Four hundred years of Monteverdi

PUBLISHED: 16:19 31 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 June 2010

It is seven years since Exmouth Choral Society brought the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 to life for the music lovers of Exmouth and district.

It is seven years since Exmouth Choral Society brought the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 to life for the music lovers of Exmouth and district. It was our first venture with early instruments and with a great line-up of visiting soloists we took a leap of faith and hoped that Exmouth music audiences would respond. We needn't have been afraid, you responded magnificently and it was a sell out.

It therefore seemed a good idea to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the writing of the Vespers with another performance. Since there will be many other anniversary celebrations in 2010, it is good to know that for many of the visiting professionals it will be their first of the year! We have managed to engage both instrumentalists and soloists who are even better known now than they were seven years ago. Leading the soloists line-up is the international early music soloist Evelyn Tubb - Google the name and you will see what I mean if you still don't know it! With her will be the lute player who came last time and is often in concert with her - Michael Fields. Seven years ago, Thomas Hobbs was not really even thinking of singing, now he is a top name in the UK and abroad and is a firm favourite with audiences in Exmouth. Greg Tassell was a choral scholar in the cathedral and in our earlier performance - he even wanted to come again! He, too, is now on the national and international concert stage. The rest of the line-up consists of my wife Alison Burnett, who you also know well, Julian Rippon and John Pearce - late of the John Eliot Gardiner singers.

Among the instrumentalists are members of Devon Baroque and top London brass and wind players.

It only remains for me to urge you to book early - space in Holy Trinity is limited - and the price has barely risen since last time. We look forward to your support for this latest venture of your town's choral society.

Monteverdi Vespers will be performed at Holy Trinity Church, Rolle Road, Exmouth at 7.30pm on Saturday, January 23.

Tickets available early January from Premier, Rolle Street, and Cabin News, The Parade - both in Exmouth and The Lawn Bakery, Budleigh Salterton - also from members or telephone (01395) 275188.

Brian Northcott (Musical Director)

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