Enchanting concert at St Andrew's

REVIEWED BY TRACY WEBB
Last updated 07:03 29/01/2013

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REVIEW Elinor Chapman, Elin Tomos, Steve Austin, Caitlin Morris and Marsha Stringer.

St Andrew's Church, Blenheim

Sunday, January 27

A delightful and often very moving afternoon concert was held at St Andrew's Church on Sunday, with UK soprano Elinor Chapman, Elin Tomos - soprano, Steve Austin - bass, Caitlin Morris - cello and pianist Marsha Stringer.

Chapman, accompanied by Stringer, opened the concert with a glorious Alleluia from Exsultate Jubilate by Mozart. Mozart operatic arias were well represented throughout the programme with offerings from The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan Tutte. Steve Austin's sensitive performance of the opening bass aria from Don Giovanni was expressive.

Chapman's excellent and convincing characterisation shone throughout the concert, drawing the audience into each aria and song. Her wide range of expression and skilful coloratura in arias such as the Laughing Song from Manon Lescaut, also truly made this a memorable concert.

Stringer gave us a Rachmaninoff Prelude in G with impressive clarity and lightness of touch, drawing a wonderful sound picture for the very appreciative audience. A local young cellist, Caitlin Morris, performed an unaccompanied Bach Prelude andAllemande, followed by Ravel's Habenara where she was accompanied by Stringer. The Prelude showed a deft handling of the polyphonic melodic texture with a spirited performance.

Elin Tomos sang two Welsh songs with a beautiful clarity of tone. She also joined with Chapman to perform Barcarolle by Offenbach. The three vocalists then combined with Stringer accompanying to end with Soave S'l vento (Gentle is the wind), from the opera Cosi fan Tutte.

The audience were left wanting more and fittingly gave the performers a standing ovation.

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- The Marlborough Express

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