Of St. Cecilia and Pickled Boys
Amici’s next concert is on Saturday 19th November at 7:30 p.m. and will be presented in the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Taunton.
St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians, and St. Cecilia’s Day is November 22nd. That date also happens to be Benjamin Britten’s birthday. The programme comprises two major works, ‘Hail! Bright Cecilia’ by Purcell, and ‘St. Nicolas’ by Britten. Britten was particularly enthusiastic about Purcell’s music and all of this interweaving of dates and musical affinities has resulted in what promises to be an interesting and enjoyable evening of music.
‘St. Nicolas’ tells the story of the legendary life of St. Nicolas, Bishop of Myra, Lycia. The text was written by Eric Crozier, and Britten’s setting of the story opened the very first Aldburgh Festival in 1948. One of the sections describes the Saint’s miraculous resurrection of two boys who have been murdered by the local butcher, and whose pickled meat is being served up to travellers! (Sounds very Sweeny Todd, doesn’t it?)
A fine line up of soloists has been engaged for this evening, including tenor Thomas Elwin and well-known local soprano Lorna Anderson. An added attraction is a guest appearance by Crispian Steele-Perkins, the country’s foremost baroque trumpeter (think ‘Antiques Roadshow’ theme…!).
Tickets are available from Taunton Tourist Information Centre and through the Amici website – www.amicichoir.org.uk.