2018-2019 Season

Spring Concert

Sunday 14 April, 3 p.m. at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

Programme:

Verdi: Overture to La forza del destino – The force of destiny
Verdi: Quattro pezzi sacri – Four sacred pieces
Puccini: Messa di gloria.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society
Salomon Orchestra
John Findon (tenor)
Håkan Vramsmo (baritone)
Conducted by Robyn Sevastos

A print-at home flyer is available here
Larger size for newspaper and magazine use.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) composed four individual sacred works between 1886 and the year of his death, 1897, with no intention that they would be performed as a cycle It was his publisher Ricordi who gathered them together as Four sacred pieces. Rather than chronological order of composition, they are usually performed in the order listed by Ricordi:

  1. Ave Maria, ‘on an enigmatic scale’ is for four-part mixed chorus.
  2. Stabat Mater is for mixed chorus with orchestra.
  3. Laudi alla Vergine Maria is for unaccompanied four-part women’s chorus.
  4. Te Deum is for double mixed chorus and orchestra.

As a student Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) composed a self-contained Credo, and in 1880 incorporated it in the Messa a quattro voci (Mass for four voices) that he completed as a graduation exercise. The Mass is Puccini’s only music for the church. Even at this early stage, after attending a performance of Verdi’s Aida, his work shows signs of the opera bug that was to determine most of his compositional output. Already the question arises: is this is more of an operatic mass or a sacred opera?

The Mass is scored for orchestra, four-part choir with tenor and baritone soloists. A review of the first performance in 1880 described it as having ‘much melodic charm, grandeur of conception and structure’.

After that first performance the Mass was put aside, and it disappeared from view for more than 70 years. It re-emerged in the 1950s in two rival editions with a row over publication rights. The popular title of Messa di Gloria is something of a misnomer since the work is a full mass. It was given to the first publication in 1951, maybe to reflect the extended length of the Gloria in relation to the other sections of the mass.

Summer Concert

Sunday 30 June at 6.30 p.m. at Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church

Songs from the shows

Further details and programme to be confirmed.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society
Conducted by Robyn Sevastos

The choir welcomes new singers to join us in rehearsing for the summer concert. If you are uncertain about choral singing this is an opportunity to try things out with a lighter programme. Rehearsals start Monday 29 April. See membership page for details.

Buying tickets

Assembly Hall seating plan

Assembly Hall

Tickets for concerts in the Assembly Hall – all seats are numbered – can be bought in advance with payment by card. When tickets are on sale, a ‘Buy tickets online’ button that links to the Assembly Hall box office appears with the concert listing above. Tickets can also be bought in person at Tunbridge Wells Gateway, 8 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2AB.

To avoid paying a booking fee you can buy your tickets directly through a choir member or order them from Gerald Chew (tel. 01892 527958, email tickets@rtwcs.org.uk) – payment is by cash or cheque only. The seating layout diagram displayed here is to enable you to see where your seat will be when booking this way.

Buying tickets

Other venues

When tickets are on sale for concerts in other venues – seats are not numbered – they can be bought in advance with payment by card through a ‘Buy tickets online’ button alongside the concert listing.

To avoid paying a booking fee you can buy your tickets directly through a choir member or order them from Gerald Chew (tel. 01892 527958, email tickets@rtwcs.org.uk) – payment is by cash or cheque only.