Friday 9th December 2016 we performed our 25th Christmas concert at St. Mary’s Church Haverfordwest, we have performed at St. Mary’s since 1991 and this concert was extra special as we were also celebrating 25 years of making music together, proceeds for our Christmas concerts always go to the church funds and this one raised £600.00 For our special concert we were also accompanied by Sarah-Jane Absalom Harpist as well as our own accompanist Gerry on the piano, and as always conducted by our Musical Director Nancy. The concert allowed us to debut our most recent piece ‘The Song Seamstresses’ a poem written by ex-member and friend Marion Graceson and set to music by local musician Simeon Morris, both of whom were in the audience and were particularly pleased by the debut.
The audience filled the church and were delighted by our varied programme which was a mixture of carols, Christmas songs and poems, including the fun of the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ Nancy invited the audience to join us with ‘The Christmas Bells’ and ‘Oh Holy Night’ was performed beautifully by one of our soloists Carol.
The concert brought us to the end of a very busy year, we will be back to practice on Thursday 12th January 2017 With a full complement of 30 members we are all looking forward to another busy year with concerts already being arranged for 2017. We are also looking forward to meeting up socially for our annual post-Christmas dinner.
Anyone interested in joining us is welcome to come along on a Thursday evening at 7.30 to the Catholic Church Hall Dew Street Haverfordwest for further information please contact Janice on 01834 860953
Saturday 1st. October we along with many friends enjoyed an Autumn Evening of food & fun. Meeting at Crundale Community Hall, the evening started with a most interesting talk by Jonathan Hughes General Manager of the National Trust Pembrokeshire, followed by a magnificent feast of cooked meats, salmon, new potatoes and a variety of pasta dishes and salad, all prepared by members and as usual the ladies excelled with the wonderful selection of desserts. All this and a glass of wine into the bargain. After supper everyone was delighted by the wonderful Irish dance troop ‘Seren’
Look out for information about our next fund raising evening ‘ A Bingo Night’ at the Cricket Club Haverfordwest on Wednesday 16th November.
Opera Gala Rhosygilwen
We took the range of our accomplishment (and probably our reputation) up a very distinct notch when we took part in Rhosygilwen’s Evening of Opera on 15th and 16th July.
Merging for the two evenings with Cor Abeteifi, jointly conducted by our musical director Nancy Mann, we played a significant role in supporting some extremely distinguished soloists.
The first half of the programme was a shortened version of Madama Butterfly, directed by Henry Ward, with the widely-travelled Rannveig Karadottir, who has performed with the English Touring Opera and at Alderburgh, as Madama Butterfly, and the equally experienced Simon Buttle, winner of the Anne Zeigler Award in 2005, as Lieutenant Pinkerton. Our role was to deliver the Humming Chorus and this was done superbly, with every note spot-on and crystal clear, to the obvious pleasure of the large audiences.
After the interval the audience were entertained with very well-known arias from the soloists, although one of the highlights had to be the opening item, in which we joined by Cor Aberteifi supported the irrepressible Martin Radley in his rendition of what will have be known as the Sausage Roll Song, by Gilbert and Sullivan. We also performed an old favourite in Barcarolle from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, as well as the Peasant Girls Chorus from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the Polovtsian Dance from Borodin’s Prince Igor. One of the most pleasing pieces of all, came when we joined forces directly with one of the soloists and supported Gwyn Morris in the Toreador Song from Bizet’s Carmen.
The Opera Galas bring us to the end of a busy summer tour with two of our most successful performances, ending most certainly on a high. We are now taking a well-deserved break and will resume practice on Thursday 8th September. Anyone wishing to join us please get in touch with our secretary Janice Goodwin 01834 860953
We continued our Summer Tour with a very successful trip to Winchester recently. We left St. Thomas Green Haverfordwest at 11am on Thursday 9th June and were greeted at the Newbury Hilton Hotel where we enjoyed afternoon tea upon our arrival. Thursday evening we dined at the hotel and gathered later for a social get together. On Friday we made our way to Portsmouth where we enjoyed a few hours exploring at Gunwharf Quays, before moving on to Portchester where we performed at St. Mary’s Church which is set in the grounds of Portchester Castle. The concert at St. Mary’s was in aid of Canine Partners a charity which trains dogs to aid people with injuries and disabilities, the dogs are trained to an amazing standard and transform the lives of people who are unable to carry out everyday tasks. The concert raised over £1.000 to help the charity continue it’s amazing work .
Saturday we spent the morning in Winchester. As we were leaving the bus which had stopped outside the Guild Hall a young bride was walking with her bridesmaids to her wedding, so never missing an opportunity to sing we performed ‘Chapel of Love’ which was truly appreciated by the bride who was dressed in white the bridesmaids in red which just happen to be the colours of our casual uniform. Following that impromptu performance we made our way to Winchester Cathedral. The afternoon was spent performing at Flowerdown Care Home where the residents joined in the singing and toe tapping whilst we sang. Flowerdown is part of the Brighterkind Activities where people are encouraged to take part in various activities to keep them active and agile.
Saturday evening we again dined at the hotel, some of us having made use of the leisure facilities. Following the evening meal we all gathered in the lounge and enjoyed an evening of exchanging stories and entertaining the other guests with an assortment of songs.
Sunday morning we made our way back to Wales stopping off for a visit at St. Fagons, then to Cardiff Bay for a few hours before making our way back to Haverfordwest. During the time we were away Musical Director Dr. Nancy Mann and Choir Secretary Janice Goodwin received a number of emails thanking us for the performances with compliments on the inspiring and uplifting programme, coupled with comments on the professionalism of the choir. They have also received invitations to perform again at both venues.
MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Puccini
Directed by Henry Ward
Featuring a full evening of wonderful songs and arias from a reduced version of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and a second half opera gala of duets, solos and choral compositions.
Purchase tickets from Rhosygilwyn website
Saturday, July 15 at 6:00 pm – 10.15 pm
The title character of Madama Butterfly—a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage—is one of the defining roles in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.