bass: Peter Brooke

Traverso: Eva Caballero
Oboes: Nicola Barbagli, James Eastway
Basson: Hayley Pullen
Violins: Ellen Bundy,
Christiane Eidsten Dahl , Claudia Norz
Viola: Alexis Bennet
Cello: Carina Drury
Double Bass: John-Henry Baker
Chamber Organ: Sean Heath